Thursday, 18 June 2020

He Needed No Practice

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.

The last time we saw pages from Dave Sim’s 28th Cerebus notebook, it was in Battling With Potato Chips from August of 2017. Covering issues #224 to 230 the notebook had 58 pages scanned and 37 blank pages.

On page 10 we see some sketches of watmacall him, Bear, Richard George, and Marty. Those guys mainly show up in Guys, but then show up for one last time (well, other than issue 300) in issue 231. The one last get together of the guys at the end of Rick’s Story.  Like Dave is testing some looks for the older versions of these characters.

Notebook #28, page 10
On the next page we get some more finished sketches for Richard George. It looks like Richard George almost had another name, but I can’t make it out under the cross out. All I can see is A – letter-letter-T-letter-N.

Notebook #28, page 11
And the quote “I’ve tak’en t’drink like a duck to marmalade” makes me think of duck a l’orange. The duck ends up dead in the end. And the actual phase is ‘take to [insert thing here] like a duck to water” to signify that the person has a natural ability for it.

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