Where was I?
Oh yes. Despite the above, I returned a call from my mum. Wouldn't have in this dour mood, but she sounded distraught. As is so often the case, I mis-read her tone; she was just touching base. So we talked for a while, though I was too distracted to be especially entertaining.
At some point, we got to talking about my scholastic history, and she told me that I've done quite well for myself, considering that I "barely graduated high-school."
"Barely graduate?" I replied, wondering if the old lady is going senile. "You know I didn't graduate from high-school! The last year of schooling I actually finished was Grade 8."
"Oh," she said, "that's right, isn't it? Well, you've done really well, haven't you?"
Maybe I should have left her with the unshattered delusion.
I've been meaning to write this rant for months (and suddenly fear I may already have done so; well, hell: it's summer, so consider it a re-run), but yesterday's purchace of Dave Sim's The Last Day, the final collection of Cerebus, has reinstilled that fervor.
For those who don't know, Cerebus is was a completely independent comic, written, drawn and published by Kitchener's Dave Sim. He started it in 1977 and shortly thereafter declared it would end with the 300th issue - a 6,000 page graphic novel.
With very few lapses, he was good to his word, self-publishing a monthly comic and making himself a bit of a hero in my eyes for doing so - at one time, DC Comics offerred him a "6-figure" contract for the right to reprint, it colour. Sim turned them down; it was meant to be in black-and-white, he said and that was that. (Sim has also turned into a religious, male version of Ayn Rand, but that's an entirely different story, which I may go into at a later date - and likely in a different place.)
I first stumbled across it with issue #51, if memory serves, and was instantly hooked. I stayed with the book for the rest of its run, until, over the past few years, it was the only comic I bought on a regular basis.
Did I say I stuck with it to the end? Actually, I stuck with it until issue #299.
By the time #300 came out, I had long since lost the habit of weekly visits to the Beguiling and so the final issue had been out for a couple of weeks when I next made it in to see what was new.
But Cerebus #300 was sold out. Gone. Were they going to order any more? They were going to try, but didn't sound optimistic. I tried other stores, but no one had it in stock. A book that had, at its commercial peak sold over 25,000 copies a month, but that had dwindled to under 10,000 as it became more arcane (and as Sim's lunatic mysogyny became - in its editorial pages - after more fanatical) was suddenly hot.
It seems that every geek with a mylar bags overflowing his closet had to have the collectible final issue, never mind that the mother-fuckers never intended to read the god-damned thing.
Scalpers and collectors: If they're still at it once their 16, line 'em up, then mow 'em down. The world would be much better off without them.
And so, rather than spending 5 bucks on issue #300, yesterday I found myself spending 30bucks on a collections - of which I have every chapter but one.
All right, that's it. I was going to do a photo-post today, but I think I'll just take a bath.