Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sane As it Ever Was

Stunning title, quite appropriate and from one of my favourite Talking Heads songs. I'm not sure if Dave liked Talking Heads, the only musician I know he truly loved was Keith 'Keef' Richards from the Rolling Stones.

This chapter opens almost like a movie. The first three panels show a rain covered Iest, they read panel by panel: AARDVARK-VANAHEIM PRESENTS CEREBUS in and then the 3 panels on the next page have the title and the credits. This may not have been Gerhard's first issue, but it was the first one he was credited in. The first 3 pages showcase Gerhard's talents, they're all background. Cerebus has entered a seemingly endless underground passage that has tortured demonic faces decorating it's length.

Cerebus is toiling up the steps, puffing and panting and continually reminding himself not to get mad at an elf. We all remember how well that worked out last time.

The Elf's directions to get Cerebus into The Regency are actually very amusing, she keeps leaving out little details about various boobytraps until it's too late. By the time Cerebus finally gets into the hotel he has tripped over an uneven stone, fallen through a trap door onto the stone floor, smacked himself in the snout with a loose floorboard and fallen down the stairs due to hinged steps.

Cerebus is overheard by an obese chambermaid before he can get into the room where The Elf is waiting for him. The conversation with The Elf is the usual hilarious nonsense. The Elf urges Cerebus to stop doing whatever he's doing, he can do whatever he wants as long as he stops doing what he's doing at the moment. It probably doesn't make sense to anyone other than The Elf.

The maid peeks through a keyhole and this is the first indication the reader gets that things are not as they seem. She can see Cerebus, but not The Elf. Although The Elf can be invisible when she wants (she was seen by Blakely) there is no reason for her to be so at this point. The maid freaks out at the fact that Most Holy is on the premises.

The Elf tells Cerebus that because he is Most Holy and what he says is true then if he keeps insisting that Tarim will bring about the end of the world in 5 days unless he Most Holy is given all the gold in Iest then the world will end in 5 days, because there is a small amount of gold buried under rocks where no one can get at it. Cerebus tells the concerned Elf that he'll say it was all a joke and leaves with her asking him to come back and play wickets with her when the weather is warmer.

I was both right and wrong when I thought the light meant the return of The Elf. The Elf that Cerebus has just spoken to would appear to be a false Elf who was trying to trick Cerebus for reasons we do not yet know.

An encounter with the maid at the end of the chapter indicates that Cerebus did not believe the false Elf and is still going after the gold.

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