Friends of Cerebus Fanclub
Actually, this isn't a fanclub but a page on the Friends of Cerebus Fanclub that ran from January 1981 to October 1985. There were 13 issues published of the newsletter entitled "Cerebus the Newsletter". Some other goodies were given out with the newsletter. For information on the current incarnation of "Cerebus the Newsletter" head on over to the new Friends of Cerebus website.
The idea for a Cerebus newsletter first surfaced in issue 6 of Cerebus when Deni Loubert mentioned in her Note From the Publisher that "We are going to be putting out a newsletter with a six-page story (CEREBUS, of course) and info to keep you up to date on what's happening here at A-V Press. That is, of course, if enough people are interested in seeing this sort of thing. So if you'd like to see this, drop us a postcard with your name and address and we'll start a compiling a mailing list. We are thinking of making it $2 for a five issue subscription (Don't send money now. We need to get enough orders before we can start on this thing.)" Then in issue 12 after attending a convention she mentions "Atlanta was the biggest suprise! . . .and someone tell me that he is forming a fan club. A CEREBUS fan club. Unbelievable!"
The idea for an Aardvark-Vanaheim newsletter didn't pan out as Dave mentions in issue 14's Aardvark Comment "The cost of producing the newsletter, not to mention the amount of time it was taking makes the whole idea of it rather impractical. If there's anyone out there interested in putting their own Cerebus newsletter together, say on a quarterly basis, I'd be happy to supply them with all the needed information and whatnot. I hope Cerebus' moves to monthly frequency will take some of the sting out of the newsletter falling through." This annoucement coincides with the time that Dave had his hospital visit for his nervous breakdown, and then Cerebus' change to a monthly publication schedule.
In Cerebus #17, dated June 1980, it was announced that Fred Patten will in charge of the newsletter and subscription rate for 4 issues would be $2.00. Later that year in issues 23 through 25 of Cerebus, it is seen on the inside front cover the Cerebus Fan Club memberships are $5, being a member gets one extra goodies like a Cerebus button and a membership card. However, in issue #27 of Cerebus, Deni clarifies that one cannot get the newsletter without becoming a member of the fanclub.
Issue number one of Cerebus the Newsletter is published in early 1981 and issue #2 follows in spring of 1981, and in the small print of both issues it states they are published by the Cerebus Fan Club. In Cerebus issue 27 in Deni's column she makes a reference to the Friends of Cerebus - the fanclub has gotten its name. With issue #3, dated July / September 1981 the small print states it was published for the Friends of Cerebus.
In Febuary 1983 a letter dated 21 Febuary 1983 was sent out to all Friends of Cerebus members that Aardvark-Vanaheim would be taking over the publication of Cerebus the Newsletter with issue #6. The letter outlines how in October 1982 Dave and Deni both met up with Fred during the US Tour 1982 and they talked about the fanclub. Fred couldn't afford the time to publish the newsletter anymore so they were handing over the duties to Steve Hendricks, who had numerous entries in the previous 5 issues of the newsletters. In December of 1982 Deni closed the deal and ownership of putting together the newsletter was switched from Fred to Steve. In Cerebus issues #46 and 47 have Steve's name and address listed for the "new address for the Fan Club." In Aardvark Comment for issue #47, dated Febuary 1983, there was a question about the fan club and the response was "Fred Patten was forced to give up the Fan Club because of some other commitments. Steve Hendricks will be getting caught up as soon as he can get a newsletter assembled from the material on hand and mailed out."
Steve had gotten a newsletter together and was ready to publish it when a letter dated 15 Febuary 1982 arrived for him from Deni. Deni was concerned about the financial risk of Steve doing the newsletter not to mention that Aardvark-Vanaheim could put together the newsletter and possibly make a small profit on it to help pay for Karen McKiel's time getting it together. So Aardvark-Vanaheim officially took over publication of Cerebus the Newsletter and the day to day running of the Friends of Cerebus fanclub. From 1983 to 1985 the cost of becoming a member rose from the original $5.00 per year to $10 per year.
