Comments on: A tempting and rotund target presents itself: Leigh on #3 http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/ Just another WordPress.com weblog Sat, 18 Jul 2009 10:27:06 +0000 http://wordpress.com/ hourly 1 By: Leigh’s follow-up on #8 « Cerebus: A Diablog http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-264 Leigh’s follow-up on #8 « Cerebus: A Diablog Sat, 21 Mar 2009 00:48:45 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-264 [...] thank you not to bring up the counterexample of old Harvey Keitel from issue 3. I have my theories, and I’ll not let facts get in the [...] [...] thank you not to bring up the counterexample of old Harvey Keitel from issue 3. I have my theories, and I’ll not let facts get in the [...]

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By: Laura on Cerebus #4: Shut your wordhole « Cerebus: A Diablog http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-143 Laura on Cerebus #4: Shut your wordhole « Cerebus: A Diablog Sat, 31 Jan 2009 17:02:35 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-143 [...] Leigh has mentioned before, it is Cerebus’ constant plight to be surrounded by morons (when he’s not surrounded [...] [...] Leigh has mentioned before, it is Cerebus’ constant plight to be surrounded by morons (when he’s not surrounded [...]

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By: Jeff Tundis http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-125 Jeff Tundis Tue, 27 Jan 2009 23:20:25 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-125 I don't really get the "Jewy" thing either, but enough of that. I wanted to post this quote from Dave on the Sophia character in general as you try to put his perspective on women in context (don't extrapolate on her womanhood too much - your assumptions don't apply yet). This is rather old -- from Swords Of Cerebus #3. "This was Red Sophia's last appearance in Cerebus to date. There are a number of reasons for this. Kim Thompson's comment on the "unhealthy origin" of the Marvel character sums up my feelings pretty well. I was initially attracted to the book by Frank Thorne's work, having like Frank's stuff from the time he was doing Korak and Son Of Tomahawk for DC. I heard a great deal about the Sonja Show that he did at conventions and was intrigued by the occasional photograph or write-up one would see in fanzines or on the letters pages. When I first read one of the books, I have to admit to an almost total sense of disgust at the concept behind it. The qualities of sado-masochism, rapist as hero and woman as willing rape victim screamed at me from every panel. I didn't for a moment figure that some fourteen year-old boy was going to go out and defeat his girl-friend in battle for the privileges implied, but it seemed like something less than the ideal structure for an entertainment form. "Sophia was also intended as something of a tribute to Wendy Pini's interpretation of the character in the aforementioned Sonja Show, and finding out that she didn't like the character didn't help matters. "If she does return again, I will have to re-think the concept completely to try and make her at least a little more sympathetic. A gargantuan task that makes me feel I would be better served coming up with a new character altogether" - Dave Sim (Swords Of Cerebus Volume 3: introduction to Merchant Of Unshib) I don’t really get the “Jewy” thing either, but enough of that.

I wanted to post this quote from Dave on the Sophia character in general as you try to put his perspective on women in context (don’t extrapolate on her womanhood too much – your assumptions don’t apply yet). This is rather old — from Swords Of Cerebus #3.

“This was Red Sophia’s last appearance in Cerebus to date. There are a number of reasons for this. Kim Thompson’s comment on the “unhealthy origin” of the Marvel character sums up my feelings pretty well. I was initially attracted to the book by Frank Thorne’s work, having like Frank’s stuff from the time he was doing Korak and Son Of Tomahawk for DC. I heard a great deal about the Sonja Show that he did at conventions and was intrigued by the occasional photograph or write-up one would see in fanzines or on the letters pages. When I first read one of the books, I have to admit to an almost total sense of disgust at the concept behind it. The qualities of sado-masochism, rapist as hero and woman as willing rape victim screamed at me from every panel. I didn’t for a moment figure that some fourteen year-old boy was going to go out and defeat his girl-friend in battle for the privileges implied, but it seemed like something less than the ideal structure for an entertainment form.

“Sophia was also intended as something of a tribute to Wendy Pini’s
interpretation of the character in the aforementioned Sonja Show, and
finding out that she didn’t like the character didn’t help matters.

