Thursday, 31 July 2014

Restoration Update-- the Cerebus Dragnet Continues!


Friends... the hunt for Cerebus original art continues!

We've had some success so far, with eight original art owners contacting us so far, resulting in a total of twenty-seven pages as of yet. As the art hunt continues, I'll be sharing some images as they come in.

I'm continually surprised how much information never made it to the original printings. A lot of what was lost was due to the photography, especially in the first 60 or so issues, but a lot of it was the (at the time) necessary generational loss between the artwork and the printing. Seeing these one-step-removed scans is a revelation.

Of course, some of the appeal of it is a little more... surface. It's always interesting to me to get a chance to see the pages as objects as well, to imagine their stories, how they've fared out in the world since they left Kitchener.

The pages we're seeing today all come from the collection of illustrator Dean Reeves, of Graphic Language. Dean has collected some incredible pages, with a definite eye for the graphic and the iconic.

Here's a page that, Dean notes, was damaged in a fire at the house of its prior owner.

And here's an interesting page from High Society, giving some insight into the mechanical process behind the work. The page on the right would have been shot separately from the main page, inverted, and then placed as an overlay atop the artwork. White on black is notoriously difficult to create with white inks, so this was an effective solution to that problem. (Notice the registration marks on the bottom of the page, meant for aligning the created overlay)

Lastly, here's a slice of a page from another iconic moment, and one of my personal favorite pages from early in the book. You can see some of the damage this one has sustained in the tone, which has ripped as it shrunk. Tone rips like this seem more common when the tone was burnished really well on application-- the less carefully burnished tone seems to just shrink in place, fairly evenly around the center.

Thanks to Scott McCloud, Tim Hodler of, Neil Gaiman, and everyone else who has shared links to the dragnet so far. Special thanks to our sixth donor, Gregory Kessler, who supplied us with a whopping 13 pages. Thanks again Gregory!

Any and all leads can be mailed to us at: CerebusArtHunt [at] gmail [dot] com.


David Birdsong said...

I saw that suicide panel the first time a friend loaned me a stack of Cerebus to read. 77 through 92 (or so). I had no idea what was going on, but that panel startled me. It seemed to mean so much more than your common comic book death.

Eddie said...

I just wanted to say that on behalf of this Cerebus fan, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who's helping out with this. THANK YOU.

Anonymous said...

A Great Big & Hearty Thank You to everyone involved as well! Bravo!

Dave Kopperman said...

I'm really REALLY enthused. Great work, and thanks.

Kit said...

Hodler, not Holder, if you or Dave are crediting in the future.

Sean R said...

Hey Kit,

Thanks for pointing that out! I have the bad habit of typing people's names as words :)

My apologies to Mr. Hodler and Mr. Slim.