Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What If Gerhard Had Worked On Cerebus From The Beginning?

Following Cerebus #4 (May 2005)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(from Following Cerebus #4, May 2005)
This issue's illustration is the first in a series of 'Wouldn't It Have Been Great If Gerhard Had Worked On Cerebus From The Beginning?' covers. This one is based on panel one of page 234 of the Cerebus volume (or page 6 of issue 11, if you prefer). My attempt at the time to convey the rooftops of Paris at the time of the Revolution ended up looking -- with the balcony running the width of the second building and the dormer windows occupying most of the face of the same building -- like an upscale subdivision of Swiss ski chalets. Gerhard smooshed the buildings together, shortened the elevation of the roofs, lowered the perspective to establish the density of the streetscape, and made all the windows appropriate sizes. Since all I had to do was to draw Cerebus and the Roach, I decided to solve one of the other problems from the original picture -- the impression that the buildings were set on a wide boulevard -- by drawing my own foreground building. The delineation of the bricks, the cartoon birds huddled in their nest, the "negative space" compositional use of snow, the books visible on the shelf through the window, the battered drainpipe: each element was consciously or unconsciously influenced by the Will Eisner studio look of the late 1940s. That seemed to me sufficient reason to retain the picture when this, unexpectedly and sadly, became the Will Eisner Tribute Issue.
Cerebus #11 (August 1979)
Art by Dave Sim


adampasz said...

Stunning! How many of these were done? It would be cool to have these illustrations integrated with a Cerebus Vol. 1 trade or digital edition.

adampasz said...

It's neat to see the evolution in the "Revenge!" word balloon as well.