Thursday 2 November 2023

December 1984


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.

Now that everyone is probably tired of seeing pages from Dave’s sixth notebook, how about we move on to his eighth notebook? We last saw this notebook in June of 2022 in Cerebus #75 Page Thumbnails. The thumbnails in this notebook are much smaller and rougher than the ones we saw in notebook #6, almost like Dave was busy with the newsletter, the Jam stories, the Epic stories, and the First Fifth portfolio. Dave’s eighth notebook covers Cerebus #70 through 79 and had 86 pages scanned.

The writing along the top of page 12 is the end of the letter to people ordering the First Fifth portfolio. For the three pages with the rest of the letter, see 6 of 30 from October 2019.

Page 12 has Dave’s schedule for December but starting with December 13th. I’m thinking this is a schedule for December of 1984, which if that is the case is kind of pushing it, as Cerebus #70 is dated January 1985. I just don’t think Dave worked a month ahead of schedule. Either that, or Cerebus #70 came out later than January 1985 and it was just dated that.

Notebook #8, page 12

The calendar has him doing two pages a day except for the weekend of December 15 and 16th. The next weekend, December 22 and 23, he takes off Saturday and works on Sunday as he takes off Christmas Eve and Christmas. Then he takes off the following weekend, December 29th and 30th. He must’ve been putting in 12-hour days to get two pages a day completed.

The thumbnail and a bit are the first thumbnails that would turn in Cerebus #70, pages 3 and 4.  If you check out Stairs to the Regency from July 2021, you’ll see the other thumbnails for pages 3 through 5.

The next page of the notebook contains more thumbnails for those same pages. Plus some dialogue.

Notebook #8, page 13

That is a ton of stairs. And look, a mention for ‘Credits’, yes, this is the first issue that Gerhard gets a credit on, even though he started with Cerebus #65.

1 comment:

Tony Dunlop said...

I'm pretty sure this was the time when Dave & Ger had fallen months behind schedule, so yeah, the Jan '85 issue probably did not arrive in stores in January of 1985. More serious scholar squirrels can chime in if they so desire.