Wednesday, 9 September 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.

Earlier this year, "Odds and Ends", we saw the first sketch of Cirin in Dave Sim's notebooks. On page 92 of notebook #7 we see a picture of Cirin sitting on a chair, completely covered by Cirinist like robes. Now in notebook #8 we see Cirin in the same pose, but her hood is down and you can see her hands:

Notebook 8, page 85
On page 20 of issue #100 (or page 996 of Church & State II if you're following along in the phonebooks) we do see Cirin in the same pose, but on the finish pages she is wearing the Cirinist robes we come to associate with Cirin, and she says "And may Terim have mercy on us all..." instead of "And may our lady have mercy on all our souls."

The next page of the notebook shows some dialogue Dave was coming up with for issue #100:

Notebook 8, page 86
The Bishop Posey text is almost the same as the finish issue. The Bishop Powers text however, is much different. In the finished piece Powers only warns Cerebus that there is great peril and that she must be dealt with before she... and he cuts off. On the above notebook page you can see that Powers was concerned that Astoria was going to cast another spell, and that she needed to be sentenced and then executed while she was in a weakened state.

The page numbering is also off, as Dave put in the end of the shared vision between Cerebus and Astoria of Suenteus Po and Great Andrena during the moment of Po's execution. But the main points from the dialogue in the notebook still exist in issue #100.

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