|It's supposed to be symbolic but I don't care by this point.|
|The Three Wise Fellows|
|"Spore" In Action|
Cerebus: "Since even the best women shooter is barely going to be as good as a below average man, there is no way the Cirinists can get within range where they can hit us without first getting shot themselves."
With the rule of law placed in the hands of the mob, after they kill all the lawyers, a bucolic, facist "utopia" is established, which mostly seems to involve men building "little houses", while unruly women are confined to special camps. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of art or culture produced and free speech is ruthlessly dealt with. Making life under the "Cerebites" seem much less enticing than under the Cirinists even for men. And with nothing to kick against, and no women left in his life, Cerebus becomes aimless in his existence. Back when I covered Minds, he ended up trapped on the lonely planet Juno, and esteemed commenter Lucy McGough pointed out that Juno was the Goddess of wives and mothers. So it was a warning in my opinion that a life without women, without love in fact would be a lonely one. And for several books the prospect of being alone would have Cerebus see the rocky landscape of Juno in his minds eye. So it's ironic that with women removed from his life entirely he's given up and idly embraced being stuck on the metaphorical Juno and crucially he doesn't seem happy about this or the society he has built but can't be bothered anymore to change his situation, taking solace in the beliefs that were brainwashed into him.
After the last of The Three Wise Fellow's dies, Cerebus comes to a sad realisation about the lack of friendship in his life and how the last time he really remembered anyone's name was when he was back in the tavern shown in Guys.
Narration: "It's not that people didn't like Cerebus most of the time. When Cerebus went to watch a house being built someone would come over and strike up a conversation. And when they left they'd say "it was nice talking with you" in a way that Cerebus could tell they really meant it. But the thing was: Cerebus was never the one to strike up the conversation.. and for the life of him, Cerebus heh heh could never figure out exactly what had been so darned "nice" about talking with him.
|Pictured: A Comics Fan, Apparently|
|The Young Konigsberg|
Dave Sim: "Read Deuteronomy yourself. It's just one YHWH blabfest pretty much from start to finish. Hysterical, grudging, paranoid, defeatist, threatening, dictatorial, beseeching, self-aggrandising, illogical, convoluted, cajoling and wheedling."
Torah: "This twentie yeeres I with thee, thy ewes and thy she goates haue not cast their younge and the rammes of thy flocke haue I not eaten."
Cerebus: "A little reminder of Yoohwhoo's she-goat and he-ram covenant with Abraham [laughs] probably convinced Yoohwhoo that no, she didn't feel well enough to get and go look for her asprin".
Torah: "That which was torne, I brought not vnto thee: I bare the losse of it"
Cerebus: "'That isn't really what I sound like?' Yoohwhoo wonders."
Torah: "of my hand didst thou require it, whether stollen by day, or stollen by night."
Cerebus: "[laughs] Cerebus pictures a tiny little "angel" of God appearing in front of Yoohwhoo with a copy of verse five, chapter nine."
And so on. Bleedin' hilarious I don't think. If you want Biblical comedy that is actually funny, try the LoLCat's Bible instead, always makes me laugh. Praise be to Ceiling Cat! Ah, "But Varalys" you say. "Dave Sim is being comedic about the Bible, how does that fit with his Christian conversion, eh?" And I say "Good question, come with me to the appendices". Now Dave Sim says a lot about reading and rereading the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch) over and over, and reading a lot of Biblical scholarship and how so little of it agrees with each other, so why not do his own interpretation?
Dave Sim: "...My biggest concern was: what would God think of this? Just how seriously was I putting my soul in jeopardy by deciding to go public with the fact that I thought I was right about what the Bible said and that everyone else was wrong?....what if I was right in what I was reading? What if this had been planned by God all along? What of he had known exactly what I was going to write before I was born? Omniscience is a much easier word to say than it is to even imagine."
O...Ok, back away slowly folks and when you are clear, run like the wind. Anyway, there we go. A third of the book devoted to single page drawings and masses of tiny, tightly spaced unfunny text. Konigsberg grows old and dies as Cerebus secludes himself working on his notes to the Torah (quite what the random TRACED images from European cinema have to do with either the Bible or Psychoanalysis, even the appendices aren't very helpful in this case, but they sure do look purdy - if you like TRACED artwork that is). Finally Cerebus comes out of seclusion and gets married. The woman is considered so unimportant that we don't even see her real face, just Jaka's imposed over it. Le sigh and end book.
|Jaka's Actually Been Dead About 150 Years By This Point|
The bible commentary and psychoanalytical bibble went on for nearly a year if you were following the comics monthly. And I imagine this was where the series shed it's most readers if they hadn't already pissed off after the mean spirited attack on them earlier in the arc. I've probably made the book sound more eventful than it is, but it's an incredibly ennervating read, hence why it took me so long to write it up. There are no characters to root for, Cerebus's character has been irrevocably changed, the whole book doesn't feel like it has any links to the previous fourteen and comes across more like a sequel series than something that stands as part of the run as a whole. The whole book, including the appendices feels like being cornered at a party by a slightly peculiar evangelical Christian who wants to tell you all about how his interpretation of the bible is the correct and only one. Latter Days is an actively bad book. Monumental events happen which are barely covered or alluded too, the bible commentary is a shocking piece of padding that no amount of pretty artwork can render acceptable. Everything that made the Cerebus story good and worthwile is flushed down the toilet or twisted to fit Dave Sim's "spiritual awakening". It's flat and worst of all it's boring. It sucks basically. Only one book left then. Dave Sim tells us not to expect a happy ending in it, but he misunderstands what's left of his readership if he thinks any of them think Cerebus deserves a happy ending, especially after this book. Will the final book manage to make up for the mess that is Latter Days and end the series on a high note? Find out soon folks (I promise it won't take as long this time).
[You know what was doubly insulting about this book? There are far fewer copies in circulation than any other and it appears to be out of print too. So I had to spend the best part for fifty quid for my secondhand copy. Fifty quid! That's as many as five tens. And that's terrible].