The Notorious Counterfeit Cerebus 1
4 4

110 posts in this topic

3,186 posts
Posted (edited)
On 3/6/2019 at 10:16 AM, CDNComix said:

The criteria of "real" examples having a dirtier black opposed to a crisp in the "S", "$1" and on the "red solider", as stated by Stronguy SHOULD NOT BE USED. Why? Because it is inconsistant within the print run. Some examples of "real #1s" are dirty, likes Stronguy's and some examples are not like mine. What's my proof? There are many examples of CGC Certified Cerebus #1 on Heritage Auctions, both real and fake. You can enlarge these images up and see for yourself. Although the fakes are consistently crisper, there is a wide range of quality with regard to the black print on the fronts of real Cerebus #1s. I am 100% positive that my find is real.

 

Hertitage CGC Certified Real #1.PNGHertitage CGC Certified Real #2.PNGHertitage CGC Certified Real #3.PNGHertitage CGC Certified Real #4.PNGMine.PNG

I think your copy may be a fake.

The hardest thing to correct for if you're reprinting a book and your only starting point is a printed version of the book, is the moire pattern that comes from reproducing a halftone with another halftone. I was going to explain it for those that aren't familiar, but I found a link that does a pretty good job of explaining the problem: https://www.scantips.com/basics06.html

The first four images above show a pretty consistent halftone pattern in the gray triangle, but in the last you see a variation that's indicative of a moire pattern (which appears more extreme in the sword in the larger image up the page). The article doesn't illustrate moire patterns from a single halftone on another single halftone of the same color. That can look like this (two examples depending on the angles of intersection):

929290067_1520degrees.jpg.c870ad631967c0d6c106cae96dc525ee.jpg

Granted it doesn't looks as extreme in the Cerebus cover image as it does in these examples, but could be due to some correction to try to minimize that. (Or it could be that I'm seeing a difference because of camera or scanner settings used in creating these images, and it is genuine; note I'm just pointing out the differences I'm seeing)

As to the question posted above as to why Hulk 181 hasn't been counterfeited, it would be next to impossible to produce a counterfeit that would pass detection (I imagine that this is something that CGC would commonly check for on high-value books) of a 4-color book that was printed on cheap paper. To create a undetectable copy, you'd basically have to have access to the original art (so, not really a copy then, but effectively print a new edition), or you'd have to be so meticulous with removing the halftone pattern from every image on every page in every color, and then reprint the book on the same crappy paper that was used for the original. When you see new editions of old material that are recolored, the reason for that is that they have to be recolored, since it's less work to recolor it than to try to correct for the pattern i every color. I worked on the Acclaim reprints of Classics Illustrated back in the '90s, and the basic process was scanning in the original books, dropping out the color and cleaning up the linework as much as possible, and then having a colorist recolor it digitally. When you're dealing with old books, scanners don't do a great job differentiating what was originally printed on each separation, so in a lot of the darker colors that are a mix of CM&Y, it's seeing a lot of black in that. Add in the yellowing of the paper that is already not perfectly white to begin with, and there's a lot to clean up. If you're trained to look for evidence of counterfeiting, you're going to find it if an old book is copied.

 

Edited by GeeksAreMyPeeps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,186 posts
On 3/6/2019 at 10:16 AM, CDNComix said:

ItNo red trapping.PNG

Hmmm… looking at this image, I'm rethinking a little. I'd be interested in seeing a close up of this area from a confirmed counterfeit. (Not that all counterfeits are necessarily the same; different people could have produced different counterfeits.) What I'm seeing here (see my image below) is a noticeable border between the areas of the solid red and the tint of red under the black. If this is a fake, it's a meticulous fake, because a scanner wouldn't normally distinguish between those areas. So a counterfeiter would have had to recreated a red plate, matching the edge of the red areas from the original. 

359041085_Noredtrapping.PNG.b2fbccb347a38a0ef7b7d9ee4b4cea1c.jpg.c82debab578ce1e3fee798127b01d992.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11,662 posts

I'm sure this has been brought up dozens of times but I just don't understand why CGC would grade the counterfeit Cerebus #1 and not the "bootlegged" Cry for Dawn #1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9,823 posts
2 hours ago, Jimmy Linguini said:

I'm sure this has been brought up dozens of times but I just don't understand why CGC would grade the counterfeit Cerebus #1 and not the "bootlegged" Cry for Dawn #1.

CGC grades the CFD counterfeit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11,662 posts
3 hours ago, Ryan. said:

CGC grades the CFD counterfeit. 

Oh. I didn't see it on the census. I must have typed the wrong thing in. (thumbsu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,186 posts
17 hours ago, Jimmy Linguini said:

Oh. I didn't see it on the census. I must have typed the wrong thing in. (thumbsu

I think they may have changed their policy to slabbing any counterfeit with "NG".

Linsner had a huge issue with the grading. http://joelinsner.blogspot.com/2014/10/spotting-cfd-bootleg-part-1.html

There's a good example of moire patterns in his post

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
318 posts
Posted (edited)
On ‎3‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 10:37 AM, GeeksAreMyPeeps said:

I think your copy may be a fake.

The hardest thing to correct for if you're reprinting a book and your only starting point is a printed version of the book, is the moire pattern that comes from reproducing a halftone with another halftone. I was going to explain it for those that aren't familiar, but I found a link that does a pretty good job of explaining the problem: https://www.scantips.com/basics06.html

The first four images above show a pretty consistent halftone pattern in the gray triangle, but in the last you see a variation that's indicative of a moire pattern (which appears more extreme in the sword in the larger image up the page). The article doesn't illustrate moire patterns from a single halftone on another single halftone of the same color. That can look like this (two examples depending on the angles of intersection): 

929290067_1520degrees.jpg.c870ad631967c0d6c106cae96dc525ee.jpg

Granted it doesn't looks as extreme in the Cerebus cover image as it does in these examples, but could be due to some correction to try to minimize that. (Or it could be that I'm seeing a difference because of camera or scanner settings used in creating these images, and it is genuine; note I'm just pointing out the differences I'm seeing)

As to the question posted above as to why Hulk 181 hasn't been counterfeited, it would be next to impossible to produce a counterfeit that would pass detection (I imagine that this is something that CGC would commonly check for on high-value books) of a 4-color book that was printed on cheap paper. To create a undetectable copy, you'd basically have to have access to the original art (so, not really a copy then, but effectively print a new edition), or you'd have to be so meticulous with removing the halftone pattern from every image on every page in every color, and then reprint the book on the same crappy paper that was used for the original. When you see new editions of old material that are recolored, the reason for that is that they have to be recolored, since it's less work to recolor it than to try to correct for the pattern i every color. I worked on the Acclaim reprints of Classics Illustrated back in the '90s, and the basic process was scanning in the original books, dropping out the color and cleaning up the linework as much as possible, and then having a colorist recolor it digitally. When you're dealing with old books, scanners don't do a great job differentiating what was originally printed on each separation, so in a lot of the darker colors that are a mix of CM&Y, it's seeing a lot of black in that. Add in the yellowing of the paper that is already not perfectly white to begin with, and there's a lot to clean up. If you're trained to look for evidence of counterfeiting, you're going to find it if an old book is copied.

 

Hello GAMP,

thanks for your input. But there's one obvious thing that you did not consider: the moira to which you are referring to is coming from my scanner, when I scanned the front cover. Most of the screens images look nothing like the actual comic, because of the moira caused by my scanning. That's the difficulty with post and compare. I posted those particular 5 side-by-sides just to illustrate that CGC certified copies can have nice clean (and also dirty) black print on the front cover. That's what was bothering Stronguy about my copy, my blacks were not dirty enough. But CGC certified signed Sim file copies also have a nice clean print, as do some other certified examples sold on Heritage. I did not intend to compare the gray screens between the 5 issues or I would not have used a scanner.

