Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Cerebus vs The Spirit

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 5 a few times already - most recently two months ago in Sane As It Ever Was. It covers issues 70 to 79 of Cerebus.

The first few pages of the notebook cover the Cerebus vs The Spirit jam that Dave wrote, laid out and drew Cerebus, Gerhard drew the backgrounds, and Will Eisner drew The Spirit and Commissioner Dolan figures. On page 1 of the notebook we see Dave doing some layouts for the first page of the jam story along with his Will Eisner signature.

Notebook 5, page 1
Skipping page 2, which is just some more layouts, we see on page 3 Dave's plot for the first couple pages of the story.

Notebook 5, page 3


Jeff Seiler said...

Does "Terry five, Murphy seven, Eisner five" refer to the page counts for the various Cerebus Jam stories?

BTW, pretty good forged signature! So *that's* how Dave built his fortune...

Travis Pelkie said...

So I was looking this up, and I see that this Cerebus jam story was reprinted in DC's Spirit Archives volume 26. Is that the first/only time Cerebus was published by DC?

Anyway, that number list must have been including the intro page (weren't there intro pages in CJ?), because the GCD lists the Terry Austin story as 4 pages, the Murphy Anderson one as 6 and the Eisner one as 4. It also doesn't include the story done with Scott and Bo Hampton.

Thanks for this look, btw. Have we seen other looks at the layouts to this story before? Was it in Following Cerebus, maybe?

Travis Pelkie said...

Since I was looking at the HTD stuff in the other post, I was curious, did Gerber ever get in touch to say anything about settling his case and thanks for the hard work in helping out, etc, or not?

Heck, maybe he wasn't legally allowed to say anything to anyone or acknowledge that people helped him out with the lawsuit (he says, wanting to think the best of everyone).

I still need to crack open the HTD omnibus HC that I got for a sweet deal because the big M is apparently liquidating their stock of several omnibi. Check with your local comics retailer, maybe they can still get you a good deal on the book from Diamond. Can't remember the exact title, but here's the Diamond code.

Item Code: SEP140918

It's probably out of stock now, but who knows, you might get lucky!

Max West said...

Must have been amazing to have two legends like Cerebus the Aardvark and the Spirit rubbing shoulders.

Travis Pelkie said...

Well, Cerebus's shoulders really only rubbed against the Spirit's knees....

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Travis: Hey, I just laid down less than half a dollar for that HTD hardcover! I think it was $44.99 -- marked down from $112.99 (all prices Canadian). Then I was in my local comics shop, and saw the first two volumes of the new HTD paperback reprint series. The latter seems better: it presents the stories in publication order, which means after HTD number 31 it reprints the HTD black-and-white magazine (although I notice it censors the nudity that seems to have been the raison d'etre for Marvel's B&W line).

And yeah, Cerebus Jam did include a one-page text introduction to each story. That explains the differing page-counts.

The Cerebus / Spirit story may have been the first time DC published Cerebus -- but it wasn't the first time they wanted to. Dave said in 1986 that DC had offered him six figures for the whole schmeer, and he was going out of his mind trying to figure out how to get six figures for himself -- and the result was High Society, sold directly to readers for $25.

-- Damian

Steve said...

And I have a vague recollection of an add on the inside back cover of several issues referring to the original art being auctioned for IIRC the CBLDF.