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Reads (Cerebus #9)

3.05  ·  Rating details ·  479 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Reprinting Cerebus Issues 175-186

The ninth volume of the Cerebus the Aardvark series, Reads, is the penultimate chapter of the larger Mothers and Daughters story. This is one of the most powerful editions in the series and one of the most ambitious narratives that Dave Sim has ever attempted.

In addition, Reads is the most controversial volume of the Cerebus series to date

Paperback, 247 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Aardvark-Vanaheim Inc.
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Collecting issues # 175–186 of Dave Sim's 300 issues limited series Cerebus the Aardvark and being the third part of four in the Mothers & Daughters story arc, I find this volume to be the weakest link in the story so far, but also the hardest one to in any satisfying way rate (which is why I have left it unrated). In order to explain, one should first state that Reads can be divided into three separate stories and two halves.

To be more precise, the first six of the collected issues (# 175–1
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
Again, this is a tough one to rate, since there are some parts that are okay, some that are good and some that hit rock bottom. The pictorial sequences that show Cerebus and Cirin in a bloody close-quarters sword-and-fists fight are as artistically convincing as ever even though the pacing is so extremely slow-motion that it runs the risk of no longer being able to captivate the reader's interest. Still, in the light of the second half of the text-only passages the word "mother-complex" springs ...more
Killian Walsh
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
It's rare to experience such a meticulously composed and engaging artistic statement whose sole purpose is defame women, and strongly advocate for a misogynist worldview.

Sim comes off as exceptionally bitter, lonely, and wounded, lashing out at the world when the problem very much seems to be with him.

It's impossible to separate the art and artist with this one, and even for all the wonderful things Reads has to say about the creative process, about life and love, it is ultimately weakened by th
Sep 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
I'm going to get a little pretentious for a second and discuss my opinion on art (feel free to skip this paragraph). I think the point of any art form (music, lit, comics, film, painting, whatever) is to provide aesthetic pleasure. Whether it accomplishes this by simply being beautiful, by making you feel something intensely, or just teasing your brain in a novel or interesting manner, it's doing its job correctly. I don't think, however, that art is there to make a Point (like maybe "capitalism ...more
Rex Hurst
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Collecting issues 175-186 of the series, it is the third volume in the Mothers and Daughters arc. This volume breaks down into three sections: the one everyone cares about, the confrontation between Cerebus, Astoria, Cirin, and Po; and the other two which many many people hated. But we're going to cover them anyway.

Of the four characters Po takes the center stage, explaining that his self-exile is due to the “magnifier” ability of the Aardvark mutation. Things happen around an aardvark that it
Christian Lipski
Jun 05, 2008 rated it liked it
The book I see as being more or less the "end" of Cerebus. From this point, the storyline was no longer about terrestrial things, about political struggle for control of Iest, or about Cerebus' quest for power. To bastardize the poet, the world ended not with a bang, but with four bangs. After this, the series' focus is split between Sim's twin masters: The Evil Female Void & God.

Reads' content is divided between pages of traditional comic content (the Cerebus storyline) and text. The text i
May 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
I picked up Cerebus on a whim some months ago. The first eight volumes were all outrageous in various ways, most of them strangely appealing or highly original, if not both. The ninth volume, Reads, is unevenly divided between the continuing story of Cerebus and two text-only works of metafiction.

Even if I was compelled to add my voice to the legions of others complaining about the second metafiction's notorious misogyny, I could not do so in fairness, because I didn't even finish it. Before I
Sep 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
I have read this book a bunch of times but I usually skipped the voluminous text version. In the prologue Dave Sim says the text has little bearing on the Cerebus storyline and the few times I tried to read it, I found it pretty boring. This time, though I stuck with and boy howdy did it make an impression.

First, let's review the "comic" part. If you just stick to the comic, this could be a 3 star review of a frustratingly short addition to the Cerebus story.

However, if you read the "novelly" bi
Glen Engel-Cox
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
This collected volume of the Cerebus comic is not for the uninitiated. Collecting as it does issues from the late 100s, it requires a knowledge of a large majority of the previously published issues or volumes. Cerebus itself is not necessarily enjoyable by those without some familiarity with its peer comics, fantasy novels by Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, the Marx brothers' films, and the writings and lives of Oscar Wilde, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards, to enumerate only some of its ...more
Ed Erwin
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
Parts of this totally failed to work for me, but I enjoyed other parts well enough to redeem the whole.

The illustrated parts are good, but sadly brief.

The text is in two parts, both metafictional, placing a version of the author into his own work. Part one stars Victor Reid and is a predictable story of an artist learning to deal with fame and money and to pander to his audience and satisfy his publisher. I enjoyed that, even though it is predictable and the authorial voice sounded almost the sa
Robert Hudder
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
A reckoning of sorts by Dave Sim. If you read Cerebus and noted the misogyny and wondered about the author and where this was all coming from, then this is the book that gets at the explanation. I feel deeply unsatisfied with the author's worldview. Sometimes, you read things or listen to things (Newstalk 1010) to try to understand the other side or to get yourself riled up. Cerebus, in turns, makes me question myself, argue and just slam the book in repudiation. This is not a bad thing. I like ...more
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Well, hey. This volume is not nearly as bad as I remembered. It's really four separate stories— two in prose form and two in sequential art— and only one is terrible.