My copy is definitely 100% real: matte IFC, gray screened aardvarks vs very dark ones in the inner artwork, no red trapping. I will eventually get this graded by the CGC, maybe sometime this year. I will post the results regardless of the outcome.

 

Edited by CDNComix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3,665 posts

Opinions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
67 posts
On 4/1/2019 at 4:39 PM, PeterPark said:

Opinions?

Looks like the real deal to me. I have owned a over 6 copies in my lifetime, all at different times. And a few fakes also.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10,229 posts
On 3/16/2019 at 6:19 PM, Ryan. said:

10359238_807123399308110_6608173610012482290_n.jpg

CGC updated their database since this label was printed.  It says the publisher is "CFD Publications" and the date is "4/89" (which it isn't because it's counterfeit).

The CGC lookup for this book now says "no publisher listed" and "no date": https://www.cgccomics.com/grading/verify-cgc-comic.aspx?cgc-comic-cert=0239049003

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
67 posts
On 3/4/2019 at 5:28 PM, FattyDaddyComics said:

Thanks!  Along with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, it was THE GRAIL to own when I was a kid in the 80's and impossible to find (pre-Internet days).  I'm delighted to finally own a copy -- especially one that is not so shabby!  I'll share the results once CGC grades it!  

Did the grade come back?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 posts
On 4/24/2019 at 5:05 PM, Stingrayiii said:

Did the grade come back?

Unfortunately, the book was slightly restored (color-touched on the spine), so I returned it.  Truly disappointing - but I did confirm that it was a genuine copy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
67 posts
On 5/28/2019 at 7:34 PM, FattyDaddyComics said:

Unfortunately, the book was slightly restored (color-touched on the spine), so I returned it.  Truly disappointing - but I did confirm that it was a genuine copy!

Ah man, that sucks. I was hoping for you. There is a 8.5 graded copy on ebay now. But I didn't think the book could fit in that type of holder its in.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CEREBUS-THE-AADVARK-1-CGC-8-5-1st-print/183814143300?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 posts
On 5/30/2019 at 5:12 PM, Stingrayiii said:

Ah man, that sucks. I was hoping for you. There is a 8.5 graded copy on ebay now. But I didn't think the book could fit in that type of holder its in.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CEREBUS-THE-AADVARK-1-CGC-8-5-1st-print/183814143300?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

That's a nice copy.  I'm also surprised that it fits in a regular holder.  Must be perfectly wrapped, otherwise it would definitely be slabbed in a magazine-sized holder!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2,308 posts
On 5/28/2019 at 10:34 PM, FattyDaddyComics said:

Unfortunately, the book was slightly restored (color-touched on the spine), so I returned it.  Truly disappointing - but I did confirm that it was a genuine copy!

Dang dude... get that 8.5 on ebay... that is a sweet copy lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
318 posts
Posted (edited)

I managed to purchase a raw example of the Cerebus #1 fake. Previously in this thread I had to snag on-line images of the fake and compare those to images of my real example. I would like to revisit most stated tells using side-by-side images of my real and fake examples of Cerebus #1. Any effects effects from camera and lighting conditions should be minimized and apply equally when both books are viewed together. I hope this comparative run-down will assist those of you planning to buy an on-line example based on posted images.

1. Inner Cover Gloss

This is the best tell because it is the easiest for both potential buyer and potential to check and understand. Earlier in this thread I had to resort the curling back the front cover of my real example back onto the inner cover to show this comparison. It's now pretty easy with an example of each. Real examples have glossy outer covers but the inner covers have a matte finish. While fake examples a glossy inner cover stock that matches the gloss of the outer cover:

c1.PNG

2. Front Cover Print Quality

As discussed earlier in this thread, the quality of the black print on the front cover should not be used as a criteria for determining whether a book is fake or real. I do concede that a healthy percentage of real examples do have scummy/dirty black print on the front covers, but many examples are just a sharply printed as the "better" printed fake. If I did not label the side-by-side image below, would you be able to distinguish by black print quality which was real and which was not?

c8.PNG

3. Red Hue on the Cover

Yes, the "red" on the covers of fake examples is lighter and less rich than those of real ones. I believe this is the tell that Sim uses to spot a fake at 10 feet away at past signing events. But on-line images and the conditions under which they were taken has a big effect. It would be difficult to tell one way or the other when buying on-line because reality could be shifted. Also as pointed out earlier by ecgt, the effect of fainting fdue to UV light exposure may  alsobe a factor. I could distinguish a colour difference between my copies but when an image was taken with a camera this difference virtually disappeared in the final result.

