Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Sketches of Familiar Faces

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 Sim's notebook #9 six times already and last November's Cover Thumbnails. It covers issues Cerebus #80 through 86 and had 118 out of 200 pages scanned.

In the past we've seen some sketches of people that weren't directly Cerebus characters in the notebooks. For example, sketches of people he saw while on vacation, covered in Vacation Time: San Jose and Vacation Sketches Part Deux. We've also seen some other Sketches of People in a different notebook.

I found a couple more sketches in notebook #9:

Notebook #9, page 47
Notebook #9, page 48
Notebook #9, page 49


Jeff Seiler said...

I really enjoy seeing these, Margaret.

Who the hell was Lynn, Dave, and why was she so skinny?

The Crazy Canadian lady once wrote to me that she couldn't do much about her wrinkles, "but," she wrote, "I have the ass of a twenty-year-old."

A nice way to invite the naive, aging Amurricun to come up and mess up in Canada.

I mean, who hasn't been there and done that?

I didn't get the t-shirt, sad to say.

Travis Pelkie said...

I like the way the mouth of Miss Judith Bradford is drawn in particular, for some reason.

Tony Dunlop said...


Unknown said...

Travis - I'm glad you liked the mouth 'cause that's what I was trying to capture. Judith was the underage one. 14 (?) when I met her at a convention, wanting her CEREBUS collection signed. It was a very hard lesson in what happens when romance and lust and protectiveness (because she was a CHILD! Dave? CHILD? You PROTECT children. You don't HUSTLE them. Dave?) get rolled up together. I didn't have sex with her until she was 21 and we broke up three months after her 22nd birthday.

The bottom right one on the "sketchy" page, that was the closest I got to what her mouth looked like. She was tiny and physically perfect in my eyes. I was ready to move to England and live there when she got accepted to a school in London. Along the lines of "I have the ass of a 20-year old", Sheck, Judith arrived at PH6 and informed me that a lesbian friend of hers had told her she had perfect breasts.

Lynn was not actually that skinny. What I was drawing was her bartender's uniform. She was one of the bartenders at the Gainesville Hilton when Ger and I stayed there. She had mixed parentage, white and Hawaiian. I've got some photos of her mixing shooters in Gerhard's mouth. Him sitting in a chair with his head tilted back and her pouring liqueurs into both sides of his mouth. We got cut a LOT of slack at the Hilton as month-long residents.

I actually flew back to Gainesville specifically to spend my 30th birthday with her figuring that that would impress her. It definitely amused her and, to whatever degree she was impressed, it wasn't enough to sleep with me. She was WAY too smart for that.

Unknown said...

BOTTOM line: I wasn't serious about them. It was always primarily about fornication and that's wrong (a decision I made in 1998 and haven't wavered from since). I should have done them (and me) a favour and stayed away from all of them.

Jeff Seiler said...

Pertinent question, Dave:

Where, today, do you draw the line between flirting with pretty young women ('cause I know you still do, occasionally), and informing them of your life choices?

I still, every so often get approached and I just discuss the events going on at the moment, until they get bored and leave.

Still, you're rich and famous.

How do you manage it? ;)

al roney said...

Reading these tales actually makes me glad that I'm married.

Whenever I think, and it's not often, that the, um, "grass", may be greener elsewhere, I simply reflect on my own single days.


Unknown said...

Jeff - Uh, no, I really don't flirt with...or communicate with...pretty young women or ANY women ever. In a society like ours where women call their own shots, EVEN ADDRESSING any one of them in any way is going to get inferred (by them) as "hitting on them" (usually from hard experience) and when you're 60 years old that's a very ugly inference.

The only women I'll talk to are wives or girlfriends -- or daughters -- of guys that I know who have signed the petition. Or work-related: like the phone message from THE WORLD CHESS HALL OF FAME the other day wanting permission to use images from CEREBUS. I try to be amusing and engaging and cordial but I don't flirt.

I'll make a joke with a girl working behind the counter someplace when I'm buying something but that's really the extent of it. Never anything that could be inferred as flirting, I don't think. More "Okay, where's the border between misogynist (don't say ANYTHING to her) and dirty old man (don't get anywhere close to anything that could be inferred as flirting)".

al roney - Yes, husbands who are, by nature, husbands: 100% monogamous by nature and inclination, I think, are very fortunate. I was never like that. So, trying to make "something else" besides monogamy work, just didn'

Travis Pelkie said...

Whoa whoa whoa! Bury the lede! The World Chess Hall of Fame wants to use Cerebus images?! That, I say, that's news, sir!

Or was it in one of the updates I haven't watched yet? D'oh!

Jeff Seiler said...

Nope, Travis, that's NEWS! Of the good sort.

I always suspected that Dave'n'Ger had drawn an actual chess game or games, as opposed to just random placement of chess pieces, but I have been too chronically lazy over the past twenty-some years to check.


Jeff Seiler said...

Speaking of news, Travis, why do you spell it "lede"? In journalism, it's "berry the lead". Trust me; I should know. In my ten years of journalism, I berried the lead more than a few times. ;-)

Thank God for copy-editors.

Travis Pelkie said...

Well, I've seen it that way, like over at dictionary dot com:

"by 1965, alternative spelling of lead (n.2) in the newspaper journalism sense (see lead (v.)), to distinguish this sense from other possible meanings of the written word, perhaps especially the molten lead (n.1) used in typesetting machines"

Also, I learned it from Prof. Barry Theleed in college.


I bet everyone is so glad they signed up for the comments to get emailed to them!

Travis Pelkie said...

Also, here:

Jeff Seiler said...

So, was Professor Barry the lede professor at his college?

No offense intended, Travis (REALLY!), but your use of "lede" reminds me of people who write, "I lead him through the forest, yesterday."

Neither the American Heritage, nor the Oxford English Dictionary, recognize "lede" as an actual word.

This is like when people verbify nouns. ;)

Travis Pelkie said...

See, I hate the misuse of "lead" for "led" as well, but I believe you are being left behind on this one, Jeff. It's being used more generally these days (ironically, though, since they don't have to worry about lead type...).

American Heritage online:

after some searching on OED online:

And as Bucky Katt says, you can food anything if you just eat it:

(and you were joking with "berry" the lead, right?)

Unknown said...

Where you lede I will folow.

Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck.

Yes, Weekly Update this week, God willing.

Jeff Seiler said...

Nice catch on the Get Fuzzy reference, Travis.

whc03grady said...

Jesus Christ Jeff, 0.04 seconds of searching shows 'lede' to be the common, and probably the usual, spelling when used in the phrase. You're being willfully obtuse.


Jeff Seiler said...


My 2011 American Heritage dictionary (the one I didn't check) defines "lede" thusly:

The introductory portion of a news story, especially the first sentence. [Obsolete spelling of LEAD{1}, revived in modern journalism to distinguish the word from LEAD{2}, strip of metal separating lines of type.]

Obviously, I didn't spend much time with the printing press guys. I was just type-a, type-a, type.

Sorry, guys.

Still, for the record, I don't trust online dictionaries. Except for Urban Dictionary, where I learn euphemisms for nasty sex acts...

Travis Pelkie said...

What will we define the "Seiler" as on Urban Dictionary? Something to do with wearing fruit on one's head while proofreading, methinks....

And that Get Fuzzy strip is one of my favorites.

Jeff Seiler said...


Upstanding Celibate Citizen.

Travis Pelkie said...

Also, unnecessary usage of commas and colons that disrupt the rhythm of things....