Sunday, 21 April 2019

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part fifty

Hi, Everybody!

So, two things:

1, the bizness:
The Jaka's Story remaster has a Starcode!  APR191258 First month orders will be signed and numbered! Dave will be signing the ENTIRE print run of the book. Also, there's a "contest" to select the image for the bookplate Dave's gonna be signing.

Greg Hyland is Kickstartering the second volume of the Monster Atlas, and it's gonna have Gerhard art like the first volume. It's gonna look a little something like this.

The remastered Volume 1 is available digitally for $9.99
The Auction for the Green Dante/Green Virgil cover is up to $1277.00 US Dollars from: 高伯乐 (Gao BoLe)!
2, I ran out of pages from issue 289/290 to run in front of Dave's Genesis Question commentaries. Dave suggested I use Jewish, Christian or Muslim religious images. But then, Superman's Frenemy: David Birdsong sent in a bunch of (so far) unused Cerebus in Hell? images and now I'ma gonna run them. So:
____________________________________________________________________________
image by Doré, Sim & Birdsong
11 January 15

Hi Troy & Mia!

Mr. Ross' next citation is Psalms 97:6 which reads

The heavens declare his righteousness: and all the people see his glory

which definitely strikes me (at the risk of sounding facetious) as being in the "fortune cookie theology" end of things.  Hard to see how this would serve as a refutation of the "gap theory" Mr. Ross is attempting to refute, scripturally.

So, looking at Psalm 97 in its entirety:

The YHWH reigneth, let the earth rejoice: let the [KJV: multitude of Isles; Hebrew: many, or great Isles] be glad thereof.

It seems apparent to me that Psalm 97 is pretty much purely YHWHistic in form and content.  The coupling here of "the earth" with "isles" -- as separate contexts -- suggests to me a level of self-awareness on the part of the YHWH being conveyed through David.  The YHWH, as I infer, BEING the earth, it's natural to suggest that the earth would rejoice at the "fact" of the YHWH's "reign". The "isles" suggests to me a parallel context: the YHWH, the earth, surrounded by water, water being God's chosen medium.  Which would seem to align nicely with the next observation: 

Clouds and darkness round about him: righteousness and judgement are the [habitation/establishment] of his throne.

"Clouds and darkness" would certainly, I think, be the experience of the YHWH, both within the earth and as islands OF earth of varying sizes in the lakes, oceans, seas and other bodies of water on the face of the earth -- as distinct from the "clouds and darkness" of the heaven and of the "waters" above the heaven (as conveyed in Genesis 1) in the former case and in the experience of the earth where it abuts a body of water (the natural wave movements resembling "clouds and darkness" of a different consistency).

The next assertion:

A fire goeth before him: and burneth up his enemies round about.

I would infer as a YHWHistic expression resulting from "too deep" (too deep for the YHWH, I mean) contemplation of the cited "clouds and darkness" in their multiplicity of forms.  The impulse is to "break out" or at least threaten to.  The earth having a molten core that emerges from time to time in the form of lava flows, it would be hard to refute the assertion that "a fire goeth before him" or that that fire "burneth up his enemies round about".  Of course, as we know, there are severe limits on this.  Even the largest lava flow ultimately expires not (relatively) far from its source, however many "enemies" it devours on its way.  This is particularly true of the "isles" where there is no question -- in a head-on confrontation -- which is going to win: the lava or the body of water surrounding the "isles"?   

His lightnings inlightned [the KJV spelling: hard to know if this is Jacobian 17th century English for "enlightened" in the sense of spiritual enlightenment, or if it's intended in the sense of "lightening" relative to the clouds and darkness in verse 2 or more literally "in-lightened" as in "lit within"]: the earth saw and trembled.

Taking my own three suggestions in order:  if you take it as a given (which I do) that the earth is a sentient being then I think what is being conveyed here could well be spiritual enlightenment, here inferred BY the YHWH (assuming that's who is conveying these ideas to David) to be self-enlightenment and self-enlightenment of a very high order in that "the earth saw and trembled". 

"Lightening" would, arguably, be just a differently-nuanced way of expressing the same thing:  surrounded by both literal AND metaphorical "clouds and darkness" any kind of illumination (and molten rock would seem to me to qualify implicitly) would likely provide the same kind of illumination as lightning does: brief, limited, but vivid.  Sufficient to glimpse the Reality of that surrounding nature -- basically a Glimpse of God -- and to lead to the obvious result: "the earth saw and trembled".

"In-lightened" as in "lit within" would seem to me to be equally a differently-nuanced
form of the same thing.  I would infer that the fear exhibited by the YHWH would be attributable to the YHWH's complete non-acceptance of there existing any larger context…or entity…than the YHWH.  In which case Psalm 97 would be documenting a dissociative state:  the YHWH inferring that it is the YHWH his/her/its self who is being Glimpsed.  That is, from the YHWH's perspective, where do the "clouds and darkness" and the "enemies round about" end and the YHWH begin? 

It appears that the YHWH chooses to evade the question by reiterating the nature of the isolated "lava events" implicit, as I read the text, in "a fire goeth before him":

The hills melted like wax at the presence of the YHWH: at the presence of the YHWH of the whole earth.

It's entirely true that hills melt "like wax" in a volcanic lava flow.  But it's also true that they don't STAY melted.  Eventually the event exhausts itself and the lava cools and just becomes igneous rock: another form of the YHWH.  The inclusion of "whole" here strikes me as "whistling past the graveyard" on the YHWH's part:  an -- I would imagine -- futile attempt on the part of the YHWH to assert an expanded context that includes the "clouds and darkness":  the YHWH of the WHOLE EARTH. 

Futile, I would think, because (at one level or another), the YHWH -- experiencing spiritual enlightenment/physical "lightening" of the YHWH's surrounding context(s)/inward illumination or all three simultaneously -- has to be aware that there is an "inside the YHWH" context and an "outside the YHWH" context and that the latter dwarfs the former (the cause of "saw and trembled"). 

The heavens declare his righteousness: and all the people see his glory.

DO "the heavens declare his [the YHWH's] righteousness"? I see this as another example of attempting to impose an expanded context on the YHWH's own (as I infer) far more limited context.  The "heavens" I think "declare righteousness" and that is experienced by the YHWH, but I think they "declare righteousness" because they are, contextually, expressions of/enactments of/incarnations of God, the Divine Presence which surrounds the earth/YHWH.  The heavens declare, I think, God's righteousness and "undeserved kindness" to the earth and to all His creations ON and WITHIN the earth. 

And the glory that all the people see is God's glory.  Which the YHWH attempts to misappropriate. 

Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him all [interpolated: ye] gods.

It certainly seems true to me that "all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols" are "confounded".  Ultimately.

But, again, I think that's more a condition of "God entering in upon His work" in this epoch:  that the YHWH is adjacent to that Revelation and that much of the purpose of that Revelation is to provide the YHWH with a more accurate sense of self and self-context -- over the long term.  Which constitutes a species of "centrality" as the YHWH experiences it, lacking only a sense of proportion on the part of the YHWH:  a genuine awareness of the Immensity the YHWH is attempting to misappropriate and the inappropriate nature of that misappropriation.  The "ye" interpolated here, I think, represents a perplexed reaction on the part of the KJV translators to the bald-faced falsehood and NON-monotheistic and ANTI-monotheistic sense of the assertion.  There ARE no "gods".  There is only God.  That's a settled issue -- or is supposed to be -- with monotheists. And yet, there it is -- as it is in several places in the Torah and in the Gospels. The "ye" seems a feeble attempt to at least externalize the plural noun. 

The only rational explanation, to me, is that the narrating voice -- the YHWH -- pictures itself as a god among gods, asserting his/her/its preeminence over all other gods and commanding the other gods to worship he/she/it. (this is metaphorically enacted in the Joseph narrative where he dreams of his brothers bowing down to him in worship).  Including, I think is the compelled inference, God Himself.     

Sion heard, and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced, because of thy judgements, O YHWH.

Attempting to stick strictly to the facts here:  my dictionary defines Sion -- or Zion -- as:
1. A hill in Jerusalem, the site of the temple and the royal residence of David and his successors, regarded by the Jews as a symbol for the centre of Jewish national culture, government and religion.  2. The Jewish people 3. Any place or community considered to be especially under God's rule, as ancient Israel or the Christian church.  4. The heavenly Jerusalem: heaven
So, I'm inclined to see this as an independent assertion on David's part (since it is addressed to "O YHWH"):  basically David attempting to provide his own contextual confirmation of the "The heavens declare his righteousness: and all the people see his glory" assertion, "Sion heard, and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced" taking roughly the same form (a physical context first identified and then followed by an identifiable people).   

For thou, YHWH high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.

I infer that this is David still speaking on his own because of the "thou,YHWH" form of address.  Obviously, I see the "thou art exalted far above all gods" to be doubly blasphemous:  first, because it's addressed to the YHWH, specifically, and not to God and second, because it presupposes that "gods" -- plural -- exist.  It's hard for me to imagine how monotheists would rationalize this assertion WITH monotheism, especially as an assertion of Divine authority FROM Divine authority.  You're either a monotheist or you're a polytheist and (unless I'm missing something), asserting that "gods" -- plural -- exist is, by definition, polytheism.

It's one of the reasons that I don't see David as one of God's prophets and I don't see the Psalms as scriptural: although I do see David as a conduit for both God and the YHWH -- and certainly as an enthusiastic devotee of both: 

Ye that love the YHWH, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints: he delivered them out of the hand of the wicked.

I think it's implicit in the Torah that souls come from the earth and incarnate in physical form either during gestation or at birth and then, after death, return to the earth.  So, I think it's a natural inference on the part of the YHWH that he/she/it is preserving "the souls of his saints", although I suspect that has more to do with the YHWH's own perceived order of those souls than in any implicit soul nature (which I think is known only to God and will constitute a very different order from the YHWH's on Judgement Day when the dead rise up out of their graves).  If there ARE souls that the YHWH delivered "out of the hand of the wicked", I think there are probably many more souls that the YHWH sees as condemned but which are of great value to God.  It seems likely that in many instances, the YHWH sees those souls that are precious to God as being "in the hand of the wicked". 

We'll all find out on Judgement Day.

The only pure "God sentiment" I see in Psalm 97 is in the conclusion:

Light is sown for the righteous: and gladness for the upright in heart.

That is, I see this as God attempting to explain the Reality of illumination as the YHWH attempts to understand it.  That the illumination, the inward illumination, the fitful illumination of the YHWH's surroundings and the YHWH's own inner light are all "sown for the righteous".  They are there implicitly, as seed is sown in the earth and then grows.  If you're righteous, the illumination being discussed grows and proliferates.  It's designed by God to do so. 

Likewise gladness.  Although treated as a minor element in Psalm 97 -- in favour of sabre-rattling on the YHWH's part -- it is present in the "gladness" of the isles in the first verse and then in David's own declaration that "Sion heard and was glad and the daughters of Judah rejoiced".  So I read this verse as God first addressing the YHWH: This is the explanation of your experience of the lightning-like illumination and then addressing David:  This is the explanation of your -- and Sion's and the daughters of Judah's -- experience of gladness.  Gladness is sown in the same way True Light is.  

Rejoice in the YHWH, ye righteous: and give thanks [at the remembrance/to the memorial] of his holiness.

I would guess this is David's final word.  Another example (as I read it) of God being untroubled by the YHWH being perceived as a) a source of joy, as b) an object of thanks or  c) as possessing the attribute of holiness.  As long as your innermost motivation is the worship of God and being righteous, everything else is just a technicality.  And only God knows the difference between Reality and portrayal.  I think David was far more Reality than portrayal. Even when he was, in my view, misapprehended.

Next week, God willing:  Psalm 98!


Best,
Dave
____________________________________________________________________________
Next Time: Ya'll invented time travel yet? -Past Matt

Saturday, 20 April 2019

I found the first appearance of the carved Demon Heads and Skulls

Hi Everybody!

This stuff:
The Jaka's Story remaster has a Starcode!  APR191258 First month orders will be signed and numbered! Dave will be signing the ENTIRE print run of the book. Also, there's a "contest" to select the image for the bookplate Dave's gonna be signing.

Greg Hyland is Kickstartering the second volume of the Monster Atlas, and it's gonna have Gerhard art like the first volume. It's gonna look a little something like this.

The remastered Volume 1 is available digitally for $9.99.
 
The Auction for the Green Dante/Green Virgil cover is up to $1277.00 US Dollars from: 高伯乐 (Gao BoLe)!
______________________________________________________________

So, getting back to Cerebus, Cirin, and Po's "bits":

The OTHER thing I thought of when I was talking to Dave, was the He/She/It YHWH thing from...Latter Days(?), the back of the book during Latter Days(?), somewhere...

I basically gotta look through the AMOChive and see where what I'm thinking about is. So, NOT today.

But since I need to "moment", here's something I found during my Re-Read of High Society:

The first appearance of the wall of demon heads and skulls:

wait for it...

wait for it...

Boom.
And tying back to what Dave and I said:
Dave: The only thing that I have to add to that, in terms of updating because I have so completely immersed in comic art metaphysics at this point, that I thought, okay this wasn’t my intention, but I think that it could’ve been my unconscious intention, not knowing how far immersed I was gonna get in comic art metaphysics, that because Prince Mick and Prince Keef are based on real people, as far as I know, they were the only ones to comment on demon heads and skulls. Which suggests that there’s a possibility that you can only see them if you’re in our world.
Matt: Possible. I know that Oscar and Rick paint the one that broke off in Jaka’s Story.
Dave: Yes. Yes, that’s true. But as to whether…
Matt: …as to whether they knew it was a demon skull or just a rock?
Dave: Actually, that would apply as well, because Oscar was in our world. 
Matt: Oh yeah! You’re right.
Dave: So… and I don’t think Rick ever let on he even knew it was a demon head or a skull or whatever.
Matt: Yeah, I think he was just doin what Oscar was doin.
Dave: Yeah, yeah. He was just being the charming young neighbor.
Matt: (laughs) That’s… starting next year at the beginning of the year I’m gonna reread the series with a notebook and anything I find that I have questions on, anything that… odd coincidences or things that I forgot, I’m gonna start makin notes and I’m gonna do a reread of… okay, since I’m in charge now, everything I need to remember.
Dave: There you go. There you go. Yeah, if anybody is that curious about it, it would be interesting to see if we’re forgetting anybody that referred to the demon heads and skulls. But I’m pretty sure it wasn’t until Mick said something about it, and then Keef said something about not being able to take a whiz on something that’s staring back at him.
Matt: (laughs) Yeah… I mean, the only other person who mentions them is Cerebus when he’s with the Carrot when they’re ascending, but at that point it’s earnest nonsense, so…
And they first show up with the Roach...

Next Time: It's Easter Sunday, so I eat a Chocolate Jesus while you read the latest Genesis Question post...

Friday, 19 April 2019

Fresh Ink "Green Dante Green Virgil" (Dave's Weekly Update #283)

Hi, Everybody!

The Jaka's Story remaster has a Starcode!  APR191258 First month orders will be signed and numbered! 
Dave will be signing the ENTIRE print run of the book. Also, there's a "contest" to select the image for the bookplate Dave's gonna be signing.

Greg Hyland is Kickstartering the second volume of the Monster Atlas, and it's gonna have Gerhard art like the first volume. It's gonna look a little something like this.

If you're waiting for a Indiegogo live for the Postcard Kickstarter, like the one for the birthday card Kickstarter, I don't know if there will be one. But all the postcards should be in the mail. So watch for the postman.

The remastered Volume 1 is available digitally for $9.99.


And,  heeeeeere's Dave


Problems viewing this video? Watch directly on YouTube...


The Auction for this little beauty is up to (drumroll) $1277.00 US Dollars from: 高伯乐 (Gao BoLe)!

Who is also getting All! These! Things!:









Next Time: I;m not sure yet, come back tomorrow, and see what I decided on...

Thursday, 18 April 2019

First American Tour Poster

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.

Dave Sim's third notebook covered issues #37 through 40 of Cerebus and had 78 pages scanned in. We last saw it in Remove the Prime Minister from last August. One of those pages was for the first tour of the states that Dave and Deni did back in 1982:

Notebook #3, page 70
Minus the sword, the poser layout is almost the same as the original. The text 'First American Tour '82' is a bit different, and the crossed out part 'See Deni and Dave in person' isn't on the finished poster.

First American Tour 1982 poster
As you can also see, the tour dates in the notebook and the ones on the poster are different. The poster in the picture above came folded from Aardvark-Vanaheim to the members of Friends of Cerebus club in 1982.


Wednesday, 17 April 2019

De-toning Cerebus


Benjamin Hobbs:

 On April 27th and 28th, I'll be at the Gem City Comic Con in Dayton Ohio. Stop by and say hi!

http://gemcitycomiccon.com/


Last Friday, Sean Michael Robinson asked for help de-toning newsprint pages of JAKA'S STORY.  I volunteered, and this is what he sent me:


After a fair bit of time, this is the result:
While de-toning this page, I was surprised at the increase of hatching Dave used on JAKA'S STORY compared to HIGH SOCIETY.  I must have noticed the increase between the two books previously, but I didn't fully KNOW the difference until I spent time erasing all those tiny little dots from between those tiny little lines.

On this panel from HIGH SOCIETY, there were five "problem" areas, areas where it's took some guess work to figure out where the dot tone ended, and the lines began.


 On this panel from JAKA'S STORY, there were as many as 17 "problem" areas.


Next Week: Is the cover of COLOUR YOUR OWN CEREBUS FINALLY done?!!? Find out!

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Jaka's Story book plate contest

Hi Everybody!

Quick! Look at yesterday's post for the usual bit about the Jaka's Story remaster, the cover of Green Dante/Green Virgil, the remastered Volume 1, and the second volume of the Monster Atlas.
_____________________________________________________
Sean Michael Robinson:

Hello friends!


As I wrote on Friday, we're in the process of selecting images for the Jaka's Story bookplate, that will be placed in the signed and numbered, remastered Jaka's Story, which you can order RIGHT NOW from you local comic shop! The bookplate will be machine-numbered, signed by Dave, and printed at 3.5" x 5" and inserted into the interior front cover of each book.

And we've received some suggestions already.

Here they are, as pitched by the people who pitched them!

First up, a thematically-resonant suggestion by Cerebus in Hell? letterer (and future CIH?-writer) David Birdsong!

"Pretty obvious, but sometimes obvious is obvious for a reason.  The B version looks cool, but I doubt anyone wants to deal with all that black ink."





Next up: a suggestion from OTHER Cerebus in Hell? letterer, prepress-er, sometimes-writer, sometimes-art-guy Benjamin Hobbes, who suggests the following image

"I've attached my suggestion for the Jaka's Story book plate. It's a commission Dave did for a Kickstarter...so I don't know if there's a hi-res scan of it anywhere. But it would be the BEST book plate for Jaka's Story."

(Not to worry--I do indeed have a scan good enough to work from for this one if it's selected!)

Next up: two suggestions from AMOC's own Margaret Liss!

I had a couple ideas for Jaka's Story book plate.