I have placed a fake book back cover up (on the left) directly alongside the real book front cover up (on the right) and aligned the cover design. Not much of a difference and almost looks to be the same book and not two:

c9.PNG

4. Screened red dots

This is a decent tell, but it confuses most and should be best viewed in person with the item in hand. On-line images may be blurry or produce moire patterns that obscure the reality of the image. The best areas to view the difference is on the front cover: upper shield glare of center bottom red solider and chest of the white soldier above will have extra red print in white areas around the black print when compared to a real example:

c6.PNG

5. Staples

I forgot about this one, but it is a great tell that was first published in the Kennedy Guide back in 1982. Real examples have bright silver staples and the the staples of the fakes that were produced in 1982 are bronze in colour:

c2.PNG

6. Darkened Screened Images of Cerebus

This is a really well-known tell and may be the second most useful after cover gloss. Most inner images of Cerebus appear darker on the fake when compared to the print of the real example. In fact, some images almost appear to a dark solid grey opposed to a screened grey. One of the best spots to check in on the "Dragon Page", where you do not even need the print of the real example to compare it to - its just way too dark to be correct:

c7.PNG

7. Possible New Tell - Extended Cover Back Page Design

Although it's unconfirmed and probably too good-to-be-true: my fake has a white line along the page edge of inner back cover. This has to do with front/back registration and the jogging/squaring of print stock prior to printing and cutting. This is because for whatever reason the design of the last back cover page was extended about an inch and half from the original film. You can see a darker wavy printed ribbon in from the edge both on the fake and on the real example, meaning this change make post original film. There is a small chance that this white edge always appears on the back inner cover of all fakes. I doubt it, but you heard it here first!

c5.PNG

8. New Tell: Phantom Registration Markings

On the back cover on real examples there is a noticeable black registration target mark and faint lines extending from the red title border into the black margins. This supports that the width of the book was extended with solid black print post-film/plate the design should of ended at the red border. The reason for the extension I am not to sure, ask Sim. But it does provide another tells. These marks also appear very faintly in fake examples but in red  print and not black. These markings on the fake are difficult to spot to the point of not being there. As far as I know, I am the first to report this.

c10.jpgc4.PNG

9. Forgot One: Stars Wars Ad

I good collecting friend of mine just pointed out that I forgot a tell that also was described by Kennedy in his guide. On real examples the reverse image of the Stars Wars ad shows through to the back cover just below the upper red title. It's difficult to see and may not be too useful if trying distinguish what is and what is not real on-line.

c3.PNG

Edited by CDNComix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
359 posts
12 hours ago, CDNComix said:

I managed to purchase a raw example of the Cerebus #1 fake. Previously in this thread I had to snag on-line images of the fake and compare those to images of my real example. I would like to revisit most stated tells using side-by-side images of my real and fake examples of Cerebus #1. Any effects effects from camera and lighting conditions will be minimal and would apply equally when both books are viewed together. I hope this comparative run-down will assist those of you planning to buy an on-line example based on its posted images.

