Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Cerebus Goodies

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 already looked at notebook #3 a few times, most recently last December in His First Firth Notebook Notes. It covers issues #52 to 59 and had 158 pages scanned. This week we're looking at two bits of Cerebus merchandise: one that was made and another that wasn't.

First up is page 58, on which we see a sketch for what would become the Official Elrod the Albino t-shirt.

Notebook #3, page 58
The sketch is pretty close to the finished shirt:

Official Elrod the Albino t-shirt
The one difference is Elrod's left hand - on the notebook page it is extended out and on the t-shirt it is pointed to the shirt he is grabbing. The text in his word balloon is also different, but the text on the t-shirt is on the notebook page as well - just up above the 'Albino Lover" text.

The other bit of Cerebus merchandise, which never was published, is the "Untold Tales of Cerebus". It shows up on the next to large page of the notebook:

Notebook #3, page 157
As much as part of me would have wanted to see more Cerebus stories, part of me is glad this never saw the light of day. I just wouldn't want to see Dave piling more work on top of his already busy schedule. Though if other creators were to do it? Perhaps, but would they be able to live up to what Dave and Gerhard did? I find it hard to think they would.


Unknown said...

Glad to hear someone else is thinking this idea as well!
When Dave visited for his MRI trip here in Chicago last
October,I pitched the idea of Untold Tales of Cerebus
to him (not knowing about this previous idea). I
explained that a new Cerebus book on the comics rack
would help financially and help promote everything
Cerebus (and SDOAR too). But Dave said he thought it
would never live up the the legacy of the original series
or may tarnish it in some manner. I still think there
are many comic artists who would be interested
in drawing new stories from Dave (since he is not
currently drawing) and perhaps contributing some of
their own.I am sure fans would buy the book and it
would open a new readership to the original Cerebus
series too.
Anyone else think it is good idea?

crazyyears said...

I think Dave may be right on this one.
Remember that his original idea for "Untold Tales" he had as he was a sixth of the way through the entirety of Cerebus. The Dave of issue #59 did not have the same perspective on Cerebus as the post #300 Dave. The idea of an "Untold Tales" becoming canon and leaving the art to someone other than Dave may well be anathema to him at this point.
However, a "Strange Tales" type book with writers and illustrators just going nuts and presenting non-canonical Cerebus and related characters in other settings might fill the bill nicely. I don't imagine there is a shortage of writers and artists that would love to get their hands on our little gray friend, and Dave has always been willing to let others use Cerebus in their own works.

-- Michael Hunt

Ethan Burns said...

Anyone know where I can get that shirt?

Ibis said...

I kind of think of Dave as a double-barreled shotgun. Drawing the pictures and telling the stories. One barrel is down, though hopefully not out. Still, I bet the remaining barrel can still blast a hole in the sky. Just not a Cerebus book. That had a beginning, a middle, and an end and was better for it. I'd like to see Dave write and, say, Bob Burden draw. What's ol' BB up to these days?

Max West said...

The Elrod shirt looks cool. I've been thinking about doing merchandising myself for my own work, Sunnyville Stories, but I don't think it's good to go overboard. I know in a previous notebook post, Sim mentioned he didn't want mass merchandising of Cerebus in department stores like on lunchboxes, posters, bedsheets, etc.

Anonymous said...

IDW and Dave had in 2014 a plan for "ULTIMATE CEREBUS" basically the “re-telling” of the first 25 issues by an all-star cast of other writers and artists.


Steve said...

Both the Cerebus Jams and Low Society issues give a good idea of what 'other hands on deck Cerebus' would look and read like.

Which is to say, some times it works better than others.


Margaret said...

Ethan asked: "Anyone know where I can get that shirt?"

The only place I've seen them for sale is on eBay, and they are rare and far between there. I only managed to snag one from another Cerebite who was selling off bits of his collection.

Jeff Seiler said...

Ya know, ah say, ya know, Margaret, if there's anyone who should have one of those shirts, I think it's me.

My ownself, that is.

(You can explain to these newcomers that particuler witty if you want to.)