Aardvark-Vanaheim published issues #6 - 13 of Cerebus the Newsletter until in Cerebus issue 79 dated October 1985 Dave says in his Note From the President "After a great deal of discussion with Karen, we have decided to discountinue the Fan Club. The wear and tear of constantly shifting fan club projects to the back burner. . .on your nerves as well as ours. . . .created a situation of rapidly diminishing returns. We thank everyone for being so patient and ask you to watch for your refund sometime before Christmas." In April 1986 a letter from Karen was sent out to all fanclub members stating the fanclub had been disbanded and refunded money for issue #14.
In early 2009 Margaret Liss and Jeff Tundis were talking about creating a fanzine for Cerebus. Margaret contacted Fred and Dave and asked about using the name Cerebus the Newsletter and Friends of Cerebus. Both agreed to let the new version of the newsletter use the names and the newsletter was being published after too many years of being suspended from publication. Issue #14 was published in April 2009 and more information about the current incarnation of Friends of Cerebus can be found at the Friends of Cerebus website.
The newsletters were basically the same: a letter from Deni in the inside front cover (by issue #12, Dave was divorced fron Deni and he did the inside front cover letter), some fan letters & drawings, and The Notebooks (pages from Sim's notebooks, just like in the Bi-Weekly reprints of High Society and Church and State). All are 8 1/2 inches by 5 3/4 inches or a piece of regular letter paper folder in half and stapled in two places.
Here is a picture of all 13 issues together. Start at the top left hand corner with issue #1, and go from left to right.
The issues #1-5 were put out by Fred Patten and Aardvark-Vanaheim took over for issues #6-13. When the fanclub started, the cost of membership was only $2.00 a year and at issue #9 it went up to $10.00 a year.
- #1: Jan - March 1981, 12 pages, Sim cover and intro, "Cerebus The Aardvark Early Model Sheet" by Sim, maps of Togith, T'Gita and Palnu by Michael Loubert, and fan art.
- #2: April - Jun 1981, 16 pages, cover by Steve Hendricks, editorial by Fred Patten, Geographic Map of the Aardvarkian Age by Michael Loubert, fan art. Extra with this issue: Cerebus Fan Club Certificate.
- #3: July - Sept 1981, 16 pages, cover by Steve Hendricks, editorial by Fred Patten, Sim interview, some Cerebus art by Sim, fan art. Here is the back cover. Extra with this issue: Membership card.
- #4: Oct - Dec 1981, 28 pages, cover by Ernie Chan, Editorial by Fred Patten, some fan art / stories, Friends of Cerebus membership roster (with 188 names listed), letters column, Sim sketch, and the back cover was by Bob McLeod.Here is the back cover. Extra with this issue: yellow Cerebus stickers.
- #5: Jan - Mar 1982, 28 pages, editiorial by Fred Patten, pre-aardvark Cerebus art by Sim, diamondback article, sim sketch, fan art and articles. Here is a look at the front cover to issue #5. Extra with this issue: "Fight like an Aardvark" bumper sticker.
- #6: 1983, 18 pages, Editorial by Deni, more pre-aardvark Cerebus art by Sim, Sim sketch, The Notebooks (begin this issue), fan art and articles. Here is the front cover and the back cover.
- #7: 1983, 24 pages, cover by Sim, editorial by Deni, fan art and articles, Animated Cerebus Portfolio preview. Here is a look at the back cover.
- #8: 1983, 28 pages, editorial by Deni, fan art and articles, Mike Bannon Fan Club Newsletter, and "How To Draw Comics the Aardvark-Vanaheim Way" by Sim.Here is the front cover and the back cover.
- #9: 1983, 24 pages. The cover is the artwork for the Hologram pendant by Sim and the backcover is the Elrod Tee-shirt artwork by Sim. This issue has no Notebooks from Sim. The issue includes: "Some Literary Comments on Perspective Shifts in Cerebus" by Janet McGuire, some Mike Bannon Fan Club stuff, and the new revised "Friends of Cerebus List. Extra with this issue: The 1984 Calendar.
