Thursday, 27 December 2018


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.

Last week we looked at page 37 of Dave Sim's 11th Cerebus notebook and the tightened page lay-outs for pages 16 and 17 of Cerebus #97. Page 38 wasn't scanned as it was blanked, but page 39 was scanned, and surprise surprise it shows us the tightened layouts for pages 18 and 19 of Cerebus #97:

Notebook #11, page 39
Here is a close-up of the page lay-outs, if you click you can zoom in more and see the pencil under the inks:

Notebook #11, page 39 close up, click to see super huge.
 And the finished page with Gerhard backgrounds:

Church & State II, pages 934 - 935
It looks like originally Astoria's finally 'Shoo' was going to go on page 18, but instead was moved to page 19. I enjoy also seeing Dave's artwork before Gerhard works his magic and puts in the backgrounds. You can see how Gerhard puts in the patterns and the solid colors to contrast the characters so they stand out from the background, and the background is just that: background.


Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Kool, thanks.

Pardon my ignorance; what’s a “tighten”?

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


I do believe Miss Liss meant "tightened". So I corrected the article to reflect that.

Mags, if you DIDN'T mean "tightened" feel free to change it back.

Grand Poopah

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

So tightened or tighten would mean either a close-up or more accurately drawn, I’d guess. Probably the latter.

Seth Manhammer said...

Eolake, I'd actually say you're correct in both assessments of the use.

Jeff said...

Actually, guys, Margaret (I think) was using shorthand for the phrase "tightened pencils", which refers to when the artist takes his drawing from the initial "loose" pencils (referring to the bubblish head and body sketch) to the next step. "Tightened pencils" is, I believe, the last step before inking. (But, I could be wrong about that last bit.)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thank you, y’all.