Thursday, 14 May 2015

Oscar

MARGARET LISS:
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.

We've taken a look at Dave's twelfth notebook once before, it covers issues 118 to 122, the earlier part of Jaka's Story. Last time we look at Jaka spending some time in the park. This time we're looking at Dave's sketches for Oscar, who first appeared in issue 120.

Oscar with an Oscar quote "Hardly dear boy. Actresses come back. Athletes come back. Politicians come back. A poet an artist. . .returns, merely. That is all."

Notebook 12, page 38
The next page has a few more Oscar sketches, including one of him and Rick. And many more Oscar quotes.

Notebook 12, page 39
On page 40 there are only more of the same quotes, as Dave rewrites some of the dialogue. Then on page 41 we get another sketch of Oscar, one that won't be seen in the book.

Notebook 12, page 41
Back in Form & Void when Dave was answering the mail with a form letter, he would also send a tracing paper drawing with it. The tracing paper drawings were from the production of the book - the ones he would do and then transfer to the bristol board. I got two sketches - one of Cerebus looking up at Jaka, and another one of a naked Ham Ernestway sitting.  Perhaps it was a way Dave would get a sense of his characters.

The top line, "Oh, I'm so glad you've come. There are a hundred things I don't want to say to you" is an Oscar Wilde quote from Oscar Wilde in Quotation. The next line also is another Wilde quote: "I have put all of my genius into my life I have put only my talent into my works."

10 comments:

Tony Dunlop said...

Ugh. I'm not sure what's worse - that sketch, or Dave's place-where-navel-used-to-be photo of a few weeks ago.

Sandeep Atwal said...

Oh my word....

Margaret said...

Sandeep - That was pretty close to my reaction when I saw that last sketch of Oscar I posted above. My other thoughts - how do I not remember seeing this when I originally scanned in these pages? Did I black out that memory?

Sean R said...

Hey hey hey-- it's the first bonus drawing for the remastered Jaka's Story volume! Whadaya think-- signed bookplate?

Sean R said...

Margaret, if you're still taking requests, I'd love to see any notebook work relating to issue 80, the Thrunk return. (I'm guessing there's no nude Thrunk prelims, but you never know, I suppose!)

Jeff Seiler seilerjeff said...

Speaking of issue 80, Sean, when do I get my before and after prints?

Sean R said...

Hey Jeff,

They'll ship with CAN3, which will probably move slower than previous campaigns due to Dave's condition. Hopefully we'll hear good news soon! I've delivered first round portfolio files, sans Trauma prints, and hopefully those will get approved or revised sometime soon.

Margaret said...

Sean - I'll see what I can do for issue #80 and naked Thrunk sketches. As far as the signed bookplate for the remastered Jaka's Story. . .There are some better sketches of Jaka from notebook 12 that we could potentially use instead. :D

Jeff Seiler seilerjeff said...

Naked Jaka?!? Now *that* I'll buy...

Eric Hoffman said...

It is imperative for current and future CEREBUS readers and scholars that these notebooks be made publically available in some form. There are numerous websites where scans, adequately collated, could be made accessible. Or how about a POD collection, in six or so discrete volumes, edited by Ms. Liss?