Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Albatross Five

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 have yet to look at Dave's notebook for issues 45 to 49 in High Society. The notebook is a green covered Hilroy (the same type of notebook that Dave had used for all his previous notebooks to this point) that Dave wrote "Albatross Five" on it. So that is what I called the folder to which I saved all the scans for it. The notebook says 80 pages, and there were 79 pages scanned.

Albatross Five cover
The reason I haven't dove into any of the High Society notebook material is that if you took part of the CEREBUS: High Society - Special Audio/Visual Digital Edition kickstarter or if you brought the High Society: The Digital Audio/Visual Experience from IDW Publishing then you would already have all of this material. The digital version of issue #45 includes not only the 20 pages of comic, front cover, note from the publisher, back of the book material including Aardvark Comment but it includes 10 pages of various items from the Cerebus Archive and 27 pages from Albatross Five.

So I didn't want to repeat what you could see for yourself. But then I figured - perhaps there are a few Cerebus fans out there who haven't purchased the digital editions yet.  The scans I did were added to the back of the issues with additional commentary on those pages by Dave. For example, on page five of Albatross Five, we have some crossed off writing, a list of issues #45 through 50 with quick synopsis of each, some more text and a couple sketches.

Albatross Five, page 5
Dave's commentary on the notebook page is this:
Rejected Astoria and Bran Mak Mufin dialogue.
ASTORIA: Certainly, Bran.
BRAN MAK MUFFIN: I would appreciate it if you would call me "Mr. Secretary of State", Astoria.
ASTORIA: No more than I would appreciate you calling me "Madame Chief of Staff", Bran.
BRAN MAK MUFFIN: (bowing) Madame Chief of Staff.
ASTORIA: (bowing) Mr. Secretary of State.
Then on page 10 there is a long list of different things - from the summit to Jaka's comes to ask him if he intends "last stand". Then an issue number for each item.

Albatross Five, page 10
Dave's commentary on this notebook page:
Alternatively, I decided to write out everything that I knew about the rest of the story and then start placing issue numbers in boxes to indicate where the various events in the remaining six issues would unfold.
I'm not going to check to see if Dave stayed on this schedule, but you can if you'd like.

No comments: