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.
The last time we looked at Dave's notebook #21, which covers Cerebus #164 through 187, was back in October of 2016 in Down In A Minute, Sweetheart. Of the 300 pages on the cover only 260 were scanned.
Part of the way in the notebook, there are some sketches for pages in Women where Po meets up with Astoria and Cerebus. The pages are approximately 2/3 the size of the notebook page and follow along to the finish page with a few exceptions.
|Notebook 21, page 107|
The rest of the page is much closer to the finished page, including the dialogue. If you click to zoom in the above page, you should be able to read the dialogue that Dave didn't used. I can only imagine that he didn't want the character to say he wasn't death as he was waiting for the big reveal after the page flip.
|Notebook 21, page 108|
The sketch in the notebook page is pretty dang close to the finished page, #244 in Women, with the major difference being the panels with Astoria and Cerebus' reactions: both are given equal weight on the finished page. However, on the notebook page Astoria's reaction gets a bit larger panel.
|Notebook 21, page 109|
|Cerebus #174, page 19|