What collections of Cerebus single issues are called due to their size.
Dave Speaks about the trades
"After that I'm hoping to arrange for the first twenty-five issues to be published as a collection ("Cerebus the Barbarian") followed sometime later by the publication of the 500 page "High Society" under one cover as a graphic novel... I have arrived at this decision for a number of reasons (a) the difficulty involved in keeping each volume of Cerebus in print at all times, (b) the convenience of being able to introduce new fans to Cerebus with two large volumes and (at most) two dozen back issues, (c) a manageable format for someday having all 300 issues available (a twelve volume set of 500 page hardcovers), (d) the opportunity to expand Cerebus' exposure by making in available in bookstores."
FC: "The last four trades have color covers. Was this to help sales (people love cover) or for some other reason?
Dave: "That one functioned on a few different levels. On the Dave Sim level, I was signaling that I thought that I had accomplished what I had set out to accomplish by the end of Rick's Story - the "Stairway to Heaven" "Break on Through to the Other Side" (just to throw Jimmy Paige and Jim Morrison into bed together for a moment) which answered the question, "If Suenteus Po the two-dimensional black-and-white character could play an immaculate game of chess and so earn the right to enter into Dave Sim's world, what would he do in a three-dimensional technicolor world?" By that point I had what I considered to be "enough to go on" for the Torah Commentaries and a rough idea of what my version of the Big Bang was going to be like in 289/290, and I thought the Book of Rick had turned out to be a pretty good summing up of gender relations. So, whatever I intended to do there, I was pretty sure I had arrived in a new reality that was as different from my previous reality as a color photograph of a landscape is different from a black-and-white line drawing. As it turned out what I intended to do there was to acknowledge God's sovereignty, to pray five times a day, to give alms to the poor, and to fast in Ramadan, and the rest of the time would be my own satisfaction, now I only had to get it all down on paper and, in a real sense, that would be it for my life. The next stop is death and after that, hopefully returning to God or Going Home. Awakening out of this life into actual reality which, I assume, will be as different from my present life as a color photograph of a landscape is different from a black-and-white line drawing.
In terms of the Cerebus level of reality, despite my best efforts, he just couldn't get past the "Jaka thing," and therefore he entered the female half of reality where a much-beloved analogous transformation takes place in the quintessential female movie, The Wizard of Oz, which starts in black-and-white and then, when Dorothy gets to Oz, switches to technicolor. This is a beloved transformation, I suspect, because it reflects female nature which sees the movement from schism to fragmentation as "a good thing," which is what color is. Light and darkness are white and black. A duality. "0" and "1." The fragmentation of light is color, a multiplicity. This was another part of the joke behind the title Going Home, indicating to the ladies and "ladies" in the audience that even at the point where the Wizard of Oz switches to color, when Dorothy arrives in Oz, she is also, in a real sense, Going Home. Or as the Koran assures us, we all came from God "and to Him we are returning." The fragmentation of light into color isn't permanent, the basic duality between light and darkness is still there, and only light is subject to entropy. It will, ultimately, dissipate."
Notes on Printings
- Note from the President in issue 106: "A limited printing of Church and State volume II (reprinting Cerebus #81 to 111) will e made available shortly after the publication of 111, largely, because I SPENT FIVE GODDAMN YEARS PRODUCING IT AND I REFUSE TO WAIT ANOTHER MINUTE TO HAVE VOLUMES ONE AND TWO GRIPPED IN MY...ahem..sweaty palms. We will only print enough to cover our orders as of June 1st 1988. Each book will be signed by Gerhard and me and numbered. The cost will be $50 per book (or $40 U.S.) No quantity discount or limit.
- From a news article entitled "Cerebus collection has printing defect; Sim tells stores: Give them away, he'll replace them" in Comic Buyer's Guide #1048 High Society's fifth printing had a printing error wherein pages #160 - 192 appeared in random order. Dave states that approximately 1,200 copies had shipped as of Nov 22, 1993. What hadn't been shipped was scrapped, and a sixth printing was done to replace the fifth.
- High Society has been translated into Spanish by Pontent Mon. (April 2010).
- High Society has been translated into French by Vertige Graphic (August 2010).
- High Society has been translated into Italian by Black Velvet (November 2010).
Church & State I
- Church & State I has been translated into Spanish by Pontent Mon. (July 2011).
- Church & State I has been translated into Italian by Black Velvet Edrice. (November 2011).
- Church & State I has been translated into French by Vertige Graphic. (November 2011).
List of Phonebooks
There are 16 phonebooks in the Cerebus story: