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Monday, July 31, 2017

Cerebus Vol. 8: Women (Graphic Novel)

by Dave Sim & Gerhard

Publisher: Aardvark-Vanaheim (June 1994)

Softcover 247 pages

Finished 7/30/2017

Amazon Listing 

    This volume collects issues 163-174 of Cerebus and is the second volume in the Mothers and Daughters arc, which dominates the second third of the Cerebus series. With the depth of a story in a series like this, it reminds me often of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. That is of the many people I talk to about literature, many have heard of it, but almost none have read it all the way through.
The diverging philosophies of Cirinism and Kevillism are explained in more detail here. While both are sexist female dominance matriarchy they differ in some key points. Well key for a liberal agenda, as often these types of movements and organizations break into splinter groups over minor dogmatic trivia- which then leads to violence. As it has been shown, when you leave a leftist organization alone it begins to feed on itself, as they are only good as destroying what exists, not in building anything. These are told in various documents written by Cirin and Astoria, the mother and daughter respectively.
    The difference between the two aspects dwells on who should be allowed to have the responsibility for government. The Cirinist views only that women who have given birth (whether live or not is uncertain) should be allowed to vote or hold office. They believe that only the tempering effect of having a fragile life depend on them absolutely can allow a woman to fully understand the what is important in life. They represent a more traditional standard values of aspect of early feminism. Essentially they are conservative and interested primarily in maintaining the status quo, only with women in charge. Astoria points out the hypocrisy of this in that most of these “mothers” who take power often then pawn their children off on nannies and wet nurses to raise for them- thus defeating the purpose of being a mother in the Cirinist philosophy. Shades of Hillary Clinton here.
    While the Kevillist view exists solely on the basis of choice,  constant choice for the woman. The choice to become a mother, to abort a child or keep it, to become married or not, to gain a career or not- and that society should constantly respond accordingly and positively to the choices that a woman makes. It is pointed out that having more choices increases, rather than decreases, factionalism. As leftists are “all or nothing” political personalities, groups popped up each fervently believing with religious ferocity that they have the one-and-only correct view of life and that those who do not agree are monsters requiring extermination. Hence all of the political violence stemming from the left. Astoria, through her Kevillist dogma, states that the Cirnist mothers should handle the domestic policies, while the Kevillist handle all the others.
    Of course both of these policies boil down to have and have-nots. Those who are mothers have no problem with the Cirinist model, while unable to unwilling to procreate are staunch Kevillists.
    We are seeing the end of Astoria here, the political force behind Cerebus’s rise to power/ Her main ability seems to be in propping up others and stirring domestic unrest. She is the brain behind two dissident organizations: Kevillist and the Eye of the Pyramid- a terrorist organization in Palnu that she formed primarily to assassinate her ex-husband Lord Julius. She is stripped of power and lost faith in her followers whom she attempted to empower, but mindlessly bleat after her like sheep.
    The Roach enters his best incarnation, in my opinion, as Swoon, a parody of Dream from the massive hit Vertigo series Sandman. In it we see a comment on the angst ridden goth narcissism which was a popular stance at the time. Swoon (and his sister Snuff) is a mopey whiner, chronic masturbater, that contemplates the futility of life and everything ad nauseum.  He claims to wield great power, but spends most of his time ineffectually complaining about life in purple prose.
    Endgame for the drama of the series starts with this book, with the current incarnation of Suenteus Po, dressed as Death, bringing all of the players together at the end of the book for a final showdown. And explosive it will be.


       For more readings, try my collection of books. 

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