Friday, September 22, 2006

Dave Sim's blogandmail #11 (September 22nd, 2006)

All this week The Blog & Mail is brought to you by:

Dave Sim Collected Letters 2004

Nearly 600 pages of minority-of-one opinions, arguments and societal model/constructs elaborated at excruciating length and investigated to hair-splitting sophistic depths. Gags and buffoonery. Enticing allusions that will leave you begging for further elaboration and which might permanently alter the way you look at life itself.

"Oh, come on. I wrote the damn things and even I don't think they're as interesting as all that." Dave Sim

Dave Sim Collected Letters 2004


At better comic book shops everywhere or order online at

Congratulations are in order for long-time Yahoo and "Ye Bookes of Cerebus" curator Jason Trimmer on his new appointment at the Allen Memorial Art Museum bringing him back from upstate New York to his native Ohio (within TV reception range of the Cincinnati Reds as he put it). He sends along an interesting package this time out, including print-outs of the CBC Radio Archives online material supporting an April 9, 1983 interview of which I have absolutely no memory which was conducted by Arn Saba (as part of his Canadian cartooning series on CBC Radio—like everyone else in this country it really aggravated him to have to address Dave Sim or Cerebus even though I had been publishing his work for a year or so at that point but I think I was the only person left that he hadn't interviewed at that point) and which featured Deni and legendary Canadian retailer (for whom the Shuster Best Retailer Award is named) Harry Kremer. Running time 16 minutes and 42 seconds (it says here).

The 2006 historical context text is very amusing. CBC Radio, forced to address the idea of the Pariah King of Comics is clinging tight to the Official Canadian Version of Dave Sim (pioneered by Saturday Night magazine and parroted by Eye magazine—two years later on, still the only Canadian media to acknowledge that Cerebus came to an end): young interesting guy, MARRIED (always a big plus in this country) to his strong, independent publisher/wife, dropped acid, fried his brain irreparably, got divorced, started writing vicious attacks against feminism (note the interconnectedness of those last three items), lost most of his readers and will never be heard from again. There are some new wrinkles this time out.

"In December 1996, Sim underwent a religious conversion from atheist to a non-mainstream version of the Abrahamic religions." Only someone at the CBC could write a sentence like that with a straight face. "Underwent". Most of the time when you write that someone "underwent" something it's, you know, something like cancer surgery or a triple bypass. To Marxist Toronto it's the same thing. Whatever it is that you would change you from a decent clear-thinking atheist into a follower of a "non-mainstream version of the Abrahmic religions" they couldn't imagine anything more grisly or abhorrent. So, whatever it was, I "underwent" it.

[supplement in the aftermath of the Doug Wright Awards: Mark Askwith asked if I had ever met Stuart Mclean who is very well known in this country for his Vinyl Café show on CBC-Radio. I knew the name because Seth has done a number of drawings to illustrate his work in recent years, so I got introduced to Stuart Mclean. Or, as it turned out, "introduced" to Stuart Maclean. "Oh, yes," he said. "I interviewed you once back when Cerebus was just starting." I don't think that's true (as far as I know I was interviewed a couple of times on the CBC in 1983 when we had a full-time publicist attached to the Canadian Tour and as far as I know that's the only way to get on the CBC is through a press release/publicist route unless you've made the headlines through tragedy or homicide or something else). Anyway, you couldn't find a nicer person in the world than Stuart Mclean. He literally exudes niceness in person. He was so sincerely and so earnestly trying to remember when he had interviewed me, I asked him if I could take a picture of him doing so. And he said, Sure! Which was very nice of him. So that photo is part of my coverage of the Doug Wright Awards.

It reminds me of the time that I was using the bathroom in Chet's condo and there was a small sign on the wall facing the toilet that read "They MEAN well." So when I came out, I had to ask him. "What's up with the sign?" It turned out that he reads the newspaper sitting on the throne and he would get so irritated with the latest manifestation of Liberal idiocy that he decided to put the sign up for a while to keep his blood pressure down. So, I try to bear that in mind these days as well and it particularly comes home when you meet someone like Stuart McLean who is so much a part of the CBC culture but is obviously so gosh-darned nice it just radiates from him. "They MEAN well."]

Jason also sent along some print-outs from the Comic Book Resources website ("Original `Cerebus' Art on Display in Salt Lake City August 21st – October 30th") where they seem to have printed Mimi's press release just about verbatim (thanks, folks! Much appreciated!) and The Comics Reporter ("Go, Visit: Cerebus in Salt Lake City") which was kind of funny. Even though the exhibit is listed as "The Comic Art of Dave Sim AND Gerhard" it mentions "The artist will discuss his work during an extended appearance October 27th". Looking on the bright side it almost seems to suggest that instead of succumbing to personality dissociation I've managed instead to merge both Ger and myself into one fully integrated psychological being! What a psychiatric over-achiever I've become since those bad old days when I fried my brain irreparably after being on CBC-Radio with my strong, independent wife! This was followed by "I believe this is the same exhibit that would up at St. Bonaventure, and that student is listed as this show's curator." Student? Jeez, Jason hasn't been a student for so long he's almost old enough to be flattered at being confused with one. And what does "would up at" mean? Is it a typo for "wound up at"? As if "Ye Bookes of Cerebus" boarded the wrong bus in Syracuse and instead of hitting the Big Apple "wound up at" St. Bonaventure? The posting's only a paragraph long, for crying out loud. Who ARE these people? I thought, flipping back to the cover page.

"From the People Who Bring You Comic-Con International".

I laughed. Oh, well. That explains that.

And then Jason also included the coverage from the CBLDF's website where, again, they seem to have run the press release just about verbatim. Thanks, Charles, very much appreciated again. Hope the Saturday night fundraiser is a good one for you and the Fund.

Today's instalment of the Blog & Mail has been brought to you by pages 43, 59, 218, 343 and 506

of Dave Sim: Collected Letters 2004

You asked for more Dave Sim letters addressed to

Jason Trimmer, Former Student

And you got them…in spades!

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If you wish to contact Dave Sim, you can mail a letter (he does NOT receive emails) to:

Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674
Station C
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2

Looking for a place to purchase Cerebus phonebooks? You can do so online through Win-Mill Productions -- producers of Following Cerebus. Convenient payment with PayPal:

Win-Mill Productions

Or, you can check out Mars Import:

Mars Import

Or ask your local retailer to order them for you through Diamond Comics distributors.