Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Notebook #30: The Start of Form & Void

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 haven't yet looked at Dave Sim's notebook #30, which covers issue #251. It only had 32 pages scanned, and appears to be a book for a student's homework:

Notebook #30 covers, as always, click to embiggen
Issue #251 is the first issue in Form & Void and the first time we meet Ham and Mary Ernestway. On the first page it has Dave doing his best Ernest Hemingway while telling himself what he needs to do for Form & Void.

Notebook #30, page 1
The next page of the notebook is interesting - on the left side we see Dave's first take for the dialogue on page 388 to 390 of Form & Void, or page #2 to 4 of Cerebus #251. On the right hand side of the page is the same dialogue, just rewritten a bit.

Notebook #30, page 2
The first change I notice is Dave got rid of the 'Let me assure you I'll be glad of the company.' Most of the rest is just slight variations on dialogue. Change a word there, remove a word, added emphasis to another word. I've not seen this type of side by side comparison in the notebooks before. Usually if Dave rewrote something, it be on another page.

1 comment:

Tony Dunlop said...

I'm pretty sure Bear's remark about "ONE real man" never made it into the book. It's pretty funny, of course, given what we all now know about Papa...