Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Talking With Dave Again

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.

Last week we looked at pages #25 through 27 in Dave Sim's notebook #21 which covered Dave's discussion with Cerebus that started on page 5 of issue #199 or if you're following around in the phonebook Minds, page 251. We ended with page 27 and the question "Why do you (Dave) keep telling Cerebus' story?"

In the phonebook, we see on page 256 it was to find out what Cerebus would do, but on page 27 of the notebook we saw something else, that Dave was searching for an answer to the question of "how can God let so much pain exist!?!"

On page 28 of the notebook we see the start of Dave's response, that as far as I can tell, didn't make the cut for the finished page:

Notebook 21, page 29
Dave basically says that he sees his life as a series of tests - and the question isn't why did this happen, but how will he react to this happening. That "interesting choices make for interesting stories".

Dave continues his line of reasoning on the next notebook page - that if he does it to his creation, "how could (he) fault (his) creator for doing the same to (him)?"

Notebook 21, page 29
Then on the next page Dave wraps up this discussion with Cerebus in the notebook asking Cerebus "What was the state of your mind, what sentiment expressed internally caused you to get that little slap on the wrist?"

Notebook 21, page 30
"Are you living your life in such a way that the natural ending, the natural repercussion is that you will die alone, unmourned and unloved? So far you have." Pretty harsh words from Dave to Cerebus - but Cerebus still didn't get the message.

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