Tuesday 31 July 2018

ERROR 404: Post NOT Found

We're sorry, but the post you are looking for does not exist.
(Probably because Matt is either too busy, or too lazy.)
Come back tomorrow, and we're sure Matt'll have gotten his shit together by then. (We hope...)
That's a nice looking mug though...

Pst: don't  tell Matt, Margaret here, I'm hijacking his post to tell you that the mug that Cerebus is holding? Yeah, Matt made a mug just like that:

There were even some "variant" mugs, as seen by the backwards mug on the left. If you ask nicely, perhaps Matt will sell you one. If he has some left.

Monday 30 July 2018

Cerebus Figurines: A Review

Hi, Everybody!

Michael R. sent in the following to the Ol' AMOC Mailbag at momentofcerebus@gmail.com:
Hi Matt!

I was one of those who purchased 6 Cerebus figurines from George. He asked me to send you a review to post on AMOC. So here's a quick review. I'll send multiple emails with a
couple of photos in each.  He had a bit of a problem shipping them, but I did receive them on Monday, July 23.

From George---
"Hi Michael,
Update to your Cerebus Figurine order. It’s in the mail! Sorry for the delay. It should have been in the mail, a month ago. What had happened was: I
got the wrong boxes that I ordered to mail out the figurines. Didn’t notice the problem until I was ready to ship out the figurines and one box broke. This delayed everything. I had to order NEW bubble wrap and along with waiting to get the correct boxes sent to me. But, finally everything is repacked and in the mail. Please look out for the package. IT’S BIG! You really can’t miss it. . . or eat it. :)"
I had a few days to really digest viewing the Cerebus figurines, here's what I think.

The 6 Cerebus figurines arrived in excellent condition in 2 boxes taped together. 3 figurines individually bubble wrapped in each box.

The first I noticed was that they really weren't that big. They're light weight. The accuracy and details are spot on. I'm not a chess player, but my daughter's boyfriend is, he noticed right away the chess symbols at the base. I guess that's a plus. I'm
glad that I bought them.
Click to embiggen
Now the nit picking. Haha, I couldn't let George off too easy.

The first thing I did notice and I'm sure everyone else will pick up on is the back of Cerebus' head. There seems to be some unfinished business there. It looks like that you
glued Cerebus to the base and left some residue. … and if you really,  really
look at Cerebus' head, I swear there's a bullseye there. I'm sure when I was
emailing George on these issues he was taking it as constructive criticism and
not a knock on his product.  Other than that, I think they are GREAT!
A close-up...of NOT the back of the head.

The 6 Cerebus figurines shipped to my house was perfect inside. I know George gave me a discount for shipping by getting all 6, but each figurine averaged $40
Canadian. That's an awful lot of money especially now that he seems to be
cranking new figurines almost every week. I'm going to need more expendable
cash if I'm going to keep purchasing them. I think that's going to be a huge
decision for me and everyone to make if they going to but them from George.

"this might be the final place where all 6 will be displayed" click to embiggen

" I might be the only person who has the world largest and smallest Cerebus' side by side. lol." Not to be a pedantic shit-head, but there ARE smaller Cerebi in the world (namely the Ral Partha knock-off pewter miniatures.)
 You can order your very own set of Cerebus figures here. Tell 'em AMOC sent ya and get...nothing. Not a effin' thing. We don't have a deal in place or anything. Maybe in the future.

Next Time: I don't know. Something with an Aardvark I bet.

Sunday 29 July 2018

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part thirteen

Hi, Everybody!

The party was a success, here's today's post:

20 April 14

Hi Troy and Mia!

Okay, back with more of Mr. Ross' Scriptural citations which he says support his thesis that "God alone, not Satan or any other created being, has the power to create and destroy what God creates."  More but not all -- it's going to take me a while to get through these.  And it's all under one citation!

Isaiah 37:16 - "O YHWH of hosts, God of Israel that dwellest the Cherubims, thou art the God, thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth, thou hast made heaven and earth"

Well, to me, this is the YHWH who is being addressed, not God.

The "hosts" reference, as a defining characteristic of the YHWH, I think is best reflected in Christian scripture by the episode in the Gerasenes in Matthew 8:28 (where, significantly, the demon-possessed is cited as being TWO men) and Mark 5:9 where there is only one demon-possessed and the Synoptic Jesus "was inquiring upon him What name to you? And he is saying to him Legion name to me, because many we are."  Self-confessed, in other words unlike the version in Luke, 8:30, "Inquired upon, however him, the Jesus what to you name is?  The ____ (however ____) said Legion, because entered demons many into him."

 I think I think the Cherubims -- or, rather, cherubims -- which adorn the ark of the covenant and held a central place in the Temple are particularly emblematic of that dichotomy: that God is seen as being represented by one cherubim and the YHWH by the other and, in the YHWH's view, what they are doing is contending for primacy of place in the Judaic faith, between the two cherubims.  And note the "between" is interpolated into the text, largely, I suspect, because "that dwellest the Cherubims" seems to be lacking a preposition.  Between?  Within?  Atop?    

