Thursday 4 July 2024

Notebook One: Cerebus #24 Part Five


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.

Maybe instead of rewriting this opener every week, I’ll be a bit more efficient with my use of time and have this standard opening: 

Have you got your copy of Albatross One? That is Dave Sim’s name for his first notebook used in the creation of Cerebus. If you want a copy of the notebook – and trust me, as someone who has held the actual Albatross One, it is a pretty close duplicate and looks great – you can check out this post right here. Well not this post. The one at this link. Go check it out, this post will still be here.

And if you don’t want to buy one, you can wait as I release a couple of pages a week and check them out using the Notebook One tag. But trust me, the notebook is much much nicer then my silly little posts.

Okay, now that is done, on with this week’s Notebook One post.


Last week we saw some pages from Dave Sim’s first Cerebus notebook that covered material that was actually in Cerebus #24 and not plot points which weren’t used. We’ll continue our look at notebook #1 with page 98:

Notebook #1, page 98

Well, it is more unused items. Sure Cerebus plays a card game with the girls and part of the winnings is some whiskey, but they don’t go into detail about it. At the bottom of the page Madam DuFort is talking to Cerebus about why she uses girls to get her creature to appear. It doesn’t make the finished page either. Though she does talk about why she choose a group of girls over a group of boys. It looks like Dave went back and rewrote this text.

The next page is just wall of text with most of it cross out. Most of which I can’t decipher, but it looks like Cerebus trying to explain to Madam Dufort that with his training in the “sorcerous arts” that the swamp woman thing is a golemen (sic) “a sorcerer’s servant created for one purpose. . .to serve live victims for” and the crossed out text ends there.

Notebook #1, page 99

Down the bottom of the page, we see another start at laying out the issue, similar to what we saw on page 96. Though this time, the numbers don’t extend to the next page.

Notebook #1, page 100

The picture of Cerebus, Theresa, and Katrina playing cards is similar to what appears on page 2 of the issue. However, in the finished issue, Theresa isn’t smoking and Janette is there as well.

We do get another page by page breakdown, but in a paragraph form instead of list. Here it is broken down in list form – with #4 and 5 being crossed out:

  1. Exterior
  2. Should be healed soon sleep
  3. Wake up M’Sieu. . .which was more satisfying playing gougoo (?) for matchsticks and getting drunk or just being bored out of his skull
  4. There in the window. I think I hear Madam coming hurry [illegible] to their lessons
  5. Sorcerer’s [illegible] Cerebus had had

We're seeing more and more pieces of the final contents of Cerebus #24.

No comments: