Saturday, 12 November 2016

Cerebus Vol 6 "Melmoth" Reviewed

Cerebus #139 (October 1990)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard


CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER 6
A Portfolio of 10 Signed & Numbered Prints with Exclusive Commentary by Dave Sim
Raising Funds For The Restoration & Preservation Of The World's Longest Graphic Novel 


"Melmoth addresses many things, but it is first and foremost an artist's tribute to a great literary figure... Sim has stated that to avante-garde cartoonists, Cerebus is little better than a Marvel comic, but in an artform where works of erudition and pathos are sorely lacking, Cerebus is a stream in the desert." ~ The Comics Journal

"If you love Oscar Wilde, Melmoth is puzzling and upsetting but ultimately quite moving. Sim forces us to renegotiate some of our ideas about who Wilde was and what his final days were like. There is little of Wilde's wit and whimsy here, and a whole lot of tragedy and sorrow. But it's a choice that both humanizes Wilde and mythologizes Cerebus, allowing them to share in the power of the death of Oscar Wilde." ~ Graphixia

"The first time I read Cerebus it was all of the heady outer-space philosophy and theology that attracted me. This time around the humbler volumes are the ones that speak to me and Melmoth is the most touching of them all. It is a deeply introspective and focused volume. The book speaks for itself. Issue #150 marks the middle of the series and the turning point in what Sim has called the Masculine and Feminine halves of the story. So this volume, with it's focus on death, functions much like the Death card in the tarot, as a transition period." ~ Carson Grubaugh

"Cerebus has been so traumatised by the events in Jaka's Story that he can do little more than sit staring silently outside a second tavern, clutching Jaka's childhood doll, Missy. Old acquaintances pass by, oblivious. A waitress pours out her heart. The sun rises, the sun sets. Meanwhile a bed-ridden man called Oscar dies painfully, slowly, under the loving watch of his friends. And apart from my own, personal and enduring friendship with Dave Sim which itself refutes any such charges, this is where I just shake my head and quietly mutter "Fuck you" whenever I hear the man accused of homophobia as well as misogyny. You've never read a word he has written, have you." ~ Page 45

"Melmoth was the Death book, the other side of Jaka's Story which was the Love book. Jaka's Story and Melmoth are my best try at Love & Death. It was very important to me to keep the Cerebus and Melmoth parts of the story separate because I thought that made an important point about Death. Cerebus is going through a metaphorical death, a death of the spirit and Oscar is staring Death in the face and they're completely unaware of each other. Everyone around Cerebus is unaware of Cerebus - of what he’s going through: you face a metaphorical death alone." ~ Dave Sim

4 comments:

Jeff Seiler said...

I really hope we get the c#%*, c#%*, c#%*y c#%* page in this one. Not to be misogynistic, but sometimes, when you get waited on by "such a nasty woman", you really wanna say that.

Under your breath.

And then apologize. To God, if no one else.

BTW, I intend no conflation with Dave here. I do not even begin to speak for him. This is just me, speaking my mind about some horrible waitresses whom I have had the misfortune to encounter over the years.

[Dave? If you want this one deleted, for practical reasons, feel free. I won't take offence.]

Dave Sim said...

No, Jeff. I appreciate the offer. But I think the sooner we can get to the point where we all feel free to speak our minds, the better. And not to "speak our minds" in the "one-way" sense that the Feminist Theocracy believes in: you're free to hold any opinions that you want but you're only allowed to EXPRESS feminist opinions.

That's probably only going to happen if we start doing that here in these "weird little corners of the Internet" which are considered outside the province of civilized, polite discourse.

JLH said...

My video reviews should be resuming this week, with a look at Melmoth, coincidentally!

Dave Sim said...

Jesse Lee H. - Must be one of them Metaphysical Confluences I keep hearing about!