Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cerebus (Cerebus, #1)” as Want to Read:
Cerebus (Cerebus, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Cerebus (Cerebus #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  2,263 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Reprinting Cerebus Issues 1-25

Welcome to Estarcion, the wildly absurd and funny world of Cerebus the Aardvark. This initial volume collects the first two years of stories from Dave Sim's 300-issue magnum opus (still in progress after 20 years). Don't be discouraged by the initially crude artwork or the silliness of the stories. It gets better--even noticeably within this
...more
Paperback, 534 pages
Published January 1st 1991 by Aardvark-Vanheim (first published 1981)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cerebus, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cerebus

Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Best Graphic Novels
173rd out of 2,099 books — 4,918 voters
Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanBone by Jeff SmithFables, Vol. 1 by Bill Willingham
Eisner Award Winners
76th out of 117 books — 76 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sosen
I hate the looks I get from my friends when they see this on my bookshelf and I tell them it's one of my favorite books. They look at the cover, or hear the word "graphic novel", and I can tell they're thinking, "Haha, whatever, James… You crazy crazy man" (as they always are). Then, in order to save face, I feel like I have to explain to them why it's one of my favorite books. This makes things much worse, since I have absolutely no capability to describe just why and how this particular book i ...more
Deborah
dave sim may be a horrible, evil, no-good misogynist pig, but cerebus is what got me through high school. i wrote him once to find out what the deal was with the first 25 issues (cuz, hey. as others have pointed out, it's a little disjointed.) he responded and printed my letter in the back of one of his issues, so i was starry-eyed for a long time. (his explanation for the lack of cohesiveness in the first 25 was that he was aimless, trying to mock conan the barbarian, and not really planning to ...more
Carolyn
Well then, what a trip!

Still being relatively new to the genre of Graphic Novels, I am not sure how valid my comments are (and I am not well versed on the story that is Dave Sim either). That said...

Cerebus is a riot. I love his one liners delivered dead pan and I often found myself laughing out loud. For me, Elrod and Artemis were supporting characters that Cerebus bounced off of nicely. I enjoyed the brief visit with Jaka and I look forward to the Jaka story that I keep hearing I will love.

I
...more
Hamish
This is a lot better than I remember it being. That said (and before I get all long-winded), this may not be the ideal starting point for new readers. I personally started here, knowing future volumes were considered much better but that the story makes more sense if you start from the beginning. This plan worked for me. However, I've lent this to two different comic-loving friends, hoping they would also get bit by the Cerebus bug, and they both gave up early on. So if you're a completist like ...more
James
Cerebus collects the first 25 issues of Dave Sim’s long running comic of the same name, the epic saga of Cerebus, the bipedal aardvark barbarian, Earth-Pig born, mercenary, and incorrigible misanthrope. On the received view, Sim’s comic didn’t really start getting good until the issues comprising High Society, the second volume of the 16 “Cerebus phonebooks,” and the first collection to be consciously published as a novel. These early issues unfold mainly as a character-driven sword and sorcery ...more
Fizzgig76
Reprints Cerebus #1-25 (December 1977-February 1981). Cerebus…the Earth-Pig…the barbarian…the aardvark. The warrior known as Cerebus is always on the lookout to make it rich. Be it through plunder or war, his quest for riches knows no bounds. As he travels across the land, his legend grows and his list of allies and enemies grows even longer.

Written and illustrated by Dave Sim, Cerebus 1 (commonly called the phonebook edition) is a collection of the rare and popular first issues of one of indepe
...more
Printable Tire
Cerebus (which I will always pronounce as 'Cer-e-brus' in my head) was not at all what I expected it to be. Previously I had only read a few issues from later on, and they were big on talk and little on action. Yet Cerebus started out as a parody of the Conan the Barbarian comic book, sort of taking the premise of the earliest Howard the Duck story and imagining Howard as an Aardvark trapped in the Hyborian age.

As far as "parodies" go, Cerebus is of the Mad Magazine variety- not satirical, simp
...more
Michael
if you asked me, i would probably tell you this is my favorite comic of all time, even though sim ended up breaking my heart by going completely insane towards the end of its run, therefore ultimately sabotaging the longest running independently produced comic book. oh, he finished it, but i was not there with him. i bailed out in the last year, only to pick up the final issue and flip to the last page to see if he made good on his promise. he did, but his turn to religious fanaticism steered th ...more
John
At least 15 years since the last time I read this, my opinion of it is higher than ever. This first volume absolutely works as parody/homage. I love it.
Oriana
This is neat and strange, and I intend to continue dabbling until I slowly work my way all the way to the end. But I've been trying to read it straight through, and it's too same-y and repetitive for that. The concept is fun and funny, but it deserves to be read in bite-size chunks, the way it was originally published, IMO. So that's what I'll do.
Nathaniel Taylor
An exciting romp in the world of Cerebus. This first volume of the Cerebus saga is very true to its early parodic roots in Conan the Barbarian, but even at this early stage the characters are being introduced that will play a major role in the 300-issue story arc.

Much of the material introduced in this volume comes back around later in the story, so it's definitely a necessity if you want to know what's REALLY going on.

There are a few drawbacks, though. You get the sense that Dave Sim is just te
...more
Chris Andersen
It's really fun to be able to see Dave Sim's art style evolve through this collection, and I always enjoy work that both parodies and surpasses what it is surpassing. Some of the satire might not have aged very well, but but over all one of the more fun comics I've read in a while.
Kyle Burley
The real pleasure of this first volume of Cerebus is watching creator Dave Sim grow, within 25 issues, from an enthusiastic amateur to one of the most gifted cartoonists and articulate voices in the medium. The first ten issues are pretty rough, basically a parody of Conan starring Cerebus, an anthropomorphised aardvark in a world of humans. These early issues are pretty hit and miss but still establish characters and plot threads that will resonate throughout the series.
The turning point, for m
...more
Andrew Fairweather
Actually, based on how many people shit on the first volume of 'Cerebus the Aardvark' I didn't expect too much from this—apparently it's pretty much understood that the series doesn't really lift-off until Vol 2., 'High Society', which is sitting in my shelf at the moment. People talk about Vol. 1 as if it merely sets the stage for the rest of the series, which, I'm sure it does. Yet the writing is quite good even if the story lines are a bit repetitive in the first few issues. There's a palpabl ...more
William Clemens
When I first picked this up I was really into it, I enjoyed the satire of the genre, I had recently read the Barry Windsor Smith Conan and so was exceptionally prepared for that aspect. About 2/3 of the way through though the issues got more political and I got bored, though it picked up again at the end. Possibly I just wasn't prepared to devote more attention though, and the first 2/3 I read in one sitting, the last one I dipped in and out of so didn't follow as closely

I like the style of the
...more
Josh
I'm conflicted about this book. It is clearly something out of its times. I have a feeling that the allusions and the constant satire would make much more sense to someone seeped in the time it was written. I was barely alive when this was written (maybe even not that). There was a lot to like here, from the characters (Cerebus, Captain Cockroach, Elrod) to the satire that I did get. Cerebus just wants to get by in a world that is mad and which is suspiciously like our own world in the particula ...more
Kaoru
Some people tend to be a bit down on the first volume, and it's not too hard to see why. The artwork isn't as great yet (Although it improves vastly - and quickly - over the course of the pages) and so isn't the storytelling, at least in comparison to pretty much everything that came after. However, one mustn't forget that these 25 issues are the reason that the remaining 275 exist in the first place. They wouldn't have sold if people didn't like them. In fact, a fair share of readers were up in ...more
Jason
i'm re-reading this for the first time since i read it ten years ago...
what amazes me is the growth sim shows throughout this book...he starts out as an full on amateur; the first 50 pages look like the work of a precocious junior high school student...
but within the space of 150 pages he becomes a true master of the form...his panel design, the textures, his brush work, the movement of the figures, all go through an incredible transformation in a very short time...

i often hear people recommend
...more
James
My Cerebus odyssey begins, again. I'm surprised at how good this one was; my memories of it, really, only apply to the first third or so of it, which is as rough-around-the-edges as ever, with its goofy artwork and its not-sure-if-actual-parody-or-just-incompetent-homage-to-Howard writing. But Volume 1 takes us right up to Palnu, and the beginning of the High Society storyline, by which point Sim's artwork and writing have hit full steam (and, arguably, over the next three volumes, most of the h ...more
Daryl Nash
The first several issues are very rough, more homage to Conan comics than parody, except for having an aardvark standing in for the heavy-thewed barbarian. They improve dramatically as they go along, but even Elrod and the Cockroach were not as amusing as I remember. The book really starts to improve with the appearance of Lord Julius, and Sim's deft use of dialogue and voice, one of his greatest talents, comes to the fore in the teen issues. The first Mind Game, in issue 20, is not as trippy as ...more
Julian
Some 4 stars, some 3 stars, a lot of 2 stars - I figured 3 was a good average. I picked up a number of Cerebus comics at Half Price Books (50 cents ain't bad) and immediately decided that I had to read them all from the start. The issues I found were between 61 and 100 and the art (particularly the ascension issues) drew me in immediately. The care that went into making the covers read in a sequence as well as the appropriation of different styles, characters, and all of the fantastical and sati ...more
Sean Samonas
I would like...if I may...to take you on a strange journey.

I began reading Cerebus for mainly one reason. When I was a kid at a local comic book shop I saw a cover and wanted to read it. Why? Because at the time, I was (and technically still am) obsessed with anything fantasy themed. And it certainly looked good. I mean, what is not to like about a aardvark barbarian running about and causing mayhem.

The only problem is that apparently my perception of what this series was about and what Dave Sim
...more
Max
The very beginning of the saga by Dave Sim! To people that know Cerebus for its tackling of sociopolitical issues, spirituality, and male & female relations, this book gives no indication of it. Early on, Cerebus the Aardvark is simply a wandering barbarian motivated by money and booze. If you're looking for a lot of the material that the Cerebus saga was famous/infamous for, you're not going to find it here.

