Monday 27 February 2017

On Sale 12 Years Ago: Following Cerebus #3

Following Cerebus #3 (February 2005)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

The original covers (left) and the parody cover (right):

Sunday 26 February 2017

Swords Of Cerebus Vol 2: Cerebus #7

Published between 1981 and 1984, Dave's six Swords of Cerebus volumes were his first attempt to collect the book in a more permanent form. He gave each story included in these volumes a prose introduction, explaining where the book stood when he’d been working on that particular issue and how he was thinking of its prospects at the time. We're currently covering the intros from Swords volume 2. Also check out the full 'Swords Of Cerebus' Introductions Index.
"Suddenly, I was free," says Dave.

Next week: Links in a chain.

Saturday 25 February 2017

Chester Brown: "A Mild-Mannered, Even-Handed & Fair Individual"

(from a Patreon Update on 14 February 2017)
...Amanda and S caught a cab home and I walked. Not in a rush now, and after a very enjoyable day, I was in the right mood to fully appreciate the beauty of the city under a fresh blanket of snow.
Earlier in the day I’d read cartoonist Carson Grubaugh’s assessment of Dave Sim's Latter Days. In it, Grubaugh writes that
"If there is [a God], a Creator, conscious of its actions and aware of its creation then it is a despicable, selfish, pathetic, piece of shit. […] I have had a pretty good [life…. But] the day-to-day, moment-to-moment aspects of being alive are pretty much a gigantic pain in the ass and a massive responsibility. Balanced against every awesome thing I have ever experienced the weights fall resoundingly on the side of the ‘meh,’ and that is before you add in all of the ‘this is terrible'."
Several sentences later, Grubaugh approvingly quotes a passage by Sim in which he compares life to a party...
"…which turns out, upon your arrival, to be excruciatingly boring and not worth a fraction of what you had to give up to attend. The fact that you have to stay at the party for as long as eighty or ninety years, it seems to me, only emphasizes the level of stupidity inherent in your choice [to attend the party]."
Many years ago I realized that, if I’m bored at a party, it’s not the fault of any of the people at the party, and it’s certainly not God’s fault. It’s my fault if I can’t figure out what makes my fellow party-attendees interesting.
I was mulling about that while walking home after a delightful day in heaven.

(from a Patreon Update on 20 February 2017)
Back on the 14th I mentioned Carson Grubaugh's assessment of Dave Sim's Latter Days. Reading that piece prompted me to pull out my copy of the book:

(What an ugly cover!) I'd forgotten that I make a cameo appearance on pages 224 and 225:
On page 481, in the notes section, he wrote:
"I decided to bring Chester Brown in at this point, since he's a completely mild-mannered, even-handed and fair individual..."
That was written back when Dave considered me to be a friend — I'm guessing that he doesn't still think I'm even-handed and fair.

Gerhard: Climbing The Tower

Climbing The Tower
Art by Dave Sim (2010) and Gerhard (2017)

Gerhard's 2017 Convention Itinerary:

Read Gerhard's latest news at Gerz Blog!

"Cerebus In Hell?" Parody Covers: Part 4

Send your parody covers to: momentofcerebus [at] gmail [dot] com!  

Ali vs Cerebus
by Benjamin Hobbs

Aardvark Fantasy #15
by Benjamin Hobbs

Canadian Vark
by Lee Thacker

Incredible Vark (Take 2)
By Lee Thacker

MAD Parody
By Lee Thacker

Love & Aardvarks (Take 2)
By Lee Thacker

Friday 24 February 2017

Weekly Update #171: CiH? #2 Incoming!

Cerebus In Hell? #2 in stores 1st March!

Thursday 23 February 2017

"Cerebus In Hell?" Parody Covers: Part 3

Send your parody covers to: momentofcerebus [at] gmail [dot] com!  

Here's my contribution to the Cerebus Cover Parodies.

I spent the better part of a day and a half searching for appropriate covers, and then butchering them into the images you see before you. It’s a unique challenge in finding covers that lend themselves to the ‘Cerebus in Hell?’ cover parody treatment. Most of the really iconic comic book covers would require a lot of effort in dropping out the main characters and retouching the art to fill in the backgrounds, so I looked for something that would work well with the Cerebus cut-outs that Dave and Sandeep have been using in the comic strip.

