Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Lost In Thought

Cerebus #43 (October 1982)
Art by Dave Sim
LORENZO FRATINI:
(from Comic Art Fans, 30 July 2009)
My comics tastes had an evolution that, I bet, has been the same for many readers who were around their twenties in the middle of the 90's. I grew up loving the 80's mainstream comics, the DC and Marvel works and storylines from classic authors of the modern age (Claremont, Byrne, Miller, Adams...), and the early contribution of interesting new talents (McFarlane, Alan Davis, Jim Lee...). That taste changed after reading Watchmen and Dark Knight, in the same fashion the drinking taste changes after you swallow your first iced beer, and all of a sudden that can of Coke in the fridge doesn't seem so interesting anymore. After my late discover of Miller and Moore milestones, I was open to find out what the 90's could offer, and thanks basically to the "english invasion" GN production, and to DC Vertigo imprint, I was able to maintain my affection for comics even when I felt I was too old for superheroes. Then, finally, I found Cerebus.

If Byrne's Fantastic Four had been my can of Coke, if Arkham Asylum and Sandman were my pints of beers, then Cerebus became my bottle of bourbon. Cerebus has been, and will be forever, my favorite comic series, and I feel lucky to have started reading comics for the simple reason that I had the chance to know Cerebus: because the lone breed of readers that had a shot to fully appreciate the Cerebus series were the comic readers. Cerebus was a "readers' read": you have to appreciate the beer before you switch to bourbon.

I have been lucky to find this beauty from the High Society storyline, where so many important characters (names listed in the long dedication) are reunited in a wonderful and insightful sequence. As usual, great storytelling. It's election night, votes are being counted, and Cerebus would like to win the election, but he's fearing that he could loose against Lord Julius candidate - a real (!) goat. Astoria would like to be loved more than she is. Filgate would like to be rich. Lord Julius would like to be richer. And the Regency Elf, well... she just would like Cerebus to be an Elf himself. Emotional drama for six different characters unfolding in a single page, without wasting (or needing) a single word or baloon. When the votes for the All Star Team Of Sequential Art will be called, my ballott is for this guy - period.

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