“If she does return again, I will have to re-think the concept
completely to try and make her at least a little more sympathetic. A
gargantuan task that makes me feel I would be better served coming up
with a new character altogether” – Dave Sim (Swords Of Cerebus Volume 3: introduction to Merchant Of Unshib)

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By: Leigh Walton http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-121 Leigh Walton Fri, 23 Jan 2009 20:12:52 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-121 Aaaand Oliver's time with us comes to an end. Linda: yes, the nebbish at the this issue is clearly ironic (after all the buildup we hear about him from others). I just thought it was interesting, on top of that, that Dave's visual shorthand for "weak puny little guy" included characteristics that I think of as Jewish. (of course, so will Julius, whom Dave obviously adores. I'm not seriously suggesting that he's antisemitic.) Your point about "inside jokes" and references is helpful - though the nature of our project encourages us to think of <i>Cerebus</i> as a grandiose monolithic work of art (and Dave as a hermit inking away in an ivory tower), it's important to remember that the early issues are essentially an amateur Ontario cartoonist drawing some funny books to entertain friends. Aaaand Oliver’s time with us comes to an end.

Linda: yes, the nebbish at the this issue is clearly ironic (after all the buildup we hear about him from others). I just thought it was interesting, on top of that, that Dave’s visual shorthand for “weak puny little guy” included characteristics that I think of as Jewish. (of course, so will Julius, whom Dave obviously adores. I’m not seriously suggesting that he’s antisemitic.)

Your point about “inside jokes” and references is helpful – though the nature of our project encourages us to think of Cerebus as a grandiose monolithic work of art (and Dave as a hermit inking away in an ivory tower), it’s important to remember that the early issues are essentially an amateur Ontario cartoonist drawing some funny books to entertain friends.

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By: Linda S http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-119 Linda S Fri, 23 Jan 2009 14:57:05 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-119 Two points about the wimpy nancy-boy at the end of the comic. Dave told me he was attempting irony: This dude is built up as some big tough guy who was mean to the warrior woman, if she was tough, he had to be ten times tougher. He was trying to make the reader visualize a conan the barbarian type on steroids. The irony was that he was as far from what Dave intended the reader to perceive as possible. We were thinking tough, instead we got a wimpy jeff lynne clone. Irony: the opposite of what is suggested or implied. At that point in Cerebus Dave was trying for broad parody and he wasn't entirely successful, which he admitted. He admitted that there was also a real T&A aspect to the issue also. Point two, Dave liked to slip little "inside jokes" into Cerebus; little jabs and digs at people he knew back in the day. A character might suddenly say something that our friend Harry said. Or a background character might look like one of his family members. or, or or, I can count several dozen of these in the early issues. It's possible that the nancy-boy at the end was one of these little inside jokes. When the issue came out I thought he looked like that guy at the shoe store, or the guy behind the counter at the coffee shop. I know of several inside jokes directed at myself. And yes, ampersand's memory is quite correct. That passage is in Swords of Cerebus. Two points about the wimpy nancy-boy at the end of the comic. Dave told me he was attempting irony: This dude is built up as some big tough guy who was mean to the warrior woman, if she was tough, he had to be ten times tougher. He was trying to make the reader visualize a conan the barbarian type on steroids. The irony was that he was as far from what Dave intended the reader to perceive as possible. We were thinking tough, instead we got a wimpy jeff lynne clone. Irony: the opposite of what is suggested or implied. At that point in Cerebus Dave was trying for broad parody and he wasn’t entirely successful, which he admitted. He admitted that there was also a real T&A aspect to the issue also.

Point two, Dave liked to slip little “inside jokes” into Cerebus; little jabs and digs at people he knew back in the day. A character might suddenly say something that our friend Harry said. Or a background character might look like one of his family members. or, or or, I can count several dozen of these in the early issues. It’s possible that the nancy-boy at the end was one of these little inside jokes. When the issue came out I thought he looked like that guy at the shoe store, or the guy behind the counter at the coffee shop. I know of several inside jokes directed at myself.

And yes, ampersand’s memory is quite correct. That passage is in Swords of Cerebus.