Isaiah 44:24 - "Thus saith the YHWH thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb; I am the YHWH that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by my self"

It seems to me significant that the YHWH, narrating here, feels compelled to append "alone" and "by my self" to the assertions.  The passage continues in an interesting theological vein:

"That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad, that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish"

I certainly have no difficulty picturing the YHWH expending a great deal of time and energy "frustrating the tokens of the liars" but I have trouble picturing God doing so.  It seems to me that liars frustrate themselves and that that's a major part of God's construct and a functioning property of free will.  "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive" as the Bard said.  And tokens are just that, tokens.

"…and maketh diviners mad".  Well, again, I think that those who use or attempt to use divination -- to see the future and to shape it or use it for their own purposes -- are mad already, because they're all just human beings, so whatever it is that they think they are seeing or think they are making use of is probably just a small part of the interacting realities of which God alone has knowledge and over which God alone has dominion.  Complexities multiply in such a way that the human mind can't even conceive of them, let alone control them.  That, to me, is what God and faith in God is all about:  only absolute faith in Him can see you through the manifold mazes you inhabit. 

Isaiah 45:7-18 - "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the YHWH do all these things."

Isaiah 45 -- which, coincidentally, was part of my Torah readings last Sunday -- seems to me to be an especially pertinent text regarding the God/YHWH dichotomy so I'm going to go verse by verse in Mr. Ross' cited passage.

45:7 is one of those YHWHistic passages where I really have to ask: do you REALLY think that God creates evil?  Personally, I think that's the entire point of Genesis 1:  God "created to make" everything and pronounces everything that He created to be good.  Well, He should know, shouldn't He?  No, it is the unwise exercise of free will, alone, I think, that creates evil.  I also don't think that God makes peace.  God can, I think, deliver peace to those who seek it from Him if He deems them worthy of it.  But, to me, that isn't the same thing as "making peace".  Everything is structurally, good, by God's own declaration.  If you keep evil and malice away from Everything, peace will result where you have effectively separated the one from the other and I think that's what we are here to do, individually and collectively -- but that, it seems to me, has more to do with human agency and free will choices which make peace possible rather than "making peace" like some sort of spiritual mudpie.

"Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation and let righteousness spring up together: I the YHWH have created it."

As I've said before, I think the YHWH as a being of spirit inhabits both the earth and the heavens but is far more OF the earth than OF the heavens.  I think this verse gives evidence of the YHWH's notion (in my view, misapprehension) of righteousness as an external reality, something that created beings can be immersed in, like a cloudburst.  Which seems to me true in a way, but only in the sense that righteousness can come forth, collectively, from within human beings in response to a specific event (9-11 comes to mind) in such a profusion that it does, indeed, "bring forth salvation" -- however temporarily -- and that righteousness then seems to "spring up together".  I don't think that that can be said to be "created" however.  More "chosen" or "incarnated".  It seems to me that it's a misconstruction of God's "undeserved kindness" -- more conventionally, in English, called grace or Grace.

It also seems significant to me that it is phrased as "let THE earth open and let THEM bring both salvation" pointing towards the plural aspects of the YHWH.

"Woe to him that striveth with his maker: let the potsheard with the potsheard of the earth: shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?  or thy work, he hath no hands?"

This sentiment which is reiterated in the latter Prophets pretty extensively seems to me to be centrally pertinent to the discussion since, to me, that's exactly what the YHWH is doing.  The YHWH is the pot shard of the pot created by God;  the YHWH is the clay saying to the God that fashioned it, What makest thou?  And the YHWH is part of God's work, saying to God, "He hath no hands". 

"Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What beggetest thou? or to the woman, What has thou brought forth?"

This cuts, I think, a little too close to the theological bone.  I don't think The Father is God -- I think God created The Father -- but that, it seems to me, only makes the observation more (intentionally?) wounding, suggesting as it does that the YHWH had either an interchangeable father/mother or a father and a mother.  

Woe unto him, indeed.  And here we go:

"Thus saith the YHWH, the Holy One of Israel, and his maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me."

"His maker":  that is, here we have two voices:  I suspect, the YHWH and The Father, The Father both speaking on behalf of God and referencing God.  That is, speaking to the YHWH as a fellow creation of God, but as an obedient one, a son of God.  "Ask me of things to come concerning my sons".  That is, the sons of the Father, the physical sons created of carnality, and the sons of God, the spiritual sons who are sons by virtue of obedience and submission to God's will -- unlike the YHWH.

"I have made the earth and created man upon it: I my hands have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded."

This is claimed by both the YHWH and by God.

"I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the YHWH of hosts."

On the surface of it, in the context of Isaiah and the events being discussed, this is in reference to Cyrus. Which is how the YHWH intends it.  But, for God, it's also an answer in a much larger context.  Yes, it refers to Cyrus, God created Cyrus for the exact purpose of assisting in the rebuilding of the Temple, but in the longer term it is also a reference to the Christ ("Ask me of things to come concerning my sons") and the Meschiach, in Christian frames of reference -- OR the Meschiach, if the Jews are right and he hasn't yet come.  The city is Jerusalem, or the New Jerusalem of John's Apocalypse or an even yet further context of a spiritual city.

"Thus saith the YHWH, the labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia, and of the Sabeans, men of stature shall come over unto thee and they shall be thine, they shall come after thee, in chains they shall come over: and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, Surely God in thee and none else, no god."

This, it seems to me, is the point in the narrative, where the YHWH suddenly finds his/her/it self flying solo.  This is purely about Cyrus and while also speaking of future events of which the YHWH is aware, no longer speaking of the extended future of the Christ and/or Meschiach and/or New Jerusalem.

"Verily thou a God that hidest thy self, O God of Israel the Saviour."

This is the YHWH's reaction to God's sudden absence from the narrative.  God -- the God of Israel the Saviour -- isn't hiding (and the YHWH must have wondered at his/her/its own words -- "Israel the Saviour"?  "God the Saviour"?  "God of Israel the Saviour"? If you don't know what the Christ is and have no concept of a New Jerusalem, the phrase would just sound odd).  It's just that the Larger Narrative had been departed from.  This was about a lot more than Cyrus' role in theological history.

"They shall be ashamed, and also confounded all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols."

God, I think,  rejoins the narrative here.  This is a general observation on the part of the YHWH of the immediate context: the disposition of those who Cyrus will save.  The Larger Context, however, to me, includes God, the YHWH as God's creation, the Jewish people as the Chosen People, Christ, the followers of Christ, the doubters of Christ, those who have made Christ himself an idol, monotheistic idolaters, Jerusalem, New Jerusalem. 

There are a lot of species of idolatry is what I suspect God is saying here:  even in the deepest forms of monotheism, there is and will be idolatry.  Ultimately, on Judgement Day, the idolaters -- even, and perhaps, especially those who were unintentionally idolatrous:  how idolatrous is a crucifix? -- will be ashamed and confounded ("THAT was idolatry?" followed swiftly by "That WAS idolatry!" -- ashamed and then confounded).  Their final destination: confusion ("they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols").

"Israel shall be saved in the YHWH with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end."

This seems to me to be the YHWH trying to enunciate, to amplify, the previous verse and, inadvertently, pronouncing self-judgement.  Israel will be saved IN the YHWH.  Just as the YHWH, hopefully, will be saved IN God.  It's a matter of accurate awareness and, more importantly, accurate SELF-awareness.  If you perceive accurately, you can't be idolatrous because it's a ridiculous choice.  That applies to the Jewish people, to Jerusalem, to men generally and to the YHWH.  You will only be ashamed and confounded if you have been inadvertently or intentionally idolatrous.  This seems to promise a general salvation as an inevitability.  Seems unlikely in the 21st century, but who knows?  The earth has billions of years left to live.

"For thus saith the YHWH that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth and made it, he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited, I the YHWH and none else."

The YHWH's is a misapprehension, God's is an assertion of the Truth, serving as a signature to the passage, the two beings identifying themselves, YHWH by his/her/its misapprehension and God by His Truth and then asserting "he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited".  Again, the YHWH's misapprehension regarding the heavens, but God's Truth regarding the earth: "He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited." 

"I the YHWH and none else" has a double resonance.  YHWH misapprehended assertion as "Creator" and the YHWH's truthful assertion that God established the earth/YHWH, God did not create the earth/YHWH in vain and God formed the earth to be inhabited by….?  "I the YHWH and none else."

Next week, on to Romans 11:36.


Next Time: I dunno, I just got a huge stack of Cerebus comics... 

Saturday 28 July 2018

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag: David Birdsong

Hi, Everybody!

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag got a number of items from Superman's frenemy, David Birdsong:

Dave’s solution to spotting the counterfeit Cerebus #1
From the Cerebus covers book. 

Click to make it big enough to read the tiny print...
He also sent in: 
Dave Sim in 2005:
I have my suspicions as to who did the counterfeit but, no, the FBI never managed to catch the guys who were selling them-the "mules" folded their operation as soon as word started to spread-and therefore there was no route to anyone who was behind the scam. I certainly wasn't about to accuse anyone publicly without evidence to support it but, yes, I'm pretty sure I knew who did it.

Margaret Liss' has a great page on her site with several examples:

And finally a REALLY BIG image of the two side by side from Heritage Auctions:
I shrunk it down, because the image doesn't really show the difference. So, this is more to show that CGC KNOWS about the counterfeits, and slabs them accordingly.
 Speaking of CGC, back here, I said:
One of the BIGGEST problems, with the whole "counterfeit" issue, is that we don't know EXACTLY how many copies of Cerebus #1 there are. There WERE 2000 copies of the real Cerebus #1. (If I'm remembering right.) Now there has to be an attrition rate of copies that were bought and thrown away/read to pieces/lost in "misadventure". So that means there's <2000 copies that are real.

And, as far as I know, no one really knows how many copies of the counterfeits there are.

It would be really awesome if somebody (not me), set up a census of Cerebus #1s.
Well over on the CGC website, they have a census of everything they've slabbed. Including Cerebus #1:
So that's 219 real copies.

And 58 no-good-dirty-rotten-"worthless" fakes.
And finally, David sent in:
I'm pretty sure this one is fake...

"The warrior aardvark of legend returns in an all-new series that catapults Cerebus into a dark, dystopian future to face the most terrifying enemy he has ever known: The Voids. A parasitic race of creatures driven only by base emotions of fear and hunger, the Voids have infiltrated the city at nearly every level, binding men of power and influence to their vampiric will. Can Cerebus stop the Voids before they consume every man in Iestopolis with their unspeakable hunger, or will they continue their rampage unopposed until the very last Male Light goes out?"
 Alright, everybody say "Thanks David!"