Below is a brief rundown of the issues being spoofed, and a possible title and explanation.

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 Parody (Teenage Mutant Ninja Cerebus’ #1)
This one was too easy, and my favorite of the bunch. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out with that one Cerebus facing the wrong way, but I think I solved it with the witty dialogue.

2. Amazing Spider-Man #300 Parody (Amazing Cerebus #1) w/ added text
This is simply a retouching of the great Spider-Man 300 parody that Sandeep already had done, I flipped the corner box image of Cerebus to enhance the cover flow, and added some dialogue, which I used to cover some female nudity that I thought might be an issue with some people and stores.

3. Batman #566 Parody (Adventures Of The Vark Knight #1)
This one is the most “unfinished” of the bunch. I thought it would be fun to stick some of Dave’s “public enemies” in the portraits, but I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head past Gary Groth and Jeff Smith.

4. Ghostly Weird Stories #122 Parody (Ghostly Weird Cerebus #1)
This one is kind of obscure, I happened to stumble upon the cover to “Ghostly Weird Stories #122” completely by chance, and decided to combine it with the Cerebus Mars Attacks cover that Dave did for IDW.

5. Daredevil Battles Hitler #1 (Cerebus Battles Hitler #1)
It’s a bit of a mess, I’ll admit. At first I was going to try to cover some of the guys with large sound effects, but I found that the word balloons do a pretty good job of that. The large Cerebus did the job of covering up Daredevil, and the yellow background made it easy to erase what was left of him. Hitler’s dialogue reads as; “Dirty PIG!” “You’re really busting my balls!” I dunno… I thought it was funny.

It was a fun experiment in Photoshop, I'll see if I can do a few more.

Cerebus In Hell? -- Week 35

Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at
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Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at
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Read CEREBUS IN HELL? daily at

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Sketches of Familiar Faces

A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.

We've looked at Dave Sim's notebook #9 six times already and last November's Cover Thumbnails. It covers issues Cerebus #80 through 86 and had 118 out of 200 pages scanned.

In the past we've seen some sketches of people that weren't directly Cerebus characters in the notebooks. For example, sketches of people he saw while on vacation, covered in Vacation Time: San Jose and Vacation Sketches Part Deux. We've also seen some other Sketches of People in a different notebook.

I found a couple more sketches in notebook #9:

Notebook #9, page 47
Notebook #9, page 48
Notebook #9, page 49

Monday 20 February 2017

Sunday 19 February 2017

Swords Of Cerebus Vol 2: Cerebus #6

Published between 1981 and 1984, Dave's six Swords of Cerebus volumes were his first attempt to collect the book in a more permanent form. He gave each story included in these volumes a prose introduction, explaining where the book stood when he'd been working on that particular issue and how he was thinking of its prospects at the time. We're currently covering the intros from Swords volume 2. Also check out the full 'Swords Of Cerebus' Introductions Index.
“This is a picture of me in high school,” says Dave,
"(it’s also a picture of me in public school and senior public school, but we won’t go into that.)”

Next week: Dave discovers he can do anything he wants.

Saturday 18 February 2017

Carson Grubaugh's Cerebus Re-Read: "The Last Day"

Cerebus Vol 16: The Last Day
by Dave Sim & Gerhard

(from Carson's Re-Read Blog, August 2016)
...By this point I have pretty much exhausted my relationship with Cerebus, for at least another ten years. I am not the kind of person who returns to things I have already consumed, especially not things as immense as Cerebus. I know what put Cerebus back into my mind, but I do not know why I felt the need to actually re-read it. That will probably reveal itself in time. I am glad I did. It has been an enriching and enlightening experience. I probably learned, and revealed more about myself in these commentaries than I did about Cerebus or Dave Sim, as is appropriate for any commentary on another's work. You can only ever really find out about what you bring to the table. I am very grateful that re-engaging with Cerebus led me the A Moment of Cerebus community and the opportunity to work with one of my heroes/influences.

Thank you to Tim for providing the venue and to everyone who took the time to read any or all of these. I hope they were worth it.

Most importantly, thank you, Dave Sim for pouring yourself into Cerebus with such relentless fervor for so many years. It is shameful that comics community has marginalized Cerebus to the extent that it has. I honestly believe Cerebus to be the greatest work of comic-art to date, and the most personal, intimate, vulnerable piece of literature or art I have ever encountered. Show me one other instance in which an artist/thinker's dramatic evolution was documented so carefully and openly within a single work. It does not exist... [Read the full review here...]


Cerebus In Hell? #1
by Dave Sim & Sandeep Atwal
In Stores Now!
Thought we should have some "rookie content" given that this is the first Saturday that CEREBUS IN HELL? #1 is in the stores (and thank you to all of the stores who have ordered copies! Matt D at Diamond tells me that CEREBUS IN HELL? #2 is "in the house" and now has a March 1st "street date" i.e. the February issue will ALMOST ship in February)

Sean - Can you download these? I don't think there'll be room for them in the first trade (tentatively scheduled for Christmas release), but -- someday -- in an OMNIBUS CEREBUS IN HELL? COLLECTION?  It's much easier for me to annotate as we go.
(Don't know if Sandeep wants to annotate his: different writers have different attitudes on annotating their work):

page 1 - This one is one of Sandeep's but it always reminds me of "But let him summon his associates; we TOO [emphasis mine] will summon the guards of Hell"  part of Sura 96 "Clots of Blood", the first sura revealed to Prophet Muhammad.  That "too" in there seems to me to validate my God/YHWH theory.

page 2 - This was the second one that I wrote, back when CEREBUS IN HELL? was called DESECRATING CEREBUS.  I thought there was a "vandalizing" sense to the word "desecrating" but, no, it means "to make not sacred".  Oops.  The burning of the Temple of Dagon takes place in 1 Maccabees 10:49.  I think Judas Maccabee was supposed to be the meschiach (messiah) and was on track until he signed the treaty with Rome.  D'OH!

page 3 - There WAS a movie adaptation of THE LIFE OF PI, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a HIT movie. I think the character was actually a panther, as well, not a leopard.  But, close enough for comic-strip humour!

page 5 - One of Sandeep's. I forget what he had at first instead of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" (a Dean Martin tune I think) but he can be forgiven, being a mere infant of 46 years.  I read that a member of Bennett's band had given him the song at some point and it sat in Bennett's underwear drawer for a number of years before he even looked at.  Still a great tune.

page 11 -  The guy nailed to the dirt is one of the few Scriptural figures in DANTE'S INFERNO (that I recognized anyway) Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest who condemned Jesus: "that one man should die over the people".  I had Sandeep change it to "two thousand years" for that reason.

page 12 - This was the first DESECRATING CEREBUS strip that I did.

page 13 - This one got built around the phrase "Internet-meme cat video" when Sandeep used it in conversation.  Being a complete Luddite, I'd never heard of such a thing.  If you can't build a gag around the words "Internet-meme cat video", you're in the wrong line of work.

page 14 - I always find the impulse to make up admission rules so as to exclude specific people inherently funny.

page 15 - I researched all the names online of boyfriends/husbands/fiancees on SEX AND THE CITY.  There sure were a lot of them!

page 20 - The first Francis Albert strip!  Based on Frank Sinatra's full name, Francis Albert Sinatra.

page 22 - Personally, I don't think there's any doubt that DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is THE definitive Batman.  Congratulations, Frank!  Spoiler warning! This strip ISN'T continued in #2!

And now TRAVIS with what OTHER comics are in your future and Sean with final (?) MINDS corrections!  

Diamond Previews Picks: February 2017

Travis Pelkie begins the first in a new regular monthly AMOC series (if Travis can be persuaded!) highlighting the Cerebus-related comics and books featured in the latest Diamond Previews catalog. Travis is co-founder of the Atomic Junk Shop, a site about comics and other fun pop culture.

