Silverspoon story

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Dec 14, 1979 - early 1980: Biweekly 112489
Story: Silverspoon Story
Writer & ArtistDave Sim
PublisherDeni Loubert

This series of one-page strips introduces Lord Silverspoon and includes the first appearance of Lord Julius. It happens between issue 13 and issue 14 and tells the story of how Cerebus got from Lower Felda to Palnu.



At Denieau Cerebus boards a ship, the Cutter, which is headed towards its home of Palnu. Once on board Cerebus instantly dislikes Lord Silverspoon, who thoughtlessly knocks him overboard. The prince then attacks a sea serpent, which is only a dummy built by the merchants to give Silverspoon an adventure.

An Onliu pirate ship suddenly attacks. Their catapults set the Cutter afire, and soon the crew abandons ship. Cerebus makes his way to an island. Thinking he is alone at last, Cerebus encounters Silverspoon, who expects him to find food for them both.

The island turns out to be inhabited. The natives capture them and tie them to stakes in the village. Left to rot, Cerebus hears Silverspoon muttering: he wants fine wine. He may be on the verge of death, but his breeding is impeccable, observes Cerebus.

Lord Julius and the Palnu Army show up to rescue the pair. Silverspoon tries to tell his father that Cerebus kidnapped him. Lord Julius offers Cerebus a trip to Palnu and a reward.



Originally published in The Comic Buyer's Guide (at the time called The Buyer's Guide to Comic Fandom):

Issue #



Dec 14, 1979


Dec 28, 1979


Jan 11, 1980


Feb 08, 1980


Feb 22, 1980


March 07, 1980


March 21, 1980


April 04, 1980


June 13, 1980


June 27, 1980


July 25, 1980

Other printings: Cerebus Biweekly, November 24, 1989; Swords of Cerebus #4; World Tour Book.

It has been included in the Cerebus (Phonebook) since the eleventh printing, dated July 2003, between issues 13 and 14.

Dave Speaks About the Story

Swords of Cerebus #4 Introduction


As I said in the last introduction, I was getting very tired of doing commercial artwork for milk and bread money. Dreaming up snappy slogans like "Femme Fit Jeans - They fit your Femme." Perfect J.B. I think it'll play in Tilsonburg. So I started scouting around for people to sell Cerebus to as a regular feature. Which was when I thought of The Buyer's Guide, a comics ad newspaper with a large circulation. The way I figured it, I could sell a series of one-page strips to be published in TBG each week. I would make a few dollars, the book would have what amounted to a free full page ad in each issue of TBG and best of all it would be time for Dave Sim of Kitchener, Ontario to play "Hal Foster for a Day!"

Seriously now, regional prejudice and national pride aside, not even considering all the pros and cons of Neal Adam's style versus Alex Toth's, the high contrast use of black and white versus thin line realism versus impressionist styling versus stylish impressionism, when it comes down to three-quarters of an inch of steel and a piece of paper and some ink and making a thatched hut with rough-hewn wooden shutters look like a thatched hut with rough-hewn wooden shutters in four lines or less, give me Hal Foster in his prime. Of all the artists I tried to imitate (and if you think Barry Smith noodling drops off the end of the average pen, I have news for you.) Hal Foster is without a doubt, the single most difficult to nail down, for a very obvious reason. The-man-knew-how-to-draw. Really draw.

It is a testament to his sheer ability that so few people have attempted to imitate him and that the artists who have managed an adequate version of Hal Foster are outstanding by their rarity. Wally Wood's same Prince Valiant strip comes to mind - Jeff Jones Valiant parody I saw a few years back at a convention. By contrast Alex Raymond, one of Hal Foster's few peers in drawing ability was imitated by almost everyone in the fledgling comic book industry of the thirties and forties - slashing brush strokes for a background, sharp angular squinty features. Foster's style, as the ensuing eleven pages should demonstrate, is not as accessible. All superfluous detail is eliminated. Every Foster drawing is like a well-designed vehicle. No wind resistance. Nothing there but what should be there. I mean, there are artists you can imitate by adding a pen stroke here, some cross-hatching there, some texturing on this bit. With Hal Foster you have four pen lines to get it right and then the buzzer goes and you lose the trip to Hawaii and the year's supply of taco chips. On the writing side, Prince Valiant has to be one of the oddest creatures going, past, present, and future. On the one hand, it is an epic of awesome proportions - the closest in fact, to what I was attempting with Cerebus. Foster produced two thousand pages of Prince Valiant's life, starting when he's young, having him meet his future wife, lose her, find her again, get married, have kids, have the kids grow up and have adventures. Wanting my Val parody to be as authentic in its literary form as possible, I read what pages I could get my hands on, hoping to find some "hook" for a parody.

It fairly leapt from the page, Prince Valiant reads like an old issue of "Boy's Life" or "The Rover Boys go to College". There is implicit in the writing a sense that the Brits are just naturally superior to the Vikings, the Celts and any of those scruffy sorts who will come up to the gates, right up to the gates, mind you, without so much as a by your leave. Val prevails because he has good breeding, unshakable confidence and a grander sense of purpose than these low-lifes.

Viewed from my own perverse vantage point ("Hey, you should see what Prince Valiant looks like from over here"), Prince Valiant becomes a pampered aristocrat, prevailing because he has more protein in his diet than any fifty Celts ("Jeeves, another pheasant"). A spoiled brat, unable to see his lofty position as anything but his birthright as a superior person. I just sort of stretched it a bit, really.


The time between Cerebus #13 and #14 was very interesting. I was right royally sick of doing commercial art (did I mention that, yet?) generally, and working for people who wouldn't know a marketable idea or effective drawing if they tripped over it, specifically, it was a rare bit of insight indeed, coming as it did on a clear but icy cold January night. "Why not do the book monthly?"

I now knew for certain that I could draw twenty-two pages in a month's time - actually more like a month and a few days. I decided to cut the page count to twenty pages just to be on the safe side. I couldn't sleep that night... I thought I had died and gone to comicbook heaven. To never have to draw another newspaper ad, pair of jeans, cartoon mascot, soccer ball, Buy! Buy! Buy!, 30% OFF or SALE!

I waxed enthusiastic to Deni about my idea and, of course, she was not crazy about it. She reminded me than less than a year before, I had had a nervous breakdown, ostensibly, from overwork. She reminded me that I had just started doing weekly strips for the Buyer's Guide and how would I find the extra time to do them? I protested that I would just stop doing the strip. She reminded me that I couldn't stop the strip mid-story, I argued that the strip was part of the continuity, and would stand as a suitable transitions between issues 13 and 14 someday. I'll leave it to you to decide if it does.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I realized at the time I started the Prince Valiant parody that the key to Silverspoon would be a father who would come to rescue him no matter what kind of trouble he got into.

From the Cerebus Archive Report #4

Q. "Canon", "Silverspoon", "(1980) The Buyer's Guide for Comic Fandom (bi-weekly starting in issue 317) \, World Tour Book\, Swords of Cerebus 4\, Cerebus Bi-Weekly Special\, current printing of Cerebus Volume 1.", "between issue 13 and 14", "Although currently printed in the first volume\, it should be included in the miscellany.", "", "1412.5"

Dave: DISAGREE ... I think it needs to be a firm policy that there’s no duplication of the material from the Cerebus trades into the Miscellany Volume. I think it’s home to stay in the Cerebus volume because otherwise the sudden appearance of Lord Julius is inexplicable in the narrative.

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