Sim, Dave – Cerebus Volume 11: Guys
Take this book for what it is (a bunch of characters from Cerebus sitting around a bar talking) and you’ll love it. If you’re expecting Cerebus to storm Cirin’s stronghold or something after the events of Mothers and Daughters, you’re in for a rude awakening. I think I laughed out loud during this book more than I had during any of the other ones, and that’s saying something. Still, I had a few problems with it. He went a little crazy with the xerox machine in an issue or two. It helps you get the book out on time, granted, but all of these are (in theory) going to have long shelf lives, and you should really focus more on getting as much as you can in each issue as opposed to just making sure that it’s sitting on the shelf when it’s supposed to be. My humble opinion, but there you go. And I loved the parts with Eddie Campbell, Rick Veitch, Bacchus, the hunchbacked guy from Starchild and some other folk, but any casual fan wouldn’t have any idea who those people were. I think his theory is that only comics people are going to be reading his work (and he might be right after his rant in #186, because this is no longer a good book to show to a girlfriend unless that girlfriend has an extremely open mind), but I don’t know how true that is. There aren’t any other books that have 13 volumes available right off the bat, so I think that a lot of people who wouldn’t ordinarily read this might get it just for that reason.
Anyway, the story. There isn’t one. Cerebus is in a bar after the events of Minds, along with Bear, Mick, Boobah, and a whole cast of characters. If you’re looking for a good laugh in this series, this is it. He takes a different turn after this (I’ll get to that when I read them), so enjoy the light-hearted frivolity while you can. Actually, this is one of very few books that I can honestly say would be good for anyone to read, whether or not you’d read any other part of the series. How much history do you need to know for a bunch of guys sitting around and getting drunk? It’s not exactly all ages stuff, but that’s about the only thing that would prevent anybody from liking this, and they’d have to be pretty uptight, now wouldn’t they?