Wednesday, 20 May 2015


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.

So in last week's comments section, Sean asked if we could see Dave's notebook pages for Cerebus #80, Thrunk's return.  Issue #80 is in notebook #6, which covers 80 through 86. I've covered notebook #6 a couple times before: "Touch Not The Priestess" and "Fat Elvis Period".

There are 6 pages total of notebook #6 that have some issue #80 material on them, so let's start at the beginning, page 1:

Notebook #6, page 1
Some dialogue for Lord Storm'send that doesn't show up in the issue. Or in issue #78 or 79 for that matter. Looks like the guy we all know as the Wuffa Wuffa guy wanted to tell Cerebus about the black tower empire and how the tower was growing. "Last time it blew up pieces were found four days march."

We also get the outline for the issue - let's just say a lot happens. We don't see one of my favorite lines from the series, how Lord Storm'send opens up the issue: "The road t'hell is paved with wasted efforts."

And yes, the pages ends with 'Farmer tells Cerebus', we don't get to see what. . .

Page 2 of the notebook is an outline for the next ten or show issues, so let's skip to page 3:

Notebook #6, page 3
The top of the page has Dave's schedule for November and the dates Nov 21, Dec 17,  Jan. Then we get some of the dialogue between Sophia and Cerebus when she comes back to tell him whats what: "You thought I had it easy. Easy! Playing knowing you're 'hiding the pee-pee' with the POPE. . .?!

Then on the next page we get some roughs for page 14 and 15 of the issue (page 586 and 587 of Church & State I).

Notebook #6, page 4
Cerebus witnesses Bran MacMuffin take drastic measures upon seeing Thrunk. The rest of the sketches show what happens in the rest of issue. And yes, I said there were 6 pages of issue #80 material. The other 3 are rough sketches, perhaps someday we'll get to them. But not today. 'Flick'


Travis Pelkie said...

Who was going to FLICK? CLINT?

hee hee hee

Tony Dunlop said...

"The American Dream seen through Canadian eyes?" Boy would I love to hear more about that…!?! Cerebus' ruthless lust for power? And in light of the "Why Canada Slept" essays would it be fair to assume Dave has changed his outlook on American aggression…?

JLH said...

Margaret, love the notebooks feature. Any word on when (or if) you'll be reviving the Cerebus Wiki?