Cerebus Archive Number Five

Every Cerebus fan loves Jaka! Now, thanks to Sean Robinson’s “Living The Line” you can own this meticulously digitally remastered Artists’ Edition, shot directly from Dave Sim and Gerhard’s original artwork. Comes with an exclusive 11,000-word illustrated essay written by Dave Sim, giving you all of the inside information behind the creation of these pages. Front of the portfolio autographed by Dave Sim!

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As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.

For the fifth Cerebus Archive portfolio, Sim offers Cerebus issue 114 pages 2-11. Plus 11,000 words of commentary spread over six pages. All in a signed cardboard case.

I didn’t know who Sean Robinson or “Living The Line” were but some online searching revealed they’re doing the remastering of Cerebus, for appearance in new editions of the books and these portfolios.

The scans are excellent, with nary a hint of any visual issues. Blacks are mostly solid but we see the occasional gradient. Lots of blue pencil on every page. No corrections but the decorative panel borders are pasted on. The art is off white to a very light gray around the edges.

No design to speak of. Art is presented on the page with plate information along the bottom right. It’s a bit too close to the art, based on the amount of white space below it. I’m not sure I understand why the date is published on every plate. The portfolio name and plate number I can understand since collectors will probably get every one of these.

Production is top-notch. The glossy paper stock is quite thick and has a tendency to bend in the middle. The plates come in a resealable plastic envelope inside the cardboard outer envelope, which is also in a clear plastic bag.

This package is for die-hard Cerebus fans. These ten pages of Jaka’s earliest story appearance are a glimpse into the story but a strong opportunity to get up close and personal with the original art.

Perhaps the greatest reason to pick this up is for the extensive commentary by Sim. If you wanted to know every thought Sim had on Jaka inspiration and reflections on these ten pages, then this is the portfolio for you.

This was an outlying purchase for me. As I hinted at in the Portfolio One review, I’ll pick these kinds of items up when I see a great sale. This one was very reasonable on eBay.