Next Time: Dave on "The Genesis Question" part the next...

Friday 27 July 2018

Remembering Harlan Ellison Pt. 2 (Dave's Weekly Update #245)

Hi,  Everybody!

Heeeeeere's Dave:

Donate here, if you're amicable.

Next Time: I don't question what Dave did with all the copies of glamourpuss #5 he had. I also don't send an e-mail to Ted Adams at IDW asking where they are. Really, I don't. Truly. Swear to God...

Thursday 26 July 2018

The Day to Day Schedule

We just looked at Dave Sim's Albatross One last week with a look at a page for Adam Beduin. Notebook #1 covers Cerebus #20 to 28 and while the cover said there was 200 pages in the notebook, there were only 194 pages scanned.

Scrolling through the pages, I found Dave's "to do" list that starts with October 23 to 27 "writing", October 28 - 30 "Diamondback", and November 1 - 12 #23 "DRAWN".

Notebook #1, page 83
Since Cerebus #23 was dated December 1980, I can only imagine that this schedule is for October 1980. Five days to write Cerebus #24 and then twelve days to draw it, a total of 17 days to write and draw a comic book? Twenty four year old Dave Sim had a lot of energy. Looks like he fills his extra time with doing the Swords of Cerebus collections, writing and drawing a Captain Canuck story, putting together a portfolio and doing something with Diamondback. Busy guy.

The above schedule says that Jan 2 to 20 would be for drawing #25. However, going forward to page 132 of the notebook, we see another timeline for January 1981 and drawing #25.

Notebook #1, page 132
Looks like it got moved from Jan 13 to Jan 25 and the rate decreased from two pages a day, to a page and a half a day. There is nothing on the preceding or proceeding pages to say when pages #1 through 3 were completed, or if those are the pages scheduled for Jan 26 to 28. But if those are the pages for later in January, why do pages six and seven again?

Wednesday 25 July 2018

CIH? Cover Comparison: CANADIAN VARK Edition

Benjamin Hobbs:

WAAAY back in March of 2017, Lee Thacker suggested this cover for CANADIAN VARK:


This week I put the final touches on the finished version of the cover:

CANADIAN VARK will be on sale the last Wednesday of December! 

Next Week: Giant Size Jingles cover comparison!  OR The Un-bedable Vark riding his valiant steed. YOU decide!

Tuesday 24 July 2018

New Dave Sim podcast

Hi, Everybody!

Dave Fisher sent in:
Dave Sim has an audio podcast interview he asked me to send to you.

It runs 1 hr 40 mins long and is a 184 MB file (mp3 @ 256 kbps) 

I haven't listened to it yet, myself, so I have no idea what surprises are in store for us.

Next Time: From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend; the legend of Ben Hobbs, a mighty robot, loved by good, feared by evil. As Benjamin's legend grew, peace settled across the galaxy. On Planet Earth, a Galaxy Alliance was formed. Together with the good planets of the solar system, they maintained peace throughout the universe, until a new horrible menace threatened the galaxy. Benjamin was needed once more. This is the story of the super force of space explorers, specially trained and sent by the Alliance to bring back Benjamin Hobbs!

(I freely admit, I'm running out of TV show intros for these things...)

Monday 23 July 2018

Mr. Robinson's Cerebus

Hi, Everybody!

Friend of the Blog, Alex Robinson posted this over at the Official Cerebus Facebook group:
Click for the biggering!
I drew 12 heads for each of the books up through MINDS. I only wanted to do each character once except for Cerebus and the Roach. How many can YOU name?
So I took a stab at it:

Alright, without looking it up, from left to right: Cerebus, Henrot, Graus, Mother Abott, Cerebus, The barbarian guy from High Society (I always think he's Bear, but he's not), Wolveroach, Mrs. Henrot-Gutch, Michelle, Thrunk (AKA: Necross the "Ha ha" Mad), Po, Seth, Next row: Elrod, Um...Sophia?, Madame Du Fort, Bran Mak Muffin, Lord Stormsend (the wuffa wuffa guy), Lord Julius' goat (AKA: Julius Goat), Red Sophia, Lord Julius, Cerebus, Secret Sacred Wars Roach, fug me what's his name? Chico as a like-a-look, Sump Thing, Next row: The Hsifan assassin (slash DeadAlbino), No idea, Woman Thing, Theresa(?), Sgt. Preston Roach of the Royal Iestian Mounted Police, Blakely, Weisstaupt, Bishop Posey, Bear, Prince Mick, Feagle Roach, Magicking (?), Next row: Jaka, The Cockroach, Silverspoon, The John Cleese sergeant guy, "Da docks" guy whazizname, the Rodney Dangerfield guy, Bishop Powers, Jaka, Poobah, the Judge, K'cor, Cerebus, Next row: That one Cirinists (Schwartkoph?), Cerebus, That other Cirinist (Brenda?), I got nothing, Melmoth's buddy (Ross?), Cerebus, A...hairy...man(?), The Cirinists commander lady, And his brother Dirty Drew, Toby (?), Joanne, M. Zulli, Next row: Pud, Beaver Cleaver(?), Rick Nash, Bloody Cirinist, Melmoth Oscar, The young waitress (Janice?), Death, Punisherroach, The "fake" Regency Elf, young Cerebus, Serna/Cirin, Astoria, Next Row: Missy, the old cuss (from "square one"/the end of Jaka's Story), The kitchen lady from the end of Jaka's Story, Melmoth's other buddy, Dino, normalroach, Cerebus, Snuff, Gregori (I admit I made that up...), short hair dream(?) Jaka, other dream (?) Jaka, 40000 eyes Roach, Next Row: Uh...Aunt May(?), Jaka's Story Oscar, Mrs. Thatcher, The mean waitress (Janice?), Prince Keef, Laurel(?) Hardy(?) (I got nothing), The demon Klem, Blossom, The bartender from Women, Cirin/Serna, a...troll(?), Dave Sim/Victor Reid but NOT Victor Davis. #NailedIt!
And then I remembered:
DUKE LEONARDI! How could I forget that!?! #ILookedItUp
And: "'Da docks' guy whazizname"  is Filgate (That one I did remember.)

