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Church and State II (Cerebus, #4)
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Church and State II (Cerebus #4)

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  1,056 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Reprinting Cerebus Issues 81-111

Church and State, Volume II, is the second part of a story that exists as a whole and as part three of the Cerebus the Aardvark series. Many consider this volume to be Dave Sim and background artist Gerhard's best visual work to date.

The action picks up right after the cliffhanger at the end of part one of Church and State. Cerebus attempt

Unknown Binding, 630 pages
Published October 15th 2008 by Aardvark Vanaheim (first published July 1988)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 04, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing
Short review - it's amazing. This is the longest sub-story in the whole Cerebus project (unless you count Mothers & Daughters as one book instead of four). It starts with Cerebus as houseguest and ends with, well, everything.

I mentioned in my High Society review that a lot of core Cerebus was still waiting to be introduced at that book's end. This is where it all happens. We finally see the military force of the matriarchal Cirinists, and learn exactly what Cirin is (ahem). Cerebus' magical
Mar 29, 2008 Tony rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: graphic novel fans
This novel completes the Cerebus-as-Pope story arc set out in the first C&S. The first half found Cerebus amassing all of the gold in Iest, abusing his power, killing several hundred people, and then getting booted to the lower city.

C&S II follows Cerebus as he attempts to regain power.

I liked this novel a lot - but not quite as much as Society or C&S I. It's not entirely fair to judge it on its own, as both Church and States are the same story, divided for the sake of space and eco
Jul 25, 2011 Hamish rated it really liked it
I feel like I'm becoming a broken record with my Cerebus reviews (I'm rereading the whole thing and it's been a few years since I last looked at them). Same complaints as with past volumes: too decompressed, lack of needed explanations, plot developments that don't really make a lot of sense (seriously, how did the artist, who was super good-natured and we last saw doing sketches at a convention turn into an evil megalomaniac with his head stitched to man-thing and swamp thing parodies?).

That sa
Sep 13, 2015 Luc rated it really liked it
At the end of this book, Dave sim writes: "Much of what has been written about Dave Sim remains true today". Looking back, I notice that I wrote that he is an asshat. Wouldn't you know it? It still holds true!

So I have mixed feelings about this book. Parts of it are just weird (like the "Utter Nonsense" issue) and all the ascenscion stuff is a little too metaphysical for my taste. The Judge characters draws some of Sim's world origin and lays the groundwork for what will reveal to a controversia
Jan 28, 2009 Felix rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Ok, phew, I finished this massive, impossibly long story-arc stretched well over a thousand pages and contained in two weighty volumes. Was it worth it? Yes definitely! Wonderful artwork, well-written dialogues and a well-balanced mixture of slapstick-comedy and thought-provoking 'serious' stuff make it a joy to follow Cerebus' rise and fall as he becomes first pope of the Eastern division of the church of Tarim and then, after his opponent, the pontiff of the Western church, has been assassinat ...more
Feb 17, 2008 The_Mad_Swede rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, sim-dave, 2008
Collecting issues # 81–111 of Dave Sim's 300 issues limited series Cerebus the Aardvark and being the first half of the Church & State story arc, this volume picks up right after the previous one, and in effect forms one big book (even the pagination continues from the previous volume, and the title is of course only Church & State volume II unlike the later multi-volumes story arc Mothers & Daughters). As such it to at least some degree makes little sense reviewing this item separat ...more
Elizabeth Wallace
May 17, 2008 Elizabeth Wallace rated it it was amazing
As with many David Sim books, I don't always know what's going on. And towards the end of the series he got crazy. (Not "fun and interestingly weird" crazy, but "Good holy god what the hell is he talking about and why is he not locked up someplace" crazy.) But this early on in the series he was in his prime; great artwork, fantastic storylines, and enough creepy images to make things interesting.

You'll want to start with the first book, of course, if you want to have any hope of knowing what's
Andrew S  Taylor
Nov 06, 2009 Andrew S Taylor rated it it was amazing
Church & State raises the watermark even higher from the formidable accomplishments of High Society. In addition to satirizing politics and religion, Sim digs deeper into philosophy and theology, playing with elements of fable. And yet, he somehow never forgets to be funny and entertaining. I read part II of C&S almost in one sitting. I could not put it down. I was literally inhabiting that world to the exclusion of all else. By now, it is clear that Sim is something of a questing vision ...more
Casey Hansen
Nov 03, 2012 Casey Hansen rated it really liked it
For me this was the best Cerebus book so far, less characters to keep track of and more plot combined with wonderful art. It always amazes me how Sim refuses to deviate from the character of Cerebus no matter how unlikeable he becomes, his "second Marriage" goes to show that Cerebus is still very selfish and does not care about society or its morals. This book was a great end to the overall story started in High Society, recommend reading at least Church ans State Vol 1 before this, High Society ...more
I started to find that the 'note from the editor' was more interesting than the comic itself. Sim has rants about women, non-smokers...

