Thursday, 18 February 2021

Doris' Story


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 Dave Sim’s 19th notebook in March of 2020 in Beth the Patio Goddess. Notebook #19 covers Cerebus #141 through 149 and had only 47 pages scanned out of the 80 pages the cover of the notebook said it originally had. 

A sketch of Doris on page 49 of the notebook caught my eye, so I read the text on it. The text is the dialogue from Cerebus #147, pages 15 through 20. The dialogue is all Doris, at least on page 49, telling her side of the story between her, a guy, and some “red-haired slut”.

Notebook #19, page 49

Notebook #19, page 50

The dialogue is nearly the same as what is in the finished story, if your following along using the phonebooks, it is pages 183 – 188 of Melmoth. While those pages only show Doris’ face in shadow, the notebook page gives us a glimpse of her angry look.


Dan E. said...

Doris is one of the best characters in Cerebus?

Tony Dunlop said...

This reminds me all over again? Why "Melmoth" is in my top 3 Cerebus volumes? I mean, I really liked it, right from the start?

Jeff said...


Doris broke my heart. And, Cerebus just saying "Aye", over and over. I haven't proofread "Melmoth" yet, but when I do, it will break my heart all over again. Dave Sim at the peak of his powers, piquing our interest about who or what Melmoth was/is.

And...I don't care if I'm misremembering this...I remember Doris saying, "You're a really good listener."