Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #137 (January 26th, 2007)

Dave Sim's Collected Letters Volume 2 will be released in late spring/early summer 2007. Until Dave (who currently has the flu) is feeling better – and to whet your appetite for the book! -- The Blog & Mail will run two-page excerpts from the manuscript each day.

Today: Pages 31 & 32:

Yes, I did get nominated for another Harvey Best Letterer award and an Eisner if I'm not mistaken. I wrote to the Eisner Awards panel and informed them that I was having my name legally changed to "Todd Klein Sandman And Various" and that I would appreciate it if my nomination next year could appear under my new name. No response.

I had forgotten that I had included the metal plate and The Place the Wind Comes From in an issue of Cerebus. I think it was in Church & State, either just before or just after the break between volume one and two. That's going to happen a lot, from now on. I don't have to retain things, so I don't. Someone recently asked about the memorial ceremony where Iest used to be in Going Home and I dug it out and read it and went, "Oh, right, the Cirinists trying to co-opt Isaiah and Jeremiah." That's pretty clever. And I reread it and thought, "That's not too bad considering I'd only been reading the Bible about a year and a half at that point."

"I'm amazed by the immediate effect of trying to extract women from your life. Deliberately trying to get them away from you seems to draw them to you. I've noticed it in restaurants and even on the street. Being cold, prickly and rude to women in an effort to get them away from you seems to be exactly what they're looking for."

Yes, exactly. This is why I am unfailingly courteous and cheerful when dealing with women in person — you can literally feel yourself disappearing off the side of their radar screen. Over-tipping helps in restaurants and bars. Same effect. If you want a waitress to get interested in you don't leave her a tip. I usually go for a straight thirty percent which keeps everything on a strict waitress/customer basis. Otherwise you have to keep switching restaurants.

You're quite welcome for the copy of Aphasia. Still no sign of issue 3 and, you're right, it is a bad sign that he's explaining everything to his girlfriend and his Mom. I assume that that was his girlfriend he was with at SPACE. She wasn't a supermodel, but she wasn't exactly hard on the eyes, either, so…Ray actually posted a reading list on the Cerebus Newsgroup of recommended places to find the original — unedited — correspondence of the Founding Fathers. A number of them were a good deal closer to, say, Karl Marx than Billy Graham on the Christianity scale. And, of course, it has taken a couple of centuries of very selective reading and revisionist Twister-style history to keep them all on the Billy Graham side of the ledger. The letters of Jefferson's that Ray sent me put him solidly in the Tolstoy/Doestoevsky camp: did his own set of the Gospels that excised all of the miracles and supernatural episodes. Gulag Christianity in its Age of Reason cradle. Ray is a doubter's doubter as you could see from this first part, so it should be quite a show.

If I had a nickel for every person who has asked if I'm a Philip K. Dick fan, I'd have change for half a dollar by now. I'm always interested in reading about him and his experience of 1974. Yes, I had heard about the amphetamine psychosis. Drugs are just one of those things you can only dabble in for a little while and then it's time to get yourself out of the pool and get majorly antibacterial. When I think of all the crap I used to pump into my body thinking that it was helping in some way, my mind boggles. He did have it "together" in a few ways — one of which was the realization that he was largely invulnerable because his condo, his car and his stereo were paid off (the last one makes me laugh, of course) so he didn't need to write the Bladerunner screenplay (abusing one of his own children) because of a voracious need for money.

I'll tell you what: I'll trade you for photocopies of the Weirdo 17 story with my Journal review enclosed and in its original form so you can compare for the editing. I told Michael Dean he could take out anything he didn't like or didn't have room for. As it was it was about 500 words longer than most of their gallery reviews.


1) All right we'll make a point of doing it on a Saturday sometime before Labour Day (there are about eight Saturdays left in the summer) (CANADIAN GOTCHA!). I should know by about 3 pm on Friday if I'm going to have a spillover of letter-answering into the weekend or if I can get it wrapped up by Friday night, so I'll call you on a Friday and we'll just hope for the best.

2) Yes, the sneak attack sounds interesting — just playing off the "given" that a documentary is a Marxist-feminist format, ergo, all roads lead to Leftist Rome. As you say, the more gradually you can steer them into new areas the more effective the point is going to be, particularly if you don't have any narration or text or interview footage that explicitly makes the point. As you say, "driving something through people's brains without actually seeming like you're being didactic." You just read the excerpts from the Harlequin romance novels or maybe even just post it as text… nice segue to…

3) …blocks of text. Yes, I quite agree and I think you're really onto something here. The Internet has trained people to read blocks of text on a screen, particularly if the typeface is clear enough and large enough to read comfortably. I also think it would be worth experimenting with the length of time the text is on the screen. A rape scene, you'd actually benefit from not actually leaving it up long enough to really intently read the whole thing. Make sure the most provocative part is in the first two sentences and that you title card it. That is:


The Baron's Mistress

Harlequin Romance



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.