Cerebus In Hell #4
by Dave Sim & Sandeep Atwal
Aardvark Vanaheim, $4.00
On Sale: 26 April 2017

The publisher says:
Cerebus makes another attempt at proving his "post-revolution" worth after the snakes take over the Infernal Realms in the epic graphic-novel length  (for this comic, anyway) 6-page "Bipedal Gender Evisceration Bloodbath Countdown of Doom the Reality Show on Ophidian Sportsnet Two." Sixteen more epic-length four-panel comic strips complete in this issue!
Diamond Order Code: FEB171010

Shang-Chi Master Of Kung Fu Vol 3
by Doug Moench, Mike Zeck & Gene Day,
Marvel Comics, $125
On Sale: March 2017

The publisher says:
Shang-Chi continues to have his deadly hands full with foes like Shockwave, the sinister Agent Syn and the weapons master Zaran! But will his mastery of kung fu be enough to overcome monstrous menaces and the mindless minions of Mordillo? He thought he'd seen the last of his most bitter enemy - but an unholy resurrection will bring Shang-Chi face-to-face once again with his fearsome father Fu Manchu! And the family reunion will get even more bitter when Shang's sister, Fah Lo Suee, renews their sibling rivalry. There'll be gang wars, death cults and mind-blowing martial-arts mayhem on land and on sea! Plus: What if the Master of Kung Fu fought on the side of Fu Manchu? Collecting Master Of Kung Fu #71-101 and What If? #16.
Diamond Order Code: SEP161119

Travis adds:
On March 1, the third Omnibus of Master of Kung Fu should be released by Marvel. As it covers issues 71-101, it stops just before Gene Day took over on pencils, but he inks the issues prior to that (and hopefully there is a fourth Omnibus coming that will have the Gene Day penciled stuff).

Splitting Image 80-Page Giant
by Don Simpson, Jim Valentino, Larry Marder & Bob Burden
Image Comics, $7.99
On Sale: April 2017

The publisher says:
To celebrate Image Comics' 25th Anniversary--the original parody book by DON SIMPSON that skewers the formation of Image and the bozos that founded it! And here's the rub--IT'S ALL TRUE!! (Well, mostly, sort of.) Plus, as a super-special bonus (because we had more pages to fill), we include the normalman-MEGATON MAN SPECIAL by SIMPSON, VALENTINO, MARDER, and BURDEN! Square-bound even! Never before reprinted (and we can certainly see why). A piece of history at your fingertips (now go wash your hands)!
Diamond Order Code: FEB170579

Travis adds:
Also in the current Previews catalog, as part of Image's 25th anniversary celebration, there's the Splitting Image 80 page giant, reprinting that 2 issue parody of the Image founders by Don Simpson. But also included is the normalman/Megaton Man Special, which includes a Cerebus cameo.

Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus Plus
by Shannon Wheeler
Dark Horse Comics, $29.99
On Sale: June 2017

The publisher says:
A deluxe hardcover featuring 32 new color story pages! This 600-page Omnibus Plus edition features five previously published Too Much Coffee Man books, plus an all-new color section! These semiautobiographical, hyperintellectual tales will appeal to both comic book insiders and pop culture fanatics. The most complete Too Much Coffee Man collection!
Diamond Order Code: FEB170076

Travis adds: 
Neat! A Too Much Coffee Man Omni! I like what I’ve read (and Dave's parody in GUYS!). Also, I believe it is the first/only comic book series/character to have an opera inspired by it! 600 pages for 30 bucks (with a color section) is a pretty good deal!

More Diamond Previews picks at Atomic Junk Shop's regular Flippin' Through Previews column.

Friday 17 February 2017

Finishing MINDS For Good: Restoration, Proofing & The Picking Of Nits

Sean Michael Robinson:


The restoration work is all done on Minds, as of Friday morning! Which leaves me with just a few loose ends to wrap up.

As we've done in the past, I'm looking to you, Cerebus restoration patrons and fans, to help in this final polish.

Some of these things are definitely in the "picking at nits" category, but, hey, when has that stopped us in the past? If you're the type of person bothered by minute grammatical distinctions, or horrified that we're proofreading and editing twenty-year-old comics, please consider yourself warned and read no further!

