Saturday, 31 March 2018

My Kid's Birthday

Hi, Everybody!

It's my kid's Birthday!

Here's something Dave sent her a few years ago:

Here's a close-up of the inscription
 Alright, there you go, Moment. Cerebus. Boom.

I'm outie...

What?

Not "Cerebus-y" enough for you people?

FINE!

Dave's interview from Wizard #58, June 1996:







Next Time: Well NOT Dave's interview from Wizard #58 NOW!!!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Re-mastered Minds now viable!! (Dave's Weekly Update #228)

Hi, Everybody!

Holy crap do I got a lotta stuff here:

AUCTIONS!!!
And as always, check for bonecrusher86 on the eBays if I missed something. (It's possible, I'm a busy guy...)

Anyway,
Heeeeeere's Dave:



Here's a list of what remasters are available currently (with Star codes):
CEREBUS STAR00070
HIGH SOCIETY JAN150915
CHURCH & STATE I STAR00271
READS STAR01063
GOING HOME STAR10981
MINDS APR178991

Also, Dave wanted me to post this:
Which is in reference to:
So, since Dave says we can make up whatever story we want for why he doesn't "do" signings or conventions, I'm going with: Dave thinks that guy might REALLY be Batman, and Dave don't truck with caped vigilantes since reading Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Strikes Again...

Next Time: Why Dave won't tug on Superman's cape...

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Get Out and Push

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

We've looked at Dave Sim's "Mothers & Daughters" notebook, notebook #23, only three times so far. It is one of the smallest notebooks at 5.5" x 8.5" and only 36 pages scanned. The last time we saw pages from it was way back in June of 2015 in Shredded Tissue of Lies.

Most of the 36 pages was sketches of people on vacation, 1992 Tour items or notes for Free Cerebus. I did find some Lord Julius dialogue about the steering committee:

Notebook 23, page 36
I can remember that scene with Baskin furiously taking notes. Still makes me chuckle.

The dialogue continues on page 37:

Notebook 23, page 37
Looks like a quick sketch for a page from Cerebus #152.

THREE ALL-NEW BATVARK'S!


Benjamin Hobbs:

Greetings!  First off, a quick reminder:  WORLD'S FINITE CEREBUS should be in stores today!  (It IS the last Wednesday of the month after all.) Pick up your copy (copies?) (copies!) today!

Some bars have a three drink minimum, LCSs should have a 3 WORLD'S FINITE CEREBUS minimum.
 

In the weekly update for February 9th, Dave mentioned that I had drawn three new Batvark figures for CIH?  "How did these come about?" I hear the collective AMOC readership asking.  Read on to find out!

There are THREE Cerebus figures and only ONE Batvark in CIH?.  This struck me as WILDLY unfair to Batvark.  It seemed there was some sort of Bat-based discrimination afoot.  So I decided to correct this injustice. 

Here we have the original standing Cerebus and the original Batvark figure.  Since the original Batvark is in the standing pose, there was no need to create another one. Obviously.



The first new Batvark is ATTACK POSE Batvark.  Dave has asked that the hat be flying off his head, to add comic effect to the figure's anger.  I have yet to make this adjustment since it will entail drawing a new hat at a different angle.  I'm sure there will be a post to celebrate the newly drawn hat when it is done. 


Next up, there's YELLING POSE Batvark.  As you can see, he's yelling.  Probably words.  Possibly just gurgled sounds. 




And lastly, there's FLYING POSE Batvark. He's the least likely to be used, since mild manner FLYING POSE Cerebus is ACTUALLY Super-Cerebus, and Batvark has no alter ego. 

Because we're SOOOO far ahead these figures probably won't show up in the comic until late 2019 or early 2020 at the earliest. 


Next week: ATTACK POSE Batvark's new Hat! 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag: Letters, Letters, Letters

Hi, Everybody!

First up:
Give all your hickies to the Living Tari...er, Dave and Dave. (And I mean, your money. I don't think Dave or Dave want your hickeys...):
CAN7 Cerebus Archive Portfolio No. 7 -- Edition #136/175 ("FLIGHT")

Second up:
Hey,

I was going through a box of correspondence and came across the attached. Please feel free to use it in whole or in part. No need to obscure the address--I haven't lived there in 14 years.

Best,
Mitch Grady
I have a letter like this too. It'll be in a future Cerebus In Matt's Life.

 Thanks Mitch!

