Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #148 (February 6th, 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 181 & 182:

And in some circles I'm considered a pretty eloquent fellow.

Tim Gagne

26 July 04

Dear Tim:

Thanks for the heads up re: Sarcastic Girl. That would be one of the essays slated for the massive Dave Sim/Cerebus lynch party the Comics Journal has on tap for October. Like the Steve Ditko lynching a couple of months back (which I assume that you saw: a dozen or so pages of damning with faint praise) with the notable difference that they like Steve Ditko. Which should give a rough idea of what kind of massacre mine is going to be.

Please don't bother trying to get a real letter off before the end of the summer. Believe me, I'm a lot happier knowing that you're out on the diamond shagging flies. Point of pride after the last three years of having my summer vacation 20 minutes at a time in a tanning salon, my tan this year is 100% natural and solar powered. My new motto is: "When the sun's out, so am I." Finally made the breakthrough to actual brown walking miles around Toronto with Chester on Wednesday. Of course I'm now fading to "Canadian cream," but it's not even August, yet, right? WAH-HOO!

Hit a home run for me.

Sonny Strait

26 July 04

Dear Sonny:

I'm afraid I'm on a different page. Long past the mid-life crisis and fervently hoping that I only have a few more years left in my tour of duty. I have confidence that feminism is going away but long after I could possibly derive any benefit from it, so it's just a matter of how long I have to keep slogging through this feminist nightmare. And I'm almost completely insulated from it! If I'm middle-aged that means I'm living to 96. Hm. I'm thinking, "No."

One of the things I didn't get to mention in my last letter on the 50-50 split is that we never got to see how DaDS and WaRP would've behaved themselves with a multi-million dollar hit. Everything we published and they published sold substantially less than the flagship title. Evidently God's saving that little Fiasco in Three Acts for someone else. I don't think you're too far wrong with your "evil and/or moronic" assessment. It's also a very small environment, which I suspect that God is keeping this size until we get our act together (i.e. the 50-50 split — I think God grants a certain amount of leeway if there's no precedent, but in the comics field there is a precedent, so, I suspect, less leeway). I suspect the 50-50 split dates back to the Hearst years and Hearst's EXTRAVAGANT gestures (which it surely would've been seen as to the average businessman) that stuck because the real pioneers like Hearst have a way of making their extravagant gestures look like the only workable way of doing business, and which was actually fair, rather than extravagant. Of course, Hearst was also very practical and would've seen how important comic strips were. Not because he thought they were important but because they were important. That would make him — and the newspaper magnates like him — pretty much unique in the newspaper field which tends to loathe anything an editor can't do (which takes in a lot of territory, ergo the sad state of most newspapers today). They used to wrap the Sunday paper in colour comics to attract the buying public. Now they wrap the colour comics in advertising. As I've been saying for some time, there is no cure for willful stupidity.

Anyway, you do make me laugh. I laughed when I saw Donald laughing on your envelope. I laughed when I read, "That's gotta be enough stamps." I laughed when I read "Quack!" on the back of the envelope. I really have to stop reading your envelopes in the post office. And I laughed when I read your letter heading.

Maybe I should just admit that I didn't get the Gary Groth joke. Because I really didn't. Of course, I was also in my mid-thirties when suddenly I went "Wait! A newspaper! It's black and white and READ all over. R-E-A-D! not R-E-D." That's right, it had taken me a good three decades of wondering to myself, "But. Where does the `red' part come in? Newspapers are JUST black and white, aren't they?"

Sad but true. So no one should ever take it personally that I didn't get one of their jokes.

(Trying not to relate this to the above and failing miserably in answering your "gleaning of truth" question) I'm one of those people who has great confidence that I can understand something if I just admit it to myself when I don't understand something. That's basically what I did with the Torah: "Okay, I think I understand all of this, and now I don't. WHERE did I stop understanding all of this" and just keep doubling back and re-reading until I can make some kind of sense out of it. I'm not sure if I'm just paranoid but my whole life I've always had people trying to make me feel stupid, evil or both. I finally decided to just stick to myself and limit entrÈe as much as possible. Which is fine, except I come up on these weird frenetic periods where everyone starts...


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.