Sim, Dave – Cerebus Volume 10: Minds
I was really pissed off by this book the first time around. Thought the ending of the Mothers and Daughters saga was an incredible cop-out, that Dave had run out of good ideas and the rest of the run would be dull as hell. Having already read 60+ issues after this book, I can see it a bit differently now. It seems necessary for the being behind the whole Ascention to be… but that would be telling. It makes sense. Kind of takes some of the fun out of the presumed naivete of the series, but it had to be done. I think I had a problem with the whole thing at the time too because the Cerebus story was such a distant second (or even third) to whatever else was going on in the book. Every issue in this arc opened up with a 2-6 page rant about the state of independent comics or the latest convention of small press folks. Granted, there weren’t very many of them back then, but the announcements shouldn’t have been coming before the story. Follow that up with a letters page that was more interesting than the story (not to slight to story, but this was right after the infamous #186 and the letters were pouring in about the whole mess. A lot of people were trying to figure out exactly how much he really meant out of all the stuff he was saying) and a preview that was always at least interesting, and Cerebus got the short end of the stick. I’m sure this problem has been solved for the ages through the phone book for this one, but it’ll always be a jumbled mess for me.
What does that mean for the state of the book? This one is absolutely crucial, like it or not. Whether or not it’s just an explanation for why nothing happens the rest of the way remains to be seen. Without giving anything away, this one is Cerebus and Cirin flying through space and meeting their maker. The whole Terim/Tarim debate is finally cleared up, you learn a lot of interesting things about Cirin, and the Roach is, to the best of my knowledge, forgotten completely. I was wondering if he would show up at all after Reads and he doesn’t here. Which makes a little sense when you take the ending of the series into context, but it sure feels like Dave forgot about him completely. After the first two books were nonstop action and revelations, Reads slowed everything down quite a bit and Minds threw the whole thing in reverse. Not a satisfying conclusion to the story but, as always, that could change depending on the how the whole series ends. It’s frustrating to have to be even more wishy washy than usual in these reviews, but there’s so much yet to be seen that’ll make a lot of this look like the work of a genius, or just somebody who wanted to fill up 300 issues. I’m confident of the former being true, but there’s always that small element that tells me that he might have gone a little bit nutty and changed his mind at some point in the story. We’ll see. For now, this is probably the most crucial book in the series, so that makes it required reading. Even if I did have a few problems with it…