Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Beat the Hsiffies, buy bonds!

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.

Let's have another look at notebook #1, which covers issues #20 to 28. We saw it just a little over a month ago, when we saw the cover and page one. I was skimming through it, looking at the pages about to be sent out as a Cerebus Archive Five kickstarter reward and found a couple Captain Cockroach pages I thought were interesting.

We get a couple summaries of past issues, some Elrod dialogue (bottom right hand corner) and . . .is that a Captain Cockroach cover?

Notebook 1, page 25
Or perhaps just a sketch of splash page of issue #21 when Cerebus wakes up in Beduin not knowing how he got there, and running into Cockroach and Bunky. . .I mean, Elrod.

Then on page 28 we get another sketch of a splash page for issue #21 along with a start of the issue that wasn't to be - instead of Elrod tripping over Cerebus, Cerebus finds the pair.

Notebook 1, page 28

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi Margaret! I'm guessing from the page 28 outline lettering with a cityscape sketched into the first two letters that I was contemplating a Jim Steranko homage (after Jack Kirby, his was the defining CAPTAIN AMERICA for my generation and that's what I was parodying): specifically an homage to his use of outline vertical block lettering for splash page story titles. I was always looking for a Letraset font that would look the way that his lettering did: severely compressed horizontally and unnaturally tall vertically. With a wide enough outline to be readable but not to interfere with the drawing inside it.

Of course Jim Steranko was a genius and did all of that by hand. I would usually get this far in the notebook sketch, remember how DIFFICULT drawing a story title that way by hand was...and opt for Plan B.

You'll notice I couldn't even get all the letters on one line in the SKETCH. Mmm. Plan B. Definitely.