The Last Day
|Phonebook Volume #16|
|Collects Issues: 289 - 300|
|1st Printing||1000 copies|
|Date of 1st Print||June 2004|
|# of Pages||240|
Includes 2-page introduction by Dave Sim, and "The Last Annotations", 18 exclusive pages of annotations.
During the 1986 UK Tour, Gerhard took the above picture in Edinburgh, Scotland of Edinburgh Castle. The picture became the basis for Cerebus sanctuary.
DAVE: As I said earlier, New Joanne was just the latest failure in Cerebus' repeated failure of the `Jaka Test'. Cerebus kept New Joanne's resemblance to Jaka a secret, largely because he knew there was something intrinsically shameful in falling in love with someone just because she looked like Jaka. Which there is—although he couldn't see that. It takes the fundamental stupidity of willfully not seeing Jaka as she is and kicks it up into a whole different quantum level of stupidity.
03/04: Q: What's up with the ladder to nowhere in Last Day? What did it remind Cerebus of? Why was it there? Stairway to heaven? :^)
DAVE: The stairway that went into the wall seemed a good metaphor for Cerebus' failure to ascend past the idea of Jaka. I also liked the idea that about once or twice a day he would think, Say I never have checked to see what's up those stairs. And then go and discover the wall all over again. Those who don't learn from the past, etc. etc.
DAVE: Yes, they're all Muslims (that was an easy one).
03/04: Q: Did you always know all along that #300 would include a fart joke?!
DAVE: Mm. Not all along. It wasn't really until I was doing the model sheets for Old Cerebus that I started really getting down to the details of his various infirmities. Once I came up with the "eating cheese to make himself constipated" riff, that implied the one-page sight gag of trying to break wind, the "Please, God, just one decent fart before Cerebus dies" and the "answered prayer".
03/04: 13. Why was Cerebus condemned after death to go into the Light at the end? Is it because he chose to go into the light with Jaka (before he realized what it was), because he signed the froufrou's proclamation, because he wasn't there when his father died, a compilation of bad choices he's made throughout his life, or some other reason entirely?
DAVE: Again, I'll leave it an open question as to whether Cerebus was condemned to go into the light or if he was needlessly freaking out. I don't know the answer. It's a question we're all going to face, presumably.
03/04: Q: Why was Cerebus condemned after death to go into the Light at the end? Dave, I was a bit thrown by this as well. In terms of the interpretation of 'Light' VS 'Void' theme and the READS theme of how "Ideas leading one into the darkness" Not to mention COORS LIGHT. Am confused. Please enlighten. Elizabeth Bardawill
Elizabeth the Fellow Canadian: "Please enlighten?" nyuck nyuck nyuck. Good one. Remember that the male light and the female void and being led into the darkness all predated my reading of the Bible. What I suspect—and have no way of proving—is that I was being fed things to keep YHWH interested. My best guesses on all of these things is contained in 289/290 which only "came to me" after my submission to God's will. My first two tries in Church & State and Reads, if you examine them, are largely inversions of 289/290. And inversions are mother's milk to YHWH, I suspect. Wrong-headed perverse mother's milk.
03/04: I think it's safe to say Cerebus is in hell.
DAVE: Actually, that's an interesting speculation. What I tried to do (and this goes way, way back to when I first started thinking, right, now how do I end this thing. And what I came up with was, basically, what we know about the death experience from the near-death experience accounts that we have been given. Given: our life will flash before our eyes, we will all feel ourselves rise up out of our bodies, we will find ourselves drawn towards a bright light like a tunnel. And, at the end of the tunnel will be everyone we knew who died before we did. Well, the more I thought about that...particularly after coming to belief in God...the more I thought, "I'm really going to have to take a look at who's there." I mean, virtually everyone I know and did know is or was an atheist. So, unless they've set the bar so low that everyone gets in, there's a good chance that it is hell at the end of the tunnel of light. I'm going to be looking for my cousin Chris who is a minister. If Chris ain't there, I might just sit down and wait it out til Judgment Day.
