A&R1988: Cerebus Bi-Weekly

Cerebus Bi-Weekly (1988) #1-26 by Dave Sim

I had already read the Swords of Cerebus reprint volumes, so I didn’t intend to buy this reprint series. But I happened upon them on sale a couple years after they were published for almost nothing, and I picked them up.

It’s not a complete run or anything, but the reason I was interested in having these comics was because they reprinted the original editorials and letters pages from the original issues, and I hadn’t read those. Hey, I was a fan back then, eh? Eh? These issues also reprint the introductions from the Swords volumes, so they’re kinda aimed at rabid Cerebus fans that missed out on either the original issues or Swords.

The editorial pages are printed smaller “inset”, but the story pages are printed full size, of course.

The design on Cerebus Bi-Weekly is pretty basic, but I guess they needed a simple template to allow them to get them out the door with a minimum of work.

And I’m assuming this is the real point of doing this series: As a way to keep Cerebus Product flowing through the comics shops, so that people won’t forget that Cerebus exists, and buy the collected editions (which is presumably how Sim made a living at this point).

However, Sim complicates things for himself pretty quickly: He announces that he’ll accept single page submissions for which he’s paying $150 each.

And… most of the submissions are a bit on the rough side.

There’s usually no comments about the editorial page reprints, but this one notes that this is the only Palnu map to appear in Cerebus.

Sim must have been getting a lot of Single Page submissions, because he ups the number of pages to two per issue.

And established comics makers start submitting, like Trina Robbins.

Heh heh.

Hey! Eddie Campbell about Beau Brummel.

There’s a 26th issue (which isn’t noted anywhere as far as I can tell as being the 26th issue) that reprints some of the extra material that was included in Swords of Cerebus. But far from all of it. A bit odd…

Sim says that he’s gotten so many Single Pages that he has enough for the next 25 issues. I guess that $150 was really attractive to a lot of people.

The Comics Journal #130, page 90:

GROH-I: Why nould you, as an artist, prefer 10 see your
work in a shoddy pulp-paper pamphlet format when you
could be represented in Stores by a handsome $25 book
SIM: If I want to get new readers involved in the storyline
in comics shops, I’m going to have to give them comic
books. I don’t consider it shoddy. I like the fact that the
bi-weekly reprints everything. It’s kind of a gas going
through 1977 and ’78 again. Doing the historical stand-
point satisfied the artistic need to have the whole story
. told again, all the letters pages and whatnot. But also there
are people who bought Cerebus from issue One and had
to sell their collection at some point. This way they’ve
got everything back that they ever had and everybody gets
to own a complete collection. It frees up a lot of the col-
lector’s issues back into the collector’s market because
people who were just hanging on to them because of the
letters pages — fuck, don’t worry about it: you can get
one for a buck and a quarter that’s got everything in it
that you’ve got in this original one right here.


So anyway, I had the stories, with extras besides, from those early issues. I didn’t need to buy the Cerebus Bi-Weekly series, reprinting each of the first 25 issues in order…but what they had that the Swords of Cerebus volumes didn’t were the letters pages, and editorials, and extra features, and whathaveyou. It was a full reprint of the contents of the original, and since part of the appeal of Cerebus was the occasionally rolicking letters page, and just he whole package in general, it was nice to get a replica of that experience. And thus, I ended up buying all 26 issues of the series (with #26 reprinting some of the material that appeared in Swords of Cerebus, as well as several “Single Pages,” a feature that ran in Cerebus Bi-Weekly that presented work from various cartoonists).

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

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