Cerebus Archive #13 was released in late April 2011 and I ordered a copy from ComiXpress. In fact, I ordered three copies – as there are three different covers: all the same but the little box where the date is located. One box says FDC for “First Day Cover”, one says APR for the month of release and one says POD for “Print On Demand”.
But I digress.
Cerebus Archive #13 is all about a couple days in December 1976. Dave talks about the first convention he went to: held at the high school that three years earlier he had dropped out from. In attendance was not only Dave, but Gene Day and T. Casey Brennan, both of whom sat on a panel with Dave at that convention. At this convention Dave says he saw Deni Loubert for the first time, and he tells us how he thinks that convention set the wheels in motion for their first meeting in the downstairs area of the Kitchener comicbook store: Now & Then Books. The issue consists of Dave’s artistic depiction of these events along with picture comics – using pictures of the actual buildings.
So Dave is getting to the time in his life that he wrote about in “Why An Aardvark part 1“: How he met Deni and how they got together to create the sci-fi fanzine that would later become Cerebus the comic. This issue is a page turner, and he goes into more detail about the events of the meeting then he did in the Why An Aardvark essay series. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the locales of these events, and Dave’s artistic interpretation of the first meeting between Deni and him. Worth the $4 admission price.
Last year for the SPACE, Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo, Jeff T and myself had issue #14 of CEREBUS THE NEWSLETTER printed and for sale. It was the first issue from the new Friends of Cerebus, but we kept the numbering from the previous incarnation, which ended with #13 back in 1985. We just managed to get issue #17 to the printers in time for SPACE 2010, and so we kind of did a quarterly schedule:
Though I rather have a true quarterly schedule and not a rush to get the fourth issue out. So now we have to keep moving forward and get issues #18 out. Having contributions makes it easier on us to get a new issue out – the more contributions, the more issues I can publish. I’m not making any money off of this endeavor, just doing it because I enjoy CEREBUS. So all I can offer contributors is copies of the issue that their article, essay, fan fiction, artwork, etc was published in. Though – if you’ve not gotten any of the back issues, or are missing some of the back issues – send me a contribution for publication and your snail mail addy and I’ll send you the back issues you are missing.
So a while back Dave gave his permission for Spanish, French and Italian translations of CEREBUS. The Spanish translation by Ponent Mon’s Andres Moon of HIGH SOCIETY is the first one to be published. ALTA SOCIEDAD will be a hardcover edition with the Ponent Mon name on the front, side and the ISBN on the back being the only other distinguishing marks on the cover:
The Spanish edition is a slightly bit smaller then the English edition, but neither the cover art nor the interior art lacks for this. The book holds true to the fonts used, and where the artwork was touched up for the lettering, it appears seamless. I don’t speak Spanish good enough to read ALTA SOCIEDAD, but it appears to be a beautiful book that is worth the 30 Euros being charged for it. Heck, I’d paid $30 for a hardcover of the English edition. When asked about the hardcover vs softcover, Dave stated that the book being in hardcover was Ponent Mon’s decision, not his, as he prefers the softcover “phonebooks”.
The bookmark is a special item given out to the comic book stores in Spain / Europe – not really an incentive, more like a promo item. I was told by several that it was limited to 100 bookmarks. The one I have is #8 of 99 signed by Dave Sim.
So usually when I take time off to go to the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, OH every year, I’ll take off not only the Friday beforehand for travel time, but the following Monday for recuperation. Monday is the day I sleep in and then upload my pictures and write a blog post about the good times that was had.
Well, looking at my calendar, I don’t think today is Monday. But that is part of the story that is SPACE. The end of it actually.
Friday JeffT and myself once again took only 8 minutes to check in and get through security. After 1.5 hours of waiting, we boarded our flight to Washington, DC and then to Columbus, OH. We got in about 2:30 pm, well before the van of Cerebites, so we headed off to pick up some needed items for the show and the weekend. We made our way to the hotel and waited for the van of Cerebites to show up, which they did soon enough. Larry H, Matt D and wife Paula and friend Kevin, Jeff S and lady friend Gaby. We headed out to the Laughing Ogre comic book store. As soon as we walked in, Larry spotted the comic book he worked on: Cerebus Readers in Crisis. In fact, the store had copies of several of the issues. After picking up some comics, we headed out to a Japanese hibachi for some tasty eats. When we got back to the hotel Matt, Kevin, Jeff T and myself registered for our tables and got our exhibitor passes. We then headed up to the room to practice for the Cerebus Live panel that we’d be doing on Saturday. After going through all the skits we’d be performing, we made our corrections and then headed back to our rooms to get some rest as we had an early wake up for tomorrow.