Q: A new question popped up about whether Cerebus is in heaven or hell (we've been discussing this for a while; most say hell, while others say you don't believe in hell per se, but he sure ain't in heaven, that it's not a punishment but just the natural consequence of his bad choices that he's going to end up crushed by the sun). I don't know anybody who thinks he's in heaven.
DAVE: I wouldn't be surprised if Cerebus is in heaven. He could just be freaking out for no reason. In a lot of ways I wish I had never gotten suspicious of "going into the light". Why can't I accept anything at face value? When Chester Brown phoned to congratulate me, he said there was another writer who had questioned the same thing: his viewpoint was that if you go into the light you just get reincarnated again. His suggestion was that you can break the cycle by not going into the light. I think Chet said he was a Buddhist.
06/06: Q1. Almost four years removed from the grand dream sequence, do you still feel confident in the idea that you have presented a Unified Field Theory given that some critics have said the science is suspect in places (failing to reconcile the actual processes of the strong nuclear force with the weak nuclear force, for example), and that the nature of it being divinely inspired makes empirical testing impossible?
DAVE: I’m afraid that I’m really kind of snowed under with work at the moment (finishing up “Hypothetical Cerebus and the Necronomicon Monks” from a T. Casey Brennan script for a benefit comic book for ACTOR that’s due in July among other things) so this is apt to come across as far more blunt than I intend it to be. Please feel free to mentally insert smiley faces, winky eyes, lopsided grins, ho-ho-ho’s and IMHOs as required so as to ameliorate any emotional trauma.
In other words do I agree with you that atheism is the only sensible choice? No, I don’t believe so. I’ve made my case for my viewpoint and if I suddenly come to the crushing overwhelming awareness that the only thing that makes sense is to become like you again I’ll be sure to let you know.
The strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force are irreconcilable, in my view. That’s the whole point of the debate. The weak nuclear force (YHWH, he/she/it, Marxist-feminists, the Feminist-Homosexualist Axis) wants to be the strong nuclear force (God, masculine men) and can’t be and therefore everywhere across time and space is doing what he/she/it has been doing in our own society since 1970. Screwing things up. The science isn’t suspect, I don’t think. The he/she/its don’t like it because if follows the evidence and concludes that he is preferable to he/she/it. Strong instead of weak.
Also, nice try from the he/she/it side of the fence: slipping an accusation of blasphemy against me in under the fence. Obviously I don’t think 289-290 is divinely inspired. If it was divinely inspired that would make me a prophet and the age of prophets ended with the death of Muhammad. In the context of Cerebus it is “divinely inspired” in that I am Cerebus’ creator. But in the larger context as with everything that I write about religion, 289-290 serve as commentaries on Genesis 1, John’s Gospel 1 and the sura ‘Clots of Blood’. “Here is my best guess as to the nature of reality from the evidence we have on hand.”
Yes, I know you didn’t mean to accuse me of blasphemy, but that’s the nature of atheists. You’re empty vessels wide open for demonic possession 24/7.
Q1: Is there anything you have learned since that time, or during the original research period, which you would have liked the chance to add in but were unable to given the time constraints? (i289/290 / TLD pp2-40)
DAVE: In other words, is there anything I can add to my case that will help persuade you that I’m right? I suspect not, but I think that isn’t a matter of my theories being flawed as it is your own (that is to say, feminized Marxist-feminist he/she/it) resistance to what it is that I’m saying. I don’t foresee that changing—either the nature of any of you as individuals or any potential audience for the book presently alive (and I might be mistaken; remember I was an atheist until I was forty years old)—which is why I say that Cerebus won’t actually have any true value or cachet until fifty or a hundred years after I’m dead. That having been said let me express my on-going gratitude that, as readers, you have purchased my work and continue to discuss it. I don’t know how many atheistic generations Cerebus will have to be read by before it actually reaches an audience that connects with it in any meaningful way, but of course that’s completely out of my hands.
There were a couple of interesting bits in my interview with Neal Adams coming up in Following Cerebus 9 that confirmed two passages in Genesis 1 for me and I note them in passing in the article and I do see various things that fall into that category in the newspaper and elsewhere but, again, we live in a completely he/she/it context so there’s really no point that I can see in doing anything but making note of it for my own amusement. You’ve got 40 pages of 289-290 which you’ve managed to ignore. To what purpose would I guild my own lily?
Q2. The New Booke of Cerebus is hidden away where it won't be discovered until 2000 years later when the Sanctuary is torn down to build a shopping mall. Since we know Cerebus' ascension took place in 4000BC (because of the Judge's revelation that the moon landing takes place roughly 6000 later (C&S p1202)), this would set the time of discovery at around 2000BC. What is the significance of this date? Are you suggesting that Moses found The NBOC, and correctly interpreted it as the True Word of God? Is there some correlation to the Bell-Beaker culture (2800-1900BC) that overlapped the same area of the real Europe that the fictional Estarcion mimics, and the unspecified cataclysm that sank The God's Fence, split Boreala off the mainland to become England, and raised the land mass of Italy? (i291/TLD p53)
DAVE: My assumption is that everywhere in the universe planets roughly the size of YHWH all enact their various tantrums and plodding resistance to the truth and infantile he/she/itisms in roughly the same way (and for all I know bigger planets are no different in the same way that all he/she/its are the same), so Cerebus’ story could probably have been enacted on any of a trillion times a trillion little blue balls that think they’re God just as there are probably a trillion times a trillion of each of you everywhere in the universe all behaving exactly as you do, each of whom has chosen to turn his/her back on God. Or maybe out of the trillion times a trillions versions of you there might be one or two that are actually God-fearing, but that would surprise me if it was true.
Q3. Can you expand on the nature of The Great Schism (circa 132)? We know it had to do with Cerebus' reaction to being lured into a pro-choice rally and music concert organized by Sheshep (and, presumably, New Joanne) and the subsequent beatings that took place, but was there a greater political (and perhaps military) battle that took place? Or is The Great Schism strictly in reference to Cerebus' divorce from New Joanne, and alienation of his son? (i293/TLD p99)
DAVE: The Great Schism refers to the tactical use of grief/fear by he/she/its to try and seize control and as far as I can see is a universal societal condition as soon as you give he/she/its even incremental access to power. In the context of Cerebus, it had nothing to do with the beatings per se (you betray your he/she/it loyalties in seeing it that way), it had to do with the use that could be made of the beatings politically by New Joanne and all the he/she/its like her. Drama Queens uber alles. In the same way that Guantanamo Bay doesn’t actually bother Democrats but they do see it as the way back into the White House (mistakenly, in my view). It’s the reason that anger has become the only cardinal sin in our society. As long as he/she/its pretend to be fearful of anger and grief stricken by all violence and assert their political view that the only way to move society forward is if no one is allowed to express anger or commit any act of violence then that means the he/she/its have a free ride in whatever direction they choose to go. Of course this only works if there is no actual threat against which it is only sensible to direct anger and violence—in the case of our own world, Islamist extremism. In order to sustain itself as a political movement, he/she/itism in our society needs to convince people that the proper reaction to killing Islamist Muslims who are plotting violence against civilians is grief at their death and/or fear of the people killing them. The proper reaction isn’t grief and/or fear. The proper reaction is relief coupled with determination to kill as many more as it takes until Freedom is the universal condition of man.
Q4. Why has Sheshep suddenly appeared after all these years? Has he inherited Cerebus' alleged "alarm clock when dad is dying" sense? Or has he simply come to gloat over Cerebus' impending demise? (i295)
DAVE: Cerebus, having forgotten everything that had happened, begged God to bring Sheshep back. Since Cerebus had transcribed the Booke which was revealed to him and hidden it he was, at that point, completely useless and bringing Sheshep back was a good a way as any of killing someone who was and had been that useless for that many years and who had let God down that badly.
(Note: Moved Question #5 to issue 300's page.)