So a while back (whoa, over a year ago!), I posted about the different Cerebus phonebooks. And in that time I’ve found some corrections as phonebooks have surfaced on eBay, and questions posed to Dave Sim. Take for example, this misconception I had:
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.
I thought that because I had gone through the single issues looking for full page ads for the phonebooks and all I could see was Dave selling directly to fans and a print run of 6,000. No notes of signed / limited edition first prints. To top it off, I have a first print of Church & State I which is not signed nor numbered.
And it had page numbers.
In the following year, I hear of a copy of Church & State I that had no page numbers. Interesting I thought. Then I found a copy of Church & State I that is a first printing and is signed and numbered 136 out of 525, and it has no page numbers.
Then a second edition of the Cerebus phonebook shows up on eBay with this picture:
What the heck? Seriously? I was befuddled at what the DIA meant: was it a convention that Dave went to and sold 167 copies of Cerebus at? Or some store that ordered a huge amount of copies? Confused, I asked Dave Sim, because if anyone would know, it would be him. Here is what he said about it:
“The signed and numbered you were looking at would have been me trying to make nice on the Direct Market after everyone when ballistic over my selling HIGH SOCIETY directly (justifiably). “DIA” signifies that this was Diamond’s order for the first trade paperback to be offered through the distributers, 167 copies, evidently of the CEREBUS trade.”
So after the big to-do that Diamond made about Sim selling the phonebooks directly, Diamond only order 167 copies? Or perhaps they ordered 167 signed limited edition copies and X amount of “standard” copies? From the sound of Dave’s note it sounds as if that was the entirity of Diamond’s first order for it.
It’s times like this I wish I had all the back of the issue stuff (including Aardvark Comment) in electronic searchable format.