Thursday 28 March 2024

Notebook One: Cerebus #22 Material


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.

For the last couple of months we’ve been looking at Dave Sim’s Albatross One, which is the first notebook he used during the production of Cerebus. The notebook has 194 scanned pages out of the two hundred pages that the notebook cover says it came with. What happened to those six other pages? Either blank so not scanned in or ripped out so “missing”. At this point when I was scanning them in back in April of 2005 I didn’t make a note.  If you want to see all of the previous posts for Notebook One, use the Notebook One tag to see them all.

In last week’s entry, Notebook One: Cerebus #21 Material Part Seven, we looked at pages 50, 52, 53, & 54. And pages 55 and 56 were already covered in the post The Death of Elrod. So this week we’re on to page 57. Which makes it look like we’re finally done with Cerebus #21 material and fully onto Cerebus #22. We shall see.

Notebook #1, page 57

Pretty much all of the material on this page wasn’t used. The idea of Bunky dying and coming back to “life” as a parody of Deadman was used, but that was it. Even when Elrod was killed by the Sopai assassin, he fell face forward onto the ground, not face up with the Roach looking at him like the sketch shows.

Though the bit down the bottom labeled 4 for page 4 does show up in Cerebus #22. Cerebus does wake up in the “oval hideout” and complaining that he has had enough of this, and he has a war he needs to get back to, etc.

The next page of the notebook continues on with preliminary plot ideas for Cerebus #22 page 4 and goes on for page 5:

Notebook #1, page 58

Some of this material made it into Cerebus #22. Cerebus does go on a rant, a rather long one, about how he rather be fighting down sound with the T’Gitans. Down at the bottom of the page there is a bit of dialogue "I have a military report from Palnu if you like to hear it. . . .everyone obliterated.” President Weisshaupt does pull out a military report and goes over how the T’Gitans loss in Palnu. Though this explanation doesn’t happen on page four nor on page five but a few pages later.

The next page of the notebook switches from Cerebus #22 material to. . .well, take a look:

Notebook #1, page 59

Yup, Howard the Duck drawn by Dave. Dave’s story for Howard the Duck #8 makes an appearance on A Moment of Cerebus before in Howard the Duck and The Cerebus Oversize Project #5: The Duck, which I don’t recall ever coming out. And it looks like Blogmaster Bossman asked Dave about it recently and the answer is in A Refreshing Dip Into the ol’AMoC Mailbag.

Next week: Yes, more of Dave Sim’s notebook pages for Howard the Duck. Finally we’re done with Cerebus #21. Hopefully.

And you, yes YOU!, can get your own facsimile edition of Albatross 1, details here.

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