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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Cerebus Vol 3: Church & State Volume I

 Title: Cerebus Vol 3: Church & State Volume I

ISBN: 0919359094

Price: $

Publisher/Year: Aardvark-Vanheim, 1987

Artist: Gerhard

Writer: Dave Sim

Collects: Cerebus # 52-80

Rating: 4/5

In High Society, Dave Sim pulled off the ambitious task of writing an actual graphic novel, one concerned with politics and the abuse of power and at a length almost unknown when he began serializing the story in 1980. With Church and State he attempted something even more ambitious as he examined religion. The story is so mammoth, running to 1,220 pages, that it required two volumes to gather it.

With Cerebus the aardvark having become Prime Minister of Iest in High Society, he suffers the same fate again. This time, wiser and more cynical, he is most reluctant, and has to be forced into accepting the post by the manipulative President Weisshaupt. Before you know it, the Machiavellian machinations are coming thick and fast, and the book moves into religious territory, when, in an attempt to undermine Weisshaupt, his enemies nominate Cerebus as Pope. Unfortunately, this sets Cerebus off on one, and he demands that everyone gives him all their gold or perish as a divine consequence. Then  hints occur that his prophecy could be self-fulfilling. And that’s when things start to get really strange.

However, it’s not all political intrigue and metaphysical weirdness, Sim also excels at comedy, whether it’s Marx Brothers-style satire or the broader parody of Wolveroach. This prompted a ‘cease and desist’ order from Marvel, something that earlier parodies – of Moon Knight and Captain America – hadn’t.

In one of the many great scenes Cerebus exhorts the masses to give him all their gold, and to illustrate the point that you can get what you want and still not be happy, he blesses someone’s child and then tosses it into the distance like an American football. This upset some readers. So Cerebus later kicks a crippled old man off a roof. The lesson: one less mouth to feed is one less mouth to feed. Many of these scenes provide some of the finest comedy in the book, with Cerebus showing what an imaginative, vindictive and greedy little bastard he can be.

This volume ends on a literal cliffhanger, with Cerebus, much like the aforementioned baby, being tossed into the air by Thrunk, a giant orange rock-monster (sound familiar?) that Cerebus had encountered back in the early Conan-parody days. This was to be a recurring theme in Cerebus, with characters who’d appear to be mere throwaways returning to become important elements in Cerebus’s life. Nowhere is this more true than with Jaka, the aardvark’s one true love. She abruptly reappears and Cerebus is ready to drop everything and go with her, but, as is so often the case, it’s not quite that simple. That moves us onto another topic, unrequited love, which is among the themes explored in detail in the next novel: Jaka’s Story.

Gerhard, who, like Prince or Madonna, apparently only has one name, came on board during this book to assist Sim with backgrounds, tints and the like. After some experimentation he settled on a distinctive style that would be an invaluable contribution, and some of his artwork is superb. By this stage Sim was an accomplished artist and writer, as adept at comedy as drama, constantly pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable in comics, both in form and content.

Friday, July 5, 2024

WANTLIST - Hasbro SDCC 2024 G.I. Joe Classified Series: Cobra Commander (Once a Man) Figure


When I first started my action figure collection, I tried to keep it within the 3.75" realm because that's what scratched by nostalgic itch. I never got into the 12" figures from the original G.I. Joe line or any other franchise I collect. I do recall having a 12" Darth Vader when I was a kid... but I never really played with it since it was so much bigger than all the rest of my toys.

A few years ago, I got suckered into collecting from the Classified series of G.I. Joe from Hasbro. I don't open them for display or play with them, but I do enjoy looking at them through the plastic window of the packaging. And then Hasbro started doing their stupid no plastic packaging, and that upset me. I still purchased the figures I liked, but I wasn't 100% happy about not being able to see them.

But aside from that, I do collect the G.I. Joe Classified line; or at least the characters I like and can afford. While I like Serpentor, unfortunately is was just not in the budget. I was able to get Chuckles last year and have 0 regrets.

