Monday, 12 December 2016

Cerebus Cover Art Treasury: Behind The Scenes - Part 3

by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(IDW, 2016)



I would have to say that one of the happiest surprises out of this whole project was finding out that the original cover to CEREBUS No.4 -- the first Elrod appearance --still exists. As I mention in my introduction, No.4 was the first cover I ever let go of: to a reporter, in the naive belief that I'd get a better or larger (or both) article out of the deal. The odds are astronomically in favour of the reporter saying "Gee, thanks!" and just throwing it into the nearest trash receptacle after getting into his car.

Page 5 - is a typo: 2nd column, 2nd paragraph: "(not always: the first cover I ever got let go of" "got" should be deleted: so it reads "the first cover I ever let go of".


Page 16 - I thought the CGC "Dave Sim file copy" covers were too small and suggested to Justin that -- since he obviously thinks this is the right size -- can he go just "this side" of too big (as he sees it)? and we'll call that the "Goldilocks spot"? I realize that I'm definitely a "minority of one" in this.

But, speaking as someone whose ONLY awareness of the comic-book field these days is the latest Heritage Auctions catalogue, I do like my "CGC porn" and take great pride in the fact that the first 20 issues of CEREBUS are definitely considered "CGC-worthy" in the back-issue market.

Page 17 - I thought this one needed either an inset No.9 cover or DETAIL scan of K'Cor's skin tone (or both) because the unfortunate skin colour is referred to in my annotation and you can't see it with just the black-and-white cover reproduction.

I decided to put these "inset suggestions" in one spot for Justin's convenience noting: I'm very pleased that IDW is just going ahead and doing thumbnail reproductions of covers that I refer to. I think we're definitely coming to a more enlightened time period where things like that are just considered "fair use" instead of "trademark infringement":
  • The CEREBUS No.2 cover really should have Steranko's NICK FURY AGENT OF SHIELD #3 cover on which it's based as an inset AND The Barack Obama CEREBUS ARCHIVE #2 zombie cover as well.
  • The CEREBUS No.4 cover really should have the SUB-MARINER #8 cover as an inset since I refer to it in my annotation. 
  • The CEREBUS No.22 cover really should have a copy of the Marshall Rogers DETECTIVE COMICS "Death of Batman" cover (of which it's a parody) inset [it's #471 or 472, I think].
  • The CEREBUS No.39 cover should have an inset of Neal Adams' BATMAN No.245 cover.
  • The CEREBUS No.87 cover needed to have an inset of Frank Miller's THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #1 cover (of which it's a parody).
  • The No.100 really needed three insets: the actual No.100 front cover, SUPERMAN No.100 and BATMAN No.100.

The No. 103 and No.104 covers really needed a CGC or printed copy inset so people could see the paperback design I was shooting for and which I'm describing in my annotation. The No.223 and No.224 and No.225 covers I thought needed a CGC inset or printed copy inset because it's hard to picture how the two elements are incorporated in the finished covers without seeing the finished covers.

Page 83. The No.55 Wolverroach cover. As I wrote Justin, "The caption says 'This is the only time I ever improved on an earlier piece by doing a recreation.' So I think we need to actually SHOW the recreation -- this is just a scan of the printed cover - or leave the caption off. I'm pretty sure I sent you the details of where to find the recreation at Heritage Auctions' site (since the annotation specifically refers to it). But, just in case I didn't, I went through my old catalogues looking for it. It was in Auction #829 August 7, 2008 and it was Lot 41542

Page 110 No.73 cover - Heritage Auctions also had this cover in one of their catalogues and I went through all of mine until I found it and let Justin know the date of the auction and the Lot number. It's the cover Kevin Eastman bought from me so it says "to Kevin" on it which I thought was noteworthy -- especially since Kevin has written the introduction for the CEREBUS COVER ART TREASURY! -- and worth making sure that the actual cover art was used. I've just looked it up again: It's Session Three Auction #827 - Friday February 29, 2008 and it's Lot No. 43514

Page 119 - No.82 cover. As I wrote to Justin, the annotations are out of order for this one. Gerhard's annotation makes more sense if it goes first before mine. Also the line fragment "am I supposed to do with that? Move on." is from the No. 79 Gerhard annotation a few pages earlier. Seems to me like a good idea: let's move on from the No. 79 cover to the #82 cover! Annotations, too! Let's go! :) Another on of those "I don't know WHY computers do that" things.

