Real vs Counterfeit
Back in 1982 counterfeit Cerebus #1s were sold to a bunch of comic stores. You can read about one such instance at Roger Owen's blog. He lists the ways to tell a counterfeit from a real, but only has one picture. There was another site that had hi-res pictures, but the hi-res pictures are no longer accessible. So here are some pictures to go along with the descriptions - I've used my two real #1s, both signed by Dave Sim, and the counterfeit #1, also signed by Dave, but as someone else. You can click on the pictures below to see a larger verson of it for close up detail.
- How to tell a counterfeit #1 from a real #1:
- Dave Sim signs the counterfeit #1 as another comicbook artist: He'll sign everything else standard, but when he gets to the signature, he'll ask you how you want it signed, with so-and-so's signature or so-and-so's signature. He typically signs on the first page of the comic.
- Inside front cover: The real #1 has a matte black inside front cover while the fake #1 has a glossy black inside front cover:
- Front Cover Dot tone: The front cover is usually all you can see on an eBay auction, but it is also the quickest way to tell the difference - Dave doesn't need to open up the fake to tell it is a fake, he can tell by looking at the cover - for the coloring quality. Look at the barbarian in the lower right hand corner, see how it has red tone dots? The real one is just red tone dots, the fake has the red from the cover as an outline of sorts:
It is also visible on the back cover's barbarians a bit:
- Front Cover Color / Quality: The front cover of the real Cerebus #1 is a bit more redish then the fake, which looks a bit more orange. Though that is hard to tell unless you've got a real #1 to hold beside it, and even then, lighting conditions can make it hard to distinguish. The fake sometimes has a black stripe along the bottom. Mine does, you can barely see the start of it in the picture below, it grows in size so it is a bit larger near the right hand side of the cover. The real Cerebus #1 doesn't have this stripe.
If you look at the larger picture by clicking on the picture below, you can see the difference in the tone of the Cerebus figures on the cover. Notice in the real ones, where Cerebus' hand holds the sword is smudged so it is mostly black, while in the fake, the quality of the cover is higher so that area isn't smudged and you can see the tone that is there.
- Staples: The staples for the real #1 are thicker and bigger then the staples for the fake number one, both look "silver" in color to me. Take a look see, the fake #1 is the top and the two bottom ones are real #1s:
- Inside quality: If you can get a glimpse of the inside of the issue you want to buy, go to the splash page with the big dragon creature and take a look at the Cerebus figure. In the real #1 you can see the tone in Cerebus in the foreground, but in the fake, the Cerebus in the foreground is just a solid dark figure, no tone visible.