Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Assorted Cerebus

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.

There are a bunch of Cerebus short stories that don't appear in the phonebooks, but are still considered canon. Many of them were reprinted in Cerebus: World Tour Book 1995 (and later reprinted in Cerebus: Not The World Tour Book 1995, same book, just a reprint with the text 'Not The' stamped on the cover in red). It seems that Dave was thinking about reprinting these stories as early as 1987.

In notebook #8, which covers issues 96 to 102, we see a thumbnail for Assorted Cerebus #1 with a listing of what would be in it.

Notebook #8, page 89
The listing includes the short stories that were originally printed in the Swords of Cerebus volumes, but Exodus, which is issue #51, Elfguest from issue #52 - but was never reprinted - and Cerebus Dreams from AV in 3D.

The only story from the Swords collections left out is "What Happened Between Issues Twenty & Twenty-One".


Steve said...

I recently handled a custom hardcover binding project for a fan that was for issues #1 to 25 (using the bi-weekly reprints) and I added in the World Tour and Swords stories and editorials chronologically, plus the Passages story. I think I included A-V 3-D and Jams at the end, just for completeness.

The book didn't include Exodus or Elfguest - those were already in the full run of #'s 26 to 300 I'd processed for him. While he's happy with the bi-weekly book he's working on putting together a run of originals to bind as well. Issue #1 will of course present some challenges - not because it's expensive but because of the size. But an original #1 can be pretty easily trimmed to size up with the rest of the run, and that's no big deal when it's going to be part of a bound book anyway.

I for one think Dave's really missed a tremendous opportunity during this whole 'remastering' process to add to the phonebooks these odds and ends where they belong. But then I also think the loss of the editorials and all else in the originals is what makes doing custom binding so worth while.

A few years go I sent Dave a bound volume of Swords and floated the idea to him of doing a few full runs in a bound format with custom sketches on the end papers. Shot down like the Red Barron in a Snoopy strip.


Jeff Seiler said...

So, what *did* happen between issues 20 and 21? ;) Happy New Year, everyone!