Thursday, 7 May 2020

On Governing Part Who Knows?

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.

We last saw some pages from Dave Sim’s seventh notebook last June, in Sproing! The notebook covers Cerebus #59 through 70 and had 160 pages scanned. While I was looking at the scans, I saw some of Cerebus’ handwriting, well, you know whose, for his (unpublished?) book On Governing:

Notebook 7, page 4
Cerebus met many leaders when he was elected Prime Minister. Cerebus doesn’t remember their names; some, because Cerebus their names were way too long and some because they were so dull, their own mothers wouldn’t remember t hem if they weren’t at the breakfast table. With most of them, Cerebus would talk about what Cerebus wanted and they would give in and give it to him about the good old days when you didn’t have to lock your door at night.  Then they would suggest some way to wipe out crime in the lower city that cost a lot of money and couldn’t pos

It just ends there. . .but on the next page, it looks like Cerebus went for a re-write:

Notebook 7, page 5
Cerebus met many famous leaders when he was Prime Minister. The easiest way to tell a really important leader is by how many people he has with him when he comes to see you. Most of them cheat. You find out half the people are idiot cousins, crooks, friends, mistresses. In the really big groups, the mistresses bring their boyfriends and the boyfriends bring their sisters. Usually the sister and the mistresses have half the luggage.
I looked through Church & State I to see if I could see this bit of On Governing, but I couldn’t find it. Part of Cerebus’ unpublished manuscript.

Down the bottom of the page is another idea that never made the comic as far as I can recall: “mass slavery interspersed with the “High Society lottery”.

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