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CSBG Archive

Almost Hidden – Cerebus’ “Exodus”

Even with this large amount of comic books that have been collected in trade paperbacks, there are still a number of great comic books that have never been reprinted (I’d say roughly 60% of them are DC Comics from the 1980s through the mid-1990s). So every day this month I will spotlight a different cool comic book that is only available as a back issue. Here is an archive of the comic books featured so far.

I want you folks to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com with your suggestions for comics that I should feature this month. I’d like to see what you all would like to see get more attention.

Reader Jeff R. suggested this issue, which is a fascinatingly uncollected comic – Cerebus #51 by Dave Sim.

You might ask, “Wait a sec, Brian. Are you telling me that there is an uncollected issue of Cerebus by Dave Sim right smack in the middle of two of his greatest stories?” Why yes, that is what I am telling you. Here’s the deal. You see, this issue bridges the story between “High Society” and “Church and State,” but the “problem” is that this a comedic issue. So Sim didn’t think it worked in the collection of High Society to suddenly have a joke issue after the rather serious end of the story. Meanwhile, he felt that the story was so tied into High Society that it did not work as the opener of Church and State, either. Therefore, we get a good issue of Cerebus not collected in any of the Cerebus trades. Fascinating, huh? It was reprinted in Cerebus #0 (along with two other similar “bridge” stories), but not in any of the collections.

The issue was somewhat a riff on a Marx Brothers bit where tons of people kept getting squeezed into a small room. Here, Cerebus is sneaking out of Dodge in the hold of a ship, only a few other familiar faces had the same idea…

The running gag in the issue is that every time Cerebus goes to kill them, another character falls on him.

Here’s a funny bit where they have to hide…

Man, Sim really could bring the funny when he wanted to!

The issue continues to the point of absurdity as the story continues. It is a real blast to read. You should pick up a copy!

14 Comments

It was reprinted in Cerebus 0. Which I got at a con. Which is sort of a reprint.

Fair point, Matt, I’ll mention that. I think it is weird enough that it is not in the collections to still keep it here, but the Cerebus #0 mention is important.

You can find this issue reprinted in Cerebus Number Zero. It also reprints “square One” from the 112/113 bridge between Church & State 2 and Jaka’s Story, as well as “Like-A-Looks” issues 137/138 (bridges Jaka’s Story and Melmoth).

It has been reprinted a couple of times, just not in the “phone books.” It was in Cerebus #0 along with other in-between issues (112, 113, 137, 138), and was reprinted in the Cerebus Bi-Weekly reprint series. But yeah, never reprinted in non-floppy format as far as I know.

I distinctly remember an Aardvark Comment where Sim said that he had Julius’ voice down pat and he could write an issue with Julius and a couple of other characters stuck in a closet. I guess this was the issue.

There have, for a long time, been vague plans to collect these, plus the backups from Swords of Cerebus and a few other miscelaneous Cerebus stories into a smallish ‘phonebook’. Unfortunately, three of those other stories were from Epic, were in full color, and really can’t be ‘converted’ down to B&W, and a color book/book with enough color plates isn’t economical. Also, at this point there might be rights/permission issues standing in the way of having the Misc. Volume actually be completely complete. (With some of the Cerebus Jam collaborations, and possibly with the Elf*Guests backup from #52). So probably not going to happen.

can’t beliieve this issue did not wind up collected when the rest of Cerbus got reprinted in trade but guess given how intense the two stories its suppose to bridge. can see why Chris decided to keep it out of the trades.

It’s actually a riff on *two* Marx Brothers films, both set on a ship — the stateroom scene from A Night at the Opera, as mentioned above, and the stowaways-in-barrels opening of the earlier Monkey Business.

I’d sure like it if Sim wouyld reprint that Cerebus 0 in a book with all the covers.

Captain! There are four stowaways in the forward hold!

How do you know there are four?

They’re singing Sweet Adeline!

If you can do the voices (or think you can) this is a fun issue to read out loud.

The funny thing is, this is probably the last great single issue of Cerebus.

Also, the very next issue — #52 — is arguably the moment where Dave Sim got on the motorcycle and began eyeing the shark tank from some little distance.

Doug M.

To my recollection, Jack Cheng has the inspiration for the story about nailed down; I think someone wrote in suggesting a “Cerebus, Julius, and Elrod locked in a closet” story, or perhaps Sim mentioned that it had been pitched to him at a con or similar. Love to verify it but those issues were part of the great 1989 comic heist.

Man, I really miss the funny, before-the-divorce, Cerebus.

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