A few years ago I scanned all of Dave Sim's notebooks. He had filled 36 notebooks during the years he created the monthly Cerebus series, covering issues #20 to 300, plus the other side items -- like the Epic stories, posters and prints, convention speeches etc. A total of 3,281 notebook pages detailing his creative process. I never really got the time to study the notebooks when I had them. Just did a quick look, scanned them in and sent them back to Dave as soon as possible. So this regular column is a chance for me to look through those scans and highlight some of the more interesting pages.
|Notebook 10, page 14|
Leaving aside the character (for the moment) let's examine what it is that we wish to say through this particular novel. Since this is the Love Story (as opposed to the previous Political Story and Religious Story) it makes sense that this novel should bind together the central elements
fromof the previous two volumes in much the way that love binds two previously desperate forces and/in entities into a single force or entity/force and/or entity. We'll also be examiningWe must also bear in mind that love is sewnsown and sewn with the seeds of its own destruction (well maybe not necessarily, but let's say that the occurrence is altogether commonplace; for more the rule than the exception).
It is conceded at the outset that this phenomenon (the sowing and sewing) is more common in our day and age. As Cerebus loses
hiits grip on the theoretical fourteenth century and strays amicability from Victorian timesto Edwardian to Mutated and Unrecognizable except as Estarcion, it behooves me to attempt a slightly more realistic look at Relationships five hundred years ago bearing in mind that what I'm saying I hope will have some large measure of impact in the area of audience identification.
I'm not sure who Dave is writing to - as this isn't in the introduction to Jaka's Story. Perhaps it is a press release? Or is he writing to someone from the future, someone almost 25 years in the future...
The next page is a couple pieces of dialogue from the phonebook, and the next pages has the issue numbers all the way up to #150 drawn out just as they appear on the cover. The next page - the outline for Jaka's Story with some storyline elements and dialogue:
|Notebook 10, page 17|
At this point
Snatcher Ms Thatcher hadn't been created yet, with Cirin herself standing in the role of inquisitor. The concept of Jaka and Pud exchanging the three copper bits in their closed economy system is shown. And the breakdown of Jaka's Story into the individual books is right down to the issue number with even the story names being the same.
The overarching idea, then the smaller concepts and then the fleshing out of the story appears to be how this phonebook is coming to be in Dave's notebook. Next week - a look at fleshing out of Pogrom's Progress.
Margaret Liss is The Cerebus Fan Girl and maintains the Cerebus Wiki.