Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Talking With Dave

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've looked at Dave Sim's notebook #21 twice before, most recently on August 13 in "Calling Dave Sim". With titles like "Calling Dave Sim" and now "Talking With Dave", you've probably deduced that this notebook deals with the phonebook Minds, issues 197 to 211 to be specific.

I have a text file with 'ideas for which pages to use' and one stated "Notebook 21 p025, 026. . .what Dave says to Cerebus at the end of minds".  So I went back to take a look, and it is actually pages 25 through 30, a total of six pages. The text on page 25 of the notebook starts on page 251 of Minds, or issue #199 page 5 if you're following along in the monthly installments.

Though while the dialogue in the notebook is similar to the finished product, it isn't the same. The line on the notebook that was crossed out "When was the last time you asked someone about themselves?" didn't make the cut.

Notebook 21, page 25
The last line on the page "What other ending have you written for yourself" was changed to "what other ending to your story makes sense to you? Think about it."

As far as I can tell the next page didn't make it in Dave's talk with Cerebus.

Notebook 21, page 26
Neither did some of the next page, though the 'Why did you create Cerebus" did show up.  Dave answers that the same way he did on the notebook page, though with some extra dialogue on the notebook page. He also poses the next question in both the notebook and the finished page: "Why do you keep telling Cerebus's story?"

Notebook 21, page 27
On the finished page Dave answers that question with "basic curiosity" of what Cerebus was going to do next. On the notebook page, he says "to try to reach an understanding I guess. One of the commonest questions in the world is 'how can God let so much pain exist!?!"

Next week, page 28 though 30 and the rest of Dave's response.

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