Saturday morning saw not only a 6am wake up time, but tasty eats at the Hometown Buffet. Hey, for $7 we got all we could eat breakfast and all you can drink beverages. When we got back to the hotel, I started slogging our stuff down to the table and setting it up. A few minutes later, the guys hauled down the cooler with frosty cool beverages and we were ready to sell Cerebus the Newsletter:
Jeff T and myself sitting at our table. Picture by Steve Peters of Awakening Comics.
I soon left the table and walked around, saying hello to the creators whom I had made a note of seeing this time around. . .well, those at least who were at their table. First up was Nick Jones, from whom I picked up the latest trade paperback of Tiny Life, then Eric Adams from whom I got issue #6 of Lackluster World – only one more issue to go, Eric talked to me about his plans to collect the series in a trade with the addition of some new material, from David Branstetter I got the latest issue of Strawman, #9 – though to be honest, we got these last night from David when he came up to watch us practice for Cerebus Live – this special cover of Strawman #9 is a homage to Cerebus issue #170. I then headed over to say hello to Max Ink and get the latest issue of Blink comics.
By this time, Jeff S and Gaby had finished up their panel on Judenhass – dangit, I missed it! – and it was Jeff T’s turn to leave the table and walk around. Eventually it was 2:55pm and the Cerebites made their way to the panel room for Cerebus Live! V:
Steve Peters was sitting to the right of the Friends of Cerebus table, while Matt and Kevin of Racecar comics were sitting to our left. Behind us was Ed Piskor of Wizzywig and Paul Hornschemeier of Forlorn Funnies. Paul had allowed me to print in Cerebus the Newsletter #17 a Cerebus drawing he did for me, so I went over and gave him his contributor’s copy and then I did the same for Steve Peters who allowed me to print the Sparky as Cerebus from the cover of Cerebus #1. Pretty cool having art from both of those great creators in the newsletter. Here is the view of the con from the Friends of Cerebus table:
When the con headed for the day, we closed up shop and headed up to the rooms for a quick breather before heading out to the Sausage Haus for some tasty eats and frosty beverages. The Haus gave us a 2 hour waiting time for 15 people, as we were joined by Steve Peters, Max Ink, Lora Innes – the SPACE prize winner for this year, her husband. Though once again, we were seated fairly quickly – having only waited about an hour or so. After the tasty eats of the Sausage Haus, we headed back to the hotel. I started reading some comics – and found that after the day’s events I could barely keep my eyes open. So when the room cleared out to go downstairs and smoke a cigar or two, I went to sleep and was out like a light.
The next morning the Cerebite Van was leaving for parts westerly, so Jeff T and myself said our goodbyes to them and then went to get some breakfast in the hotel. Jeff was impressed with my pancake / eggs / pancake sammich (of sorts), a tasty combination I had picked up from my Dad. After breakfast, we headed back down to the table. We stayed there until 1pm at which time we went to see the “For me, Indy comics led to. . .” panel with Sean McKeever, Paul Hornschemeier, Jim Rugg and Guy Davis. It was an entertaining panel with the guys talking about how Indy comics gave them the start to do either comics work for the “big 2″ or other graphics jobs. At 3pm Jeff T and myself packed up the table and headed out to another local comic book store to look for Dave Sim and Cerebus items. We picked up a few things then rushed back to the airport – for we only had a 1/2 hour before they started boarding the plane.
We managed to make it to the gate with 5 minutes to spare. The flight to LaGuardia had no issues – as I slept through the entire flight – and upon landing we had about an hour before we began boarding our next flight so we got some eats. Then the bad news started to roll in. The flight was delayed for an hour as thunderstorms were wrecking havoc in Philly and the flight that was going to become our flight was delayed there. Then another delay. A gate change. Further delays.
