Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Cerebus Jam 2: Campaign Stop

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's notebook #5 a few times already. It covers Cerebus #70 to 79 and contained 100 pages, but there were only 86 pages to scan. Look at pages 69 through 70 we see Dave's notes on an unused story for the not published Cerebus Jam #2, this story was entitled "Campaign Stop".

In Cerebus Church & State biweekly reprint #28 Dave has two pages of his 'Notebooks' section on this unused story. He shows two sketches - one from page 69 and one from page 71, and he has typed out the text which has numbers beside it.

Notebook #4, page 69
Notebook #4, page 70
Notebook #4, page 71
Dave said this in the aforementioned bi-weekly reprint:
This is the "Campaign Stop" Cerebus Jam story I was working on with Dick Giordano. Cerebus on the campaign trail trying to drum up support. If you've ever "taken a meeting" with Dick, this one should strike a resonant chord.
Actually Dick isn't as scattered-brained or anything - just over-worked like most people on the corporate ladder. He's a very nice guy. His wife is nice too.


Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

It's probably a good thing this story was abandoned, if the audience was "people who've taken a meeting with Dick". The other "Cerebus Jam" stories had their "inside baseball" aspects, but also enough jokes to make them amusing in their own right (except the "Spirit" one, where Dave's inner fanboy overwhelmed his cartoonist self).

-- Damian

Barry Deutsch said...

I don't agree. There are many characters in Cerebus who are at least partly based on people Dave knows, like Boobah and Bear. But the characters are still hilarious.

Parody can be funny even to readers who don't know the person or work being parodied. I got a lot of my friends to read "Cerebus" who weren't comics readers, but the parodies of things like The Dark Knight and Secret Wars were still funny to them.

Jeff Seiler said...

Yeah, Barry, I agree with you. There are people who have denigrated Dave's use (parody) of characters from other comic books, especially the indies, as not being able to stand the test of time. "Who's going to know who those characters are/were fifty years from now?"

That sooooo misses the point. I have never once read an issue or strip (I forget which) of Too Much Coffee Man, but all I have to do is read aloud the word balloons of Dave's parody and I'm laughing for hours. Same with Normalroach. "Cunt, cunt, cunty-cunts!" gets me every time.

It's like the great James A. Owen once wrote (and I may be paraphrasing here), "You can't get mad when Dave Sim parodies a character of yours, because he almost always does it better."