Jaka walking into what she thought was her party, only to see it is for Astoria:


Or perhaps this one, Jaka playing with her one friend:
Next up: Daryl, who kindly sent this suggestion via email:


Next up is a raft of suggestions from Jaka's Story proofreader Jeff Seiler, who writes:
Okay. SMR? In ascending order, my Top Ten (No, no, no, Jeff! Don't get overly ambitious!), er, Top Five recommendations for the Jaka's Story Remastered Edition Bookplate:

Number Five: The cover of issue #114, in color. (Hi, M.!)
Number Four: The image that is on page 383 of the phonebook (2nd printing)--Jaka's been in prison, mostly sadly, all of her life.

Number Three: The image that is on page 206 of the phonebook (2nd printing). 

(Two versions below)

Number Two: The image that is on page 184 of the phonebook (2nd printing)--Jaka was either literally or metaphorically, after her 12th birthday, nearly always closing doors. (BTW, ever notice how many doors there are in this story?)


(Drum roll) Number One: The sketches done by, first, Dave (of a pubescent Jaka, head and shoulder, in profile) and, later, by Gerhard, (of that infernal door, along with a nice vase), on the frontispiece of my phonebook (2nd printing). I can scan it for you.

Hope I make the cut. And you guys owe me back some of my lifetime, after looking again (for the 23rd time) at every page (without reading, this time, though). Good thing I'm retired, eh?
And our last suggestions, as of now anyway, come from long-time fan Michael Grabowski!
My suggestion is for one of the images or sequences of Oscar writing. My favorite would be the four panels of p.273, or the top two panels of p. 287, 2nd printing. The first sequence particularly reminds me of Dave's public image at the time, (the cool smoke ring-blowing writer-artist, not the robe of course), and works as sort of an author's photo, given Oscar's role in writing "Jaka's Story" within the Story.


Do you have thoughts on these? Or suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments, or write to me at CerebusArtHunt at gmail dot com!
________________________________________________________________

Matt, again.

Then there was my suggestion:
Wrong phonebook, but doesn't it just "scream" Jaka's Story?
Next Time: Hobbs. Cerebus. Hell?

Monday, 15 April 2019

April 15th: A Friendly Reminder

Hi Everybody!

Contractually obligated preamble:

The Jaka's Story remaster has a Starcode! APR191258 First month orders will be signed and numbered! Cue Your Friend and Mine, Sean Robinson:

This is just a reminder that you have until April 25th to order the SIGNED, REMASTERED, SELF-DRIVING JAKA'S STORY from your local comic shop!
Regarding that "signed and numbered" bit-- I've discussed it with Dave, and there's a slight change compared to how it was discussed before. Dave will be signing the ENTIRE print run of the book. If stores order X copies, and Diamond orders Y copies over the initial order of X, Dave will be signing X + Y copies total. But the catch is, we have no idea how many copies Diamond will "pad" the order by. So! If you want a signed and numbered copy, you still should proceed with GREAT HASTE to your comic shop and order a copy! But if you're a gambler, and you want to take a chance on it... you might be able to still pick up a signed copy from Diamond shortly after the street date for the book.
Secondly, we would love to have your help in selecting the image (or images) to use for the Jaka's Story bookplate! We'll be printing these on Avery labels. They're 3.5" x 5", and they will be signed by Dave and machine-numbered. Do you have a favorite image from the book, something that's somehow representative and also an attractive stand-alone image? Do you have a design concept? Well, we'd love to hear from you! Leave a message in the comments, or email us at cerebusarthunt at gmail.com. And I'll send the winner who selects the final image a special prize in the mail.
Thirdly (and lastly)—as I've been going over the book with a fine-toothed comb, I've been mulling over what to do about three of the five Jaka's Story pages sourced from newsprint instead of original art. And I've decided to give a shot to re-toning these three pages, that is, digitally removing the Cerebus tone and creating new tone to replace it.
Are you adept at Photoshop, and have a bit of time in the upcoming week? Would you like to "adopt" one of these three pages for your own? Would you liked to be thanked in the back of Jaka's Story? if the answer is "yes" to all three of these questions, please write to me as soon as possible at cerebusarthunt at gmail dot com!
Thanks for your eyeballs and your time, everyone! I hope you enjoy the book. It won't be long now...
Best,
Sean
There's a special AMOC auction for the cover of Green Dante/Green Virgil. (Currently winning with $1277.00 US Dollars is: 高伯乐 (Gao BoLe)) 
The remastered Volume 1 is available digitally for $9.99
Greg Hyland is Kickstartering the second volume of the Monster Atlas, and if he gets another hundred and twenty-nine bucks CAD ($97 USD), it'll have Gerhard art like the first volume. It'll look a little something like this.
 _______________________________________________________________

Well, if you live in the U.S.A. it's time to pay the Taxman, so:


Taken without permission from Margaret (but I paid the tax on it, don't worry...)

