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What Now? — The Longbox Project

That may be the first time I ever really understood what Cerebus was and what Dave Sim was doing in that book. I didn’t actually read Cerebus #112/113 (a single issue with combined numbering) until sometime in 1992, pulling it out of one of Argos Books back issue bins, as I was determined to get into this book.  I don’t even remember why I was so determined to do that.  Maybe Neil Gaiman’s Sandman had softened me up to look at something besides superhero fare and at the time Dave Sim seemed like the closest thing.  Dave Sim wasn’t crazy then, not like we would get to think he was crazy just a few years later.  He was only “300 issues” crazy back then, not “women are the void and everything wrong with all of creation” crazy.

Cerebus #112/113 is the epilogue to his whole “Church & State” story.  Essentially Cerebus became Prime Minister for a second time, then he became pope.  He wasn’t a very good pope but then he achieved a transcendental experience that no one before him had as he got to talk to the Man on the Moon (with a bit of help from the Flaming Carrot) on the actual moon before being sent back to earth only to find that while he was gone, his city was invaded and he lost everything.  At the time, I didn’t realize that those were the plot points of “Church & State” because I had only picked up a handful of those issues and hadn’t even read all of them.  I really only liked the issues done with Gerhard or featuring Mick and Keef.  

When you take away all of the craziness of Cerebus as pope, take away all the characters that surround him as they try to manipulate and use him and finally take away all of Cerebus’ delusions of grandeur, Sim shows us a (literally and figuratively) naked portrait of Cerebus in this comic book.



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Cerebus is sitting in an old, abandoned building, wearing some woman’s chainmail underwear over his head.