Monday, June 14, 2004

Animal attraction: (click-through ad required) examines the end of an era for funny-animal comics, symbolized by the final issues of Cerebus and Bone:

"Bone and Cerebus share superficial similarities. They're both drawn in black-and-white and self-published by their creators. In both, quirky, anthropomorphic beings shed light on mankind's foibles and virtues. Both books extend their lives outside the comic shops through hefty, trade-paperback reprint volumes available at bookstore super chains. The 16th and last Cerebus collection, 'The Last Day,' chronicles the aardvark's final hours and publishes this month, while Smith will sandwich all 1,300 pages of Bone between two covers in a volume due to publish in July.

"But beneath the surface, Bone and Cerebus prove to be so different, they're almost like photographic negatives of each other. Bone celebrates optimism and narrative simplicity, while Cerebus embraces cynicism and experimentation worthy of a mad scientist. Sim and Smith started as comrades in arms, yet their relationship soured into one of the industry's strangest feuds. Bone and Cerebus mark opposite ends of the comic-book spectrum and you can place virtually all modern graphic novels somewhere between the two -- even though their heroes aren't technically human."