As my personal commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the start of the 300-issue “Cerebus” saga (1977-2004), I wrote a 5-page outline for a story and commissioned artists and storytellers Gerhard (“Ger”) and Carson Grubaugh as collaborators.

With me more or less cheering from the sidelines, waving my billfold, they turned the idea into an actual, physical, real-life 5-page story.

The Director’s Cut describes the development and background of the project. Downloadable copies are provided below at no cost and with no obligation. High-resolution scans of the 5-page story are likewise available, also below, along with a few other art selections.

If you are inclined to make a gesture of appreciation for the available copies of the artwork done by Gerhard and Carson, please consider a charitable donation in any amount to the Pride Stables.

Pride Stables offers therapeutic horseback riding to people with disabilities. Ger and his partner Shelly (“Shel”) both volunteer at Pride.

Pride uses canadahelps.org for direct online contributions:
www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/5181

General information about Pride Stables:
www.pridestables.com

General information about Pride contributions:
www.pridestables.com/support-us/how-to-donate

Excerpt from The Director’s Cut:

As issue #200 is winding up, the Cerebus character is shown having an inner monologue with Dave. Dave plays himself, perfectly aware of himself as the writer and artist. Cerebus, on the other hand, is interacting with his creator, and has no context whatsoever for understanding what that means.

This same theme is perhaps best played out in a terrific book called “Flatland” (Edwin Abbott, 1884), in which the inhabitants of a 2D universe cannot conceptualize what it is like to exist in 3D. Using “Flatland” as a comparison is delightful and apt, given that a comic book page is a 2D universe. An implication that Abbott leaves as an open question is that there is no reason to think the universe ends with the 3D existence we perceive, but that a higher dimension is as unknowable and incomprehensible to us as the 3D universe is to the 2D Flatlanders. Abbott’s work is poetic in its beauty.

As it is in Flatland, the metaphor that Dave is playing out is explicitly religious, and he makes the clear point through his own Flatlander, Cerebus, that we cannot understand it, anyhow, when our creator is revealed to us. At this point, quite playfully, Dave imagines that what is true for Cerebus could be true for us: as inherently unknowable and incomprehensible, our creator might just as well be a couple of guys at drawing boards as anything else. The nature of unknowable (versus simply unknown) makes all stories true as none can be falsified.

And a whimsical creator, pushing a pen around on a blank canvas, is also the point that Philip K Dick makes in The Adjustment Bureau…

Pages (high resolution):

36 MB scan (.tif) of page 1
42 MB scan (.tif) of page 2
45 MB scan (.tif) of page 3
48 MB scan (.tif) of page 4
39 MB scan (.tif) of page 5

Director’s Cut Edition (e-book):

Read Online as e-book (patience needed depending on connection speed)
Director’s Cut edition (download 23 MB .pdf version)
Director’s Cut edition (download 13 MB .pdf “reduced size pdf” version)
Director’s Cut edition (download 200 MB e-book as .zip that you can play locally)

Director’s Cut Edition (print book – available at cost, no money to me):

http://www.lulu.com/shop/brian-coppola/take-on-me/paperback/product-24132349.html

note: not made with print-ready images (i.e., I used 72 dpi downloads), but it looks fine
single-copy print on demand from lulu.com is ~$6 plus shipping, if you want a hard copy

[someone can “remaster” it later when it hits the NYT Bestseller List – mwah hah hah]

Bonus downloads (these are monster-sized dpi files that you can take to Kinko’s, or wherever, and get yourself some wall-hanging art, if you want; they are the scans I provided to Sean Robinson for the restoration project)

Cerebus #80 p 11 (200 MB)

Cerebus #80 p 11 (detail) (3.5 MB)

Logo 1 (50 MB)

Logo 2 (50 MB)

World Tour Book Cover (160 MB)

Guys… I’m Right Here! (250 MB)

Cerebus #151 Cover (30 MB)

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