Around 11:45pm, as the aircraft that would become our flight sat lifeless on the tarmac waiting for a crew, US Airways made the announcement: the flight was canceled. Meanwhile, flights were continuing to land and take off, and the rest of the airport stores were closing. We made our way to the “special services” desk right beside our gate and waited in line. Upon getting to the counter I just asked if we could get a refund, as we booking for a flight in the morning when we were only a 2.5 hour car trip from home, seemed stupid. The counter agent took my boarding pass and started to enter the information. He then asked me for an email address. What? You have all the information you need, I’m not giving you an email address to spam me at later. He didn’t know how to by pass this so he asked the woman sitting beside him. One escape key later, he started entering the ticket’s code. It wouldn’t go through. He was confused again so he gave it to the woman beside us. She tried entering it and said it was an United Airlines code and that US Airways couldn’t give us a refund due to that. They laughed and said good luck getting a refund through United.
Luckily, our baggage was waiting for us at the carousel so we headed down there to pick it up and get a rental car. Some other US Airways agent was taking the baggage off the carousel and almost made off with our luggage but fortunately I grabbed it before he could. After 15 minutes of playing which phone to which rental car company works and which rental car company will actually have cars, we managed to get in touch with a rental car company. After waiting around for a half hour, and then getting our car, at 12:30 am we left New York City. We stopped at Jeff’s house, where I had left my car, and where we left the rental car – he would bring it to the rental car company later that day, and I left for my place. By the time I got home I was over exhausted – it was close to 4:15 am – I just passed out cold. Waking up at 8:30 am, I knew I had to get up lest my sleep schedule totally be thrown out of whack.
It was all I could do Monday to post the latest issue of Cerebus the Newsletter for sale and upload my pictures to Flickr. I managed to come down with some sinus head cold and felt like crap on Tuesday back at work. It probably didn’t help that I stayed up late on Monday to go to the Bruins vs Sabres game 6 at t he Garden. But oh, what a game! So here we are, Friday at a few minutes past 10am and I’m just getting to post about SPACE.
If you want to see more pictures, check out my flickr set on it:
Edited to add: United Airlines had a form online to fill out for refunds. I filled it out, and a week or so later they credited my card with the pro-rated amount of the final flight from NYC. They also sent a separate email in which they apologized for the snafu and gave me a voucher for a future flight. Nicely done United Airlines. Nicely done. Shame on US Airways for just letting its passengers sit around for 3+ hours waiting for a flight crew that never materialized. Then not sending us an apology or anything. I think the onus was on US Airways, not United Airlines, but United still stepped up when US Airways wouldn’t.
So I got a table for “Friends of Cerebus” so we could sell some CEREBUS THE NEWSLETTERs, that and it is nice to have a table to call home base though out the show. Last year Jeff S got a table for CRIC (Cerebus Readers in Crisis) which was right beside Steve Peters of Awakening Comics. It was a great place to sit and relax and occasionally shoot the shit with Steve.
Friends of Cerebus, which will consist of Jeff T and myself, will be sitting at table #133:
Along with the latest issue of Cerebus Archive from ComiXpress and the latest issue of glamourpuss that came out last week (#11 for those keeping track), Dave has also done a few other side projects:
Ultimate Lost Kisses #11 from Silber Media, written by Brian John Mitchell with art by Dave Sim. This is a micro comic, pretty tiny as you can see:
Dave did a series of pictures, of which he used different pieces from for the comic:
The story itself is very engaging, a tale of loss and forgiveness. It leaves you feeling a bit queasy and angry. Pretty amazing for a comic that is almost as small as a quarter and has single panels and a line of text under it on every page. The micro-mini comic is only $1 from the above link.
Ditkomania is the fanzine about all things Steve Ditko. This issue covers Steve’s independent creator owned work, so it is quite appropriate the Dave Sim did the cover for it. The issue is only $1.50 plus shipping from the link above.
As you’ve all heard by now Dave Sim and Aardvark-Vanaheim have moved Cerebus Archive from the Lebonfon printing company and Diamond Distributor to a print on demand publisher: ComiXpress. Dave speaks about why he made the switch in his annoucement on CerebusTV’s episode one.
I originally ordered Cerebus Archive #4 on Oct 26 and then Cerebus Archive #1 – 3 on Oct 27. Even though both orders weren’t ready until Nov 12, the site gave me no option to combine shipping on the two orders (both going to the same address). And just today I got the first four issues of Cerebus Archive from ComiXpress (in the two different shipments). Issue #4 is brand new, not having been offered by Diamond at all, while issue #1 – 3 had been offered by Diamond.
