This right here is the precise moment Cerebus turned irrevocably
serious. Despite the "no poetic license" punchline. That it turned away from humor is not a criticism in
the slightest by the way: it simply grew beyond it for a while. I fucking love JAKA'S STORY and with
HIGH SOCIETY it's the most directly influential on my style, especially
LULU, of all the Cerebus books. Though CHURCH & STATE is my actual favorite. It was JAKA'S STORY, along with my background in theatre, that taught me talking heads can be dynamic in comics. Also: no movie could do this. Here's an example of what intrinsically comics bring to an action scene and what it can do dramatically
a film can't. You're looking at three, maybe four points of view, and
foci of drama, built architecturally in front of you in time. All there
simultaneously, paced together. Only Roeg ever did anything
approximating this (like PERFORMANCE and most especially THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, without which WATCHMEN would not exist) and even then, it's impossible for film to present
simultaneity in quite this way. And with as much real impact. You STOP
on this page, you study it, it sinks in. You would not freeze a film the
same way, and it wouldn't register the same.
It's also a good example of what a double-page spread does best, but in the age of the internet and landscape screens that may be less distinct. This was brought to mind, by the way, by this post including the image, about the Cerebus Oversize Project. Click here to find out more about that.
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson