Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Insane Cerebus Fan Theories (#1) (part two. Don't worry, it's only a two parter.)

Hi, Everybody!

Comicslink is here!

The Kickstarter for the birthday card.

The Vark Wars continue. If you want in: thevarkwars@gmail.com, ya got til Friday...


Okay, continuing from yesterday:

So, having pitched my theory to Dave, he shot me down like I was Snoopy in a Sopwith Camel.

End of story right?

Well, it wouldn't be an 
Fan Theory if it did...

So Dave said:
After the Big Trauma, Lord Julius never again had any kind of influence over Jaka for obvious reasons.  She was certainly capable of portraying herself as the loving niece and completely ignoring the Big Trauma in her dealings with her uncle but always on her own terms.  I mean, picture the level of profound wilfulness that would allow a twelve-year-old princess to be dancing in taverns.  The sensible thing for Lord Julius to do was to send some people to get her, but the Big Trauma was pretty well incandescent to the point of emitting its own level of radiation capable of melting lead.  All you could do was to keep a few Iestan undercover guards nearby and let her dance in taverns and hope for the best. 
Now, it's a nice theory, but does the series actually support it?

Well, here's the "Big Trauma":
From Jaka's Story...
...courtesy CerebusDownloads.com...
...Thank You very much...
Yup, "Big Trauma"!

Except, the text bits of Jaka's Story are written by Oscar, and we know that Jaka refutes his accounts in Going Home:

So, wait, Jaka ran away at twelve, and never went back, BUT used up multiple dance cards at every dance and ball?

I'd say the Trauma couldn't have been THAT Big.

And then there's THIS bit from Jaka's Story:

Which plays off of this bit from High Society:

But I still say Lord Julius and Jaka were in cahoots somewhat, or else how do you explain this bit from the end of High Society?

So dang mysterious...
And that dang black shirt was the same one...

I mean look at it!!!
Next Time: HOBBS!!! YOU'RE UP!!!


Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I wonder if Dave does not feel too strongly about small things, judging from his fiction. Such as Jaka’s party. Or the extreme way Cerebus reacted when it turned out that he had not been with his father when the latter died. I mean, I was not with my dad when he died, and mine was worse since I’d left the hospital room for the evening. But while I feel a bit bad about it, it’s just life, you can’t hang around everybody just in case they die. And I have the feeling that it’s patriarchal thing for Dave, that though he clearly loves/loved his mother a lot, it would not have been nearly as bad.

Maybe Cerebus is not Dave, but sometimes I wonder.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Durn. Subscribe.

Jeff said...

Matt, don't you think that that panel you utilized, from "Going Home" could have been "fake news" by Jaka--conveniently misremembering--since she is clearly going nuts over the course of the story?

Tony Dunlop said...

I'm with Jeff, mostly. I really don't think Jaka's recollection in "Going Home" is intended to be taken at face value, especially in light of Dave's views about how women perceive and report past events. Oscar was obviously embellishing, but what he wrote was based on what Rick told him, which in turn was what Jaka told him (Rick), which she clearly (based on her reaction: "You told him about THAT??!?") had not intended for public consumption; unlike her narrative from years (decades?) later at the Action Figure Pub.
And yes, I've always found the ending of "Form and Void" to be overly melodramatic and histrionic, to the point of being downright silly. F&V is probably my *least* favorite storyline for a variety of reasons, the ending definitely being one of them.

Jeff said...

Gee! T'anks Ant'ny!

whc03grady said...

The whole idea and Dave's denial of it brings up interesting issues relating to how fiction works. To what extent is what a creator says about their creation the final word? For example, what to do about all the internal inconsistencies (that is, impossibilities) with Carl Barks's Uncle Scrooge? What happens when other creators get involved, e.g. Don Rosa, to further the Uncle Scrooge example? (An interesting tangential issue is things like pronunciations. Though Dr. Seuss was not a part of the fictions Theodor Geisel created, it is noteworthy that Geisel initially pronounced it "soyce", not "soos". Were we all wrong?)

Matt's theory seems plausible, but Dave has rejected it. In this case it's a relatively minor point, but to what extent must we believe a creator on the topic of their creation? What if a creator is notoriously revisionist about their own work, as one could argue Dave is? What if a creator has their creation violate a law of physics (see: all sci-fi ever)? What if a creator has their creation violate a law of logic, for instance a fictional character who finds an even prime number greater than 2?

Well, *I* think it's interesting.


Jeff said...