This brings me to the reason for this post. Recently, Hasbro announced that their San Diego Comic Con exclusive for the Classified line this year is going to the the Cobra Commander (Once a Man) Figure.

While I am not a fan of the Cobra-La aspect of the G.I. Joe animated movie, I did appreciate the movie nonetheless. It was definitely better than the 2009 Rise of Cobra live action movie.

When I first saw the promotion images of the Cobra Commander figure, the tug at my nostalgia bones hit and I feel that I need to include this in my collection.

For any of my readers who will be attending SDCC this year, if any of you would be willing to pick one of these figures up for me, I would greatly appreciate it. Of course I would pay for the shipping along with the cost of the figure. If you're willing and able, please send me a message so we can work-out the details.

MtG Decklist - Sauron, Lord of the Rings


I have been a fan of the Lord of the Rings series since I was a kid, so when Magic released the LotR set, I had to create a deck around it. I tried to stay with cards that were primarily sourced from the set, or were related to the theme... but we ended-up taking some liberties in the final cut.

As with most of my constructed MtG decks, this was a collaboration with my ex-wife.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Rose City Comic Con 2024 - I'll Be There


SEPT. 6-8, 2024

777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Portland, OR 97232

I've said it several times before, and I get to say it again this year. I will be covering Rose City Comic Con as a member of the press. So very excited!

Friday, May 24, 2024

Tony Grove - Memorial


On the afternoon of May 16th, 2024, it was announced that LCS owner, and pillar of the community, Tony Grove had passed away.

Those that knew him were blessed by his loving and giving spirit. The events he ran at Tony's Kingdom of Comics always carried an aspect of charity to them. He would help fundraise for local charities, but would always ask for food donations to the local food bank. His passing will leave a hole in our hearts that may never fully heal.

Before his passing, Tony was working towards retirement and selling his shop. At the Free Comic Book Day even on May 4th, 2024, Tony introduced me to the potential new owner so that Tony's contributions to my non-profit (Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer) would be continued through the new ownership.

On Thursday, May 23rd, it was announced that the store was closing. There's no word as to if it will be reopened at the time of writing.

Tony will be missed by everyone that knew him, and would community will feel the loss of the store.

RIP Tony Grove

Sunday, March 24, 2024

MtG Decklist - One Deck to Rule Them All


A few years ago, I was watching a video on The Commander's Quarters YouTube channel, and I remember loving the concept so much, that I had to grab the decklist in hopes of constructing and playing it. Unfortunately, my playgroup didn't really get into Commander until recently, so I never got around to building it.

I wish I could remember what exact video I watched about this deck, but I do know that it was posted years before WotC even announced that they were going to be making a LotR set for MtG. I would love to be able to find the video and rewatch it to see if my feeling on wanting to play it have changed.

If any of you happen to find the video, please post a link to it in the comments section.

Friday, March 15, 2024

YouTube Recommendation - Ginny Di


As my loyal readers know, I have been a TTRPG player since I was 10 years old. At the time of this writing, that means I have been playing TTRPG's for 39 years.

I have been on both sides of the fence; as a player and as a dungeon master / storyteller / game master. For several years, I was full of inspiration about enjoyed running games. Since the original release of Vampire: The Masquerade by White Wolf, I have been primarily playing storyteller games of the original World of Darkness. A few years ago, I started to lose my inspiration for fantasy RPG's and I really wanted to run a Dungeons & Dragons game.

I have the desire to be a DM for D&D, but the spirit is weak. So, with all this YouTube viewing that I have been doing recently, I have been trying to find something to get me back to where I once was.

From all the channels I have watched with D&D content, I feel that Ginny Di has been the most inspirational to me. I love her enthusiasm and her ability to entertain. There have been a number of her videos that have made me want to get back into that saddle and get a game up and running.

If you need some enjoyable D&D content with a fair amount of humor, look no further than Ginny Di.

Cerebus Vol 3: Church & State Volume I

 Title: Cerebus Vol 3: Church & State Volume I ISBN: 0919359094 Price: $ Publisher/Year: Aardvark-Vanheim, 1987 Artist: Gerhard Writer: ...