Next Time: "Bits". SO many "bits"...

Sunday, 14 April 2019

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part forty-nine

Hi, Everybody!

So, two things:

1, the bizness:
The Jaka's Story remaster has a Starcode! APR191258 First month orders will be signed and numbered! Cue Your Friend and Mine, Sean Robinson:
This is just a reminder that you have until April 25th to order the SIGNED, REMASTERED, SELF-DRIVING JAKA'S STORY from your local comic shop!

Regarding that "signed and numbered" bit-- I've discussed it with Dave, and there's a slight change compared to how it was discussed before. Dave will be signing the ENTIRE print run of the book. If stores order X copies, and Diamond orders Y copies over the initial order of X, Dave will be signing X + Y copies total. But the catch is, we have no idea how many copies Diamond will "pad" the order by. So! If you want a signed and numbered copy, you still should proceed with GREAT HASTE to your comic shop and order a copy! But if you're a gambler, and you want to take a chance on it... you might be able to still pick up a signed copy from Diamond shortly after the street date for the book.

Secondly, we would love to have your help in selecting the image (or images) to use for the Jaka's Story bookplate! We'll be printing these on Avery labels. They're 3.5" x 5", and they will be signed by Dave and machine-numbered. Do you have a favorite image from the book, something that's somehow representative and also an attractive stand-alone image? Do you have a design concept? Well, we'd love to hear from you! Leave a message in the comments, or email us at cerebusarthunt at gmail.com. And I'll send the winner who selects the final image a special prize in the mail.

Thirdly (and lastly)—as I've been going over the book with a fine-toothed comb, I've been mulling over what to do about three of the five Jaka's Story pages sourced from newsprint instead of original art. And I've decided to give a shot to re-toning these three pages, that is, digitally removing the Cerebus tone and creating new tone to replace it.

Are you adept at Photoshop, and have a bit of time in the upcoming week? Would you like to "adopt" one of these three pages for your own? Would you liked to be thanked in the back of Jaka's Story? if the answer is "yes" to all three of these questions, please write to me as soon as possible at cerebusarthunt at gmail dot com!

Thanks for your eyeballs and your time, everyone! I hope you enjoy the book. It won't be long now...

Best,
Sean
__________________________________________________________

There's a special AMOC auction for the cover of Green Dante/Green Virgil. (Currently winning with $1277.00 US Dollars is: 高伯乐 (Gao BoLe))  
The remastered Volume 1 is available digitally for $9.99.

Greg Hyland is Kickstartering the second volume of the Monster Atlas, and if he gets another hundred and twenty-nine bucks CAD ($97 USD), it'll have Gerhard art like the first volume. It'll look a little something like this.
2, I ran out of pages from issue 289/290 to run in front of Dave's Genesis Question commentaries. Dave suggested I use Jewish, Christian or Muslim religious images. But then, Superman's Frenemy: David Birdsong sent in a bunch of (so far) unused Cerebus in Hell? images and now I'ma gonna run them. So:
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image by Doré, Sim & Birdsong
4 January 15

Hi Troy & Mia!

Mr. Ross' next citation is:  Psalms 85:11

Truth shall spring out of the earth: and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

It's certainly, in my view, a commendable hope -- in the "maybe someday" category.  It seems also to point to David as a conduit for both God and the YHWH, while, in my view (again), inclining towards the latter rather than the former. That seems very far from being useful as a citation of anything, in my opinion, though.

The Psalm itself is dedicated "to the chief musician, a Psalm [for/of] the sons of Korah"  which, to me, is something of an eyebrow-raiser.  Korah was the rebel figure who challenged Moshe's exclusive authority over the emigrating Hebrew people. 

(The rebellion is not an unexpected event in the context of the narrative, since Moshe himself is quoted as saying immediately prior to that that he would think it wonderful if ALL of the people were prophets and would prophesy.  You have to be careful what you enunciate and how you enunciate it when you're in the prophetic "catbird seat" as Moshe was.  Miriam and Aaron also appeared to take the enunciation a little too literally and needed to be "smacked down" by the YHWH as a result)

It raises my eyebrows because a Psalm "of" or "for" the sons of an individual who was literally devoured by the earth (that is, the YHWH) for his perfidy seems more than a little weird.  "Of" is one kind of weird:  the sons of Korah are communicating with us from their crushed-to-death demise within the earth through David?  "For" is a different kind of weird:  David, on his own initiative, has decided something needs to be said "for" Korah's sons at this late date? 

YHWH, thou hast been [favourable/well pleased] unto thy land:  thou hast brought back the captivity of Jacob.



This verse seems to me to point in the direction of the extreme ambiguity of the YHWH.  You can bring back the captivity of Jacob by freeing Jacob or you can bring the captivity of Jacob by imposing it.  The way it's phrased makes it irrefutable:  either or both being a source of the YHWH being either or both "favourable" and/or "well pleased".    

Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

I read the same contextual ambiguity here:  "thou hast covered all their sin" can be read as forgiving sin by covering it over, judgementally…

…OR as indicating the ubiquitous presence of the YHWH when it comes to sin (which, personally, I would infer):  the YHWH is the superstructure of all sin committed by the Hebrew people whether they're aware of it or not.  The "Selah" appearing at the end of the second verse suggests to me that these were two artful and poisonous assertions suggested to David by the YHWH which David then -- guilelessly and good-naturedly -- transcribed.  Not realizing that what he was doing was really taking the YHWH's side and indicting God (the relationship between Korah and Moshe being comparable to the relationship between the YHWH and God: rebellion expressing itself, contextually, in similar ways).

The first two verses, I read as being the twofold artful and poisonous YHWHistic expression.  Full stop.  Then with the next verse, the YHWH (as I read it) comments favourably upon his/her/its self and the ascribed actions:  bringing the captivity of Jacob and covering the Hebrew people's sin:

Thou hast taken away all thy wrath:  [thou hast turned from the fierceness of thine anger/thou hast turned thine anger from waxing hot]

Which (as I read it) is pure provocation directed at God, basically compounding the twofold artful and poisonous observations on the "captivity" and "covering sin" -- which I think need to be inferred negatively despite the ambiguous phrasing -- by adding to it the suggestion that (between the two) the YHWH is feeling pretty well self-satisfied and beneficent.  I mean, not really. It's the YHWH.  Self-satisfaction and beneficence are always just going to be cosmetic "outward shows of this life present".    

Turn us, O God of our salvation: and cause thine anger towards us to cease.

This, as I read it, raises the provocation of God to a higher level by suggesting that it is God and God's anger which is the cause of the Hebrew people's problems (the YHWH having "brought back the captivity of Jacob" and "covered all their sin") and that it is up to God to "turn us" -- the YHWH and the Hebrew people -- "and cause thine anger towards us to cease". 

Which strikes me as pure misconstruction and -- I would suggest -- a misconstruction which the YHWH was fully aware WAS a misconstruction.  The point isn't for God to turn ANYONE -- Moshe, Korah or the YHWH or you or me.  God has constructed our physically-incarnated context -- planet earth -- and facilitated its population and successive "replenishments" by a multiplicity of physical incarnations (birth, life, death) for the express purpose of allowing ALL spirit within that context the opportunity to incarnate, grow, evolve, develop and enact. 

Turn YOURSELF in whatever direction seems sensible to YOU whoever YOU are.  God is just one option among many.  Do you think something BESIDES God is a sensible choice?  Choose whatever that is.  And then live with the consequences.

Inferring "anger" from that just strikes me as "projection" of the worst and most delusional kind.  If you're a "rebel Korah" you're going to do that: basically rebel and then endeavour to externalize your rebellion and the consequence of your rebellion.  Basically blaming God and God's "anger" because you've made a stupid choice which has made you fundamentally and irretrievably unhappy.      

Wilt thou be angry with us for ever?  Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?

Again, I don't think God is angry and that this is just -- failed -- YHWHistic provocation.  If you sincerely choose God and acknowledge His sovereignty you are going to experience tests and consequences.  My inference -- and my experience -- is that God isn't angry with you when He tests you or when you experience unanticipated consequences.  Tests, and passing tests, is a way of improving yourself.  He doesn't test you to find out what you will do.  He already knows what you will do.  He's omniscient. What His structure does, the context we all inhabit, is to present successive "forks in the road" -- one right and one wrong -- and then leave it up to us to choose, successively.  In many -- if not most -- instances of choosing, the appeal of both is carefully balanced and attuned to your own personal preferences.  One leads "Up" and one leads "Down".  You make enough "Up" choices and you go "Up".  If you make enough "Down" choices you end up "Down".  And the further "Down" you go the more likely you are to see God as being angry with you and everyone like you -- in perpetuity.     

Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Well, there WERE revival points in human history -- watershed moments like Jesus' ministry and Muhammad's prophethood -- which made God's salvation more immediately apparent to those in proximity.  But, as we know from the documentation of those times, that didn't mean a universal "Up" state.  People still chose and many people in direct proximity to the Johannine Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus still chose "Down" instead of "Up" -- and thought that they were making the best choice.  Not being fooled (as they would have seen it).

There are, I infer, built-in limits to God's structure.  I infer that there would be no point in stacking the deck in His favour.  Quite the contrary.  Sending a Jesus or a Muhammad to every neighbourhood in every city in every country in every generation (well within God's ability) might result in a more godly world but it really wouldn't prove anything worth proving.  All that is worth proving is that God's creation is good -- even, or, rather, especially -- when the choices are so carefully balanced between good and bad. 

I was just thinking today, before I read Psalm 85, "If half the population of the United States would, tomorrow, decide to fast, sunrise to sundown, and pray five times a day -- to God or YHWH or both if you really think both ARE God -- and give up alcohol and televised sports for two months, I'm pretty sure that an exponential improvement would result. A staggering exponential improvement from which there would be no going back." 

