I have all my Cerebus phonebooks lined up on my bookcase.
Well, maybe not all of them, as some of my doubles won’t fit. I have to put on the bookshelf one each of the first and then third or subsequent printing for the first six phonebooks. For at least the first and second editions of those phonebooks don’t have the text on the spine like the first editions of all the phonebooks beginning with Flight. So the difference between those editions is easy to see.
And to get rid of one of the Cerebus myths – how supposedly the first editions of the phonebooks are all signed and numbered editions? False. With the first three phonebooks: High Society, Church & State I and then Cerebus (the order in which they were printed), did not have a signed first edition. In fact, from what I can find out in back issues of Cerebus, the first editions for High Society and Church & State I each had a print run of 6,000.
But before you get to thinking, ‘wow, it should be easy to find one of those for my collection then‘ think again. With those first editions of the first phonebooks, the binding was known to come apart after a few readings. To placate the unhappy fans who had phonebooks which were coming apart, Dave told them to return the phonebooks which were now falling apart to him, and he would replace them at no cost to the fans. So how many of those original first printings exists in the hands of fans? All I know is that when I was tracking down first editions, the one for Church & State I was my next to last find.
I still haven’t found one for Melmoth.
But I digress.
The reason I got to thinking about the differences in the phonebooks was this:
Yes, those are two different editions of the Form & Void phonebook. The first and second editions of the phonebook have the blue text on the spine and cover while following editions have black text on the spine and white text on the cover. Even the hue to the cover picture is slightly different between the two.
One last really visible difference in phonebook editions: with the eleventh printing of the Cerebus phonebook, Dave added the Silverspoon story into its proper place in the storyline. Though it isn’t visible on the outside, you can tell by looking at the page count. Which makes a Cerebus reread fun, as some people will be using an earlier edition and some a later edition, and no one’s page numbers will match after page 294.
So you may think I’m a bit. . .retentive when it comes to getting the phonebooks with differences to them, but I think they sure look cool on my bookcase:
As you can see, my later editions of High Society and Church & State I aren’t up there. I fit in some of my doubles when others are out.