- Paperback: 500 pages
- Publisher: Aardvark-Vanheim; Reissue edition (November 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0919359078
- ISBN-13: 978-0919359079
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.2 x 10.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
High Society (Cerebus, Volume 2) Paperback – November 1, 1994
See the Best Books of 2017
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Volume two of the Cerebus the Aardvark series, High Society, is the beginning of the main Cerebus story line and one of the finest graphic novels ever published. If you have to start from the very beginning, you'll need the first volume, Cerebus, but if you don't mind a modicum of confusion, this is a much more satisfying place to begin. The artwork is much improved and the level of humor reaches its high point in the series to date. (Unkind critics point to High Society as the older, funnier book of the Cerebus series.)
Parliamentary politics were never so much fun as they are in the Prime Minister election of 1414. Lord Julius and the mysterious Astoria battle for control of the city-state Iest with Cerebus as their unwitting pawn. Goats, bunny sketches, the Regency Elf, and Moon Roach join the pandemonium, helping to set the stage for things to come. High Society is a home run; an instant classic both as a stand-alone volume and in the context of the rest of the series. Beware though, the ending dovetails directly into Church and State; You may want to grab that volume as well, because once you start the series, the story of Cerebus gets increasingly harder to put down.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
That would be Lord Julius, one of several key characters in "High Society" who is introduced during the first two years of the title, along with the Roach, the would-be superhero that Sim would transform into a parody of whichever Marvel character was the current flavor of the month. Then there is Jaka, the dancer Cerebus first met in a tavern in Beduin. These three characters represent three major impulses in Sim's work. Lord Julius represents the inclusion of real characters into the world of Cerebus, which would eventually include the likes of Mick Jagger and Oscar Wilde. What began as a sort of simple joke (Groucho popping up is always going to be funny), became serious when the characters started symbolizing the reality of their real world counterparts. The Roach symbolizes Sim's commentary on the comic book business, which for me is the weakest of the three impulses. The whole Petuniacon takeover on a comic book convention is funny at face value, but it detracts a bit from the political satire that is at the heart of "High Society." Then there is Jaka.
It is hardly surprising that the original characters created by Sims would become the most important. In "High Society" this means not only Jaka but also Astoria and the Regency Elf. The Roach can move on to become first the Moon Roach and then Sergeant Preston of the Royal Mounted Iestan Police, and you can throw in the brothers Dirty Fleagle and Dirty Drew McGrew, but they are mere comic relief while the trio of feminine figures are at the heart of the story. Suddenly we have moved well beyond a funny animal to larger issues such as politics and gender (with religion and creativity to come in future novels).
Cerebus shows up in Iest at the Regency Hotel carrying with him the last few pieces of loot he has acquired on his travels. Expecting to be denied admittance, Cerebus is surprised when he is given free lodgings and food. Suddenly people are paying him bribes to just to remember the name of a company that makes gold-plated streetlamps when he talks to Lord Julius. From Cerebus the Aardvark to Cerebus the Barbarian we now have Cerebus the Lobbyist. Actually, it seems Cerebus is now a ranking diplomatic representative of a southern city-state and if you think the aardvark is in over his head, wait until Astoria shows up and starts dispensing political advice. More importantly, wait until Cerebus runs against a goat for the office of Prime Minister, because that is when "High Society" shifts into high gear, even as Iestan society falls apart.
That is also the point where "Cerebus" gets told sideways, starting in issue #44 "The Deciding Vote." I highlight that particular issue because it includes my all-time favorite page by Dave Sim, which would be page 383. In several of the preceding pages Sim shows Cerebus and another character traveling across a snowy landscape. What he was doing was drawing the landscape, dividing the drawing into vertical panels, with Cerebus and his companion shown in each panel making their way along. But on my favorite page on the dozen pages the first eight include the exact same drawing, with the last two being identical. What changes is the sound of Cerebus walking away on snowshoes ("WUFFA wuffa") and walking back ("wuffa WUFFA"). The page represents one of Sim's best jokes ever and whenever I have had occasion to lecture on comic book art I have always shown these pages along with those in one of Frank Miller's "Daredevil" comics when he retells the character's origin and has a line representing the Fixer's heartbeat indicating a heart attack going across the panels of DD chasing the man down.
"High Society" is my favorite Cerebus novel, although it is neither as ambitious as "Church and State" nor as polished as "Mothers and Daughters." But the impression it made when it was clear that Sim was now working the deep end of the poem has stayed with me and I do have an inherent love of political satire. Besides, Cerebus' reconciliation with Jaka is more touching than their poignant parting, the Regency Elf shakes up things nicely at inopportune times, and I love liberty as much as the next person raised in a free democratic society. Still, more scenes with Lord Julius would have been nice, especially if Astoria is involved. After this novel Gerhard starts doing backgrounds for Sim and the look of "Cerebus" changes dramatically (Gerhard did the cover, so if you compare that to the first splash page inside you can see how much of a difference this will make for the rest of the 300 issues of "Cerebus").
There's many works you can't go back and read. You remember them so fondly but when you go back and review them 20 years later, you realize that they only spoke to you THEN and now your tastes have matured. High Society is still fantastic. I had purchased it maybe a year ago and I'm re-reading it again.
The insights are deep. The sarcasm is cutting. The artwork is great.
Otherwise the book was in good condition and arrived on time.