Third up: Michael Hoskin sent in:
Messner-Loebs is in the news today, an article that talks about how he's
homeless:
http://amp.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/one-armed-comic-book-artist-worked-on-wonder-woman-now-homeless-in-michigan

As his work appeared in Cerebus, perhaps the blog could post something
about him?
Sure: It's a good article, about a bad situation. At the end they say:
Bill and Nadine Messner-Loebs have been helped by the Severe Weather Network. There are currently no county-run homeless shelters in Livingston County, making the program the only emergency housing option in the area. CLICK HERE to check out their GoFundMe page.
If you’re able and willing to offer some assistance to Bill, email fox2newsdesk@foxtv.com

I actually met Bill at S.P.A.C.E.: The Small Press Alternative Comics Expo a few years ago.

If you can help, please do.

Okay, now to work on Saturday's article...

Next Time: Ben and Cerebus In Hell?, Margaret and a notebook, Dave and the Weekly Update, and then... I dunno, something with a kid in a bunnysuit probably...

Monday, 26 March 2018

Reading Cerebus (Between The Button Part 2)

Hi, Everybody!

GIVE DAVE MONEY!!!
And as always, check for bonecrusher86 on the eBays if I missed something. 

Anyway:
"Say kids, what time is it?"
"It's time to get ILL!!!!"
"Sorry Mike D., it's not. It's "Reading Cerebus" Time!"
It's "READING CEREBUS" time.
It's "READING CEREBUS" time.
Kevin reads Cerebus for you,
It’s such a nifty thing to do.
Let’s give a rousing cheer,
Cause "Reading Cerebus" is here,
"Is your name Michael Diamond?"
"No mine's Clarence..."
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.

Between The Buttons: A Cerebus Miscellany (Part The Second)

This week, I'm going to finish looking at the short material that fits in between the first 12 issues of Cerebus. Again, for each story, I am including where it was originally published and where it fits in the overall arc of the story thus far. Credit goes to Cerebus Companion #1 for helping to place these stories in chronological order as they do not appear in the first phone book.

One thing I want to add before we get too far into this weeks column is that Will Eisner did not in fact draw Cerebus in the "Cerebus Versus The Spirit" story. While he did contribute on the final art, his contribution was to adding Dolan and The Spirit into the final story in both pencil and ink. He also inked the window on page two panel one, much of the bric-a-brac on page three and the last two panels of the story. Thank you to Kit for the clarification.

"Elfguest" (Cerebus #52) [Available at the link, you're welcome-Matt]

This short finds a hungover Cerebus meeting the cute and precocious characters of Elfquest who have used dimensional travel to land in "our world". Not a lot transpires here as the elves are here and gone as quick as a hiccup, but Cerebus does decide to swear off mixing ale with apricot brandy.

This 4 page story fits in between issues 11 and 12.

"The Morning After" (Swords of Cerebus Volume 2, Reprinted in Cerebus World Tour Book 1995)

Possibly picking up directly after the events of "Elfguest", "The Morning After" finds a hungover Cerebus trying to cure a pounding headache any way that he can. He drinks from horse troughs, eats a bag of eggs, has his head set in a vice, and even has his head wrapped in a screaming hot towel. Finally cured of his malady, Cerebus sits outside the tavern and waits for it to open. Some aardvarks never learn.

This 6 page story also fits in between issues 11 and 12.

"Cerebus Dreams" (Swords of Cerebus Volume 5, Reprinted in Cerebus World Tour Book 1995)[Full story at the link, you're welcome-Matt]

A David Lynch-ian dream sequence done in the style of Barry Windsor-Smith [I should hope so, since it's done BY Barry Windsor-Smith -Matt] that opens with a rain of diamonds. That's weird. Then a chicken appears and begins eating the amassed jewels. Ok, weirder. Then Cerebus is attacked by a violin playing jester. What would Freud say about this? On second thought, it's probably best not to ask.

This 6 page story also fits in between issues 11 and 12.

"A Night On The Town" (Swords of Cerebus Volume 6, Reprinted in Cerebus World Tour Book 1995) [Full story at the link. Everybody thank Tim. "Thanks Tim" -Matt]

A drunken Cerebus finds a corpse in the snow and sets about on a silent farcical adventure akin to "Weekend at Bernie's".

This 7 page story also fits in between issues 11 and 12.

