A&R1993: Cerebus Number Zero

Cerebus Number Zero (1993) by Dave Sim & Gerhard

This was originally meant to be published in a poly-bagged, foil inked version with a holographic card (as a kind of comment/parody of what other publishers were doing around this time), but Sim decided that that would be too expensive a joke, so instead it’s came just in a normal version, and one with a silver ink cover version.

And it’s meant (I guess) primarily as a promotional tool: It collects all the “interstitial” issues that weren’t included in the collections. Sim had previously published “Free Cerebus”, which just gave a recap of the storyline, but this one gives new readers a more hefty taste of Cerebus (since it includes four issues at the price of one).

Each issue has a chatty introduction…

… and then we get the issue. It’s a no frills package, but it makes sense both for those who had all the collections and for new readers, I guess.

Sim notes that the 112/113 issue would perhaps make more sense being included in Church & State II, and I agree:

I don’t think a new reader would be able to make heads or tails out of this thing. But it’s got a great mood, and it looks really good.

The final bit is a skit where a bunch of Lord Julius dopplegangers wreak mayhem, and is very nice indeed.

I guess Sim stopped making these interstitial comics after this, though? From now on, all the issues go into the collections.

Wizard Magazine #21, page 124:

And now for something completely different, take a
look at Dave Sim’s Cerebus Those of you not overly
familiar with Cerebus may recognize him as the lil’ grey
guy in Spawn #10. If you liked him in Spawn, there are
: over 150 issues of his own monthly title devoted to chron-
icling the aardvark’s adventures, and luckily most of them
are collected into trade paperbacks. We say luckily because
if you think trying to get a Valiant or Image gold book
: with their 5,000 or so print run is tough, you should try
: finding a Cerebus #1 that was printed more than ten years
ago in a 2,000 copy print run. There have been a few
: issues here and there that weren’t included in the collec-
tions, much to the frustration of aardvark aficionados
everywhere. Cerebus #0 remedies this situation with
reprints of issues #51, #112-113, and #137-138. To
: sweeten the deal, Sim has included a Cerebus hologram
: card polybagged with each book. These stories weren’t
. originally reprinted in collected form because they are
stand-alone stories, and not an integral part of the story-
line in the surrounding issues. This makes Cerebus #0 the
perfect introduction to this trail-blazing creator-owned


Well, the card thing was announced, but didn’t happen, as far as I can tell, so kudos to Wizard for accurate reporting.

The Comics Buyer’s Guide #1037, page 100:

* If you still haven’t tried Cerebus
(Aardvark-Vanaheim, $2.25), let me
make yet another try at convincing you
that you are rnissing out on something
really good and really important.
Cerebus Number Zero ($2.25) is a fat
issue reprinting three stories not collected
in the enormous trade paperbacks
(“telephone books”) which otherwise cov
lect the entire 15-year run of Cerebus
from #1 through #162. A copy of Cerebus
#0 (#51, #112/113, and #137-138) and
the seven volumes of trade paperbacks
Cerebus (reprinting #105), High Society
(#26-50), Church and State (two volumes,
#52-111), Jaka’s story (#114-136),
moth (+139-150), and Flight (#151-162)
will set you back less than $175. It’s
even possible you can order through a
good comics store and get a nice discount
on the entire set.
The Cerebus series is a finite series (not
a limited series in any sense of the word),
planned to run issues and detailing 26
years in the life of Cerebus, an aardvark
(an aardvark with an aattitude) in a world
of humans. Cerebus began in December
1977 and will end in March 2004. It is a
monumental task, and Dave Sim (aided
on the art by Gerhard) has produced
more than 3()()() pages to date with more
than yet to come. This would be
impressive even if it weren’t good;
though, in fact, it is great. You can’t very
well pick it up halfway through and derive
full enjoyment from it, but, thanks to the
reprints, that isn’t necessary.
It is unlikely that anyone will ever
duplicate Dave’s feat no other “inde-
pendent” comic-book title has even man-
and the chance that
aged 100 issues
anyone will match it in quality and quan-
tity is astronomically remote.
(Even in the mainstream world, the clo-
sest anyone has come to a finite series
entirely written by one person and with a
definite beginning, middle, and end is The
Sandman by Neil Gaiman. Neil has pro-
duced 54 issues, a special, and a spin-off,
with maybe two years to go until the series
ends. And Neil is “merely” writing it,
while Dave is writing and drawing and
publishing Cerebus. Both series are excel-
lent; fortunately, there is no reason to
we can enjoy
choose between them

This blog post is part of the Renegades and Aardvarks series.

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