- #10: Febuary 1984, 28 pages. The front cover is by Paul Smith (of X-Men) and the back cover shows the artwork from the Cerebus: The Radio Show LP (that was never released). This issue includes: A fan drawing from Alex Toth (of Spaceghost fame), Cerebus / X-Men team-up news, some commentary and one page of art on the Epic Illustrated #26 story from Sim and a Cerebus mini-poster (it looks like that to me, it is right in the center and spreads across both pages and looks like you can just gently pull it out and put it up on a wall). (issue doesn't have a date on it, date came from a flyer sent out)
- #11: May 1984, 28 pages. The front cover is by Sim and the back cover is an ad for Cerebus #63: Mind Game IV. This issue contains: More Mike Bannon fanclub stuff, a couple sketches by Sim (one of Elrod and one of the McGrew brothers), samples of "Estarcion Gum Cards" (it says "project postponed indefinitely"), and some never before seen Sim art (Unpublished Bootleg Album Cover "Wings: Over Canada" & a one page unpublished Captain Canada strip). (issue doesn't have a date on it, date came from a flyer sent out)
- #12: August 1984, 26 pages. A wrap around cover by Sim and Gerhard. This issue contains: "Loose Ends: A Checklist of Early Cerebus Stories" by Thomas Lorimer and a few Sim & Gerhard Cerebus drawings. Extra with this issue: "mag minder", a small magnet with Cerebus on it. (issue doesn't have a date on it, date came from a flyer sent out)
- #13: 1985, 22 pages. The front cover is a splash panel fron "The Spirit Vs. The Aardvark" from Cerebus Jam #1 designed by Sim and drawned by Gerhard. The back cover has a promo for "A Cerebus Jam Story" "The first meeting of Cerebus and the original Michelle! Really!! What issue? I haven't the faintest idea." with a picture of Cerebus and Michelle. (issue doesn't have a date on it, date came from a flyer sent out)
If you sent in your money for a fanclub membership, you not only got The Newsletter, you got a bunch of cool freebies! I have some pictures of these items -- if you have pictures of any of the others or know with what issue they came (if they came with an issue), please send them my way. Thanks!
- Friends of Cerebus Membership Cards, here is a picture of some of the cards:
- Cerebus Fan Club Certificates. Here is a picture of several different certificates:
- Signed Photo of Dave Sim
- Friends of Cerebus Bookmark: A laminated bookmark, approximately 1.5" by 6".
- A personally signed copy of the 1982 Tour Poster
- A freebie deck of Diamondback cards for the first 100 members
- A Cerebus Bumper Sticker: "Fight Like An Aardvark" (issue #5)
- Friends of Cerebus 1984 notepad: This came with issue #11 of the newsletter.
- Friends of Cerebus Stickers. Here is a pic of them (issue #4)
- Mag-Minders: (with issue #12), a flat magnet measures 2 1/4" X 1 1/4".
- Cerebus as Santa Christmas card
- Christmas card with Red Sophia, Cerebus and a wreath from Dave, Deni & Karen. Here is scan of the inside.
- A couple notes for the fan club. Including this one from Fred Patten on the newsletter becoming part of the fanclub.
- Support Your Prime Minister: A pinback with Cerebus as PM on it, sit says "Support Your Prime Minister!" Came with issue #12. Aka the "Lapel pin."
- Friends of Cerebus 1984 Calender: A pin up calender, 11" x 17", with issue #9
- Friends of Cerebus 1985 Calender: A pin up calender. Here is a close up of it. Came with issue #13.
- A three page letter from Deni saying AV was taking over the fanclub, includes a "schedule" of what would be coming out that year. Page One, Page Two, and Page Three,
- Letter from Karen: A letter that stated the fanclub was being disbanded.
- Matches: A pack of matches, with the Now & Then Comics info on one side, and Cerebus from the cover of issue #15 on the other side. Supposedly came with #12 of the newsletter. As Dave describes them: "...the matches, which were actually Now & Then Books matches that Harry had done up that had the Now & Then Books info on one side and the illustration of Cerebus from the cover of issue 15 on the other side (which was a good illustration to put on matchbooks). I was still smoking like a chimney then, so no matter how many matchbooks I got, I ended up using them."
I would like to thank the article "Cerebus the Newsletter!" in the Cerebus Companion #2 (go here to Win-Mill Productions and scroll down to buy the Cerebus Companions) for its help with issues #1-8 and some of the extras. I would also like to give a special round of applause to Don Van Horn for all his help with the many cover / back cover scans of many of the newsletters and other items! Thanks to Jeff T for his pictures of various goodies. Also thanks to Dave Sim for his help with some of the FOC items! Thanks to Steve Hendricks with his help with some items and information!