Final Thoughts

This weeks shorts offer a view into the ills and weirdness that come with tying one on. Did Cerebus really meet the elves, or was it just a drunken illusion? Who was the weird violinist? Do chickens really eat diamonds? It's a lot to think about.

Join me back here next week as we look at the short story "Magiking" and it's follow up in issue 13, "Black Magiking".

Currently Listening To: The Best of the Grateful Dead Live

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.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

"T.L.:D.R." DAVE SIM (YAWN) ON JOHN 19!" Part 5

Hi, Everybody!

With the Auctionings:
And as always, check for bonecrusher86 on the eBays if I missed something. 

Anyway, From Dave Sim:
17 Feb 18
Hi Matt!  
Since you were asking about Biblical commentaries, I thought I'd send this to you.  It's part of my RIP KIRBY COMMENTARIES which hit a religious off-ramp requiring a lengthy digression (about a year or so now) into the "Song of Deborah" (Book of Judges) with the November 8, 1950 strip.  Which then dovetailed with John's Gospel, which then dovetailed with my commentaries on Gertrude Stein's THE WORLD IS ROUND and BLOOD ON THE DINING ROOM FLOOR, finally circling back to John 19. So this is, really, the 17-page punch-line.
I can't imagine anyone would be interested, but you did ask about Bible Commentaries. 
You could maybe run it a page a week on sequential Sundays.  "T.L.:D.R."
DAVE SIM (YAWN) ON JOHN 19!"

Grab a Bible and follow along!

 Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and now, Part...5!:
14 Feb 18 pg. 3

And the disciples are clearly used to this.  Although "used to this" probably exaggerates their actual level of acceptance. There is no way that one man lying on the breast of another man at supper isn't going to look weird. You can try to persuade me otherwise, but it's going to be a "no go".  Even just trying to picture it, it's too weird. Even knowing that they were probably all reclining on the ground because that was how you ate supper in the context of the time period, one of them lying on top of the other is just a bridge too far when it comes to mental images.

But, I think it was supposed to be.  As I say, I think God designed John that way so that his response to the Johannine Jesus was as that of a lamb for a shepherd. Just old enough and lucid enough to know that "this guy represents safety".  If you're God there's no reason to incarnate a visual metaphor by half -- especially when You know that the full weight of the non-Synoptic, monotheistic future is resting solely on the shoulders of the individual in question.  

Peter could have asked the Johannine Jesus himself who was about to "give beside him". The fact that he prompts John to do so, I suggest, indicates that the Johannine Jesus was more likely to be forthcoming with John than he would have been with anyone else.  And that Peter and all of the disciples knew that. Which, I don't think endeared John to them.  Exactly the opposite. I suspect it was one of the major reasons, I'd suggest, that they all gravitated to the Synoptic Jesus instead. The relationship of Jesus and John was off-putting. 

Of course, it's possible that it was only at the Last Supper that John was lying "thus upon the breast" of Jesus.  It was a metaphysically unique historical event and, I infer, metaphysically unique events in proximity and in relation to it would have been neither unexpected nor unknown.  Jesus washing the feet of the disciples certainly had a "shock of the new" about it. But there's something about the character of the description that suggests otherwise: that there was nothing surprising about John's recumbent posture and disposition.

Which is one of the reasons that I suggest John was simple. Any other man in that situation would have to be thinking, "How does this look? What will people think?" It

16 Feb 18 pg.1 cont'd from 14 Feb 18 pg.3

would require, I think, a completely simple psychological profile to effect with the kind of equanimity the passage conveys.

And I don't think John changed over the years. As another passage in his NBD listing puts it:

Jerome also repeats the tradition that John tarried at Ephesus to extreme old age, and records that, when John had to be carried to the Christian meetings, he used to repeat again and again, "Little children, love one another."

Although I think the implication we're supposed to take from this description is that this was a result of senility, I would suggest that it was, rather, John's life-long simplicity expressing itself.  He was brought back from Patmos, I infer, because the full weight of the Revelation and the impact it had had upon the "seven ecclesias" made the idea of his exile theologically abhorrent (if not theologically terrifying)...

[John's is a very distinctive narrative voice, sharply aligned with the Johannine Jesus' syntax and phraseology, that, I assume, only manifested itself in his Gospel, Revelation and the one formal Epistle (1.John) and two personal letters (2.John; 3.John) of his in the Christian canon.  Unlike the Synoptic Gospels, I find the Interlinear word-for-word English translations of John more specific and understandable than the KJV. When you're God, I infer, it's no great problem to write Koine Greek in such a way that it translates directly into English (and all other languages, I'm guessing) (the Synoptic Gospels and Paul's Epistles, not so much) with no modification necessary.  John, to my eyes, appears to contort several of the Johannine Jesus' messages in the latter three instances but not unduly.  And, most importantly to me, John always calls God by the Name God]

[This is relevant, I think, to the current subject insofar as it suggests to me that John was a binary figure, entirely simplistic in conversation, presentation and perception, but lucidly and specifically eloquent in his role as the Johannine Jesus' biographer (documenting only the Johannine Jesus' ministry and, there, restricting himself to a thorough recounting at considerable length of a handful of miracles) and as the Johannine Jesus' amanuensis -- "thus upon the breast" apparently serving to engrave each word of the Last Supper in John's mind --  and as God's conduit for Revelation.]  

…and, here he was, back where he started: irritating everyone in the late first century Ephesian Church as he had his Christian contemporaries in mid-first century Jerusalem with his reiterative simplicity ("Little children, love one another"). 
Next Time: 16 Feb 18 pg. 2

Saturday, 24 March 2018

S.P.A.C.E.: The Final Frontier...

Hi, Everybody!

S.P.A.C.E.: The Small Press Alternative Comics Expo. These are the voyages of the starshi... Er, I mean:
Now coming up on it's 19th year, S.P.A.C.E. is the Midwest's longest running exhibition of small press, creator owned, and art comics. And Columbus, Ohio's longest locally owned and operated COMICS show of any kind. Sponsored by Back Porch Comics.
Dave and Gerhard went for a number of years, before Ger left Aardvark-Vanaheim, and Dave stopped going out in public.

Back then, members of the Cerebus Yahoo group used to go too.
Art by Yahoo, and Aardvark Comment letterhack, Larry Hart (except for the older funnier guy on the left). I can't remember the story behind this, but I'm sure Jeff Seiler will drop by the comments section with it...
(There's a number of Cerebus In Matt's Life stories about it, coming in the future...)

Anyway, Gerhard will be back April 28 & 29. And a number of the Yahoos are having a mini reunion too. (I won't be there, as I have a prior engagement.)

Saturday night, they're going to Schmidt's Sausage Haus (it's a tradition...(I have no idea why...).)
Hey look! It's Dave Sim! And Jeff Seiler. And my wife. And Me. (I'm the white male...)
So, if you wanna see a really good comics show, and Gerhard, AND some fellow Cerebus fans (Including AMOC's own Margaret Liss (she's on the left there).), head on down to Columbus for S.P.A.C.E.
You too could drink a giant beir with Gerhard. (That's NOT me on the left...)

I wish I good be there, but...prior engagement.

Next Time: Wanna see Dave's 50th birthday cake?

Thursday, 22 March 2018

A Letter to the Prime Minister

MARGARET LISS:
A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

Another look at Albatross, Too, aka Dave Sim's notebook #2 used in the creation of Cerebus. Notebook #2 covers Cerebus #28 to 37 and had 198 pages out of 200 pages scanned.

On page 35 of the notebook is page two of issue #29. Well, the layouts and dialogue for it. The number and size of panels is about the same, but a lot has been changed between the page from the notebook and the final page:

Notebook #2, page 35

Cerebus #29, page 2 (High Society page 70)




Wednesday, 21 March 2018

IRON MANTICORE...Coming September 2019!


Benjamin Hobbs:

The next issue of CIH? that Dave will be writing is IRON MANTICORE: DEMON IN A BOTTLE.  Here's a sneak peek at the cover of that issue:


The printed version of this cover is sure to look different.

Look for it in stores September 2019!

Next week: A longer post that wasn't written at the literal eleventh hour?  Let's hope!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Sneakier Previews

Hi, Everybody!

So, wanna see a sneak peak of this:
Huh, do ya?



Well bubby, are you in luck:


See, back during the last Kickstarter, you could get a "Personalized Cerebus In Hell? strip. I did, and this one is mine.

Dave also included all the bits and bobs he used in making it. Including THIS little gem:


Dialogue he must have printed out for a different strip.

Truly an insider's inside... or something. Guess we'll all find out what it means in April 2019!!!

Next time: "Is it 2019 yet, Daddy? Is it? Is it?"

Monday, 19 March 2018

Reading Cerebus #13

Hi, Everybody!

