Monday, 16 April 2012

The Staros Report

The Staros Report 1996 & 1997
Art by Eddie Campbell & Gary Spencer Millidge
(from The Staros Report 1996)
The series centres around an ill-tempered aardvark, named Cerebus, whose dreams of conquest in a middle-aged world outweigh all other aspects of his life. The artwork is unique and visionary, and Dave Sim's writing abilities have really matured from the early days of shallow, single issue, barbarian parodies to the very moving, larger arcs, centred around literary treatments of governments, secular and ecclesiastic factions, human relationships, conservative and liberal women's views, and other important social issues. Definitely one of the most intellectually stimulating comics ever published! If you haven't tried Cerebus yet, do so, but start at the beginning. Even though it drags at first, you need to understand where the characters come from to really appreciate them later on. As an aside, Dave Sim and Gerhard really need to be commended for their achievements. How they've been able to attend all those cons, promote the works of others (and the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund), write all those editorials and letter responses and - oh yeah! -  write and illustrate a complete comic book on a rigid and infallible monthly schedule is beyond me! They are the envy of the industry and a pinnacle the rest can only aspire to.

Cerebus was ranked at #6 in The Staros Report's guide to the best 200 comics in the industry. Ahead of Cerebus were (#5) The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and others, (#4) V For Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, (#3) Maus by Art Spiegelman, (#2) Love & Rockets by Los Bros Hernandez and (#1) From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. Chris Staros is now co-publisher (with Brett Warnock) of Top Shelf Productions.

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