Ten Great Moments In Cerebus

Partly because it’s taken me *much* longer to get the next Cerebus piece up than I’d hoped (either tonight or tomorrow, even if I have to spend the entire time glued to the keyboard), and partly because at least one person I know has started reading Cerebus recently and is deeply unimpressed with the first volume, here’s a little bonus – ten of the best moments from the series, to show it does get better…

I’m missing some of my favourites out here, like the whole prayer sequence (“Cerebus is a bad flyspeck!”) because the pacing of the series tends to mean a ‘moment’ can be ten or fifteen pages. Likewise, scenes like Jaka’s conversation in prison only have resonance because of everything that’s been built up in the story previously. But here’s some of the sequences that last three pages or fewer…

Pope Cerebus teaches a valuable lesson, from Church & State

Pope Cerebus teaches a valuable lesson, from Church & State

Alec tells off his mother

Alec tells off his mother

Alec MacQuarrie tells off his mother, from Guys

Cerebus meets his maker
Cerebus meets his maker

Cerebus meets his maker

Cerebus meets his maker, from Minds

The single biggest "oh shit" moment in comics, from Jaka's Story

The single biggest "oh shit" moment in comics, from Jaka's Story

The Ben-Gurions Of The Galaxy - even when the content got... unusual... the craft in Cerebus can't be bettered. From Latter Days

The Ben-Gurions Of The Galaxy - even when the content got... unusual... the craft in Cerebus can't be bettered. From Latter Days

Pud Withers, Nice Guy

Pud Withers, Nice Guy, from Jaka's Story

Pud Withers, Nice Guy, from Jaka's Story


The Roach and Elrod as Swoon and Snuff of the Clueless

The Roach and Elrod as Swoon and Snuff of the Clueless, from Women. I have a copy of Women signed by Neil Gaiman...

The Roach and Elrod as Swoon and Snuff of the Clueless, from Women. I have a copy of Women signed by Neil Gaiman...

Not only a great scene, this also prefigures the appearance of Oscar Wilde in later stories, and even Cerebus' own death

Not only a great scene, this also prefigures the appearance of Oscar Wilde in later stories, and even Cerebus' own death. From Church & State

Not only a great scene, this also prefigures the appearance of Oscar Wilde in later stories, and even Cerebus' own death. From Church & State

Page From Form & Void. I consider this the visual pinnacle of the series, but it's not really a book one can easily excerpt

Page From Form & Void. I consider this the visual pinnacle of the series, but it's not really a book one can easily excerpt

Double page spread from Latter Days. Even when the story was at its least pleasant, the art is stunning

Double page spread from Latter Days. Even when the story was at its least pleasant, the art is stunning

All character art, script and lettering Dave Sim. Background art Gerhard

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13 Responses to Ten Great Moments In Cerebus

  1. TAD says:

    NATO declares war on Libya. Japan struggles in the aftermath of a massive earthquake, tsunami, and possible nuclear meltdown. Revolutions continue to rock the Middle East. And all you see is Cerebus, the talking cartoon aardvark. A comic book series that concluded 7 years ago, incidentally. You might be the one person on earth who’s *further* removed from reality than Gadhafi is! :P

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      The thing about those things, though, is I can’t do anything at all about them, and nothing I have to say about them can possibly make any difference. Whereas if I say the right things about Cerebus, it might make a difference to whether my friend Duncan reads the rest of the series, which I think he’d like, so it might make a small difference to one person’s happiness. (Many people, actually, as many people read my blog).

      • S. Barrios says:

        there may be more .. continuity between Contemporary Events and Cerebus than with the public/official representations/packagings of said events. but, um, Gaddafi’s “remove from reality” is key: he said he’d step down in exchange for Stevie Nicks / tho’ his IMAGE of her is frozen in the 1970’s and any attempt to placate him would undoubtedly lead to charges of a “cruel Western trick” being perpetrated ..

  2. Patchworkearth says:

    Your moments are not necessarily my moments! You are thus horribly wrong somehow!

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      You are clearly the truly wrong one. Your moments are the obvious, commercial moments, while my moments are more subtle and for the connoisseur. Therefore I am best than you.

  3. Duncan says:

    What the fuck are *you* doing, TAD, you incomprehensible bell-end? As if blogging would make a blind bit of difference.

    Thanks, Andrew, I had ordered book two anyway, but I certainly appreciate that you had me in mind here.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      TAD’s just making fun of me. I’ve known him fourteen years, and am pretty sure he’s not meaning anything malicious by it. There’s just sometimes a bit of a transatlantic gap between senses of humour…

      • TAD says:

        It was “malicious with a heart,” I like to think. :)

        By the way, do a search on YouTube for Stealth Munchkin, when you get a chance.

  4. Duncan says:

    Sorry, I do tend to go in two-footed in web-tackles.

  5. I do like that Dave Sim’s “big event” in which basically no information is passed, is what inspires him to so much energy. It reminds me of similar things happening to both Robert Anton Wilson and P K Dick, both of whom also expended a lot of energy in trying to interpret what the fuck had happened to them.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Yeah. And early on, of course, Sim makes quite a lot of RAW references. Unfortunately, Sim doesn’t seem to have the logical, sceptical mindset of RAW or PKD, so while they both kept in mind the possibility that they might have been mentally ill, Sim hasn’t :-/

  6. Duncan says:

    I get a bit of a shivery thrill reading you dismantling people despite not being a Lib Dem, and never having voted for them, so you know: thanks for the link, it doesn’t seem a massive overreaction.

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