Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Cerebus #11: "A Little Behind-The-Scenes Stuff"

So I finally purchased a copy of the Cerebus Cover Treasury. I'd provided IDW with two scans of cover prelim's I own, for #11 and #36, back when the book was in the planning stages, but I'd never heard whether the images would actually see print.

And now my wait is over: neither were used.

But it occurs to me that other AMOC regulars would like to especially see the #11 cover -- a hand-coloured example not unlike the #15 shown in the book. Dave doesn't mention it in his commentary but I seem to remember the #11 original art being sold on eBay and then he did the #11 re-creation shown and auctioned that on eBay not too long after... which didn't sell for nearly as much as the original.

(I paid much less than either the original or the recreation for the hand-coloured example.)

It was nice to have Dave's corrections (or whatever he called them) to the book posted on AMOC, and hopefully for other fans the #11 cover is a similar nice addition.


Steve said...

Tim -

Thanks again for posting this, I do hope the other AMOC regulars find it's a nice addition to the Covers Treasury.

Dave -

On the printed cover 'REVENGE' is a cyan screen, so my guess is it should've had at least a black screen too?

And I'm guessing the yellow plate somehow didn't get prepared correctly since it looks like, on the 'Aardvark-Vanaheim Presents' banner, yellow didn't print from Presents on to the right edge.

Inquiring ex-pressmen want to know...

And do you remember who Ed (in the dedication on the bottom) is, Dave? I've also got a very nice con sketch you did for him, and I seem to remember at least one more sketch that sold on Heritage or eBay dedicated to an Ed. May not have been the same Ed, of course, but they're all early examples.


Dave Sim said...

Hi Steve - Sorry that your contribution didn't make the cut. Just not a big enough audience to not try to keep the page count down.

Actually the "REVENGE" on the original cover was hand-lettered in black and then I put white Letratone over it and then trimmed it off of the stat and pasted it onto the Cyan overlay as a low-tech "colour hold". The white Letratone made it a Cyan value of 60% because it was a 40% white screen.

I was doing the colour separations of all of these covers by hand, taping a stat of the cover to illustration board and then putting three sheets of acetate over it and doing the percentages of the colours from a separations book (which Deni had scored from Mitch, the graphics guy at the printing plant she worked at, when they upgraded to a more accurate version) (there were check marks throughout indicating "The colour doesn't actually look like this") that told me how much Cyan, how much Yellow and how much Magenta.

This coloured stat was pretty close to useless because the surface was too slick to hold the markers and watercolours (that's purple watercolour on the Roach's costume: if the colour wasn't thin enough you couldn't see the drawing through it which is why it's "draining" on his right shoulder) I was trying to colour it with. But, I wanted to do it like they did in the Big Leagues: coloured stat first and then do the separations from that. Obviously they were using better markers or less glossy stats or both. The sky colour I did with a purple marker and then black crayon over that (since two layers of marker would just have made a mess).

No idea who Ed was but he would have been a big art buyer if I sent him the stat (it isn't something I would have taken to conventions or signings).

Thanks for posting it here for everyone else to see!

Margaret said...

Steve - thank you for sharing this piece with us. I love seeing the behind the scenes stuff from Cerebus. And then bonus of getting to read Dave's commentary on it. :)

Dave Sim said...

I don't want to make it sound completely futile. The reddish-brown -- a mix of diluted watercolour and marker by the looks of it (Burnt Sienna in both cases) -- on the wall between the logo and the word balloon actually gave me the idea of using a graduated tone on the overlay (dark to light) which helped the spotlight effect. A hazardous business because the "brownish red" page of the separations book was the one with the most little check marks on it. But in this case it worked.

I think #11 is the best of the early covers AS a comic-book cover.

Steve said...

Sir Dave -

As always, thanks for the added information.

It's wonderful to me that, decades later, you can recall details like what you've shared above.
Any insights on the "A-V Presents" banner issue I mentioned?

Margaret -- I knew you'd like to see this, but I was certainly hoping for more kudos from other AMOC regulars.

Guess I should've thrown in some comment about the merits of feminism...