After the aardvark

Because the guys at my local comic shop (Kingdom Comics) are the coolest in the world, I recently acquired an advance copy of Dave Sim’s latest title, Glamourpuss. And because they are super-cool, I also got an advance copy of his upcoming graphic novel/one-shot, Judenhass. To top it all off, I recently scored some Cerebus issues I am missing on Ebay, bringing me to lacking only about 20 issues of the entire 300-issueglamourpuss epic.

I realize that Sim himself is a sort of a polarizing individual within a niche group of comic readers; some think he’s a misogynist, some think he’s a genius, and others just know he’s that guy who draws that aardvark that appeared in one issue of Spawn. I’m of the “he’s a genius” crowd, and both of these titles only confirm it (if there was any doubt after Cerebus, which in my opinion is one of the single most important works of the comics medium – I’ll save that rant for another day though). But even those that might have a bitter taste in their mouth concerning Sim will have to admit Glamourpuss is a unique, informative read. While my description doesn’t do it justice, basically the comic is pictures of girls, with dialogue consisting of very informative meditations on different important and influential comic artists. It’s very refreshing, and a unique reading experience.

Judenhass is just as unique, though a completely different type of work. The art is thick with harrowing images of Jews in concentration camps, juxtaposed with all sorts of historic figures who have contributed to a literature of hatred. While it’s not as groundbreaking or essential as Maus, it achieved, and far exceeded, Sim’s goal. According to the inside cover, he was asked by someone to do a comic that was self-contained, something that would demonstrate the potential of the medium that virtually anyone could pick up, all in one single book. So he did it, and he did it well. I really have to applaud Sim not just for these books alone, but for his consideration of the market they are going to be sold in. Judenhass is only going to be $4.00, which is a steal, especially considering he self-publishes, and big boys like Marvel and DC charge between $3.99 – 4.99, and up, for mere annuals or anything bigger than the standard size comic. My advice is to pick it up – it’s worth it, if even to just have lying around so you can hand it to someone who isn’t yet a true believer in the comics medium.

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