For my money, few comic books has been as thrilling and interesting as Dave Sim’s Cerebus – and no other comic has been as infuriating and disappointing in the end. Here are some of my favorite covers, drawn by Sim and Gerhard. (Sim does the figures and lettering, Gerhard does backgrounds, objects and colors).
Issue 87. The cover, depicting two characters falling off a cliff during a blizzard, is lovely in its own right. I liked it even better once I realized that it was a parody of Frank Miller’s Dark Knight cover — but Sim and Gerhard’s version looks better.
Issue 123. I love this cover portrait of a character who seemed simple, but turned out to have many sides, some of them quite ugly.
Issue 140, one of many nice Cerebus covers in this period featuring small figures in front of amazing Gerhard drawings of architecture. This cover stands out to me because of the subtle but perfect body language; Sebastian sick and exhausted and facing a long climb still to go, and Robbie so worried for his friend and eager to help.
Issue 206. I wanted to include a cover from “Guys,” because I really liked the way that the covers were just additional pages in the comic, and fit into the paperbook book collection seamlessly — but are still lovely cover designs in and of themselves. Also, these covers feature Sim drawing in his Drucker-influenced caricature style, my favorite of Sim’s drawing styles.
Issue 96, probably my favorite of any cover to an individual Cerebus issue. This was the second of a series of five covers featuring tight close-ups of Cerebus, all drawn in a rough cross-hatched style. It’s a powerful image, and a great use of cropping to create drama.
Then there are my two favorite phone book covers:
High Society. A stunning pen-and-ink drawing of a small Cerebus climbing the steps to an enormous hotel. Click on the image to see it larger, or see a huge, high-quality scan on Cerebusfangirl’s Flickr page.
Click on it to see it bigger! As I said, I love Dave Sim in his Mort Drucker influenced mode, and the huge crowd scene on this cover certainly gives me a lot of that. A zillion elements — the insane crowd, the overwhelming mountain and architecture, and the little tiny Cerebus making huge gestures on top of the building — are held together by Sim’s solid design sense, and form a perfect illustration for the story inside.
I don’t think this is a cover, but while looking for Cerebus covers, I came across this impressive painting by Sim and Gerhard of Cerebus having a nightmare. And I have no idea where the painting came from! So if you know, please leave a comment.