Page 142 cover of No.99 - As I wrote to Justin, my annotation had a "slip strike" in mid-sentence that needs to be deleted. You know, where the computer suddenly adds a giant space in the middle of a block of text? Why do computers DO that?

Page 158 cover of No.115
Maybe Deni and I SHOULD have lived in a tavern!

Page 158 cover of No.115 - The caption for this one cited Deni's and my first apartment at 48 Weber St. E. Unfortunately, the cover is Pud's Tavern. Maybe if Deni and I HAD lived in a tavern we might still be happily married today! Anyway, told Justin I really think the caption needs to be moved to page 159 which DOES have the cover of No.116 which IS of the 48 Weber St. E. building.

Page 177 cover of No.132 - We've been working on the book so long, the G8 -- G7 plus Russia -- is now back to being the G7 -- without Russia. Which suggests to me that a) the reference in my annotation needs to be changed to G7 and b) we really need to get this book published before it becomes the G8 again.

Page 180 cover of No.134. I wrote to Justin that I thought my annotation needed The Downing Street Years -- as a book title -- to be italicized and I thought Gerhard's annotation needed "printer" to be changed to "the printer". We'll see what Justin thinks.

Page 189 cover of No.143 - My annotation should have read "incoherent his last couple of days" instead of "the last couple of days" (which makes it sound as if Oscar Wilde died a couple of days ago)

Page 242 cover of No.196 - Judgement call on my part: Is "3D Movie" part of the title of Oliver Simonsen's movie, Cerebus: Fractured Destiny 3D Movie? I decided it was and asked Justin to italicize it.

Page 287 cover of No.238 - As I wrote to Justin, "countryside" in Gerhard's annotation should be one word instead of two

Page 317 cover of No.268
See the pink elephants? I DIDN'T, but NOW I do!

Page 317 cover of No. 268. At the time I wrote "which you can't see here" about the "semi-transparent pink elephants" there was no inset image of the cover itself. Now that there was, "which you can't see here" needed to be taken out, because you CAN see the pink elephants. It's like an existential witticism of some kind.

I also wrote Justin that it might be a good idea to do an inset enlargement of the pink elephants themselves since the work Wayne Cope put into them -- which was amazing! -- is really the thrust of my annotation.

Page 319 cover of No.270 I wrote Justin that this page SHOULD have included a close-up of "The Poplaski Technique" -- the dark grey on Cerebus created by inking on a blueline -- and since it DIDN'T my annotation saying that it DID needed to be taken out.

If it's too much trouble to actually find the inked blueline for the dark grey for No.270, I suggested to Justin, maybe he could find a cover where he CAN find the dark grey inked blueline and move the caption over there.

And there you go: the final 22 corrections I finished typing April 4, 2016. Hello to all you potential CEREBUS COVER ART TREASURY buyers somewhere up ahead! Have fun checking my corrections against the finished book!


Unknown said...

This post looked with no comments, so I thought I'd type one.

Jeff Seiler said...

Dave, I am going to compare The Last 22 Corrections to the book, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe I'll take the book with me when I go to visit my evil twin brother in Arkansas from the 20th to the 28th. It would give me a good excuse to take a break from him.

Travis Pelkie said...

Yeah, basically the same here, waiting until I take the time to look at the book, then go back and look at the corrections.

There's another one of him? ;)

Unknown said...

Travis - Yes, Jeff has a twin brother.

I've often wondered that -- if they ever met -- Damian wouldn't consider him the NICE Seiler.

Well, okay, not THAT often. But every once in a while.

Travis Pelkie said...

Ooh, what if DAMIAN has a twin brother too? I would imagine that HE is saying to Damian, "hey, what's your issue with that Jeff guy, he seems awfully nice".


Jeff Seiler said...

Okay, the evil twin brother is not being nearly as evil as in the past, but here's the last of my comparisons of Dave's final corrections to how the finished book looks:

7) Done, as Dave suggested

8) As far as I can tell, IDW acquiesced.

9) Done, with the inset CGC cover.

10a) Done; b) Done; c) Done; d) Not done--no inset of Batman #245; e) Done; f) Done; g) Not done on 103 or 104; h) Not done on 123, 124, or 125

11) Caption left off

12) Original art not included

13) Done and done

14) Slip strike fixed

15) Done, as Dave suggested

16) Change to G7 done

17) Both corrections done

18) Done, as Dave suggested

19) Page *244*--"3D movie" not italicized and "movie" not capitalized

20) Done, as Dave suggested

21) Both done, as Dave suggested

22) Annotation completely removed

So, there ya goes, Dave. Merry Christmas!!