1. Inner Cover Gloss

This is the best tell because it is the easiest from both potential buyer and potential to check and understand. Earlier in this thread I had to resort the curling back the front cover of my real example back onto the inner cover to show this comparison. Pretty easy with an example of each. Real examples have glossy outer covers but the inner covers have a matte finish. but . While fake examples a glossy inner cover stock that matches the gloss of the outer cover:

c1.PNG

2. Front Cover Print Quality

As discussed earlier in this thread, the quality of the black print on the front cover should not be used as a criteria for determining whether abook is fake or real. I do concede that a healthy percentage of real examples do have scummy/dirty black print on the front covers, but many examples are just a sharply printed as the "better" printed fake. If I did not label the side-by-side image below, would you be able to distinguish by black print quality which was real and which was not?

c8.PNG

3. Red Hue on the Cover

Yes, the "red" on the covers of fake examples is lighter and less rich than those of real ones. I believe this is the tell that Simm uses to spot a fake at 10 feet away at past signing events. But on-line images and the conditions under which they were taken has a big effect. It would be difficult to tell one way or the other when buying on-line because reality could be shifted. Also as pointed out earlier by ecgt, the effect of fainting from uv light may be a factor. I could distinguish a colour difference between my copies but when an image was taken with a camera this difference virtually disappeared in the final result.

I have placed a fake book back cover up (on the left) directly alongside the real book front cover up (on the right) and aligned the cover design. Not much of a difference and almost looks to be the same book and not two:

c9.PNG

4. Screened red dots

This is a decent tell, but it confuses most and should be viewed in person with the item in hand. On-line images may be blurry or produce moire patterns that obscure the reality of the image. The best areas to view the difference is on the front cover: upper shield glare of center bottom red solider and chest of the white soldier above will have extra red print in white areas around the black print when compared to a real example:

c6.PNG

5. Staples

I forgot about this one, but it is a great tell that was first published in the Kennedy Guide back in 1982. Real examples have bright silver staples and the the staples of the fakes that were produced in 1982 are bronze in colour:

c2.PNG

6. Darkened Screened Images of Cerebus

This is a really known tell and second most useful after cover gloss. Most inner images of Cerebus appear darker on the fake when compared to the print of the real example. In fact, some images almost appear to a dark solid grey opposed to a screened grey. One of the best spots to check in on the "Dragon Page", where you do not even need the print of the real example to compare it to - its just way to dark to be correct:

c7.PNG

7. Possible New Tell - Extended Cover Back Page Design

Although its unconfirmed, too good-to-be-true and probably only applies to a few fake examples or to some real ones as well: my fake has a white line along the page edge of inner back cover. This has to do with front/back registration and the jogging/squaring of print stock prior to printing and cutting. This is because for whatever reason the design of the last back cover page was extended about an inch and half from the original film. You can see a darker wavy printed ribbon in from the edge both on the fake and on the real example, meaning this change make post original film. There is a small chance that this white edge always appears on the back inner cover of all fakes. I doubt it but you heard it here first!

c5.PNG

8. New Tell: Phantom Registration Markings

On the back cover on real examples there is a noticeable black registration target mark and faint lines extending from the red title border into the black margins. This supports that the width of the book was extended with solid black print post-film/plate the design should of ended at the red border. The reason for the extension I am not to sure, ask Simm. But it does provide another tells. These marks also appear very, very faintly in the fake examples but are printed in red not black and are difficult to spot to the point of not being there. As far as I know, i am the first to report this.

c10.jpgc4.PNG

Thank you for doing this! I've been hoping for many years for a side-side comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
67 posts

I still feel this book/series is undervalued, everyone say's they want a copy. But I wonder how many are really out there left? I'm glad we have this thread to help figure out a true #1.

On 6/2/2019 at 7:50 PM, Wolverinex said:

Dang dude... get that 8.5 on ebay... that is a sweet copy lol

I keep going back and forth about buying this issue, just don't have the cash right now. It really is a rare book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
67 posts
On 5/31/2019 at 5:49 PM, FattyDaddyComics said:

That's a nice copy.  I'm also surprised that it fits in a regular holder.  Must be perfectly wrapped, otherwise it would definitely be slabbed in a magazine-sized holder!


https://www.ebay.com/itm/CEREBUS-the-Aardvark-1-CGC-8-0-Dave-Sim-Authentic/202709415098?hash=item2f326c34ba:g:qd4AAOSwB8xdBQnE

Now a 8.0 is up for sale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
4 4