COULD it happen? 

Well, technically, sure.  We all have free will.  We can all do whatever we want for the next two months. 

WOULD it happen?  Well, no, not likely. 

On the other side of the equation, I could decide to stop fasting, stop praying, buy a widescreen TV and a full cable sports package and start drinking five beers a day for the next two months.  Is there anyone who really believes that would be an "Up" choice on my part?

But, the general population of North America, not having chosen fasting and prayer and NO sports and NO alcohol are (pretty much guaranteed) going to be stuck in the "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" paradigm. 

My answer would be:  do you have another way of waking people up? 

I mean, given that MOST of us, at least intellectually, would agree that fasting and prayer are better choices than televised sports and alcohol, what do you do to get people with a "white-knuckle" grip on their TV remote and their booze to even CONSIDER letting go?  I mean, not FOREVER.  Two months.  HUMOUR God.  Even though you know so much better than He does what You. Absolutely. Need. In. Your. Life.  Give His way a two-month "benefit of the doubt". 

Two months from now, you don't feel revived, you still feel God is angry with you or angry with mankind in general.  You've just missed out on a lot of good NFL games and some drinks you badly needed after a trying day. 

BUT! What if there IS an exponential improvement?       

The Psalm concludes (as I read it) with the YHWH stacking the deck in his/her/its favour:  redemption comes only from the YHWH and pleading with the YHWH.  Only the YHWH can "show" mercy and "grant" salvation:

Show us thy mercy, O YHWH: and grant us thy salvation.

As I read it, God then replies through David:

I will hear what God the YHWH will speak: for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

That, to me, is very basic God Thinking, based in irrefutable Reality.  "YHWH the God" or "God the YHWH", it's immaterial to God which term you want to use to express Him.  Your awareness of God, the irrefutable Him who created you and everything else is much deeper than the "name of things" part of you.  "He will speak peace unto His people".  He always did, he always does, through His scriptures.  He isn't angry.  He never is and He never will be.  You go too far in the wrong direction and you'll punish yourself.  You go far in the right direction and you'll reward yourself.  But you'll always face tests as long as you're alive.  "Let them not turn again to folly."  Don't blame God if you do "turn again to folly".  You know better.   

Surely His salvation nigh them that fear Him; that glory may dwell in our land.

Salvation is always "nigh".  It's always right next to you.  It's always the best on-going choice and it's always there, available, and ready to be chosen.  And then stuck with.  You know -- or, at least, suspect -- what "folly" is.  Turn away from it and don't turn back to it.  And make that your central policy. 

Mercy and truth are met: righteousness and peace have kissed.

It's a very good way of putting it.  However temporarily the YHWH had "turned from the fierceness of thine anger" -- and presumably it was quite temporary -- it, temporarily, put God and the YHWH on the same page. Mercy and truth ARE met. Not "mercy and truth HAVE met";  "ARE met".  As in: confronted head-on, a square-on meeting place.  For God, of course, mercy and truth are ALWAYS "met".  God's grace -- God's undeserved kindness -- in constructing the totality of creation in such a way to make everything so perfectly balanced that the only thing that can affect the balance of creation is individual choice enacted and acted upon bespeaks the implicit total integrity of mercy and truth and how they are "met". 

Righteousness and peace aren't fused together in a permanent union in the YHWH's context any more than two sets of lips are fused together in a permanent union in a kiss.  But the text implies that there has been, as with a kiss, an actual point of contact between righteousness and peace. The YHWH HAS been, in the words of the Psalmist, "[favourable/well pleased]" unto Israel.  Not in a covert or manipulative or ironic or artful or poisonous way but sincerely.  If there are more connotations of "Down" than "Up" in the subsequent sentiments expressed, well, only God knows the genuine extent of any of His creations' sincerity.  And here He appears to acknowledge the YHWH's sincerity. 

Truth shall spring out of the earth: and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

It strikes me, as I said, as a commendable hope in a "maybe someday" context.  That is, I don't think truth will "spring out of the earth" overnight.  I think the YHWH is -- like mankind in general -- too far into the mindset of "why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" to make any more than…fitful…progress.  That's really the essence of the core folly:  making progress and then…turning back to folly.  Either the same folly or a new folly.  In the YHWH's case, can the YHWH let go of the folly of thinking the YHWH to BE God?  My guess would be:  intermittently and anecdotally, "yes".   Generally, over the short term and for the immediate future?  My guess would be: "no". 

But, over the LONG term, God seems pretty definitive on the subject as expressed by David:    

Yea, the YHWH shall give that which is good: and our land shall yield her increase.

Righteousness shall go before him  and shall set in the way of his steps.

Next week:  Psalms 97 (God willing).

Best,

Dave
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Next Time: You guys got your Taxes done yet?