Sunday, January 21, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #130 (January 19th, 2007)

All this week on the Blog & Mail



Steve Peters' Awakening Comics

You said some folks might be uncomfortable about their appearances in your blog. I had no problem with it; my only concern is that when you mentioned that Shannon Wheeler and Bob Burden's names were misspelled in the Previews listing for The Origin of Sparky, it wasn't made clear that it was the Previews folks who added those names to my listing and misspelled them, not me. Again, not that anyone cares or even noticed other than me, but I didn't want folks to think that I would be such a clod as to misspell my contributor's names.

No, you're quite right. We're pretty much in the same boat. No one really pays attention to anything that we're saying so it's all "reading into the record" at this point. It's a matter of "putting things right". There was no conscious reason that the names would either be added without your agreement or misspelled when they were added and I assume that there was no conscious choice by the Previews folks to make the mistakes. Which means that you have to consciously correct the error to just make sure that we are …consciously…aware of what's real and what isn't even though distinctions between reality and illusion are being altered on an on-going basis unconsciously. Which just sounds crazy and obsessive on our part which I assume is the idea behind whatever unconscious force is at work. Still, we both agree, "putting things right" is a good thing to do.

I talked to Alex Robinson about his blog appearance; his only concern was that he thought people would think that he had a big ego because you were talking about how people were standing around listening when you and he were having a conversation at the bar the night before SPACE. I told him I didn't get that impression at all, that you were saying how Alex seemed to be uncomfortable with it, but then again I was one of the folks who was standing around listening to the conversation.

Actually it was Alex who said that people were standing around listening to us. I assumed that it had happened to him before since he is very much THE Alex Robinson at this point. I do remember—at the height of Cerebus' popularity back in the early 80s— being struck by how nice everyone in the comic-book field was becoming. It took me a while to clue in that I was being shamelessly sucked up to. I think if Alex ever wrote back to me again, he'd probably just tell me not to use in the Blog & Mail anything that he wrote. I was still getting used to the nature of the Blog & Mail at that point, but now I'm coming to understand that most people have a very clear demarcation between a public statement—on a panel or something like that—and a private conversation in a bar. My own experience has been that virtually everything I say will get a public airing one way or the other and usually in such a way to show me in the worst light imaginable so I just get philosophical about it but for most people, I think, that's their worst nightmare come true. What People Will Think. I think I'm safe in saying that if you aren't a close relative or a long-time friend—and I have no close relatives or long-time friends—People Will Think the Very Worst. Have you noticed that Survivor is far more about who everyone hates than who anyone likes? Evidently, it's just the way we are, now, as a society if not the way we've always been.

Of course, to me, the important thing is the work. I enjoy talking to Alex but I'd rather read—and own—his next graphic novel.

More setting straight of records: In another blog entry you mentioned a jam that you did with some fellow (I believe his first name was Kumar)…

Technically, it wasn't a jam, it was a guest appearance by Cerebus in Kumar S.'s (I'm still not going to attempt his last name) title Weird Crime Theater, basically scripted by him and drawn by Mulele Jarvis with me supplying Cerebus and modifying his dialogue as I did on TMNT #8. You can check it out at as far as we know it's still open for offers from interested publishers.

…that was in a comic that had been rejected by Slave Labor. You said that you hoped that he would submit it again someday because you've never been published by Dan Vado. How soon you forget! You did the jam featuring the Judge that appeared in Everwinds #2 back in '97! I suppose it's understandable, because you never could remember that Everwinds was Slave Labor and Awakening Comics was self-published. I probably didn't help you any by incorporating Everwinds into Awakening Comics after Dan cancelled it. Incidentally, I'm enclosing a new reprint called Everwinds: `Shrooms which reprints #2 and #3. It was quite a lot of fun "remastering" and experiencing it again; the art and writing weren't as bad as I thought they'd be. I did realize that I had rushed the ending by not planning things out carefully enough.

Well, it was great revisiting it and I apologize for forgetting that it was originally published by Dan Vado. You're an amazing guy, Steve, pretty much hanging on by your finger-nails all these years and you were certainly one of the very few that kept not only writing to me but actually wanting to jam with me—however many cautionary notes I tried to strike with you—all the way back to '97 all the while plotting your own course. I was just remarking to myself when I was looking at Chemistry—your candidate for the Day Prize this year—boy the kid has never given up. You've certainly been across the spectrum of Large Questions over, under and back again and it's all here in black-and-white, metaphorically, literally and every other way imaginable. A real comic-book Pilgrim's Progress (and, yes, you can use that quote for advertising: since you won't do the sensible thing and minimize my contributions to your career then I might as well help you worsen things) (see, Troy? Don't let this happen to you.)

I noticed with interest that you said that some Muslims gorge themselves after fasting. I started fasting on Sundays (I wanted to observe Ramadan as well, but didn't realize it starts earlier every years, so I completely missed it), and on the very first day I tried it, I realized that this was A Good Thing To Do. As soon as the fast was over, I pigged out, and I immediately knew that that was The Wrong Thing To Do.

Oh, hey, I hope it continues to work out for you. Prophet Muhammad evidently used to counsel eating a little dried fruit after fasting. But, I think he meant you were supposed to stop after that. Not gorge yourself on dried fruit and then eat half a sheep or something which is what I'm always inclined to want to do. I'm writing this on Boxing Day and, having fasted on Sunday (Christmas Eve) and Monday (Christmas Day) I should probably remark on the fact that I have noticed since I started spending Christmas alone in 2003 that there is something to the day itself that is a kind of vortex with an energy all its own and that there's no way to get outside of it that I've found. I can literally feel, viscerally, the world transforming itself into another state that I used to attribute to over-eating and drinking too much. It takes until the middle of Boxing Day for me to realize that I've come through unscathed (and I'm not really sure how I mean that but that's the visceral texture of it: passing through a gauntlet unmarked) and how much more comfortable I am not having gorged myself on turkey and all the rest. And I usually end up feeling bloated anyway. Interesting phenomenon. As if the entire society around you gorging itself means that you end up gorging yourself by osmosis or something.


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.