Anatomy of Another Commission (Part 6)

“Take On Me” p 3 (2019)
by Carson Grubaugh (1981- ) and Gerhard (1959- )
and written by Brian P Coppola (1957- )
11 x 17, ink on board (pre-watercolor version)
Coppola Collection

Page 3

 When we last saw Carson, he was in Jaka’s Story, drawing the wreckage of the church consumed by the growing tower of demonic faces… one of which was also in his sketchbook. Next stop: Melmoth.

 BOOK REF: Melmoth

 Cerebus #140 (evening outside of Dino’s) POV is sitting at one of the tables on the patio, presumably Carson (but he does not show up in this panel except, perhaps, as the closed edge of the sketch book on the table), the shadows on the road signify that Oscar and Reginald have just passed (or are about to, depending on which way the lights work outside the porch).

Cerebus #140 p 4

 BOOK REF: Flight

 Cerebus #151, Carson in the library, perhaps framed by one of the Gothic windows as he looks out into the courtyard, where a bonfire of books is ablaze. As a reflection in the window, a big book flies past his head behind him.

This cover is one of my all-time favorites. The flying book is the only character, and its motion is vividly displayed against the strong and static space constructed by the library. Pure, pure Gerhard; and yet, he disliked this. In the “Cover Treasury” book, Ger writes: “I spent a lot of time working out the composition and perspective of this piece, but I could not get the color right. It was too orange, not the mahogany hue that I wanted, but there was nothing I could do to fix it. I hated it so much that when I hung the cover on its clip, I hung it face toward the wall.” Dave’s response is cute: “In those situations you take the hint and just hope it’s still on its hook, face to the wall, when you come in tomorrow. It’s HIS cover.”

I personally think the color is really representative of what highly polished wood looks like when it is lit by the glaring sunlight, and this adds considerably to what I like about it. Go figure.

Cerebus #151 Cover

 BOOK REF: Women

 Cerebus #174, outside the throne room where the Great Confrontation is going to take place in Reads, there is a moment where the robed Po is walking through the streets, there is a crowd, and Cerebus is about to fall from the sky. POV from just above the crowd, we see the shadow from the flying Cerebus cast on the ground as Carson is looking up at him, while just off to the side, the fully robed figure of Po has just walked by and has everyone else’s attention.

Cerebus #174 p 7

 BOOK REF: Reads

 Cerebus #183, POV is Carson’s, looking into a window at the bloodstained floor where the fight is in progress, although we do not see the principals. We do not see Carson, but only his reflection, with the room beyond. Hand raised to his mouth, biting his finger in anxiety. It’s possible, I suppose, we could see Cerebus’s ear flying by, as the eyes in the reflected face follow it across the room. Aside to Avengers movie fans, this issue’s title is “Endgame.”

Cerebus #183 p 9