LATTER DAYS by Dave Sim and Gerhard (Cerebus: Volume 15)

LATTER DAYS (Cerebus: Volume 15)
by Dave Sim and Gerhard
440 Pages
Published by Aardvark-Vanaheim

The penultimate volume of Sim's uncategorizable 6,000-page comics epic about a talking aardvark and medieval politics is the oddest one yet. Since its debut almost 25 years ago as a parody of barbarian comics, Cerebus has become one of the most maddeningly idiosyncratic tales available anywhere. To wit, roughly a third of this collection is given over to an exegesis, in tiny type, of the Torah, to the effect that God and YHWH are different entities, and that the latter (whose name is transliterated as "Yoowhoo") is actually a false, female God. Sim accompanies this with an extended parody of/commentary on Woody Allen's career. When he's on, Sim is a master cartoonist (abetted by his incomparable background artist/architect, Gerhard), and his visual technique is tops. A chunk of the book featuring the thinly disguised Three Stooges captures their body language almost miraculously, which makes a sequence about their declining years heartbreaking. This volume—much of which takes place after the entire supporting cast of the series has died, off-panel—also involves dead-on parodies of Preacher, Spawn, The Comics Journal and the Sermon on the Mount, which contains scenes of bloodshed alternately played for stomach-churning horror and for giggles; and an ending filled with abject psychological despair. Fifty pages of Sim's notes on his work follow this; they fluctuate between remarkable creative insights and rants against feminism, psychiatry and "the secular mind."

- Publishers Weekly


"Cerebus, as if I need to say so, is still to comic books what Hydrogen is to the Periodic Table."

"Dave Sim has created a totally believable scenario and peopled it perfectly; The mark of a very fine story-teller. In my opinion, the best in the field today."

"I think he's a brilliant cartoonist, a spot-on caricaturist, an excellent letterer and a very fine writer-of-comics... easily the best parody of Sandman anyone's ever done, as various members of the Cerebus cast of characters become Snuff, Swoon and the rest of the Clueless. It was wickedly funny, and had the author of Sandman curling his toes when he read it."

"I think Cerebus is one of the greatest accomplishments in comics, not only as a work of art, but as a commitment to a vision."

"It's A.R.T., that's what it is! So keep doing your thing in your own unique way. Never mind the off-stage murmurings. Slave away at your drawing desk, you and Gerhard. Tell it all... love, hate, joy, sorrows, comedy. And don't make so many public appearances... your drawing board misses you."

"I think of Dave Sim existing in a pantheon of God-like creators with Moore, Miller, etc, and too busy with his own ideas to register that mere mortals like myself even EXIST."

"He won over the publishing schedules, detractors, critics, people who said it couldn't be done, people who said it shouldn't be done, people who saw misogyny where there was only commentary, who saw indulgence where there was determination, who saw creative control as egocentrism, who saw an individual voice at work and declared it conceit... Year after year, month after (more or less) month, Cerebus made me laugh and think and kept me sane. And it showed me something very important: that you could tell one long story over a period of years, across hundreds of issues, and not only could readers follow it, the subtleties and nuances layered on over the course of those years would add a breathtaking degree of subtext and context to everything that happened."

"Cerebus is a book that I believe every comics fan should read at least once."

"...I think he's done books which are among the best books of the graphic novel years. I think Jaka's Story is a wonderful book. It was the actually the first Cerebus book that I read from beginning to end, and I didn't feel that I needed to know anything that went before it, I was happy..."

"Cerebus is one of the top five most important works in funnybook history, and by setting the number at five, I suspect I'm being quite charitable to at least three entries in any given list. Try to imagine what our comic industry today might be like had Cerebus never existed and you'd have to envision an uncrossable wasteland, lacking hundreds of key oasis's inspired and nurtured by this one monumental work."
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