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.
After seeing the recent entry The Making Of A Cover: Following Cerebus #4, I thought to myself, I know I've seen several sketches of different covers in Dave's notebooks.
Then when I was going though notebook #4 which covers issues 59 to 69, I found several different names for the issue and a couple different sketches for the cover of issue #60. On page 19 the different names for the issue starts with "Seeing Things and Other Reads", then on page 25 "Soliloquies" and finally on page 27 "Monologue".
Along with the name "Monologue" on page 27, we see the first sketch of the cover for issue #60. It resembles the cover for #59 with the wallpaper like border around the picture.
|Notebook 4, page 27 closeup|
The next sketch we see is on page 29. The different female characters who make an appearance in the issue show up:
|Notebook 4, page 29 closeup|
Red Sophia, Henrot-Gutch, and Astoria show up in their individual boxes. Another similarity to the previous issues - where a character was in a box on the cover with the "wallpaper" like border.
Then on page 38 we have the last sketch of the cover:
|Notebook 4, page 38 closeup|
It resembles the final cover, but it isn't still the finished layout. This sketch has the order a bit different, from left to right: Astoria, Henrot-Gutch, Theresa, Red Sophia and Elf up top. On the final cover, it is from left to right: Red Sophia, Henrot-Gutch, Theresa and Astoria. My guess for the rearrangement? Red Sophia's amble bosom. It is a bit... distracting. Catches the eye first, then leads one around the rest of the heads via the elf's trail and then up to the elf.
|Cerebus #60 (March 1984)|
Art by Dave Sim