Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Closing Like a Gate

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.

While we've looked at Dave Sim's notebook #29 seven times already, the last time we saw it was in January of 2017 in Meeting F. Stop. With 150 pages scanned,  there were still 134 blank pages and 11 missing pages. The notebook covers Cerebus issues #240 through 250.

At the panel with Steve Peters and Gerhard at SPACE last weekend, Gerhard mentioned that he would pick up Dave's notebooks to see what Dave had laid out in the notebook. Why do all the work if someone has already done it? So this week I saw a page in notebook #29 that had some Dave Sim layouts, and I pictured Gerhard picking up the notebook, flipping through it, seeing this page and finishing up the actual page.

Notebook #29, page 31
There are thumbnails with two pages on it, along with some other camera views and character sketches. Page 19 of issue 247 doesn't have much background, but we can see that the thumbnail for page #20 does.

And Gerhard's finished page aligns pretty well with it:

Cerebus #247, page 20


Travis Pelkie said...

Cool. Wasn't this where Ger started using some 3D software to help layout things as well? I seem to remember this page in particular discussed in the back matter in the individual issues.

Jeff said...

I think it was Ger using a then-advanced computer program but, ultimately, he actually built a model boat. IIRC. As Yogi used ta say, you could look it up. Ger became amazingly able to envision rooms, perspectives, and details (OMG! The details!!!). Oh, and he got better computer software (and hard-drives?)

I am just now looking at the "framed" and signed (by Ger) print of The Last Room, from "The Last Day", which print was initiated by the great Jeff Tundis, when Ger did an online 360° view of the room, from the Gerhard and Sim covers of the last 10 issues of the book.

You start at the left side of the print of the last room and cross over about three feet, left to right; or, start from the right side of the print and get to the left side over the same distance. Of the print. In actual Gerhard terms, it was probably about ten months worth of shuffling around in a round-ish room, while wearing bunny slippers, in order to get it right. Or, for Cerebus, just sleeping; like I do. It, The Last Room, seemed to be about the same size as *my* apartment (or, perhaps, my last room).

God, I'd rather die in Florida. Just sayin'.

The print consists of all ten covers, adjoined one to another, in a "circular" view.

Printed by Ger in a slight sepia tone, with some true colours, about four inches high.

It was an advertising frame-up done by Ger, printed on artboard, that was poised on his table at a Wizard World show. I asked him how much it would cost to buy it, despite it being for display purpose only. He said "Well, it's for display."

I offered him a fair sum and he reluctantly sold. Graciously.

Yes, Matt, I have occasionally been that kind of d-bag. I really, really, try not to be, but when you see something you really want, ya gotta go for it.

Now, it, the Last Day print, sits permanently above the door frame between my living room and my bedroom.

From Tunny-Bunny to Ger, to me.

Wanna buy it? Not for sale.


Not enough. But, hey...