Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Out With the In Crowd

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.

The first time we looked at Dave Sim's notebook #7, which covers Cerebus issues 87 to 95, it was back in July 2014 in an entry entitled "Lord Julius". We also looked at it a couple of other times: "So...You already said that.", "Odds and Ends", and most recently in April 2015 with "Assassin". All of those pages came from page 69 or later, so now we'll look at some of the first few pages in the notebook.

On page 15 we see the number boxes for issues #88 and #89 and the titles for both of those issues. Dave has also written the title for issue #88 a couple of times: "Out With the In Crowd". It also has a list of plot points that happen in issue #88. And they do happen. Pretty much word for word.

Notebook 7, page 15 (click to enlarge)
Well, except the line "Necross! Who's Tarim on Earth?" The word Earth is never said in issue #88.

The next few pages are small thumbnails of each page, and on page #25 we see one of the more dramatic scenes in the opus:

Notebook 7, page 25 (click to enlarge)
The large black Hs are bleed through from page 26, which has thumbnails for the next issue. The thumbnails on this page are for that ass kicking scene in issue #88 - or in the Church & State II phonebook, pages 750 to 752. While the thumbnails are pretty much the same as the finished pages, the text is a bit different, though the gist is the same. I wonder how long Dave had been thinking of this scene before finally putting in the notebook and then on the finished pages.


Tony Dunlop said...

No comments here, so I'll just say: Thanks, Margaret. I look forward to this feature each week. I've always loved the great "Jack Davis faces" in the crowd scenes during this run of the book!

Anonymous said...

This is definitely my favorite feature. Any Mick and Keef stuff we haven't seen yet?
Jimmy Gownley