Friday, 13 October 2017

On Sale 7 Years Ago: Cerebus Archive #10

Cerebus Archive #10 (October 2010)
Art by Dave Sim

(from Cerebus Archive #10, October 2010)
...Ali Baba, Prince of Thieves was pretty much -- apart from the unconscious Judaic, Christian and Islamic subtext! -- boilerplate sword-and-sorcery... but there was definitely more going on below the surface as I was taken with -- and by! -- the idea of an epic comic-book story of my very own.

If you take the time to read my outlines for parts two and three which follow the roughs [for the first chapter], you can see the groundwork I was already laying with Theta, The One-Armed Warrior Woman (and Red Sonja knock-off). I was writing a lot of what, today in Hollywood they call backstory. I already had a major theme -- the "sorcery" was dying in this "sword-and-sorcery" environment. "Our hosts must have run short of sorcery." It would be a major theme in the early Cerebus. I had completely forgotten that Ali Baba, Prince Of Thieves was where I had first come up with it.

I was developing as many of the Forty Thieves as I could, as individual characters. One was going to be a mouthy young kid. I was going to base him on Sabu, the character played by Sabu Dastsgir in the classic 1940 film, The Thief of Baghdad... it would be a running gag that none of the rest of the thieves... or the readers... would be able to stand him. And then, five issues in, maybe ten, he would shoot off his mouth once too often and get cornered in an alleyway by persons unknown... and have his tongue cut out. Which would have been a real tearjerker both for the thieves and (I hoped) for the readers. He would go from comedy relief to core dramatic element -- totally mute for the rest of the series.

And then, just like that, it was over.

No Orb magazie.

No Ali Baba, Prince of Thieves epic comic book.

Just eight pages of roughs... outlines for parts two and three... and a lot of scribbled notes, now long-lost.

It was back to The Beavers, my hoped-for great Canadian comic strip...


Travis Pelkie said...

That last bit reminds me of the great line from...Ralph?...about how Dave should go back to doing the Beavers "so to speak". Heh.

Oh, man, this a cool looking cover. Please tell us that those of us who missed the Archive from the POD site can still get it eventually?!

Tim P said...

Hopefully they’ll come back. I remember waiting for a bunch of issues to be released to justify the postage to the uk then logged onto comixpress to place the order but they’d gone bust the week before. Eventually t asked down a few. Only missing 11-13. Hopefully we’ll get them.

Paul Slade said...

"You two fight 'em off. I'll just oil myself up and pose at the back."

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Hence his name: Oily Baba! (I'll see myself out.)

-- Damian

iestyn said...

I managed to find a few Following Cerebus when visiting Ottawa on work the other week.

Bagged 6 for the grand sum of CDN$6.67 or £4.15 to me!!