A little fancier filler copy than a Cerebus Biweekly.

§ September 21st, 2020 § Filed under cerebus § 8 Comments

Well, I sorta started what I threatened to do here, picking up pre-#26 issues of Dave Sim’s Cerebus for cheap off the eBays. Now, most of them are reasonably priced, at least for my purposes, but the lower numbers, your 1 through 3s or so, are still commanding higher prices. I figured maybe someday those issues would come through the shop and I could buy them then, but otherwise, unless some amazing bargain breaks out, I’ll have to do without.

Well, enter Kickstarter and a new reprint of #1. I figure I’d live if my hopefully someday-complete run of the Cerebus comic books had this version of the first issue. Which isn’t to say I still wouldn’t be willing to get my mitts on one of the original #1s (and not one of the bootlegs…more on that in a moment).

“So what all did you get in said Kickstarter?” you’re probably not asking, but don’t worry, I’m going to show you anyway.

First off is ye olde comic book itself:

with a platinum-colored metallic ink on the cover, instead of red. It contains all the material from the original, but plenty of extras aside, such as promotional art, sketches, period ads for the book, etc. Of note is two pages of storytelling from the original comic redrawn in his modern style by Sim…or as modern as it was in 2010 when those pages were drawn.

On the back cover is where Dave handsigned each copy:

…and that this is #751 of an 800-copy run.

Along with the comic were a small pile of extras, including trading cards, a pretty swell-looking postcard, a sticker, and a bookmark:

I also received Cerebus The Sketchbook, which is, yes, entirely blank:

…with a request from Dave on the inside front cover to send copies of any drawings one might get in this booklet of other cartoonists’s rendition of Cerebus. I don’t have any plans of attending conventions anytime soon…well, yeah, okay, nobody with any sense of self-preservation does, but you know what I mean. So I guess I’ll have to use this to draw my own Cerebus comic. “The Adventures of Cerebus and His Best Pal Spike Merling,” I’ll call it.

Now this next item is pretty cool:

It’s a collection of newspaper and ‘zine articles, and in-house memos/notes, and, as promised in its title, a straight-up history of the counterfeit Cerebus #1s that got dumped on the market a few years after the original’s release in 1977.

Much appreciated is the detail that’s gone into in regards to determining whether that Cerebus #1 you’re looking at is the original or one of the copies:

…which is something I was never quite sure about, to be honest. Once, at the previous place of employment, we actually had an original and a counterfeit #1 in the store at the same time, and I’m pretty sure then I was able to look at them both and see the differences. But if I were, like, handed just one or the other and had to determine which version it was, I might have been stuck. BUT NO LONGER thanks to this handy guide.

I forgot to note that the print quality of all these items is excellent…the new edition of #1 is a thick comic, solidly built and with the crisp newly-scanned artwork they’ve been using in the remastered “phone book” trade paperbacks. I’ve been in the process of slowly converting large chunks of my collection into sellable stock for the store, but some things I’m not letting go. My run of Cerebus is one of them, and I’m pleased to have these as part of it.

Now hopefully #2 and #3 will get the same treatment so I can stop hunting eBay for copies that aren’t hundreds of dollars.

8 Responses to “A little fancier filler copy than a Cerebus Biweekly.”

  • Brent Keane says:

    All of which reminds me, I’ve a signed copy of Spawn no. 10 by Sim in my longboxes somewhere…

  • philfromgermany says:

    Those dots look awfully similar to me.

  • Mike Loughlin says:

    I find it funny that the two most popular aardvarks in fiction, Cerebus and children’s books & tv mainstay Arthur, started out with long noses but had their snouts shortened soon after.

  • John Lancaster says:

    According to the tracking I should be getting my box in the mail tomorrow – Yeah! Now I’ll have 5 copies of this issue. I paid $50 (I think?) in about 1980 for my real #1 at Chicago ComiCon and around the early 90’s had a fake one come through the shop I worked at and couldn’t pass it up. I ended up getting the deal with all 3 versions on the Kickstarter. I better be careful, I may start amassing these to Spitfire and the Troubleshooters levels.

  • ExistentialMan says:

    Hey Mike! You should draw a sketch of a capybara-as-Cerebus in the sketchbook and send it off to Dave!

  • Snark Shark says:

    “So I guess I’ll have to use this to draw my own Cerebus comic. “The Adventures of Cerebus and His Best Pal Spike Merling,””

    But NOT a Cerebus & Swamp Thing team-up???

    “counterfeit Cerebus #1s”

    Do they know who actually MADE those things?

    “is the original or one of the copies”

    I can tell them apart- ONLY because it’s a side-by-side comparison!

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    Mike Loughlin, you raise an interesting (I hope) question: Is Cerebus indeed one of the two most popular aardvarks in fiction?

    We can all agree that Arthur is definitely, by far, THE most popular. Now, if our discussion is strictly about characters, not series, then the second most popular has to be Arthur’s sister D.W. (initials that I have always assumed stand for Debra Winger, and I have taken care never to learn anything that would challenge this assumption).

    If you require a different series, what about that late ’60s/early ’70s MGM cartoon series “The Ant and the Aardvark,” in which an aardvark with the voice of Jackie Mason unsuccessfully pursued an ant with the voice of Dean Martin (all voices actually provided by John Byner)? One gets here into the question of what constitutes popularity. On the one hand, “The Ant and the Aardvark” (a series watched by millions, first in its original theatrical run, and then when it was used as part of the Saturday morning “Pink Panther” show) is by several magnitudes better known than “Cerebus,” a comic whose readership was never (seldom, anyway) more than a few thousand people. However, “Cerebus” readers were definitely passionate about the comic, while most people probably regarded the cartoon as just something they had to endure while waiting for the feature or the next Pink Panther cartoon. So, which one is really the more popular?

    I also wonder where Hamilton Mattress fits in this ranking. The film was clearly not as successful as its makers hoped, but surely it was seen by more people than ever read “Cerebus.”

  • D says:

    What did you think of A-V’s other comics output? At the height of my Cerebus fandom I believe I was buying everything they put out. I still consider Journey one of my favorite series of all time & wish Bill Loebs had been able to finish Wardrums. But I bought the entire run of Neil the Horse, normalman & continued to buy Flaming Carrot even after its move to Dark Horse. Demi continued with Ms.Tree, another series I loved. Hell, I even bought that weird Ditko thing she published. A real shame that Renegade Press failed, it had a cool niche.