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've looked at Dave Sim's notebook #17 only twice previously. First in March of 2015 in Bang Bang SMASH and then in April 2015 in Mrs Thatcher. The notebook covers part of Jaka's Story, Cerebus #127 - 135 and of the 80 pages in the notebook, 72 of them were scanned. So far we've never seen the cover.
|Notebook #17, front cover|
Starting with page 20 there are 6 pages of outline and some thumbnails for issue #129. Page 23 had very rough thumbnails for pages #14 through 19. The pages show the where Jaka's full page figure would be placed along with the panels for the page.
|Notebook #17, page 23|
Below the thumbnails there is some dialogue from Oscar in French Lower Feldan: "Bon Soir! Bon Soir! Bon Soir a la danseuse marvellieux au point d'ignorer sa eclatant." Perhaps I'm misreading what Dave wrote, as google translate gives me this in English: "Good Evening! Good Evening! Good evening has the marvelous dancer to the point of ignoring her dazzling." I don't see that dialogue in any of the issues around 129, nor in 129.
Below that Lower Feldan is the script for pages nineteen and twenty. Which actually matches up pretty closely with the finished page. Though there are one or two bits that weren't used.