There's a great story about the encounter between the three aardvarks and Astoria. Suenteus Po and Astoria get some of their best moments to this point.

There's a decent, beautifully drawn story about Cerebus and Cirin that starts out with an absolutely brutal, positively Tarantino-esque melee before leading onward and out, into the
Cyril Anderson
I'll simply say that the story of Mr. Reid annoyed me so much that I ended up not even reading it after two pages. It felt a little stupid, not just because of the bashing of females, simply because of the character of Mr. Reid was enough to stop me. However, I was pleased that (view spoiler)

I also declare that (view spoiler)
Sep 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Ever since Church & State it seemed that Sim was losing interest in Cerebus and the stories became more tedious and meandering as the issues wore on. I still collected every issue, hoping that the main character, Cerebus, would become the main character again and that the stories would pick up pace. However, Reads was the final nail in the coffin. He just started to seem to go off the deep end not only in the story but in the letters as well. Probably too much time spent alone at the drawing ...more
Emiliano Carrasco
Muy bien. Creo que este es el único libro de la serie de Cerebus que no pretendo volver a leer completo.
La parte escrita está muy bien, al menos durante más de la mitad, pero cuando el autor se pone a explicar sus puntos de vistas en lo que respecta a las mujeres es cuando todo lo bueno del libro se viene abajo.

Los dibujos están de poca madre lo mismo que la historia principal, como en todos los libros de Cerebus, pero son las opiniones del autor las que no me agradaron y por las cuales la cali
Casey Hansen
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is the book that has made me start to dislike this series. I have read a lot of reviews on Cerebus that states that they cannot stand the egotistical autobiographical nature of the series after High Society but it has never really bothered my until this book. I struggled to read the test sections and initially I thought it was kinda cool to mix his life into the series as I recognized a lot of the names he used, but then it got very boring and to centralized to himself to have any impact on ...more
Sean Samonas
Mar 03, 2013 rated it did not like it
Oh boy. Reads. This is it. Again, we see that Dave completely throws the plot and story away so he can write page after page of utter misogynistic nonsense to make his points. If you were to remove all of the utter tripe from this book, it would be maybe a quarter of its size. And that is being nice.

If you haven't figured it out by now, Dave really doesn't like women. This book takes many weird twists and turns and unfortunately is necessary to read for the over-arcing plot. My recommendation is
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
You have to give Sim points for nerve and for pushing the bounds. Comics/prose satire/prose pseudo-autobiography-cum-anti-feminist essay, all mixed with a remarkably high degree of self-reflexivity (and if truth be told self-importance), in a work that is innovative and frequently fascinating and engaging but ultimately not particularly cohesive.
Mar 22, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The low point in the series, in my opinion. Apparently upset that not enough readers had left when he decided to cut out plots, Sims brings his mysogony to a full boil by alternating pages of evil, controlling women with excerpts from a book about how all women are evil, men destroying, emotional, power-sucking black-holes. In as many words.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Yeah, so this is the one with the misogyny. The real reason for the low number of stars is that the story basically stops for a couple hundred pages of unrelated and uninteresting prose. The half of the book that's a fight between Cerebus and Cirin is cool; the half that's not isn't even a "tangent"-- it's something else entirely, and something lame at that.
This is really the problematic stretch of the series; it has some of its best moments and some of its worst. I've heard it suggested that one should skip the text portions and just read the comic parts. I can't quite recommend that wholeheartedly-- it would make for an incomplete work, but perhaps an incomplete work that one could be more comfortable with.
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
This one is a clunker--just a tedious fight scene interspersed with long autobiographical text passages that descend into a very odd argument that a female emotion principle is dominating a (better) male rational principle in our time (and perhaps most of human history).
Apr 20, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who can get past the fact that Sim's a hateful, gibbering lunatic (I just can't)
Genius is wasted on the hateful.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
this gets a bit tedious at times.
Ben Schaffer
Nov 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Sim lost all momentum and seemingly all interest in his own fine story here and retreated from it in cowardly fashion. He lost my interest with an arc that was even more tedious than Melmoth.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Two monologues: one about sexuality the other about gender and reading. As always good ideas bogged down by indulgence.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
the hinges are broken. couldn't read the block text.
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David Victor Sim is a Canadian comic book, artist and publisher, best known as the creator of Cerebus the Aardvark.
More about Dave Sim

Other Books in the Series

Cerebus (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Cerebus (Cerebus, #1)
  • High Society (Cerebus, #2)
  • Church and State I (Cerebus, #3)
  • Church and State II (Cerebus, #4)
  • Jaka's Story (Cerebus, #5)
  • Melmoth (Cerebus, #6)
  • Flight (Cerebus, #7)
  • Women (Cerebus, #8)
  • Minds (Cerebus, #10)
  • Guys (Cerebus, #11)

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