Thursday 15 December 2022

The Death of Elrod

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 first notebook used in the production of Cerebus just this past June in New Inside Front Cover Design.  The notebook covers Cerebus #20 through 28 and had 194 pages out of 200 pages scanned. The other six pages were either blank or missing.

If you have the Cerebus Cover Art Treasury from IDW you might remember seeing this page:

Notebook #1, page 55

It was in that book due to the sketch for Cerebus #22. The notes in the bottom right corner of the page would appear to be for Cerebus #21 however, as on page one “story opens with Cerebus conked out.” However, while that was the case, the next part of the notes didn’t happen:

“What I say – What can we do for him?”

Keep him warm

Page 2


No No – we need a blanket or something we.


Oh Bunkey No – they got you.

You! Yoo craven slanity eyed, buck-toothed, stab-in-the back

The next page has some Captain Cockroach sketching and some dialogue from the Roach. The crossed out text in the upper left corner is “Bunky was my partner. He was a loyal – He was A. A. Good kid.” Sounds like dialogue from Cerebus #22. 

Notebook #1, page 56

The text in the bottom left corner:

You probably think boy assistants grow on trees don’t ya? Hanh? Hanh? You know how long it took me to get the little creep  to make a decent three minute egg. And. . .now. . .thanks to you – I – HAVE – TO – START – ALL – OVER – AGAIN.

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