JAKA'S STORY by Dave SIm and Gerhard (Cerebus: Volume 5)

JAKA'S STORY (Cerebus: Volume 5)
by Dave Sim and Gerhard
486 Pages
Published by Aardvark-Vanaheim

There is danger in the air, as the fascist matriarchal Cirinists have conquered the city of Iest. Cerebus hides from them halfway between the Upper and Lower cities in the mountainside home of Jaka, the woman he's in love with, and her husband, Rick. Jaka works illegally as an exotic dancer in a tavern (owned by Pud Withers) with no clients. A caricature of Oscar Wilde is their neighbour and friend of Rick, much to the chagrin of Jaka and Pud, who dislike him. Cerebus himself stays largely in the background, and is almost entirely absent from the second half of the book, as the story focuses mainly on development of the characters Jaka, Rick, Pud and Oscar. The book flashes back and forth between Jaka's lonely, aristocratic childhood and the present time of the main Cerebus storyline.

While one part of the larger Cerebus story, this novel is considered complete in itself and a good introduction to the Cerebus storyline.

- Wikipedia.com

Included in Stephen Weiner's book The 101 Best Graphic Novels.


"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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