Without further ado—

Page 52 panel 2 — the reverse lettering has been damaged, either when shooting the photostat or the negative itself. Because of this, it's not clear what might be missing from the first panel. My best guess (and proofreader Jeff Seiler's guess as well!) is that there were two ellipses after each "A". Which would look like this—

So -- yay or nay?

Page 82 --

Cerebus' father visits Magus Doran for help with his problem child.

Proofreader Jeff suggests adding commas throughout Cerebus' father's speech. For instance, "Th' hat. 'Is Mum's idea it was." would become, ""Th' hat. 'Is Mum's idea, it was." He's suggesting four on this page.

To my sensibilities these are unnecessary, and the absence of the commas here is actually working to communicating the rhythm of his speech patterns. So I have a strong "no" here myself, but wanted to run this by you all as well. (And Dave!)
Yay or nay?

Page 205

In panel 3 the Dave character says to Cerebus: "...with no regard for the ideal "nature"-? A mistake grounded in his blind belief in iconolatry."

Jeff Seiler points out — "The OED defines ICONOLATRY as: the worship of religious images or icons. Thus, the phrase "belief in iconolatry" is redundant. A better wording would be "practice of iconolatry" or just take out "belief" and make it "blind iconolatry."

Normally, I'm against "correcting" dialogue. After all, couldn't the speaker be in error? But should this general tendency to leave well enough alone change when the speaker is, in a certain way, also the author?

Any thoughts on this? Leave as is, or change to one of Jeff's suggestions?

Page 152—

In the second word balloon, Dave lists the Five Cornerstones of Cirinism, followed by a colon, and then each cornerstone listed individually, terminated by a period. Jeff desires these periods to be semicolons instead, and while that might be slightly more correct on some Algebra of Grammar level, on an aesthetic level, it looks wrong, and seems to unnecessarily complicate the structure of this section.

Anyone want to stick up for Jeff's semicolon suggestion?

Page 245—

Cerebus is about to have his "injury-to-eye" experience, whilst "Dave" quotes Pink Floyd lyrics to him. In panel five, the lone balloon says,


Unfortunately, according to that pesky OED, and the Pink Floyd lyrics in question, it's "pinprick."

So, change to

or preserve the rhythm of the sung lyric by changing it to



Pages 104, 105, 100, 101, 110

These pages have larger image areas than the surrounding pages (as befits the scale changes depicted in the drawings themselves.) Unfortunately, that means when I enlarge these images to 104 percent of their original size (as the rest of the artwork has been enlarged), there's no room left for page numbers on these pages.

So I could 

a. shrink the artwork a bit for these pages
b. leave the page numbers off for these pages (what I'm inclined to do!)
c. put a small white box over the artwork to accommodate the black page number

Page 270

In the third panel, Cerebus says, 



Which Jeff believes should be 



I could go either way on this one. It's freezing, Cerebus is miserable and not at his most articulate. Is this a "mistake" of the character, or did "The Letterer" just leave out a word accidentally?

Finally, the end

The last decision is the one I could use the most input on. Unlike the majority of the books so far, MINDS is already the perfect length to accommodate the signature length of our new paper (which need to be multiples of 16 pages). Which means, we can either not add any pages of length, or we'd need to add sixteen pages to add any at all.

Which means, if we don't add any physical pages, then we have either one or two pages total to fit in the following--

a. Cerebus Archive thank-yous
b. credits on the restoration, scanning, copy edit, etc
c. Aardvark-Vanaheim address and book logo
d. Art Dragnet credits and thank-yous
e. any art enlargements

I say "one or two," because for the first time, I'm considering using the facing page of the last story page of the book. 

I've avoided it before because I think it typically looks pretty tacky, but it doesn't seem quite as bad to me this time as the last story page is really an advertisement for the next volume anyway. 

Any thoughts on this? Should I cram it all into one page to preserve that last white space at the end of the story? Or spread it out over two? Something else?? If we do use both pages, what image might you want to see enlarged for the final page? 

And that's where Minds is at! Looking forward to your magical solutions.