You got Money? Not for long:
And as always, check for bonecrusher86 on the eBays if I missed something. (I didn't.)

Anyway:
"Say kids, what time is it?"
"It's time to get a REAL job Dillweed!"
"Um, No? It's "Reading Cerebus" Time!"
It's "READING CEREBUS" time.
It's "READING CEREBUS" time.
Kevin reads Cerebus for you,
It’s such a nifty thing to do.
Let’s give a rousing cheer,
Cause "Reading Cerebus" is here,
"Get a real job"? You guys suck...
Seriously.
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.

Between The Buttons: A Cerebus Miscellany (Part The First)

This week, I decided to get caught up on some of the miscellaneous short stories that slot in between the first 12 issues of Cerebus. For each story, I am including where it was originally published and where it fits in the overall arc of the story thus far. Credit goes to Cerebus Companion #1 for helping to place these stories in chronological order as they do not appear in the first phone book.

One thing I want to add before we get too far into this weeks column is that I glossed over one big detail in last week's column: Cerebus has celebrated another birthday and is now 27 years old. Now, on to the countdown!

"Demonhorn" (Nucleus #1, Reprinted in Swords of Cerebus Volume 2)
Images courtesy of CerebusFanGirl: Margaret Liss (Thanks for nothing CerebusDownloads.com!)

(I mean 300 issues, over 6000 pages, and NO miscellany?!?)




A lyric poem more fun than a sharp stick (err, sword) in the eye. While I find it kind of fun and charming, the notes I read say that Dave thinks the poetry is lousy.

This 5 page story fits in between issues 5 and 6, and scans of it can be found at http://www.cerebusfangirl.com/stories/index.html. [Or, ya know, Matt could just swipe it and post it. Up there. You're welcome. -Matt]

"Cerebus Versus The Spirit" (Cerebus Jam) [Fully story at the link -Matt. And Here's Margaret with Dave's notebook on it.]
Years before Animal Man would meet writer Grant Morrison in the pages of DC Comics' Animal Man, the hand of comics' legend Will Eisner would intervene to break up a scuffle between his creation, The Spirit, and Cerebus. This one should have come with a spoiler alert as it mentions Cerebus becoming Pope, so I have that to look forward to.

This 4 page story fits in between issues 6 and 7.

"The Name Of The Game Is Diamondback" (Swords of Cerebus Volume 1, Reprinted in Cerebus World Tour Book 1995) [This is NOT that story... -Matt (Be warned, it's long and horrible and you see WAY too much of my fat face... I'd say "sorry", but I'm not sorry. -Matt)]

In which the rules of Cerebus' favorite card game, Diamondback, are explained and we are introduced to Leopold, The Gambling Priest.

This 8 page story fits in between issues 11 and 12.

Final Thoughts


While these short stories are fun to look at in the context of the series, they really don't add much to the overall experience. The coolest moment of these three stories is probably seeing Cerebus drawn by Will Eisner. That said, the biggest bummer was having the Cerebus as Pope storyline revealed early.

Join me back here next week as we look at three more stories that fit in between issues 11 and 12: "Elfguest", "Cerebus Dreams", and "A Night On The Town"

Currently Listening To: Grateful Dead - "Dick's Picks Volume 26 - Disc 2 Labor Temple Minneapolis, MN 4/27/1969"

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.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

"T.L.:D.R." DAVE SIM (YAWN) ON JOHN 19!" Part 4

Hi, Everybody!

With the Auctionings:
And as always, check for bonecrusher86 on the eBays if I missed something. (To date, I have not.)

Anyway, From Dave Sim:
17 Feb 18
Hi Matt!  
Since you were asking about Biblical commentaries, I thought I'd send this to you.  It's part of my RIP KIRBY COMMENTARIES which hit a religious off-ramp requiring a lengthy digression (about a year or so now) into the "Song of Deborah" (Book of Judges) with the November 8, 1950 strip.  Which then dovetailed with John's Gospel, which then dovetailed with my commentaries on Gertrude Stein's THE WORLD IS ROUND and BLOOD ON THE DINING ROOM FLOOR, finally circling back to John 19. So this is, really, the 17-page punch-line.
I can't imagine anyone would be interested, but you did ask about Bible Commentaries. 
You could maybe run it a page a week on sequential Sundays.  "T.L.:D.R."
DAVE SIM (YAWN) ON JOHN 19!"

