Tuesday, 5 February 2019

The Great 2019 AMOC Re-Read Part, the fifth

Hi, Everybody!

As we always start when these things are happening: Comiclink auctions, you got like an hour and change...

For anyone who missed the Kickstarter for the Birthday card, there's a Indiegogo live.

You can get a digital copy of the remastered Volume 1 for $9.99, and join in the Great AMOC 2019 Re-Read.

Finishing Cerebus Year Two, officially:

The Great 2019 a Moment of Cerebus Re-Read 

I read issue #13, and Here. We. Go:


So, the "stock ending" streak continues:

Cue the "sad piano" from The Incredible Hulk...

Which means, BOTH Year One AND Year Two end with Cerebus walking away in shilouette. (I won't lie to you, I immediately flipped to the end of Year Three, to see how the motif continues, and Boy Howdy! THAT'S a spoiler ya'll want to avoid. But trust me, when I finish the first trade, it's gonna be a doozy...)

Let me reiterate: the 17th printing is a beautiful book. I've always thought this image was crappy:

But look at that. Just look at it. I had to flip through my copy of Swords Volume 4, and the highlights on the right side of the castle are just not there.

Hey look:

Big tower, skulls in the walls, coincidence, or foreshadowing?


Thrunk is sixteen feet tall?

I thought he was two or three stories tall in Church & State? I guess not:

This is from Square One. I guess Thrunk ISN'T more than two stories tall...
Wait, hold that caption:
This is from Church & State Vol. 1
In that first panel, Thrunk is looking DOWN on the hole, but in the third panel, Thrunk is reaching straight in. (He COULD be crouching in panel three, but that would make him a whole lot taller than sixteen feet...)

Ahem...Please Hold...

Okay, one of the reoccurring motifs in reviews of Cerebus, is that the book is good up until Dave goes "crazy" or "insane" or "Bugfuck" and then it's an unreadable mess.

Well folks, I've hit the point where Dave loses his G__ D___ mind!

(I know, I know. Dave technically went nuts and got committed right after issue #11, but after issue #13 is where Dave TRULY goes "off the deep end.")

So, #13 is from December 1979. Issue #14 is March 1980. And then monthly (ya know, in theory,) after that until March 2004.

When the book went monthly, Dave said it was going to run for three hundred issues and end in March of 2004.

Which was a completely irrational and insane thing to say. At the time, the longest running independently published comic book was Star*Reach. Which ran for eighteen issues (Cerebus beat its run in August of 1980). So Dave decides he's gonna beat the record...by 282 issues.

Bear in mind, that in December 1979, the issue of Action Comics that was on the stands was #502:

And Marvel's "flagship title" Fantastic Four was at #213:

I mean, think about that. Dave says Cerebus is gonna run for three HUNDRED issues, and Marvel hadn't even hit three hundred with any of their superhero books...

This is the comic book equivalent of Babe Ruth stepping up to the plate, pointing to the outfield and "calling his shot," then turning to the catcher behind him, and saying the seat number of where the ball will land.

Madness. Complete and utter Madness.

Of course, as we all know (um... "spoilers" for a surprise that celebrates it's fifteenth anniversary next month,) Dave did beat the record by 282 issues, and Cerebus #300 did hit stands in March 2004.

But back as Disco Duck breathed it's last and the 1980s just started? Insanity. (I wonder how the comics press of the time handled Dave's pronouncement?)

Next Time: Hobbs. And purple?!?


Eddie said...

I always thought Thrunk grew bigger (like the Apocalypse Beasts did while holding Cerebus near the end of C&SII) from his initial height of 16 feet when Cerebus became pope and started to fulfill all the prophecies. I had a backstory in my head that that was how he escaped from the tower at the end of the 13. No idea how he managed to get those robes made for him though. (great material for an 'Untold Tale' though).

Since Thrunk was (visually) based on the Thing, Dave may have been making a comment on something to do with Lee and Kirby's run on Fantastic Four with his introduction in #13 (especially with making him 16 ft tall, but what that may have been, I don't know. Serendipitous that there are 16 trades, though).

Jeff said...

Okay. First of all: Fifteen f- (no swearing, Jeff) years? In March? Dave and I (and most of you guys and several women) were just pups then.

Tomorrow, I'll be dead.

This is crazy, how time skates away. And, I don't have kids or a wife. (They amplify time slipping away.)

Jeff said...

Secondly, as tough as it is, I actually need to repeat this: 300 issues written, pencilled, inked, and published by one guy.

Well, for the most part, two guys. Sometimes, I wonder what Dave's sales pitch was to Ger:

"Okay. Okay. Here's the deal: You stick around for, um..., 20 years or so...and...um...you work your ass off the whole time...and we get to be, for a time, rock stars...and then Cerebus dies. Okay? Oookaay!"

It's funny 'cause it's true.

BTW, I love both those guys. Seriously good guys.

Also, 502 issues of Superman, well, more like 1500 issues of various Superman comics were created by, what(?), 500 (?) writers and pencillers and inkers and letterers and copy-editors and editors, over...(carry the one) ... um, 80 years.

Two guys did the heavy lifting together for 20 years on "Cerebus". Together, by themselves, on each page. And, yes, I am well aware of Deni's efforts, without which it might not have happened; and the other non-wives who helped out, but it cannot be denied:

Dave 'n' Ger *rule* comics history.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


I think you miss the point, Action being at 500 at the end of 1979 isn't a comparison to Dave's accomplishment. It's pointing out that when Dave went monthly, Action had just hit 500 after 40 years.


Michael Grabowski said...

I'm reading through the remastered Vol. 1 for the 2nd time, and... somehow the word needs to get out about Sean's brilliant work on this because I seriously think it would result in a critical reevaluation of these first issues. It's so much easier and more pleasant to read... it really makes aspects of the stories better, especially visually, but even it's verbal parts are easier to focus on since you can read them clearly.

Michael Grabowski said...

Sorry 'bout that "it's," Jeff.

Jeff said...

Very nice of you, Michael, to say that, but I got over that grammatical error years ago. I still correct it, but it no longer gets me fired up.

But, thanks.

Jeff said...

Yes, MSE, but, my point stands: 500 (or, who knows how many) people created "Superman" comics. At any given time, minus the printers, around three people put out "Cerebus" comics. For 300 issues, with a continuous (if not always great, but continuous storyline) (unlike "Superman").

That, easily, rivals any comic-book achievement since, what(?), Windsor McCay? And, honestly, not even that.

You tell me. If I'm wrong, I will own it. But, hey, thanks for getting me wound up again.

You do know how to drop the quarter down the slot, my friend. You always see me lurking, dontcha?

Anonymous said...

I also thought Thrunk grew as a result of prophecies / magic / whatnot.

Winsor McCay's (not Windsor - hopefully Mr Seiler will never call out any typos or errors by other posters in these comments again) longest run on any strip was nine years, but that was on the side from his dayjob as an editorial cartoonist, and also from his other side job as an animator and touring performer, so it's hard to tell what direct comparison Seiler is trying to draw here.

Closer comparisons might be: Charles Schulz was 28 years into a daily strip written and drawn solo at the time Dave announced the intention for Cerebus to run 27 years. Curt Swan was 23 years into a 27-year stint drawing Superman stories. Carl Barks did a straight 40 years of writing duck stories, plus more later, and for 25 of those years was cartooning 'em as well, plus drawing others' scripts. Golgo 13 is currently 51 years into its run, still co-written and drawn by creator Takao Saito, and up to 148 "phone books" (and 188 Swords Of Cerebus-type collections).

None of these are self-publishers, but obviously neither was McCay, so it's not relevant to the comparison.

- Geoff