Okay, "AMOC Special Friend of the Day" goes to anybody who can beat me.

Next Time: I beat whoever beats me, with a bat... Twice.

Sunday 22 July 2018

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part twelve

Hi, Everybody!

If it's Sunday, it's Meet The Pres... er, I mean Dave's commentaries on the Genesis Question:

12 April 14

Hi Troy and Mia!

Well, this is a first -- starting the letter on Saturday so I can address non-Biblical subjects and then continuing it on Sunday.

1) Happy belated birthday, Drexel!  Your birthday is April 14?  That's the same as Gerhard's birthday!  And your Dad said that you were turning 11, which means you were born in 2003 which would have been Gerhard's 44th birthday and Gerhard is turning 55 this year.  Fun with numbers!  George Gatsis who is doing my restoration work on CEREBUS also has an April 14 birthday. Happy Birthday again. Hope you're still drawing and writing a lot.

2)  RE:  John Layman.  Where it got left is that I sent a fax through Chris Ryall at IDW saying I would be glad to do the cover but I want to do it as a photorealism cover where he's in Tony Chu's place and there are people attached to the book -- John's co-workers, friends and family -- in place of the corpses.  In which case I would need HD digital photos to work from.  So he would basically need to arrange to photograph himself and the "corpses" individually, using the original cover as reference. 

The other possibility was that he would also be one of the corpses and I could put Cerebus in Tony Chu's place. 

His call. Yes, no problem with giving him my number.

3) Kickstarter…uh…how would you feel about buying 5 of the packages every quarter?  I'm kidding (in a way), but there is no question that the number of packages that get bought -- what the series is numbered out of -- is going to very quickly identify it -- the campaign specifically but more generally "Cerebus as an intellectual property in 2014" -- as a complete flop, semi-success or a success.

 I don't think runaway success is in the cards.

The fact that I'll be keeping going with it win, lose or draw (or, perhaps, more accurately extreme loss, general loss or quasi-loss) means that it's probably going to become a rare item.  WHEN it is going to become a rare item rather than a complete failure is the only real question. In the short term you're probably buying however much dead paper.

If the number of people participating drops -- as I assume it's going to -- over the first however-many then it's going to become a REALLY RARE ITEM. 

#4 out of 125…#4 out of 90…#4 out of 75…#4 out of ???.  If you order 5, basically you'll have, possibly, the whole print run by NUMBER FORTY or so.  The Last Cerebus Collector.  

Part of what I'm trying to do is to make sure that if CEREBUS as an intellectual property is actually dying this time -- that my career is over as it was in 2012 -- which I'm pretty sure it is, that people can watch it happen in Real Time and stop being in denial.  To have to face that this has been an on-going process by feminism since 1994.  When they set out to destroy you they make sure you get destroyed and stay destroyed.  My context has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller since 1994.  No upward spikes anywhere, just down, down, down, down, down.

Quarterly Kickstarters is the last thing I can think of to try to make restoring CEREBUS and HIGH SOCIETY viable and getting them back in print. After, say, ten years, I can say to the last 20 people still buying the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER FORTY-ONE, "You're the last 20 people left. Here's how we're doing. Okay, at this rate, we will finally have enough money to pay for a reprinting of READS which has been out of print for the last twelve years in 2031".

I'll find a way to make a living personally somehow but what I want to do is to break this idea that I'm some big success with thousands and thousands of fans all desperate to throw money at me.  That's Not Reality.  I have a few thousand fans who are all sulking because they can't have expensive hardcovers or individual commissioned drawings of Cerebus subjects.  They aren't interested in me, who I am, what I'm doing and what I'm interested in doing.  They just want me to play Cerebus' Greatest Hits the way they want me to play them. If I won't do that, I don't exist for them.

4)  The LOCK & KEY cover is the only piece of work I have done in the last twenty years that anyone is interested in so it's going to be auctioned through Heritage.

I'm HOPING that Heritage is now hooked up to A Moment of Cerebus and they will let Tim know when work of mine is coming up for auction.  Understandably, Heritage has the same complete level of disinterest in my work that the comic-book field in general has.  If I want to give them prime CEREBUS pages, they will wake up but I'm supposed to be preserving the Cerebus Archive, not selling it. Without CEREBUS art, everything that I've done is just a big pile of "throw it at the wall and see if any of it sticks". 

