Review: Cerebus the Aardvark #1

Cerebus the Aardvark #1 cover
Cover by Dave Sim

Cerebus the Aardvark #1
Published and © by Aardvark-Vanaheim, December 1977

Title: “Cerebus the Aardvark”
Synopsis: Cerebus the Aardvark arrives at an unnamed tavern and is soon hired to acquire the mystical Flame Jewel.

Writer: Dave Sim
Artist: Sim

Review: While it would later acquire literary heft, Cerebus the Aardvark’s arrival in the late 1970s was a breath of ground-level fresh air. Dave Sim’s art in this debut is noticeably crude, but it’s also bristling with energy; already, he’s pushing the envelope with creative storytelling techniques. As a writer, Sim’s skills are already above average. While the series began as little more than a Conan parody, Sim’s comedic delivery is excellent. Cerebus would get better – a lot better – in the years to come, but it was a welcome addition to any collection right out of the gate.

Grade: B+

Second opinion: “A sword-wielding gray quadruped mammal in the Top 100 most influential comics? Isn’t that a little far-fetched? Like the comic book, the impact of Cerebus on the world of comics has always stood for something more than what’s on the surface.” – Hero Illustrated Special Edition Vol. 4, No. 1: The 100 Most Important Comics of All Time!, May, 1994

Cool factor: It’s Cerebus the Aardvark. ’Nuff said.

Notable: First appearance of Cerebus the Aardvark. … Includes a “Coming Next Issue” pinup. 
Collector’s note: Beware, there is a counterfeit edition of this issue. According to The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, the counterfeit has a glossy inside cover and a “blotted or spotty” black background on the front cover.

Character quotable: “Lurking in the bushes is not for an Earth-Pig born!” – Cerebus the Aardvark (and future prime minister … and pope … and …)
A word from the writer/artist/editor/creator: “Although crude, I hope the dedication of a rookie taking his first tentative steps unburdened by editorial interference still shows through.” – Dave Sim, in the introduction to “Cerebus: Book One,” 1987

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Jan. 18, 2013.

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