Sean Michael Robinson:
A quick update on the mammoth Cerebus Volume One corrections task that I wrote about two weeks ago... it's complete! I finished up last week, with a few exceptions — items that I thought Dave would be the only real arbiter of. (See the earlier post, "Fidelity to Forty Year Letter Forms," for more info)
The past two weeks I've been working half an hour or so each day on revising and illustrating a novel that I first drafted a little over three years ago now, and that process has kept me thinking about revision that's faithful to intent, and all of the ways actual revision (what I'm doing on my novel) is different from the kind of adjustments we're making to Cerebus Volume One, which are exclusively focused on aesthetics and readability. But the last few decisions that I passed on to Dave struck me as borderline cases, things in which the asked-for "correction" seemed to be intruding on the meaning, even if on an extremely minor level.
It's my argument that the "meanings" of certain kinds of works are really the result of an accumulation of these micro-level decisions on the part of the author. That even supposed background details, or even single word choices or rendering decisions can affect the reader's perception of the page, and if enough of these were to be changed, the meaning overall is changed as well.
Anyway, I sent off my list of unresolved elements—
Okay. I finished! Man o man.
There are a few last decisions to make, detailed below.
Jeff flagged instances of Cerebus addressing himself as "I". I have included two of them below, but there are two more of them as well. I have not changed these yet, as it seemed a bit too much like rewriting to me. If you want me to "fix" them please let me know and I will.
Similarity, he notes (correctly) that "y'all" is typically meant to address multiple people, but Elrod uses it to address Cerebus alone. l've left this alone as well as there's not really an easy fix other than replacing it with "you," which would basically eliminate all of the "y'all"s. I haven't done anything with these. Let me know If you want something different.
Same with the German listed below.
pg 87-- Elrod uses "Y'all" when he's addressing C only. for actual southerners of my acquaintance, this is a not plural.It's a contraction of "You all"
p 132-- 3rd p insert CEREBUS WOULD for "I'D" ?
p 155 Y'ALL not plural
189-- p3 I'm instead of "CEREBUS"--change?
p 233 panel 2-- "GRABLEM" SB "GRAB 'EM"? mumbling so....
p 371-378-- Jeff wants to "fix" your phoenetic German accent, by making all of the W words consistently Vs, instead of inconsistently, as they currently are. Do you want this? This seems a bit too close to rewriting for me.
And the next day I received this very interesting fax from Dave:
p.87 - Leave it "y'all". Not really sure why but it needs to be there.
p.132 - No, this is Jaka and Cerebus imitating each other's first/third person conversational tics. Needs to be there. Cerebus TRIES to remember to say "I" any time he gets near civilization as he is here (in lest).
p.155 - Well, actually, I DO know why: it's because Squeaky Subversive once told me a story about visiting Southern friends or relatives and them leaving to go somewhere and saying to her "Are y'all coming?" And she said "Yeah, I'm all coming." And I remember thinking, "Well, no that's wrong. It's funny, but it's wrong. They must have addressed it to you and someone else or other people that you were with." But, I didn't say that because then I thought, "Well, if that was the case THEY (or he or she) would have said something about it: 'No, I meant, "y'all you and your mother," or, "No , I meant y'all you and your family. '' 11 Particularly since she was making a joke about it. And then I thought, Well, why DIDN'T they? Clearly, Coral (Squeaky's real name and she told me the story in pre-Squeaky days) believed that they had addressed it to her as an individual or (presumably) she wouldn't have still been telling it as a funny story about the Southern use of "y'all". So, knowing that Elrod didn't actually exist, I thought it would be a way of emphasizing the (of course, I didn't have a term for it back then) Comic Art Metaphysics of his creation: that part of him originated in a conversation with a Southerner that couldn't actually have taken place, but evidently did.
p.189 No, this is Cerebus reacting to the city. As soon as he scales the wall and is looking into the city, ne unconsciously uses the pronoun "I".
p • 2 3 3 No, it's supposed to be a JOKE: " Grab 'em" + "mumble'' = "GRABLEM"
(I know, I know: "Ha. Ha.")
p.371 - I agree. Just leave them.
And with that, the book is put to bed, awaiting word from Diamond that they're ready for the next printing. It won't be long now — watch this space for some announcements. Up next? One or two corrections on Cerebus In Hell? #1, then Jaka's Story hits the front burner.
Here are a few screenshots to tide you over.
A nice detail from a snow-flecked page (produced with a toothbrush, the diy airbrush!)
Above: a scan from the eighth printing of Cerebus V1. Below, restored for the 17th. Another tooth-brush assisted panel. Judging by the borders, these involved some serious masking.