So I got my Diamond distributed Lebonfon printed #3 and compared it to the ComiXpress #3.
The most noticible difference is the price tag: $4 for the print on demand version and $3 for the copy I got in a store. In the number block, instead of the month (AUG in the Lebonfon printing), the ComiXpress version has POD. Looking at the cover, the Lebonfon printed copy has a glossy black and a slightly different hue to the colors. The Lebonfon printed copy is approximately .125″ shorter then the ComiXpress version; so you can see more of the bottom of the cover artwork.
Though the Lebonfon printed copy is approximately .125″ wider then the ComiXpress version.
The inside pages feel glossier on the ComiXpress version and it shows in the blacks. The ComiXpress blacks are darker and fuller then the Lebonfon blacks.
The only other difference is in the small text on the inside front cover that is the “Print in…” text.
ComiXpress is also offering back issues of glamourpuss, right now issues #1 – 7. Which I suspect, will have only the same minor changes as the Cerebus Archive back issues.
So the word from Dave Sim on last Friday’s episode of CerebusTV, is that as of Monday, October 26 (tomorrow!), Cerebus Archive will not be carried by Diamond Distributors due to Diamond’s recent requirements change, but it, along with back issues of glamourpuss will be offered through the P.O.D. publisher, ComiXpress.
Yup, you heard right – the new issue of Cerebus Archive, issue #4:
Will be offered tomorrow at ComiXpress. I’m hoping they have the zombie variant cover, a homage to issue #4 of Cerebus:
So hows this for cool? The powers that be at Aardvark-Vanaheim allowed me to take the photorealism history commentary pages, which have some most excellent art, from the first three issues of glamourpuss and put them into a PDF file, so make with the clicky (6 MB):
Cerebus Archive came out this week at comic book stores – I picked up a copy from the local Newbury Comics, couldn’t wait to go to the comic book store to get it. For $3 the 24 page comic is an interesting look at Sim’s archival material. He took the Cerebus archive – a bit of a misnomer, as it should be entitled the Dave Sim Archive as it encompasses more then just Cerebus, though Cerebus is probably the majority of what is in it – put it in chronological order and then put it in comic book format. I would think he is picking and choosing what he wants to run, as he didn’t print any of his work from the fanzine Legion Outpost, which he did prior to Now and Then Times, which he only printed a cover to and none of his articles. So yes, this must be a selection of items from the archive.
And what a selection it is – there are items in this comic that I’ve not seen before. From letters from follow comic creator Gene Day to the cover to the Cerebus fanzine #2 , which by the way is one of only two appearances of Cerebus in this comic – the first is on the cover. While it is cool seeing all this hard to find Dave Sim stuff, what I am willing to give my $3.00 to is for Dave’s commentary on all of these tidbits. Reprinting the stuff is one thing, but it definately wouldn’t be the same without Sim’s commentary.
For example, I’ve heard of Sim’s weekly comic strip called The Beavers, which he did for a local newspaper. I’ve even seen many of them either digitally or via collecting fanzines and comics in which Dave has had work published. I’d even seen and read an actual copy of How’s Your Beaver (thanks Jeff T!) and joked with Jeff that we should print up tee-shirts with the mini comic’s cover on it (this is seen on page 5 of Cerebus Archive #1). On page 8 Dave is talking about a couple How’s Your Beaver strips, which have a detailed cross-hatched background and the cartoony Beavers walking around in the foreground. Dave states “I was going back to the “Aislin Solution” – lots of little pen lines for a realistic background and then cartoon-y characters in the foreground.”
While Dave didn’t perfect this method himself while on the Beavers strip, he later states “I was off to the races or so I thought untilI did the second strip. All that cross hatching made it look like something out of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House…” Only after some time and with the help of Gerhard did Dave and Gerhard both get this method down perfect in the pages of Cerebus: Dave drawing the characters and Gerhard with the ultra-realistic backgrounds. This method of doing a “funny animals in the world of humans” comic must have been percolating in the back of Sim’s head for a few years.
So if you pick up glamourpuss and enjoy it mostly for Sim’s commentary on the photorealistic style comic creators, or you’re just starting to be a comic book creator and want to see how one of the giants of the self-publishing industry started out or if you just like Cerebus and want to see how Sim got to that point, Cerebus Archive is the comic for you.