Monday, 18 August 2014

Cerebus False Starts: John Lennon

When you're keeping a monthly comic book on schedule, there really isn't an opportunity to "redo" pages. On the other hand, if you have serious doubts, there is a window of opportunity to change your mind. Sometimes the window was a little wider than it was at other times:

Issue 156 pages 12-13 double page spread. The John Lennon/Illusionist page. I forget which album cover it was that had him with multiple pairs of glasses on (I know they reproduced it on the cover of SHAVED FISH, the only Lennon album I owned). Got as far as blue-pencilling the Lennon head and then lettering.
"Illusion within illusion within illusion -- the history of our movement"; "Beneath the mask always ANOTHER mask…";"Ina world of illusion, how you tell ally from foe -- who is an illusionist and who is an illusion?"; "No one (I think) is in my tree"; "No secret handshake no signpost on the road";"But you know I know when it's a DREAM";"But here we are NOW, Young Cerebus -- you have seen behind the last of my many masks";"The time has come the Walrus said to talk of many things of…"; "Too nasal"

Most people are Extreme Literalists and I thought, no, they'll read that and go "Suenteus Po is John Lennon?" So what do I take out? The lines from "Strawberry Fields Forever" or the Lennon head? Maybe they'll get it: The Walrus is from the "Walrus and the Carpenter". The Walrus was Paul (John Lennon was the carpenter: Jesus, get it?). No, I'll be answering questions about this for the next forty years. Too bad, I would have liked to have drawn that head with the multiple glasses.

Art fans will have kittens: I just folded the double-sized artboard in half for easy storage. When you've wasted part of your morning on a discard you're not exactly disposed towards treating it charitably.


Anonymous said...

The album Dave's thinking of is "Walls and Bridges".

- Reginald P.

Anonymous said...

I think this is an example of Dave's "loyalty to the story" conflicting with his "urge to draw stuff he wants to draw". I think he made the right decision. To have John Lennon suddenly appear would have been more confusing than enlightening. Readers would have struggled to interpret the appearance, and "Suenteus Po is John Lennon" might have been one, not-unreasonable inference. Rather than distract readers from the story's themes (at this early point in the story) for a throwaway gag, Dave discarded the page.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, ddt