Grab a Bible and follow along!

 Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and now Part 4:
14 Feb 18 pg. 1

And God stopped it, dead in its tracks with His own Big Bang. John's Revelation.

And He didn't stop it  (although the theological whiplash the sudden arrest in Christian progress it caused must have been fearsome to experience and behold from the top of the Synoptic construct to the bottom)  so much as redirect it and purify it, addressing the "seven ecclesias" in what, I infer, are unmistakable, irrefutable and irresistible terms directed to the highest natures concerned.

I'm convinced that the Revelation was and is impenetrable to the human mind.  You can trace many of its allusions back through the Torah (Ezekiel and Jeremiah particularly), the seven hills of Rome are readily identifiable, as are each of the Roman Emperors referred to metaphorically. You can crunch the numbers (24 older persons. Why 24? Ten diadems? Why 10?) according to any numerological system you care to, you aren't, I don't think, going to get anywhere.  Because, I infer, it's all of-a-piece.  It includes YHWHism and elements of Jewish mysticism, the Kabbalah, Gnosticism, but, I infer, as they actually exist. In a manner known only to the Self-Subsisting.

[Or existed. It's one of the conundrums of Revelation that there's no way of knowing if what are being described are fixed eschatological enactments which are inescapable or fluid eschatological enactments which were/are changing form even as they were/are being described.  Like Ebenezer Scrooge's question to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come:]

[Are these the shadows of things that Will be, or are the shadows of things that May be, only? (note capitalization)]

[The Ghost doesn't reply and Scrooge elaborates:]

14 Feb 18 pg.2

[Men's courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead.  But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me! ]

[John, like Ezekiel before him, doesn't have Scrooge's fictional luxury of challenging or questioning what he's being shown. Wishful thinking, I infer, on Charles Dickens' part that that was the way things worked -- or could be made to work. We never doubt the sincerity of Scrooge's repentance but the notion that higher-natured arbiters could be petitioned to or pleaded with for (frankly) unmerited clemency strikes me as a vainglorious self-generated YHWHistic literary conceit masquerading as genuine monotheistic adherence.]

Which leads me, finally, to the point of these commentaries that I didn't want to leave undone before reengaging with "The Missing Nightingale" commentaries. On the one hand, what I have to say can be regarded as peripheral to the Deborah narrative -- lacking the direct application of the reiterated "mantle" in Judges and John's Gospel -- on the other hand, what I have to say seems central speaking, as I infer it does, to the essential nature of procreation and maternity.  

John is an interesting and unique figure in Scripture. I think he was simple.  As we would have said back in my day, seemingly mentally retarded.  I'm not sure what the term is today "something-challenged".  But I think that was only the appearance that he conveyed.  I think he was as much "simple" in the sense of "not complicated" as he was in the sense of "cognitively atrophied" and, in fact, far more the former than the latter.  Simple in the same sense as (and metaphysically resonant with) the nature of the hydrogen molecule.  I think he was designed that way by God.

The most noteworthy description of John in Scripture, is the moment at the Johannine Jesus' Last Supper (unlike the very brief Synoptic accounts, the Johannine Jesus' Last Supper takes up a full five chapters: John 13-18) when he tells the disciples that "one out of you will give beside me":  

"Was lying upward one out of the disciples of him in the bosom of the _____ (Jesus), whom was loving the _____ (Jesus); is nodding therefore to this Simon Peter and is saying to him Say who it is about whom he is saying.  Having fallen upward that thus upon the breast of the ____ (Jesus) he is saying to him Lord, who is it?"

This is not…normal…masculine behaviour. Christians tend to steer far clear of discussing that fact, just citing John as "the beloved disciple" and leaving it at that. If you look at the angle of John's head in Leonardo's The Last Supper it seems apparent that Leonardo tried to depict John "fallen upward…upon the breast of the Jesus" and then couldn't do it. It just looked too weird.  He had to move John over and just give his head that unnatural tilt towards Jesus.  In our own degraded age, not unsurprisingly, gay connotations and inferences are, inevitably, being drawn. I can certainly see that. And I can't rule it out.  But, I don't think it was that. To reiterate, I think John was simple.  In the same sense that the Johannine Jesus was described by John the Baptist as "The Lamb of God", I think John was "The Lamb's lamb".  He behaves like a lamb far more than he does like a human being and certainly far more than he does like a man. 
Next Time: 14 Feb 18 pg. 3