Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Talking to Muffins

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.

While we've looked at Dave's notebook #7 numerous times already, we've never seen the cover. The last time we looked at this notebook was in July of 2016 in Cerebus Jam 2: Campaign Stop. Notebook #7 covered Cerebus #59 through 70 and there were 160 pages scanned.

Notebook #7, front outside cover
The first thing that is notable about the cover is that it isn't attached to the rest of the notebook. Going along with that well used look, the text 'pages' is almost rubbed off, as well as some of the rest of the black on that edge of the notebook. Down where it says 'name' the text there says 'albatross encore une fois'. The last of the notebooks named Albatross - at least on / in the notebook.

In case you're wondering, all of the rest of the notebook pages are attached to the notebook. Except the back cover. For some reason I can't remember - and that isn't documented in my letters to or from Dave - the back cover is missing.

Starting on page 122 we start to see the text that Boobah writes down as he tries to write down everything said by Most Holy. On page 126 we catch the end of Cerebus' conversation with "Muffins":

Notebook #7, page 126
At the top of the page, the text continues the conversation between Cerebus and Bran MacMufin from page 2 of issue #67, or page 314 of Church & State I if you're following along in the phonebook. The end of the conversation is seen on page 3 of issue #67 and is almost word for word. The text that is crossed out in the notebook does show up on the final page, though altered:

Cerebus #67, page 3, top panel
Doesn't that handwriting look familiar? Umm. . .

Down the bottom of the notebook page are some potential issue titles, and a list of issues from 53 to 74 with what is happening in that time frame.


Tony Dunlop said...

Yes, the handwriting looks familiar. I have always guessed, but have never had confirmed, that the "all three documents are in your (Cerebus') handwriting" phenomenon from this period of C&S was just a little joke on Dave's part - since it is, in fact, all Dave's handwriting.

Unknown said...

Tony - Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck

Margaret - $100 US check on its way to you for Boston Bruins merch for a Feb 14 birthday. Please send it to me, this time, and I'll see that the birthday boy gets it. Thanks!