Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Walking on the Moon

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.

The last time we looked at Dave's notebook #9 was back in July of last year in D'King and the Actress. Notebook #9 covers issues #102 to 111 and while the cover says 200 pages, I only scanned 133 and there were 8 blank pages.

On page 48 we see thumbnails of the covers for Cerebus #105 through #111. It looks like Dave had started with issue 107, which marks the first issue in the 'Walking on the Moon' chapter of Church & State II. However, he crossed that off and put 105 and also crossed off 108 and made it 106.

Notebook #9, page 48
They are pretty close to the finished covers:

Cerebus #105 to 111 covers
There is also a quote up at the top that Dave attributes to Benjamin Franklin: "The American Dream is better served by freedom than it is by money." At the bottom of the page appears some dialogue that would appear to be from the Judge.

On the next five pages we have issue summaries for issues #107 though #111, the complete Walking on the Moon chapter. Page 49 shows another thumbnail to the cover, which looks a bit closer to the final cover.

Notebook #9, page 49
The dialogue is the Judge's, but not quite the same as the finished issue. The Judge doesn't call Cerebus a "smart punk aardvark". The line down the bottom, from page 20 of the issue was changed as well: the last word was changed from God to Tarim.


Malcolm X said...

Just in time for Jesse's reviews....

Max West said...

Cerebus having a moonwalk and meeting the judge has to be such a pivotal moment in the series.

Unknown said...

Hi Max! It definitely wasn't POPULAR but I think, in retrospect, most people would have to agree that it opened up the parameters of what CEREBUS as a graphic novel was going to be. Which might have been a big part of the problem: it made it look as if I was shifting from Fantasy to Science Fiction. Never a popular transition going in either direction.

Welcome Back Jess Herndon!