Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Remember. . .jobs?

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.

Dave Sim's notebook #24 has been shown here seven times, most recently last July in The Tavern at the Wall of T'si. It covers Cerebus #192 through 211 and had 138 pages scanned in.

On page 102 of the notebook there is a sketch of the cover for Cerebus #211:

Notebook 24, page 102
The basic concept of Cerebus and Bear lying on a river bank is there, but the finished cover is a bit different.

Cerebus #211 cover
There is a panel of Bear with the dialogue he has. The next page of notebook has a 15? 12? panel grid with some more dialogue. Just a lot of laughter.

Notebook 24, page 103


Jeff said...




(crickets chirping)

[It's in my top ten favorite issues, since I am very comfortably retired.]

Jeff said...

Oh, and, top ten favorite covers.

Yay, Gerhard!

Carson Grubaugh said...

I got the covers book yesterday, and man, the cover paintings that have moody atmospheric lighting are so beautiful. Jaka's Story through Melmoth... Gawd. CLASS!

And 111. The scans I read lead me to think this was a doctored photo, not a painting. Gorgeous stuff.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Revised the layout according to Mike Friedrich's rule, I see.

-- Damian

Jeff said...

What do you mean by that, Damian?

Cory Foster said...

I always thought "Jobs" was some long-lost Cerebus storyline from before the first volume (Reads, Minds, Guys, fits with the naming convention) until I was in the shower one day and it totally dawned on me what the hell he was talking about. I felt dumb.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Jeff S.: I refer to something Dave said (see this post:, where Dave talks about Mike Friedrich's rule that characters should never walk "out" of a comic. I agree with the Dave of that entry; I can take or leave the "Dead duck issue", but his original layout and dialogue (always two of his greatest strengths) and the title on the comic are superior to the published version. In the Cerebus cover, Dave changed the layout so that characters aren't facing "out" of the cover -- I assume for better reasons than "one of those 'editor' things.

-- Damian

Jeff said...

So, you're assuming, Damian, that C. and B. would just get up and walk out of that sketch? I don't see it as subtantially different from the printed cover, except for the angle and the lack of Bear's legs on the cover (which, admittedly, makes him unable to exit stage left, but I don't think that that is the crux of the debate).

I think that the notebook sketch and the published cover are six-of-one-and-half-a-dozen. IMHO.

Feel free to Haruumph.