by Dave Sim & Gerhard
LAST 22 SUGGESTED CORRECTIONS TO
CEREBUS COVER ART TREASURY
The only "comic-book sized" copy of CEREBUS No.1
THE CEREBUS No.1 COVER
Page 6 the CEREBUS No.1 cover This part got EXTREMELY complicated to explain to Justin -- and far too complicated to explain IN the book:
The CEREBUS No.1 cover in the IDW proof is a scan of the only copy of No.1 cut to comic-book size and is a) badly smudged and b) extensively photoshopped. I feel really bad about pointing this out because someone, not knowing what it was a scan OF, has obviously put a LOT of hours in trying to "restore" the cover.
This is what the interior pages of CEREBUS No.1 would have looked like
had the book been trimmed to comic-book size.
THE FULL STORY:
The interiors of No.1 were printed, accidentally, magazine-size by Fairway Press and the covers were printed comic-book size by Moir Press (who farmed out the interiors part of the job to Fairway Press). It really wasn't a big enough job for either printer to redo everything for the few hundred dollars we were paying them.
When he saw the mistake, Geoff Moir put together TWO copies of CEREBUS No.1 for me, both with "scrapped" covers (which is why the cover is badly smudged: it's a reject) both with a clean copy of a Fairway Press magazine-sized interior to show me what my two "fix" options were.
FIX OPTION #1
On the first copy, he trimmed it to comic-book size to show me that IF we trimmed all 2,000 copies THIS way, this is how much of the interior pages would be cut off.
As it turned out: to within 1/16 of the artwork on the right-hand side of the odd-numbered pages and to within 1/16" of the artwork on the left hand side of the even-numbered pages. The front and back covers would look the way I had intended them.
FIX OPTION #2
On the other copy, he "rolled" the cover to the right so -- with the excess paper available to us on the back cover that was going to be trimmed off anyway -- the cover would be wide enough to cover ALL of the magazine-sized interiors. This option allowed us to have a standard page border on the right-hand side of the odd-numbered pages and the left-hand side of the even-numbered pages equal to the page border at the top of each page.
That left a page border on the "gutter" or "fold" side of each page that was huge but that wasn't AS noticeable because you tend not to open a comic book ALL the way (especially if you're a comic-book fan and you're concerned about keeping it in mint), just enough so you can read and look at everything on the page.
"Rolling" the cover that far to the right, however, left a ragged edge on the back cover where I had just stopped inking because that's where the cover was going to be trimmed. It also pulled the register mark (the "bullseye" crosshair/circle used to register where the red colour would go on the black and white cover) ONTO the back cover.
What Geoff was proposing to do was to run all the covers through the press again, adding a strip of black to the back cover to cover the now exposed white paper, ragged edge and register mark.
What I decided was that it was better to have the cover look a little "off" (because if you didn't know what it was supposed to look like the "fix" wasn't as noticeable) than to have the ALL of the interior pages look downright weird while you were flipping through the book in a comic shop or trying to read the story.
So that's why I went for FIX OPTION #2, which is why CEREBUS No.1 has a ragged "double black" seam in the middle of the back cover and a register mark still visible through the black ink "fix".
Cerebus #1: The massively photoshopped version of it in the IDW proof
Obviously, almost forty years later, I was not especially keen on CEREBUS No.1 being represented in the IDW CEREBUS COVER ART TREASURY book with a badly smudged discarded reject copy Geoff Moir had picked up at random to show me the two possible fixes.
What I suggested to Justin was either:
a) Make the CGC 9.4 CEREBUS No.1 the LARGE image on this page and have an "un-photoshopped" scan of the comic-book-sized copy as the inset image with this caption:
Owing to a miscommunication with Fairway Press/Moir Press, this is the only copy of Cerebus No.1 trimmed to comic-book size. You can see that the composition was more balanced in my original design than on the printed cover
But then I also pointed out to Justin that this would raise more questions than it would answer. WHY is this the only copy cut to comic-book size? WHY is it badly smudged? WHY is CEREBUS No.1 magazine sized? And as you can see, there's no SHORT answer for that. So, the "or" was:
b) Just make an exception to the "CGC Dave Sim File copy" -- Justin told me that IDW didn't like the look of full-page CGC scans -- and fill JUST this page with the 9.4 CEREBUS No.1: make that the exception that proves the IDW rule.
I would opt for b). Just as I would opt for more CGC file copy images and larger CGC file copy images. But, I understand that IDW prefers otherwise, so the best I could hope for is -- as the creator of CEREBUS -- that I could get IDW to make an exception to the "no full-page CGC Dave Sim File copies" rule with the 9.4 No.1.