Thursday 21 March 2024

Notebook One: Cerebus #21 Material Part Seven


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.

Last week we looked at pages 45, 46, and 48 of Dave Sim’s first notebook used in the production of Cerebus, which he called Albatross One. Why didn’t we look at page 47 last week? For the same reason we won’t look at page 49 this week: we already saw it in a previous post, which for pages 47 and 49 was entitled Captain Cockroach and Bunky.  That post featured those pages and also page 37 of Albatross One as they have some really nice sketches of Captain Cockroach and yes, Bunky.

So we’ll be continuing with the page by page look at Albatross One, so if you want to get caught up, just use the Notebook One tag to find all past blog entries with pages from Notebook One. This week we begin with page 50. Last week the question arose if we’d see even more pages that have material for Cerebus #21 or if we’d finally go full into Cerebus #22 material. 

Well, page 50 of the notebook looks to be a time line of Weisshaupt coming to power, what appears to be a sketch of Cerebus sleeping on a couch or perhaps chair that is too small for him to lie down on and a head sketch of Captain Cockroach.

Notebook #1, page 50

Page 51 was previously seen in June of 2022 in the post New Inside Front Cover Design. So we’ll “skip” that page in this post and move on to page 52. 

Notebook #1, page 52

On the left side of page 52 we see the marking ‘Pg10’ as to signify this list of items is to appear on page 10 of some issue. Comparing the material here to pages in Cerebus #21 and Cerebus #22, this material on notebook page 52 appears in Cerebus #21, though not on page 10. And not all of it appears. 

For example, the page 11 item #4: “produced leaflets “message from the President” most Beduinites don’t know who their leaders are. Literacy rate is very high in Beduin. Inside of a week fully 75% of the population accepted me as their leader-in-exile.” The only part of that which made it to the finished page was the ‘leaflet’ that Weisshaupt was using to send his propaganda out to the population at large. It was never named, and neither did he make those remarks about the literacy rate nor the population accepting him as their leader-in-exile.

Most of what else is on the page does end up in the origin story of Captain Cockroach as seen in Cerebus #21. The next page of the notebook continues this style of Dave writing down plot points and some dialogue of what he wants to get on each page:

Notebook #1, page 53

After seeing page 10 and 11 on the previous notebook page, now we see the items for page 12. Very similar to the previous notebook page, there are items on this page that don’t make the finished issued. Like the crossed out dialogue intended for Weisshaupt: “It is our destiny as the most civilized country in the all-merciful Tarim’s world to be on guard at all times.” Dave didn’t even finish the word times, just put tim.

I only include the next page of the notebook here because it appears to have been write at the same time as the pervious page. 

Notebook #1, page 54

Plus, the next pages – page 54 & 56 – were shown in the post The Death of Elrod. Yes, that has content for Cerebus #22. Maybe next week we’ll have an all Cerebus #22 post and not this mix-mash of both issues. How he keeps track of what goes where is beyond me at this point.


Richard P. said...

Off topic for today, but something for the Friday Rigmarole......

Gerhard's Beatrix Potter print (+ Cerebus postcard) is back in stock at page 45.

Anonymous said...

Can you sneak some of the fun space panels into Albatross #1? Rich.