Second in a continuing series of Cerebus Archive Artist’s Editions, this folio features razor-sharp, crystal clear reproductions of the ten earliest High Society pages in the Cerebus Archive. “Sean Robinson and Mara Sedlins are flat-out geniuses,” says Cerebus creator, Dave Sim. “Just when I think they can’t get a page any clearer than it already is, in comes the next generation of proof to prove me wrong.” Sim’s painstaking, inch-by-inch commentaries which proved so unexpectedly popular on Cerebus Archive Number One have been expanded from 2 pages to 6 this time out – and on the same glossy cardstock as the individual plates instead of the paper stock on the Cerebus Archive Number One.
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.
Ten plates of art in total: six from issue 26, one from issue 27, and three from issue 28. Along with those are three plates, double sided, of Sim’s commentary on each page of art. This was a Kickstarter and then distributed by Diamond.
This statement from the blurb troubles me: “Just when I think they can’t get a page any clearer than it already is, in comes the next generation of proof to prove me wrong“. What correction was done to the scans? Everything is clear and crisp with no softness or blur. The plates have bright white borders but my photos don’t reflect that. The art boards do appear to have been whitened. We see some gradients in the blacks, and lots of blue pencil for lines in word balloons. No visible correction fluid. Cerebus is always done with zip-a-tone.
The design is straightforward, with a different title colour for each portfolio, this one being metallic copper. Each art plate has the plate number along with the title of the portfolio and its publication date, which strikes me as odd: the date the original art was completed or published would be more appropriate.
Production is excellent: the plates feel about 250 gsm, a very thick glossy paper. The plates come in a plastic zip-top bag inside a sealed cardboard sleeve which was then bagged and sealed with a sticker. Sim’s signature adorns the front of the portfolio’s sticker. Still called an “Artist’s Edition” in the solicit and on that front sticker.
That is a high cover price and would only appeal to die-hard fans. The six pages of notes from Sim play into that fandom base. I picked this up on a very deep discount.