Thursday 19 November 2020

Lots of Dead Cirinists


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 pages from Dave Sim’s final notebook way back in January of 2018 in Yoohwhoo and the Little Yoohwhoos. Notebook #36 covers Cerebus #265 through 300 and had 58 pages scanned out of 108 pages. So. . .Do you want to see what Dave did for Cerebus #300?

Notebook #36, page 103

Ok, ok. I joke. Kind of. That really is the page for Cerebus #300. In fact, page 76 starts with the same number box for Cerebus #291, and after a bunch of empty pages for the other issues, #300 is the last number box.

So how about a bit for Cerebus #275? We saw the first page of it the first time we saw pages from this notebook, back in September of 2016 in Listening to Dead Cirinists. That was page #28, the next page is #29.

Notebook #36, page 29

Well, I thought it was for Cerebus #275, as it comes after the page that had that issue number box. But it is actually a sketch and some dialogue for Cerebus #274 page 14 – or page 174 in your Latter Days phonebook:

Cerebus #274 page 14

As you can see, the overall page layout looks very similar, but is different from the finished page. The dialogue remains pretty much the same. 

I’m thinking Dave went in and pre-labeled some pages with the issue box numbers, and then went back later to use the notebook.

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