Yeah, Mitch, for once, I at least partially agree with you. The only thing about Dave that has bothered me about Dave, over our decade and a half of correspondence and phone calls and occasional visits, is that he keeps changing some stories. It's enough, if you keep track, to make your head spin. On occasion. For example, several (many?) years ago, both Larry Hart and I received two completely different answers from Dave as to what was the significance of Sir Gerrick, a character and a question that remains open in perpetuity.

DVS, indeed.

And this is coming from a guy who actually *likes* the guy.

P.S.: "soyce" is the correct German (or Austrian) language pronunciation. So, yes, we were all wrong.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thank god it’s not just me.

I’ve been thinking about the thing about a creator’s interpretation. I think it’s of very limited value. Many years ago I made a poster which had a tree in the background, and people asked me if it was a tree or a mushroom cloud. I had never thought of it as a mushroom cloud, but I had to face that 1: it really did look like one, and 2: I could not imagine it any other shape...

There is a colored version of that drawing here:


Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


Thanks. I mean the fact that Cerebus had JUST seen Julius in issue #35 (with the Jaka's back cliffhanger at the end of the issue,) and that the last time Julius and Cerebus were together, Cerebus wore the fuzzy shirt. Coupled with that issue being the same one where we find out Jaka is Julius' niece, gives an extra poignancy to Jaka's wardrobe choice in issue #36.

I also like that Dave says he liked drawing the fuzzy shirt texture, but other than these two issues, I can't think of any other fuzzy shirts. (Besides Sgt. Preston Roach of the Royal Ieastan Mounted Police, that is.)

(Maybe Jeff will tell us about the time Dave SWORE that Jeff was wrong about the wallpaper in Cerebus' room in The Last Day. Swore. Up and down. Vehemently. AnNd Jeff was right.)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

What had Jeff said?

Jeff said...

Matthew? Matt? MATT!?! You *really* wanna plug a quarter in and get me dancin' again? Again!?!

(Sound effect of a coin being inserted and rolling down the slot, followed by a)


Okay, so, I was reading one of the issues of The Last Day story (I think it's about half way through the book) and there's a few pages where Cerebus (being in self(?)-imposed exile and locked in a luxurious room until he dies) is exploring the room (suite). He comes across some stairs (that end up leading to nowhere) that are by the absurd statue of Rick ( or, Ricke) and behind a curtain. Our hero somewhat absent-mindedly starts walking up the stairs and then we see, on the wall behind the staircase, some rather interesting wallpaper.

Drawn by the background, sorry-- environmental, artist, it is supposed to (I think) look like textured wallpaper. It is drawn in a pattern reminiscent of fine French chateau wallpaper, with a motif of vague, nebulous shapes, repeated over and over.

Except. I could have sworn, if you look at it out of the corner of your eye, one or more of the vague, nebulous shapes looks like either a "demon 'ead or skuw" (to borrow Prince Mick's pronunciation).

Really. Check it out for yourself. Go on. Look it up. I'll wait.

Okay. So, right? Thus, I wrote to Dave some time after March, 2004, and asked him about this. He wrote back, saying that he had looked at the issue in question and just didn't see to what I was referring. Kinda took me to task for it.

Fast forward to approximately two years later, at S.P.A.C.E, after the show, and after we Cerebites had helped Dave celebrate (early) his 50th birthday. Dave had gone back to his room for the night and the rest of us, including Ger, had gone to John and Bo's suite for the after-party.

So, we were all just sittin' around, drinking beer and bullshittin', when it occurred to me to ask Ger about the wallpaper.

I told him about what had transpired between Dave and I, two years earlier, and I described the page to Ger, in detail. He thought for a little bit and then said something like, "Oh, yeah! No, I was just bored and we were wrapping up the book, so I just drew that to see if Dave would notice."

Now, we were sitting on the floor, side by side, amongst several other people, who were all talking amongst themselves, quietly. The conversation I had with Ger was relatively quiet and I doubt that anyone else heard it. Maybe, Margaret.

But, as soon as Ger told me that, I jumped up and yelled, "Yes! I was right!! I was right, and Dave was wrong!! Yes!!!"

Well, everybody looked at me like I was nuts and Ger was trying to calm me down, but I was ecstatic. Because. Finally. I had proof that I was right and Dave was wrong.

Put *that* in your pipe and smoke it, Dave.

Of course, you have to understand that a lengthy (or, burgeoning, at that point) correspondence with anyone can lead to some competitive instincts.

Heh. Thanks, Matt, for dropping the quarter.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks, Jeff, excellent story.

For somebody who correct others for not just accepting his beliefs, Dave is sometimes quite antagonistic about the smallest disagreement.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

My books are in storage, and I can’t find a graphic of the wallpaper.

(By the way, which Jeff is this? The one without boxing gloves?)