Tim was doing his best to keep track but he missed several variant covers and, with them not being announced at AMOC, they went for, like, $300.  So that's, presumably, what my cover price is at now starting from a high of $600 on the POPEYE cover. God only knows what my interior page price is at.  With that level of complete general non-confidence I have no interest in dealing with anyone one-on-one and selling what I consider my best work "by the pound".  The only hope is to go with the only people who have access to hundreds of thousands of bidders and that's Heritage.

I'll be sending Heritage glamourpuss artwork to auction.  First non-Alex Raymond pages and then Alex Raymond pages that won't be in the revised STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND, then covers.  I assume those will start low and then go even lower.  I'm hoping that sending them a sufficient volume of pages so they can have one or two pieces in each weekly auction for a period of six months will attract one, two or three Dave Sim Photorealism art collectors.  One of the problems with my idea of doing IDW variant covers was that the covers didn't come out regularly enough so even the people who were interested in buying them didn't see when they went up for auction.  If I can get Heritage to agree to put pages in their weekly auctions EVERY week and make sure they have enough artwork to do that for six months, given that they have hundreds of thousands of "eyeballs" on their site, that's the best that I can hope for.

As soon as I'm 100% sure that there is a link between Heritage and AMOC and I'm 100% sure that the LOCK & KEY cover auction will be announced to AMOC so it can be on AMOC, then I will send Heritage the original. So, you'll read about the auction on AMOC.

Sorry I didn't call you back but I've got the write the descriptions of the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER ONE pages and starting picking out 20 or so glamourpuss pages for Heritage to start with before I can get back to working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week on STRANGE DEATH.

Okay.  Next stop. Sunday. 
13 April 14

It's interesting that Mr. Ross has  a new version of his book coming out (or it already has come out).  It's pretty slow going here trying to address what it is that he's saying so I'll leave it up to you if you want to send me the revised version and in the meantime I'll just persevere with what I have. I'll probably still be on Chapter Three by the time summer rolls around at this rate.

He writes:

The Bible teaches that God alone, not Satan or any other created being, has the power to create and destroy what God creates.

and cites 1 Samuel 2:8, 1 Chronicles 16:26, Job 9:8, Psalms 24:1, 89:11-12, 146:5-6, 148:5-6, Isaiah 37:16, 44:24, 45:7-18, Romans 11:36, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 3:9, Hebrews 1:1-14, Revelations 4:11 and 10:6 as proof of this contention. 

1 Samuel 2:8:

He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set among princes and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth the YHWH's and he hath set the world upon them

Okay, well, obviously, to me, this is a reference to the YHWH, not to God. 

But, even leaving that aside -- let's just say, for the sake of argument that the YHWH is God -- I really don't see how this citation establishes that "God alone…has the power to create and destroy what God creates." 

The verse says absolutely nothing about that.  It says that "the pillars of the earth the YHWHs".  As in most Biblical references to the YHWH the present indicative verb -- the word "are" or "is" -- needs to be interpolated because it isn't in the text itself.  The only time it appears definitively in the text (from what I can see) is when Protestant Christians get ahold of it and compel the inference that it was always in there because they've put it there the last dozen or so times they've rewritten the Bible.

And (the verse says) "he hath set the world upon them" ("them" referring, presumably, to the pillars of the earth). 

In visualizing the earth as a planet, there are no obvious constructs that could be deemed to be literal "pillars", so, at one level or another, we are dealing in the realm of metaphor.  Once there, I can't see how you could have anything less than a protracted discussion about a) what the pillars are and b) what purpose they have and c) what properties they possess.   An environmentalist is going to make one case, a geophysicist another case, a spiritualist another case, a cosmologist another case and so on.

So you'll have a multiplicity of concepts of what the pillars of the earth are.  Even if you totally fudge the subject and declare that your exhaustive list of different opinions constitutes an irrefutable definition (rather as the IPCC deals with "climate change" and as Mr. Ross seems to deal with his own assertions) you then have to illustrate how this applies to your contention that "God alone has the power to create and destroy what God creates." 

I think you would have to be God in order to declare that definitively. 

Can God delegate that power to others?  Presumably, yes.  My own inference would be that that's what free will is.  God creates us, but many of us commit suicide.  Presumably if the power to create and destroy was God's alone that wouldn't be possible.  Do our individual physical forms and their relationship to us, to our souls resemble, metaphorically, the earth and its relationship to its pillars? If so, then presumably in the same way that we have the power to destroy our physical forms, the earth has the power to destroy its (his/hers) pillars because God has made that possible. 

It's interesting, as always, to speculate on these things but so little is definitively known about any of them that I think it's extremely suspect to use them as citational proofs of anything.

1 Chronicles 16:26

For all the gods of the people idols: but the YHWH made the heavens.

Far from being able to use this as a proof of anything, I think basic Logic 101 would recognize the inherent fallacy:  Since God is definitely one of the "gods of the people" (and, I would contend, the Only Real One) then "all of the gods of the people" can't be idols.  Unless God is an idol.  Which, presumably, He can't be by definition.  You could as fruitlessly write "All worship is idolatry".

