Wednesday, 16 September 2015

They Give Us Those Nice Bright Colors

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.

Dave Sim's notebook #26, which covers Cerebus #240 to 250, is a notebook that we've looked at several times previously in this column. I was looking at the scans again and saw something that I hadn't seen previously. Not all too uncommon, for when I scanned them in, I was super nervous about having Dave's notebooks in my possession. I scanned them quickly and returned them as soon as I could.

So when I saw what appeared to be quick descriptions of the covers to the issues in Form & Void, I stopped to read them. It started with issue #251:

Notebook #26, page 208, top of page
Issue #251 cover
There is a cover number box for issue #252, but no description. Then along the bottom of the page, we have the description for issue #253's cover:

Notebook #26, page 208, bottom of page
Issue #253 cover
You can see from the description for issue #253's cover that it looks like Dave had a bunch of slides and wrote down a blank 'issue #' and then his thoughts on it when he looked at the slide. This continues for the next three pages, concluding with page 212 and issue #261.

On page 209 we see Dave's thoughts for slide #26, which becomes #254:

Notebook #26, page 209, top of page
Issue #254 cover
Dave's description for that cover seems spot on to me. Then at the bottom of page #209 we see Dave's description for the cover to issue #255, slide #39.

Notebook #26, page 209, bottom of page

Issue #255 cover


Malcolm X said...

The Hemingway parody is pretty funny: "But right now he did. So he did."

Max West said...

Quite a change of pace to use photographs for the covers.

Tony Dunlop said...

Bah. Hemingway's not worth parody - too easy.