READS by Dave Sim and Gerhard (Cerebus Volume 9)

READS (Cerebus: Volume 9)
by Dave Sim and Gerhard
220 Pages
Published by Aardvark-Vanaheim

The ninth volume of the Cerebus the Aardvark series, Reads, is the penultimate chapter of the larger Mothers and Daughters story. This is one of the most powerful editions in the series and one of the most ambitious narratives that Dave Sim has ever attempted.

In addition, Reads is the most controversial volume of the Cerebus series to date because of a parallel narrative involving two characters--Viktor Reid and Viktor Davis--who are both alter egos for Dave Sim. This controversy is a shame because the offensive section in Reads--which explores the relationship between men and women--represents only one possible view of this subject. When read as part of the whole series, the passages that may have seemed shocking to some, appear (like all points of this narrative) to question and provoke rather than offend. Viktor Davis is far from a reliable narrator, an idea that is reinforced by the final paragraphs of his narrative and demonstrated by the scariest of all Cerebus practical jokes. Are Viktor Davis or Viktor Reid representative of Dave Sim or simply aspects of his persona? The ending suggests the answer.

Meanwhile, Cerebus, Po, Cirin, and Astoria debate the important stuff, including our aardvark friend's genitalia, the history of Illusionism, the nature of power, and the fate of Astoria's child. Despite the bad rap, Reads is Cerebus at its finest. Like the best of art, Reads has the power to shock, surprise, amuse, and offend--and it even has a whiz-bang fight scene. What more could you want?



"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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