Cerebus 2: High SocietyHigh Society, the second book in Dave Sim's Cerebus series, is a fantastic story of political intrigue. We follow Cerebus as he climbs the ladder of political power, aided and abetted by Astoria, who attempts to manipulate Cerebus to her own ends. Naturally Cerebus' isn't really interested in power but Astoria tells him that it is usually accompanied by vast wealth, which is more than enough to persuade him to do whatever she wants. In turn, Astoria uses him to line her own coffers and become the power behind the throne.
The artwork is at its best when Sim eliminates backgrounds completely and focuses on Cerebus and the people around him. In Cerebus' bedroom, where much of the 'action' takes place, we see little more than the characters' expressive faces on a black background. This is no bad thing, as Cerebus' varied expressions could virtually carry the story without the need for any words.
One of the best episodes is an election special, after Cerebus has spent several chapters campaigning to win support of his various constituents. It's almost as exciting as watching the real thing, as the votes from different areas roll in and you witness the outcome of Cerebus' hard fought campaign.
By the end of this book there's no doubting that Cerebus is no longer the Conan pastiche he started out as, but a timeless piece of political satire. Politics is a universal theme and, as long as there are politicians and elections, this book will remain relevant. It is undoubtedly a classic of the medium and a perfect example of how well comics can handle complex plots and satirical humour. Wonderful.
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Cerebus 3: Church & State Volume 1