Friday, March 23, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #193 (March 23rd, 2007)


Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist

1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.

2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.

3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.

4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.

5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.

6. It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.

7. Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.

8. It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.

9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.

10. Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.

11. Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.

12. An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more.

13. A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.

14. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.

NEW! 15. Legislature Seats must be allocated to women and women must be allowed to bypass the democratic winnowing process in order to guarantee female representation and, thereby, make democracy fairer.


As I mentioned earlier, a logjam

Prevented me from making any

Forward progress on my secret project…

…which has seemed rather "ill-starred" from the outset. In this case it was a matter of needing a certain number of photographs from a certain museum in order to do my photo-realism style. I could either get quality prints of the photographs or I would have to go the laborious route of tracking them down individually and clipping them out of hardcover books (everyone except Eddie Campbell screams in agony at the prospect). So I sent them a letter of application and then heard back from the supervisor of the woman that I was in contact with that she had some questions about how the photographs were to be used and what was the "message" of my book. Well, I'm really not a "message" guy – not in terms of putting it down in so many words, anyway – but I did my level best and then thought, "Well, that's that." There's just something about Dave Sim that so severely "doesn't play well with others" that I can't even get along with a museum (for heaven's sake). But then I guess my "message" passed the test and I was able to get the photographs I requested about a week later. And they are really good quality, well worth waiting for and jumping through a few hoops for. But, by the time they came in, my two weeks of lead time had been used up and here I am back doing the Blog & Mail thing for another four or five days before I can get back to my secret project.

But, I am making progress. I'm pretty sure the whole script is done at this point and I've got a list of everything I need to draw and a mental image of the photos that I need to draw it-them from. It was just a very long process to get to the point where that was the case especially for a guy who always had a pretty clear mental snapshot of what each Cerebus issue was going to look like at least a month before I drew my part of it. "Okay, now I know what this is going to look like and what I have left to do. Now I can micromanage it from here on in."

Interestingly, Chester is in somewhat the same boat. He finally got the script finished for his next book (roughly 200 pages) and the breakdowns done and has finally started actually drawing the thing. He was six pages in as of March 5. Let the record show, your honour. And almost immediately he got an offer to do a very large prestigious piece of commercial work for mega-bucks. No guarantee but a big enough brass ring that he's got to make a try for it. Seems to be a natural symmetry to it. When it's time to load up the old bank account, something comes along which will help him do that but it means stopping work on what he actually wants to do to do something else.

The toss-up in my mind right now is: do I use the next two weeks of lead time to finish sorting and labelling the cover negatives for whoever is going to be putting the book together someday (either me or someone else) and bagging and boarding and filing the last pile of Cerebus Archive material that needs to be put in chronological order (a project that ground to a halt months ago when I found that my latest batch of magazine-sized bags and boards didn't fit standard letter-sized papers) which are really the last two things I need to do to put everything in order (well, not everything in order):

Dave: (indicating the top shelf of a glass-fronted cabinet in the library) And up there is all of my Chester Brown material.

Chester: If that's all of your Chester Brown material on the top shelf, what's this copy of Louis Riel doing on the bottom shelf?

Dave: Listen: You should just be glad they're in the same cabinet.

I mean, it's more than I can say for my collection of Norman Mailer books which are still in various locations on the bookshelves I brought over from the apartment four years ago.

See, the thing is, having seen what a dedicated seventeen hours of ploughing had done for the cover negatives situation on one Saturday, I'm now tempted to finish all (ALL!) of my organizing so that when I have lead time built up in the future I can just sit down and write and draw with a completely clear conscience. I'll let you know what I decide next time. This time it's time to hit the ol' mailbag.

Tomorrow: Take THAT, you ol' mailbag.

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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:

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