Wednesday, 15 July 2015

D'King and the Actress

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 seen a few things from Dave's notebook #9 before, a bit of the Judge and some of Jaka's Story, along with the preliminary note from the president for issue #104. Notebook #9 covers issues #102 to 111 and while the cover says 200 pages, I only scanned 133 and there were 8 blank pages.

Page #10 of the note book starts with a quote that was crossed off: "The stars draw near he says as has always been said as the followers of the Eastern pontiff make their way"

Then we have some writing, while it isn't crossed off, I can't figure out where, if ever, it was used. It is written in an accent, as Dave does, that I can't place - if you can, please speak up in the comments.

Notebook #9, page 10
It reads like it is some preliminary dialogue for the Judge - "You and Ashtoria. Heh. A fine vun. Dey vas closing in on her. D'King and the actress."

I looked through the rest of the notebook, I don't see any other dialogue like it. The next time I see dialogue for the Judge is on page 45.

And something I thought looks cool, a mock up of the logo for the Mid-Ohio-Con.

Notebook #9, page 15
It is pretty close, but not quite the same as the final logo, which even appeared on satin jackets:

Mid-Ohio-Con 1987 Jacket (picture from an old eBay auction that I lost unfortunately)


Eddie said...

Given the section of the notebooks it's in, which is around the time of the Judge, I think the dialogue is Dave's first attempt at casting the role of the Judge using Mel Brooks. IIRC, he said in one of the longer interviews (was it the TCJ one or the Feature one? I think it was the Feature one) that he originally did Mel Brooks dialogue for the part, but then realized Brooks wouldn't work.

That's my guess anyways. At first I thought it was the Bill Marx character from ..92?, but the section in the notebooks it's from I think suggests it's definitley for the Judge.

Travis Pelkie said...

Yeah, Mel Brooks would have been my guess, and if Eddie remembers the Judge as originally cast as Brooks, that's gotta be it. I knew Dave was going to try someone else as the Judge at first, but couldn't remember that it was Brooks. I thought he mentioned about it in a Note, but maybe somewhere else. I haven't read the Feature or TCJ interviews (I don't think), so that's not where I read about it.

Jeff Seiler said...

Just to be specific, it sounds, out loud, like an old drunken Germanic/Yiddish accent. Something Mel Brooks could do in his sleep.

iestyn said...

That's what I was thinking - german/Yiddish.

Also - am I the only one who thinks that sketch looks much better than the final design?

Anonymous said...

I wont it. I'm sorry.


Margaret said...

lol. That is okay +Nate+. I figured it was either you or Tundis. I'm glad to know it is in good hands. :) Though still a bit jealous.

Eddie! Great memory! Yes, it is Mel Brooks. Just found a reference to it on page 22 of Eric Hoffman and Dominick Grace's book "Dave Sim Conversations": " the time I had the Judge in mind - who was gonna to be Mel Brooks originally, by the way..." From an interview with Martin Skidmore in Fantasy Advertiser #115.