Obviously, to me, the assertion in this verse is unconsciously self-revelatory on the part of the YHWH (or perhaps consciously self-revelatory if, as I suspect, the highest nature of the YHWH is fully aware of what he/she/it is doing, attempting to usurp the place of God):  the YHWH knows that the YHWH is an idol and not God and that God -- and not the YHWH -- made the heavens.  

And, again, here is another instance where -- being a YHWHistic verse -- the present indicative verb, is missing between "people" and "idols" and needs to be interpolated.

Job 9:8:

Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the heights of the seas.

Completely unexpected!  A citation that is actually about God!  Job specifically refers to God in Chapter 9 and not to the YHWH. Will wonders never cease?

It's interesting that the reference is to "Which" and not "Who" which seems to me to be in conformity with what I see as accurate perception of God.  He is not as we are, even metaphorically speaking.  Of course this perception is then violated with the use of the term "treadeth" suggesting that God has a Tread.  In the sense of Presence where no other presence is possible -- the heights of the seas -- I could see that.  In terms of opening a discussion of What Size of Shoe Does God Take?, no I couldn't see that. 

It resonates nicely with the "walking on water" miracles of both the Synoptic and Johannine Jesus:  one of the few shared by the two of them.

Technically, I don't think this would be a supportive citation of Mr. Ross' contention because it only refers to "the heavens" and makes no claim that only God could create them and only God can destroy them.  They will, ultimately, according to Scripture be rolled up "like written scrolls" at the Final Trump but, not being God, we have no way of knowing if God alone created or will destroy them in that manner.  Or if "rolling them up like written scrolls" will even constitute destruction. 

Psalms 24:1

The earth the YHWH's and the fulness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein.

I sort of figured it would be too much to hope for "two in a row" referring to God. 

Again, the idiosyncratic inability of the YHWH to countenance any present indicative verb (or perhaps more accurately for God to allow the YHWH to use the present indicative verb in fallacious assertions).  The "is" between "the earth" and "the YHWH's" needs to be interpolated where it doesn't exist and it doesn't exist in the original Hebrew. 

I think it was God's intention that this perception on the part of the YHWH exist.  In order to "work through" extreme lunatic possessiveness, you need to give the lunatic something to possess, which is what I think God does with his creations on the planet scale.  Here: you want to be God? well, being God means more than just lordly dominion over lesser beings (which seems to be all that the YHWH can see or all in which the YHWH is interested). My own inference from Scripture: It means assisting small-scale enactments in positive directions and you learn what positive directions are by witnessing negative directions and the impetus behind them and correcting those over the long term. 

You -- that is, God -- "work through" it by, first, allowing the YHWH to elect a Chosen People, to exert lordly dominion through mostly lunatic laws, to be enraged when the lunatic laws aren't followed and to then engineer successive destructions of the context of the YHWH's own Temple worship and surrounding habitations. That takes thousands of years but is really only the beginning.  You can no more eradicate an entire people than you can eliminate the flu virus completely.  There is always a remnant and the story keeps going.  The people keep going.  And the people -- being actually creations of God and not the YHWH's creations -- over extended periods of time begin to express God's will through their choices and actions, despite (I think) and not because of the YHWH's lunatic legislations. 

Slavery is very prominent in the Bible and, if you take the content of the Bible as literally "what's allowed and what isn't" -- in the absolutist lunatic sense the YHWH brings to every subject -- then you would never get rid of slavery.  But we did.  Thus proving that we are God's creations.  Not God's possessions.  You don't want to have anything to do with God?  That's an entirely protected free will choice. It doesn't end happily, but it is a free will choice open to you.  Those who are not, implicitly, enslaved will, sooner or later, be unable to countenance slavery.  But it's a long-term enactment requiring thousands of years to arrive at the proper conclusion.

That, it seems to me, is how we "work through" things, all of us as God creations, including the YHWH. The YHWH is free to think of us as his/here/its possessions and -- like half of the world's population when it comes to abortion -- believe that if the YHWH gave us life, the YHWH has the right to take our lives from us.  I don't think that's true.  God gave us life, but we, I think, take our own lives from ourselves through unwise choices.  God doesn't, I don't think, arbitrarily take them from us.

And I think there are nearly unimaginable consequences to adhering to that view -- that you are entitled to destroy what you seemingly create (seemingly create because women don't create babies, they merely gestate them)  and living your life in accordance with destruction entitlement as a human right. 

But, that too, it seems to me, is a property of free will:  the freedom to choose gruesome destruction and, as a result, to make inevitable your own gruesome self-destruction if that's what you prefer.  And to make it a matter of personal ethics if that's genuinely what you think of it as being. 

Psalm 89:11-12

The heavens thine, the earth also thine: as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them.  The North and the South, thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

This is addressed, according to verse 8 to "O YHWH God of hosts"  ["who (present indicative verb MIA) a strong YHWH like unto thee?"].

As I've mentioned before, I don't think David can be numbered among the Prophets. He's a very interesting character in Judaic history.  As the youngest brother of the sons of Jesse, he is definitely an entity after the YHWH's own heart and is considered the gold standard for human beings as the YHWH sees us.  Unfortunately this seems to have mostly taken the form of everyone else falling short of whatever it was that the YHWH saw in David and leading directly to the destruction of Solomon's Temple and the first diaspora.  And then led, when we continued to not match whatever David Template the YHWH sees (that definitely escapes me), to the destruction of the Second Temple and the Jews being driven out of Jerusalem for 2,000 years.

