History of Friends of Cerebus and Cerebus the Newsletter
History from the CFG page on the Newsletter.
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.