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.
Albatross one. Dave Sim's first notebook. We've never looked at it before here at A Moment of Cerebus, but it was requested by Matt "Iguana and Beer" Dow in the comments to last week's column, Cerebus Feels So Good. It originally contained 200 pages, but there were only 194 pages to scan, and it covered Cerebus #20 to 28.
The cover shows that it was well used, with marks on the right edge from either carrying it around or opening up the pages (or both).
|Albatross One cover|
Q2: Why can an Albatross be used to reunite the Eastern and Western churches?
DAVE: Because it is the most formidable power object in the known universe: a wildly improbable plot device. Like the Maltese Falcon only more politically formidable. In a Real World context, I called my notebooks my Albatrosses because I was as saddled with them much like Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner. So I was declaring in a way—by making the albatross statue that significant in High Society—that I was ambitious enough to want to do something of remarkable significance with all the half-witted notions and half-baked philosophies I was sketching out and jotting down in my own “albatrosses”. “Invoke often,” is the first rule of the sort of mysticism that one finds in used paperbacks in 5 for a dollar bins. Unless one is in a New Age bookstore, in which case one can pay 50 dollars to be told the same thing between hemp-derived hard covers.
And here is page one of Albatross One:
|Albatross One, page one|
Instead, Dave used whatever paper was around. Here from Steve H is a scan of the front and back of a sheet of COMICgraphics stationary with notes for Cerebus #14 on it:
|Cerebus #14 notes, front and back|