Sunday, 21 September 2014

Cerebus Cover Gallery

Cerebus Covers Gallery
by Dave Sim & Gerhard
IDW, $75.00
In Stores: 7 January 2015
Diamond Order Code: OCT140536

If you were around in the early days of the Direct Market you were thrilled to be able to order and expect to receive your DC, Marvel and Archie comics. There really wasn’t anything considered indie or alternative comic unless you counted the underground comix. We then started seeing creators with their own vision influenced by the Rip Off Press, Print Mint, and others use the new Direct Market to bring their stories to comic shops.

Two books that were early hits were Elfquest by Richard and Wendy Pini and Cerebus the Aardvark by Dave Sim. While Wendy and Richard had a solid story right at the start, Dave took a little while to get his magnum opus underway. While Dave's stories took shape, his art continued to improve and the later addition of Gerhard helped place Cerebus among the top illustrated books.

With IDW Publishing's Cerebus: The Covers we can see the path Dave's artwork took over the course of the amazing 300 issues he produced. In addition to the artwork that was scanned from his originals, Dave has also provided additional artwork and sketches that help add to the historical relevance of this series in the history of comics.

From its start as a parody of Roy Thomas and Barry Smith's Conan, and later on Wolverine, Moon Knight, and then into a unique look at history, philosophy, feminism and finally old age and death, Cerebus constantly grew beyond its expectations. This book is a must have for your shelves to go next to your copies of High Society, Church & State, Jaka’s Story, and the rest of the 16 volumes in the series as well as the new remastered edition of Cerebus Volume 1 offered this month under Aardvark-Vanaheim.


Steve said...

I have to say, I think this book is far from complete without including the Swords and phonebook covers (as fold-outs) as well as the many superlative covers done over the years for fan mags, interviews etc.

Plus, so many issues had back covers either with art, a quote, or picture which ties in with the storyline.

OK, I guess I'm coming across as leaving no nit unpicked...

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

I was surprised by this listing by IDW in Previews. Judging from Dave's comments in Weekly Update #47: Everything Is Delayed, I wasn't expecting to see the Cerebus Covers book anytime soon:

"The CEREBUS COVERS BOOK(s) is/are stalled because IDW is waiting for direction from me. I plan to give direction to them, but right now CEREBUS ARCHIVE, the restorations and STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND are occupying MORE than all of my time. What I have to do is to mock up the CEREBUS COVERS BOOK a few pages at a time..."

Perhaps someone at IDW could clarify the situation for us?

ChrisW said...

I would rather a book of "Cerebus" covers be just that, 300 pages of covers, and whatever commentary Dave provides in addition. "Swords" or phone book covers should go in "The Art of Dave Sim (and Gerhard)" or whatever follow-up books there be

"Cerebus" was always about a 300-issue monthly (mostly) series that would end in March 2004. Which it did. Attention paid to "Swords" or the phone books or the "Cerebus effect"/"writing for the trade" detracts from the basic accomplishment, which was to beat Stan and Jack's "Fantastic Four" run not once, not twice, but three times straight.

Yes, we want Dave (and Ger) to make money from art they did thirty+ years ago, but it only happened because Dave decided to do 300 issues back in 1979. That's the "core moment" and that's the overall achievement.

In my opinion, Dave should be thinking about two color volumes. One of which is a collection of covers (300 pages, plus commentary) and the rest consists of Everything Else. The phone book covers, the crossover with Spawn and the Turtles, the Epic stories, the "Swords" back-up stories, the "From Hell" dialogues and "Mama's Boy" essays, etc. Sixteen volumes make up the story, volume seventeen is the 'letter column' (Collected Letters) volume eighteen is the collection of covers, volume nineteen is Everything Else. Volumes twenty and beyond will be further edition of "Collected Letters," "Judenhass," "glamourpuss" and whatever else Dave contributes to the world in writing or drawing form.

I don't foresee, nor would I support, a world where Dave or his estate could publish a 500-page book of Cerebus head sketches, but I can see the attraction in the concept, and there must be enough Cerebus head sketches floating around to fill a large book. This is far enough away from the idea of a monthly 300-issue series that I'll be happy to wait for those who say "Dave's been dead for 75 years, you think he cares what we're doing?" He cares, he knows he has no power whatsoever, and he's determined to set his ideals down in stone (or ink) to provide guidance.

300 issue series, that's why we're still here.

Travis Pelkie said...

I would imagine that IDW was over optimistic as to how soon they'd be ready with things, and had this solicit ready before they knew where they were going to be with the prep of the book. (I've seen some of the Artist Editions solicited, and then a call for anyone with original art for same show up on Bleeding Cool, and I wonder why they solicited it if they didn't have all the available art yet, so maybe more of same here.) Same with the High Society AV -- they thought they'd be good by August, but here it is end of September and no go yet.

I'm sure both will be worth the wait, but it seems like something they probably should have held off on soliciting just yet. But boy, I wan' it! I wan' it! (to quote Howdy Doodit from Mad)

M Kitchen said...

Cerebus 166 was the first comic I bought of the series. Would be interesting if that ended up being the cover for CEREBUS: THE COVERS.

Though I wonder why that it is a mirror image of the actual 166 cover...

Anonymous said...

Just to take minor issue with ChrisW, I would say that things like Collected Letters and Glamourpuss should definitely not be considered as part of "The Collected Cerebus". I could see Volume 17 being the "Everything Else" book, and even Volume 18 being the "Collected Covers" book, but perhaps those volumes might be designated Appendices.

And this leads me to a point I've long considered, but not mentioned: It's kind of weird to assert a "by the pound" valuation for a creative work. I'm sure we all acknowledge that doing 300 (well, 298 and extras) issues over 26 years is a testament to discipline and stick-to-it-iveness, but that claim makes Cerebus no more or less important than the guy who wound up the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota. I think it's more valuable to dicsuss Cerebus in terms of quality (of both content and execution) rather than quantity.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, mfg

Dave Kopperman said...

Now THIS is something that will immediately remove money from my wallet. Really looking forward to it.