Thursday 9 November 2023

A Chat With Mrs Snatcher


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 18th notebook in December of 2022 in Dialogue from Cerebus #139. The book has 64 pages scanned in and covers Cerebus #136 through the start of Melmoth in Cerebus #141. After looking at all of those thumbnails from Dave’s 6th notebook, when I saw what appeared to be a full-page thumbnail on page 13 of this notebook, I stopped to take a look see:

Notebook #18, page 13

The 18 in the top right corner refers to page 18 of Cerebus #135. So perhaps this notebook covers earlier Cerebus issues then originally penciled down for. The dialogue and layout of the thumbnail follows the finished page:

Cerebus #135, page 18

Then about 2/3 of the way down the page is a 19 which indicates those sketches are for the top three panels of page 19 of Cerebus #135. The dialogue is the same as well.  Then going to page 14 of the notebook, the top three sketches are the bottom three panels of page #19:

Notebook #18, page 14

Cerebus #135, page 19

The bottom two thirds of page 14 of the notebook are some rough thumbnails for page #20 of Cerebus  #135. The dialogue is all the same, and the breakdown of the panels is similar, but what an addition Gerhard’s background makes.  We don’t see the ivy surrounding the panels starting with panel #2 until the final panel of the small window with the ivy crawling up it in the thumbnail, but it is there in the final page:

Cerebus #135, page 20

No comments: