Thursday, 16 June 2016

Extrusion Intrusion

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.

This past April we looked at Dave Sim's notebook #9, which covers Cerebus #102 to 111, in Walking on the Moon. We saw the thumbnails for issues 105 to 111 and saw a single page of the page summaries he had for several of those issues.

Here is the next page in those single page summary, it covers issue #108:

Notebook #9, page 50
The thumbnail of the cover on page 50 is very similar to one we saw on page 48 in Walking On the Moon. We see another thumbnail for it on page 69:

Notebook #9, page 69
Then on page 74 we see what appears to be a copy of the cover reduced in size and pasted on to the notebook page.

Notebook #9, page 74
However, notice that the picture of Gerhard is hand drawn and not the picture that made it on the final cover. Though it does look like it was based on that picture.

Cerebus #108

1 comment:

Dave Sim said...

Hi Margaret - Gerhard would do mock-ups of the front and back covers for Scancolour, because they'd be getting, usually, the artwork for the front cover and either a slide or a transparency or a photo...

(the one of me with Zolastraya was from one of those souvenir keychain viewers: the resort's camera person would "waylay" you on the way in for dinner and then ask if you wanted to buy a keychain viewer or two of the photo. So the keychain viewer needed to be pried open and the tiny transparency extracted for scanning. That was one "for the books")

...and would, otherwise, have no idea what the relative sizes were supposed to be.

So Gerhard would enlarge the photo on the photocopier to the size he/we wanted. A lot of times the enlarged photocopy would be too dark and fill in. So he got in the habit of tracing the enlargement (it was usually an enlargement) along with a paste-up of the front cover and any and all text onto an 11x17 sheet of photocopy paper. And then, being Gerhard, having outlined the photo elements to establish position, he'd sometimes "keep going" and end up doing most of an inked photorealism drawing that no one but Scancolour was going to see...

(as Gerhard would often say after No.300: "Who WERE those guys?" Meaning, how did we do all that and still manage to have three-hour "more liquid than solid" lunches at a local restaurant most days?).

...At least until IDW's CEREBUS COVER TREASURY comes out: there's a few of them in there. No word on when that's going to happen.

I liked it, because it made an issue seem Real that didn't actually exist yet. So I did a massive reduction of his paste-up and put it in my notebook so I could be more There than I would have been otherwise when I was out at Chatters or someplace writing the issue.