Sunday, 11 February 2018

Reading Cerebus #8

Hey look kids! It's "READING CEREBUS" time!
Kevin Kimmes:

Welcome back to “Reading Cerebus”, a new (some-what) weekly column here at A Moment of Cerebus. The goal of this column is to bring a fresh perspective to the 300-issue saga of Cerebus as I read through the series for the first time and give my insights into the longest running independent comic book series of all time. Think of this as part book club, part lit-crit, and part pop culture musing. Oh, and they told me Dave Sim himself may be reading this, so I hope I don’t screw this up. Let’s continue.

Issue 8 - Day of the Earth-Pig

Issue #8: Day Of The Earth-Pig

"Might makes right!
  Might for right!
  Might for might!
  Right for might!

 - The ideals of the Conniptin's

Reeling from wounds received in his battle with the giant spider at the end of last issue, a delirious Cerebus is found by the manipulative Conniptin's and weaponized against their enemies.

Manipulating Cerebus

What is it about Cerebus that makes people believe he can be bent to their will? Is it his small stature? Is it the fact that he is a talking aardvark in a world of men? Whatever the reason, many people have attempted to use Cerebus to get what they want, all to poor effect.

From Flame Jewels to the treasures of the Black Sun, deities to dunder-heads have all tried their hands at weaponizing the Earth-Pig Born only to learn that Cerebus is not one to be trifled with. The Conniptin's, however, happen upon him in a weakened and hallucinatory state, one that allows him to be easily bent to their will and used as a weapon in their war with the people of Iest.

Elrod Again, Naturally

In his battle with the enemy encampment, we are exposed to Cerebus psyche let loose. Who are these enemy combatants? Well, in Cerebus' mind they are none other than the albino Elrod and the saucy sword fighter Red Sophia. While this could just be a simple hallucination induced by his wounds, it's what happens next that shows us something in regards to Cerebus' feelings towards his past companions.

He murders their likenesses in cold blood.

No hesitation whatsoever. He sees the visages of his past companions and drives cold steel through each until they lay in a pool of crimson on the battle field. With friends like Cerebus, who needs enemies?

I Can't Do it Captain

On a humor and pop culture front, the issues features a member of the Conniptin's army who bares a resemblance, at least vocally, to original Star Trek cast member Dr. Leonard McCoy. We are treated to Dr. McCoy's signature, "I'm a doctor not a...", line several times:

- "I'm a doctor not a general..."
- "I'm a doctor not a time-keeper!"
- "I'm a doctor not a martyr!"

Meet the New Boss

Despite apprehensions, Cerebus decides to take up the offer to lead the Conniptin army, even though he has his apprehensions. By his own accord, "Cerebus calls no man 'master'...", but the thought of battle, a soft bed, warm food and good wine win out, even if the position is just that of a puppet ruler.

Join me back here next week as we look at Issue 9: Swords Against Imesh

Currently Listening To: Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks Vol 14 11/30/73 & 12/2/73

Kevin Kimmes is a lifelong comic book reader, sometime comic book artist, and recent Cerebus convert. He can be found slinging comics at the center of the Multiverse, aka House of Heroes in Oshkosh, WI.

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