Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Bang Bang SMASH

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.

More from Jaka's Story, though the later half. Notebook #14 is another one we haven't seen any pages from yet, and it covers issues 127 to 135. The notebook originally had 80 pages in it, but only 72 were scanned, and there were 4 total blank pages. Well, kind of. There was a 5th blank page, page #14, but the ink from page 13 came through so I scanned that as well.

One of the more shocking turn of events in Jaka's Story occurs in issue #130, which starts on page 333 of the phonebook. The first hint we get of it in the notebook is on page 31 where Dave has not only written down some plot notes, and some thumbnail page layouts:

Notebook #14, page 31

Then on page 35 we see more thumbnail layouts, this time page 1 through page 11, with some dialogue written down:

Notebook #14, page 35
All of those pages are pretty much laid out the same as the finished pages. From the small Jaka standing off to the side as she enters the party and sees them to the side to falling panels as Pud falling down dead on the floor.

What about some of the  things that didn't make the final cut of issue #130? On page 352 of the phonebook you can see the Cirinists and Oscar, with Oscar saying 'No, no please.'  Oscar does say that, along with "I didn't know. . .I didn't know. . ." And that is where the issue ends.

However, on page 45 of the notebook you can see the Cirinist holding the book and drop it to the floor with a 'thump'. What is the thing coming out of the book on the floor? Perhaps it is on fire?

Notebook #14, page 45

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