The Cerebus Re-Read Challenge
Cerebus can be purchased in its entirety from
even better, Volumes 1 and 2 are free!
Flight: He's Baaack
Issue #151, the first issue of Flight, the first issue of the larger Mothers and Daughters, the first issue of the back half of Cerebus, is accompanied by the most instantaneous change in Dave Sim's persona that we ever see. The explosive nature of the book, and the re-introduction of the larger cast of characters is accompanied by an explosive ramping up of public engagement and activity.
Look at this Note From the President in issue #151.
Outward bound, in flight, touring Sim is back with a vengeance.
This is not, however, the return of Rock-Star-Sim (although he does mention, in the above note, that he hopes to see 80's-rock-groupie-if-I have-ever-seen-one Connie Lingus while in NY. Ha-ha.). The new Dave Sim is highly collaborative, filling Note From The President with details about, and plugs for, all of the different people/stores he is working with on the tour. He gives detailed descriptions of what happened at each event. Over the course of the next few volumes this collaborative spirit grows as Sim works with stores like Page 45 to develop new kinds of comic shops and ways to market independent comics. Collectively they take on what they see as a failing distribution system.
All of this collectivist activity is significant. The Mothers and Daughters storyline is at its most basic level an examination of matriarchy and womanhood. One of the major plot devices during these volumes is the telepathic group-mind powers exhibited by the new matriarchs, the Cirinists. Sim himself has long drawn a connection between Marxism/Socialism and Feminism and believes that a matriarchal society would be socialist in nature. It is no surprise then, that during this time period Sim follows suit and engages in projects that are wrapped up in collective action and inclusion.
Even the way Sim represents the tour takes on a collectivist, feminine, look, as seen in this image from issue #155
This is not a single photo on the back cover of a dude looking as cool as can be. That was masculine, Rock-Star, Dave Sim. This is a collectivist scrap-book. ( Scrap-books being the quintessential, in a stereotypical sense, feminine form of comics).
By issue #156 Sim even decides to open back up his engagement with his audience through Aardvark Comment.
All four volumes of Mothers and Daughter display this same basic lets-try-doing-things-the-way-chicks-do persona, with slight variations, as we shall see.
Pay attention to how many of the formal tricks I highlight here represent "socialist" ideals of togetherness, all-at-once-ness, etc. I think even the abundance of two-page spreads says something.