I just don't see any of these verses cited under footnote 26 as constituting a scientific proof of the assertion that no one, not even Satan, can destroy what God has created. 

If nothing else, any serious discussion along those lines would founder, I think, on the terminology used.  What is the "fullness" of the world?  What, in fact, is "the world"?  Planet earth?  the earth and the heavens?  The entire context of all YHWHs everywhere?  What is "The North and the South"?  Since they are capitalized here, is it the Protestant Christians who translated the KJV who have interpolated the capitals?  And what is their intent in doing so:  to deify North and South? Is North and South used as a short form for "everywhere, all directions"?  Or is it used in the magnetic pole sense? 

Psalm 146:5-6:

Happy that the God of Jacob for his help: whose hope in the YHWH his God: made heaven and earth, the Sea, and all that therein is; which keepeth truth forever.

I really wish I could take the Psalms more seriously. 

"Is he" and "hath" have had to be interpolated to try and make the beginning of this Psalm make sense:  "Happy [is he] that [hath] the God of Jacob for his help".  The present indicative verb is missing again in two places but (finally!) turns up in "all that therein IS". 

I really need to point out the compelled inference of what the Protestant Christians were doing: basically translating the Torah under the assumption that the reason that Jews are damned to hellfire is that they misinterpreted their own revelations and, so, missed the coming of the Messiah entirely.  And that the only way to fix that was to translate the Torah for them and to annotate it and interpolate into it. 

"Here:  these passages are about Christ, here: this bride isn't actually a bride, it's Christ's church; here:  these are the words that are missing here that you should have inserted so the Psalm makes sense." 

It makes it very difficult to read aloud on Sunday mornings.  I have to keep watching the margin for "Hebr." so I know what the text actually said and then to try to figure out where the Protestant substitution begins and ends so I can get the English equivalent of the Hebrew back where it was originally.  And I have to leave out all of the italicized words the Protestants have interpolated into the text.  Which means very little of it makes sense and that becomes self-evidently a characteristic of any YHWHistic text. 

I can't even imagine what the Jews must have gone through.  "It's SCRIPTURE. You don't interpolate words INTO Scripture.  Do you know how difficult it is to keep a text this long word-perfect for thousands of years?  Early on, entirely through oral history?"

And, so far as we know, The Torah IS word perfect. 

That was pretty clearly demonstrated with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls which showed us that Isaiah in the first century AD reads the same as the previously earliest version of Isaiah that existed to that point and which had been written down many hundreds of years later, around the year 1,000.

By contrast, the "Old Testament" (as Christians call it) is a nightmare of hundreds of years of fashionable rewritings until virtually nothing of the text remains because Protestants keep trying to make it Popular! and Vital! and Alive! for today's youth! Multiplying the number of versions practically on a daily basis and leaving out anything they don't like and replacing it with stuff that makes them feel good.

The Jews have kept their text consistent for thousands of years, Protestants can't keep the text consistent from week to week and the Protestants are going to show the Jews HOW to translate the Torah? 

Oy, vey. 

The "heaven and the earth" in this Psalm (just to cite one particular weirdness) are both spelled with the lower case but, suddenly, the Sea is capitalized.  WHY would you suddenly capitalize the Sea and leave heaven and earth with lower case initials? 

Are you saying that this is one of the reasons the Jews are condemned to hellfire, because, maybe, they don't UNDERSTAND why the Sea needs to be capitalized and "the heaven and the earth" need to be in lower case?  Well, here, in this instance, count me as a Jew:  because I certainly don't understand why the Sea suddenly needs to be capitalized or why I'm condemned to hellfire because I don't understand the thinking behind it.   

Oy, vey.

 Psalm 148:5-6:

Let them praise the Name of the YHWH: for he commanded and they were created.  He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

Okay, I'm about halfway through Mr. Ross' citations and coming to the end of this week's letter.  It's probably worth recapping what it is that all of these citations are supposed to be providing irrefutable proof for:

The Bible teaches that God alone, not Satan or any other created being, has the power to create and destroy what God creates.

I just don't see the application in most of these.  Not one of the cited Biblical verses says, specifically, "God alone, not Satan or any other created being, has the power to create and destroy what God creates." I don't even see how you can draw the inference that they do.  Not one of them so much as mentions Satan in the conventional sense or by that name. 

They ARE discussing the nearest approximation of Satan so far as I'm concerned -- the YHWH -- but that just adds another level of weirdness to it.  As if Mr. Ross is demonically possessed and so has been pressed into the YHWH's service to specifically assert the inversion -- YHWH is God and God is Satan -- and to attach that assertion to modern science. 

It's hard for me to come up with any OTHER explanation.  Why would a scientist, writing about the Bible AS science and giving citations -- AS a scientist who knows that citations need to be specifically relevant to the proposition being asserted -- suddenly pull Satan out of his hat and cite a bunch of verses, none of which refers to Satan?

Why indeed?

See you next week.


Next Time: Wait, what was that first bit?