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By: Leigh Walton http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-115 Leigh Walton Wed, 21 Jan 2009 23:18:26 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-115 I specifically said "he looks like Billy Crystal, or Harvey Keitel in <i>The Last Temptation of Christ</i>," so Keitel's other roles aren't really relevant. Here, use <a href="http://l.yimg.com/img.movies.yahoo.com/ymv/us/img/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/analyze_that/_group_photos/billy_crystal14.jpg" rel="nofollow">this picture</a> if you prefer. I specifically said “he looks like Billy Crystal, or Harvey Keitel in The Last Temptation of Christ,” so Keitel’s other roles aren’t really relevant. Here, use this picture if you prefer.

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By: CCBC http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-114 CCBC Wed, 21 Jan 2009 23:02:18 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-114 Maybe I'm just over-impressed by <i>Mean Streets</i>, but I think of Keitel's characters as Italian -- except in <i>The Piano</i>. I seldom think of his characters as Jewish. Maybe I’m just over-impressed by Mean Streets, but I think of Keitel’s characters as Italian — except in The Piano. I seldom think of his characters as Jewish.

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By: Paul DeBenedetto http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-113 Paul DeBenedetto Wed, 21 Jan 2009 20:34:56 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-113 Actually, Keitel hardly ever plays an Italian. It's funny with all that's been made out of Sim's viewpoints how I've never seen this as anything other than a Red Sonja homage/parody. You'd think this would be a big "A-HA!" moment when re-reading but it's really sort of innocuous to me. Actually, Keitel hardly ever plays an Italian.

It’s funny with all that’s been made out of Sim’s viewpoints how I’ve never seen this as anything other than a Red Sonja homage/parody. You’d think this would be a big “A-HA!” moment when re-reading but it’s really sort of innocuous to me.

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By: Oliver http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-94 Oliver Tue, 20 Jan 2009 17:42:16 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-94 As a jew I wonder about your outburst elsewhere in this blog about being supersensitive and the reading your blog here -just pointing out your hypocrisy: it doesn't actually bother me in the slightest. So if I now finished off by saying I just wrote the above to "keep you on your toes" -would that mean I hate all none-jews? We are afterall the "chosen people":) As a jew I wonder about your outburst elsewhere in this blog about being supersensitive and the reading your blog here -just pointing out your hypocrisy: it doesn’t actually bother me in the slightest.
So if I now finished off by saying I just wrote the above to “keep you on your toes” -would that mean I hate all none-jews? We are afterall the “chosen people”:)

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By: CCBC http://cereblog.org/2009/01/16/a-tempting-and-rotund-target-presents-itself-leigh-on-3/#comment-90 CCBC Tue, 20 Jan 2009 08:28:14 +0000 http://cereblog.org/?p=72#comment-90 Give me a little time -- I think I can come up with a Dave Sim stereotype from Cerebus. (I just don't remember exactly where. So I may have to skim 200 issues or so.) But otherwise: big nose, hunched posture, sidelocks, maybe accoutrements -- skullcap, prayer shawl, mezuzah, phylacteries... But just being a balding punk? No. (Harvey Keitel does not look like a Jewish stereotype -- how many Italians has the guy played for crying out loud -- but Mel Brooks or Woody Allen? Maybe.) Robert Crumb did a bit long ago about the Marx Brothers representing different ethnic stereotypes -- Groucho was the Jew, Chico the Mediterranean, Harpo the White Guy, "crazy, but with some kind of magic or other". Of course Crumb, the Polish Catholic, was often taken for a Jew. Give me a little time — I think I can come up with a Dave Sim stereotype from Cerebus. (I just don’t remember exactly where. So I may have to skim 200 issues or so.) But otherwise: big nose, hunched posture, sidelocks, maybe accoutrements — skullcap, prayer shawl, mezuzah, phylacteries… But just being a balding punk? No. (Harvey Keitel does not look like a Jewish stereotype — how many Italians has the guy played for crying out loud — but Mel Brooks or Woody Allen? Maybe.) Robert Crumb did a bit long ago about the Marx Brothers representing different ethnic stereotypes — Groucho was the Jew, Chico the Mediterranean, Harpo the White Guy, “crazy, but with some kind of magic or other”. Of course Crumb, the Polish Catholic, was often taken for a Jew.

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