Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The Sky Is Falling

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 looked at Dave's notebook #8 only twice so far. Both times were almost a year ago: "The Final Ascension" and "The Trial". As we saw before it covers issue #96 to 102. It has 140 pages, only 114 were scanned and 15 were blank pages.

On page 32 of notebook #8, Dave starts some near complete thumbnails of issue #97 page 8 and 9 (or if you're following along in the Church & State II phonebook, pages 924 & 925):

Notebook #8, page 32
It looks like Dave even wrote "Cerebus No. 97 page no. 8" in the middle of the page. Along with when issues #97 to 100 will be at Preney, the company who printed Cerebus, when the issues would ship and the cover month.

You can also compare page 8 and 9 of issue #97 to the above notebook page:

Issue #97, page 8 and 9
The thumbnails match the finished pages pretty close with a few minor tweaks. Most notably page 9's Cerebus-Astoria-Astoria-Astoria-both goes Cerebus-Astoria-Astoria-Cerebus-both instead. Dave also changed Astoria's come here finger motion for her pointing at her mouth instead.


Unknown said...

This was during our 'get back on track' phase.
You can see from Dave's schedule that the January issue wasn't going to ship until April; that we were going to send three issue to Preney IN ONE MONTH; and that issue 100, the July issue, would ship at the end of June like it's supposed to.
Who were those guys?


JLH said...

I mentioned to Dave in my phone call with him a few weeks back about how I want to get my show back on schedule, it lead to us talking about this "catch up" period. He said it was deflating to work extra hard cranking out the issues, then go over to Now and Then Books and Harry would comment, "Late again, eh?"

I would love a guide to when every issue of Cerebus was published (or at least shipped to stores). I could probably get the last hundred or so figured out from some online sources (there's a site that lists Diamond release dates for books back to like 1993 or so), but for stuff in the 80s it'd have to come from like the Buyer's Guide or Comics Journal lists or something. Definitely something to think about doing some day.

Anonymous said...

Hey cool, Gerhard commented.

- Reginald P.