Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Odd Transformations... 4 part 2

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.

So last week we looked at a page from Dave's notebook #7 that showed the thumbnails for Cerebus #95, pages 12 through 15.  This week we look pages pages 16 through 19, which are several more double page spreads.

Notebook 7,  page 110
And the pages from the finished issue:

Cerebus #95, page 16 and 17

Cerebus #95, page 18 and 19 
In the comments from last week Dave said this about the pages:

These are Hawaii pages. Rose had come to visit Gerhard and he was taking the week off to spend time with her -- staying at her hotel just off Waikiki Beach while I was in the condo at the Marina -- so I was left to try to figure out a way to keep everything moving forward while actually running up ahead on my own. And that seemed to be the best way to do it: thumbnail the backgrounds in my notebook and then finish my part of the page. I had to get far enough ahead so that I wouldn't need my notebook if he needed it for reference. I didn't LIKE to thumbnail backgrounds because that tended to confine Gerhard to a predetermined "his side" of the page. And I knew from experience he always came up with better things if they were HIS from the git-go. 

They're really nice pages -- but they needed to be relatively quick pages for Gerhard if he was going to make up the week where he fell behind me. And that was never predictable. We see -- and saw -- differently. Trying to "do" MY background usually slowed him down and diminished the results. That happened here. I hoped that I could thumbnail "this is pretty much all solid black": "here's where you put in some detail" in a way that made sense to him. Sort of. But not really.

The next page on the notebook has a thumbnail for the final page of the issue, though I don't see where the dialogue was used - though since much of it is crossed out, perhaps it was decided not to put it in the issue.

Notebook 7,  page 111
The title of the next issue "An Anchor That's Going Place" was used over the "Just Listen".


Jeff Seiler said...

Bill Ritter--See my answer to your question about my education at the end of last Saturday's thread.

Unknown said...

The pages really are a lot better than I remember them. One of the things I was cautious about was "using up juice" in the notebook that was better served being on the page. I thought that happened when we did these but nearly thirty years later I have to say that what I hoped would happen -- Gerhard would see what I was driving at and knock it out of the park -- actually did happen. Give him a dramatic vanishing point and horizon line, wind him up and let him go!

Jimmy Gownley said...

I first got this issue from a comic book guy who set up a stand at the "Hometown Auction," a flea market/farmer's market type deal near where I lived. I remember flipping through it on the way home and being absolutely gobsmacked. It's still breathtaking!

Jimmy Gownley

PS: I'm still working on the Zelig pages! I swear!