This doesn't mean the early Cerebus stories are awful. The art of the character hims
...more
Helmut
Die Geburt eines Erdferkels

Cerebus, das Erdferkel, hat kein leichtes Leben: Als "earth-pig born" kommt er aus der Wildnis in zivilisierte Gebiete, und muss sich dort durchschlagen. Allerdings hat die zivilisierte Gesellschaft so einige Eigenheiten, mit denen so ein klardenkender, humorloser Barbar wie er nicht wirklich klarkommt, und daher von einer Posse in die nächste stolpert...

Was als, ehrlich gesprochen, sehr dürftige Karikatur auf Conan den Barbar begann, entwickelt sich rasch, sogar inner
...more
Zack Zildjan
Time for a re-read of the entire Cerebus series. I guess I will give some thoughts and opinions on the books as I go through them.

...thankfully, this first volume doesn't have much to opine about.

The most interesting thing about volume one of the Cerebus "phone books" (appropriately titled "Cerebus") is the early evolution of Dave Sim's artwork. The early stories collected in this book are crude...at best. However, by the end of the volume, you get small glimpses of the insanely (...not the BEST
...more
Joe
Oct 28, 2011 Joe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: graphic
I'm still on the fence about what makes this one of the best graphic novel series of all time. Some background: Cerebus follows the picaresque adventures of a Conan-the-Barbarian-esque aardvark in a swords and sort of sorcery world (of humans). This first book starts as broadly parodic of basic fantasy conventions and characters. Though at times it blurs the line between parody of and indulgence in. Over time, as Sims starts developing story lines and recurring characters, the satire gains a fin ...more
Tracey
overdosed on Conan, the Barbarian in middle school and have since then not read very much fantasy, especially of that sub-genre. Unforunately, this means I probably missed most of the in-jokes in this graphic novel.

Cerebus, "an earth-pig born" (aka aardvark) is a mercenary; he's only in it for the money (or so he claims). He'll fight in your war, find your mysterious treasure or help rescue your helpless maiden, as long as bags of gold and large amounts of booze are involved. An ill-tempered c
...more
Chris
Obviously not the more serious work that it later becomes - Cerebus began as something of a Conan spoof, and grew in to a running gag on multiple literary sources, replete with commentary on multiple social, political, and philosophical questions. But, again, the first 25 issues? - not particularly special. The artwork matures by leaps and bounds though, as does the sophistication of the humor and varied sources of reference. The Swamp Thing/X-men cameos are some of my favorites. All in all, it' ...more
Brian Barr
Amazing book. I always wanted to read Dave Sim since he's a well known independent comic book writer and artist, and I was blown away by this first volume. What starts off as a Conan the Barbarian parody becomes increasingly complex. Dave is gifted in his usage of comedy in telling the Cerebus story, and you get to see a lot of parodied references and inspirations throughout his work- Looney Tunes, X-Men, Swamp Thing, etc. A hilarious superhero parody that appears in the comic, The Cochroach, ma ...more
Josh
Jan 23, 2013 Josh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
I know Dave Sim is a polarizing figure, and I'm not sure if I can outright recommend this to anyone who isn't already vaguely interested in the mostly comedic adventures of an aardvark barbarian, but I can say that I genuinely enjoyed reading it, and nearly gave it 4 stars simply for being one of the best pre-Alan Moore comics I've read. It's smart, creative and original, and definitely improves over time (this collects the first 25 issues, which Sim began in the late 70's). I would certainly re ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 1: The Ronin (Usagi Yojimbo #1)
  • Miracleman, Vol. 1: A Dream of Flying
  • Zot!: The Complete Black-and-White Collection: 1987-1991
  • Elektra: Assassin
  • Complete Concrete
  • Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assassin's Road (Lone Wolf and Cub, #1)
  • Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder
  • Cages
  • Miracleman, Vol. 4: The Golden Age
  • Alec: The Years Have Pants
  • The Compleat Moonshadow
  • The Maxx, Vol. 1
  • Doom Patrol, Vol. 1: Crawling from the Wreckage
  • Finder Library Volume 1
  • Torso
  • Hicksville
  • The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius 4: Gorilla Warfare
  • The Living and the Dead
92894
David Victor Sim is a Canadian comic book writer and artist, best known as the creator of Cerebus the Aardvark.
More about Dave Sim...

Other Books in the Series

Cerebus (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • High Society (Cerebus, #2)
  • Church and State I (Cerebus, #3)
  • Church and State II (Cerebus, #4)
  • Jaka's Story (Cerebus, #5)
  • Melmoth (Cerebus, #6)
  • Flight (Cerebus, #7)
  • Women (Cerebus, #8)
  • Reads (Cerebus, #9)
  • Minds (Cerebus, #10)
  • Guys (Cerebus, #11)
High Society (Cerebus, #2) Church and State I (Cerebus, #3) Church and State II (Cerebus, #4) Jaka's Story (Cerebus, #5) Melmoth (Cerebus, #6)

Share This Book

“When you're running a bureaucracy the best way to safeguard your job is to make sure you're the only one who knows how the whole thing works. -Lord Julius” 2 likes
“I firmly believe that if you can't fool all of the people all of the time you should start breeding them for stupidity.” - Weisshaupt” 1 likes
More quotes…