Timothy Boyd
May 11, 2015 Timothy Boyd rated it it was amazing
Fantastic fantasy/comedy comic. Basically a parody on Conan and many other fantasy characters. Highly Recommended
Jan 29, 2017 John rated it it was amazing
This book continues and completes the story startef in C & S volume 1.
The artwork and comedy are sharp as ever but there is a darker edge to the story's conclusion and events which foreshadow big changes in the tone and philosophy of the book.
There is still much to love about thr book and Cerebus remains interesting, but this is probably the last truely great book of the series.
Sean Samonas
Mar 03, 2013 Sean Samonas rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tony Calder
Feb 05, 2017 Tony Calder rated it liked it
This brings to an end the Church and State storyline, which occupied about 5 years of the original run of Cerebus. Artistically, Dave Sim maintained a consistently high quality, although he did bring on Gerhard to do the artwork on the backgrounds - and he did a fine job.

Storywise, this volume has its ups and downs. There are some excellent comic moments - particularly the parody of Mick and Keef - but the are times when the story becomes overly esoteric and, frankly, almost impossible to fully
Mar 02, 2008 Jason rated it liked it
i'm dropping this volume's rating from 5 stars to 3 because it was so stinking confusing!...
from the very first pages, which pick up the much more coherent story from volume 3, it just lost me completely...
there were moments of comedy involving mick and keith, and lord julius, that i really enjoyed and frequently laughed out loud at, but for the most part i just found myself scratching my head in confusion...
maybe i'm not sharp enough to pick up on the symbolism or something...
but the art was su
Jul 16, 2008 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommended
The second part of the coolest story written in comics (in my opinion). I read a lot of this when I was in high school and listened to a lot of Pink Floyd. When I read these stories again, there is a constant Wish You Were Here soundtrack in the back of my mind. Suffice it to say, I didn't get laid much in high school.
Apr 01, 2011 Clark rated it it was amazing
Cerebus the story climaxes here, and while there are quite a few excellent moments in subsequent volumes (along with derailments that leave many readers frustrated) nothing quite compares to the second half of this Church and State volume 2. I have great fondness for this particular storyline because it was the one that opened my eyes to the power of the comic medium.
Kyle Burley
Oct 05, 2012 Kyle Burley rated it it was amazing
As exciting and unpredictable as I remember. The conclusion of "Church and State", the most epic and, for many, the greatest Cerebus story arc (although I prefer "High Society" and "Jaka's Story"). It takes a weird turn in the last third that, for better and worse, sets the tone for much of the remaining series.
Mar 22, 2007 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Part two of this epic plot, Sims adds Gerhard to his artistic team, creating the longest lasting writer-artist team in the history of comics. Gerhard's backgrounds and architecture is simply stunning, and Sims is at the top of his form. This is the best the comic will get, at least in terms of epic story-telling.
Jan 03, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Dazzling! Moving! Charming! Funny! Obnoxious! Dave Sim hits his absolute zenith with this collection. Essential reading, though you really do have to slog through the first three volumes to fully comprehend what's going on...
Jul 09, 2011 Nfpendleton rated it it was amazing
Murder, intrigue, great characters, intense explosions of violence, and all with a vein of silliness throughout. A graphic storytelling high water mark. Sim & Ger are doing things here not done in comics before or since (unless you include the later shorter novella Jaka's Story).
Benjamin Kahn
Mar 03, 2013 Benjamin Kahn rated it really liked it
I liked Church and State, but I didn't think it was as strong as High Society. Big chunks of the book screamed filler - Cerebus has a cold comes to mind particularly. But still, there was a lot of good stuff in both volumes.
Oct 14, 2014 Osvaldo rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics-related
Even worse - much worse - than book I.

Still visually interesting, perhaps even more so - but ultimately boring and has less going on then even vapid superhero comics that at least have decades of intertextuality going for them.
Jul 08, 2014 Kaethe rated it liked it
Can't remember a thing, except I enjoyed it well enough.
Ben Schaffer
Nov 30, 2014 Ben Schaffer rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
The on-going of the very humorous machinations of politics and politicians. ...and the people who buzz around them like flies trying to get stuff.
Also a funny take on fans and conventions.
Dec 24, 2012 Steven rated it liked it
This may have been Dave Sim at the height of his powers - beautiful artwork, intriguing, esoteric writing.
Dec 30, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
Even better art than the previous volume, but the text has become even more self-indulgent. I think I'll quit reading this series - I've heard this tendency becomes even worse.
Sep 14, 2007 Mungo rated it it was amazing
As much as High Society kicks ass, Church and State will wreck you. Fantastic!!!
Jan 01, 2016 Alejo rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
There were some captivating and intriguing twists..... but too mucho pseudo-philosophical mumbo-jumbo to be taken seriousle. Weird for weirdness sake.
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David Victor Sim is a Canadian comic book writer and artist, best known as the creator of Cerebus the Aardvark.
More about Dave Sim...

Other Books in the Series

Cerebus (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Cerebus (Cerebus, #1)
  • High Society (Cerebus, #2)
  • Church and State I (Cerebus, #3)
  • Jaka's Story (Cerebus, #5)
  • Melmoth (Cerebus, #6)
  • Flight (Cerebus, #7)
  • Women (Cerebus, #8)
  • Reads (Cerebus, #9)
  • Minds (Cerebus, #10)
  • Guys (Cerebus, #11)

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