Friday, March 30, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #200 (March 30th, 2007)







Dear Dave,

I hope that this letter finds you fully recovered from your recent lengthy illness. I am just today returning to school after my bout with the flu. As you said, you just have to let it run its course.

As you no doubt had much time to ponder during your sleepless bedridden time, the perhaps coincidental convergence of your illness and Gerhard's departure has raised a few questions, which questions have occurred to me, as well. Thus, today I reread your Thanksgiving Day '05 letter to Wilf which, to my knowledge, is the only extant public statement of your intentions regarding your last will and testament. As I result, I have some questions.

First, I assume that you have, by now, received David Carrington's letter regarding his intent to join the group of those who form the core of the decision-makers in the event of your becoming incapacitated (hereafter to be referred to as "the committee", for lack of a better name --- hmm, how about "The Committee for Dave Sim's Personal Care Decisions"?) Do you now consider him to be such a member?

Yes, but I didn't get a letter from him until just this week (March 12) – a manifestation of synchronicity that makes me think I made the right choice in not replying to you until I got to your letter in the pile. It may seem like an artificially slow way to communicate, but there have been several synchronous instances like that, so I suspect this is probably the pace at which God wants me to communicate. All in good time. And "the Committee" seems like as good a name as any.

Secondly, do you plan to release an official notice (press release or otherwise) regarding Gerhard's decision to leave Aardvark-Vanaheim, Inc.? There has been far less speculation on the Cerebus Yahoo group as to the circumstances of said departure than I would have expected; Jeff Tundis and I have kept mum as to the details that you disclosed to us respectively and that Ger has emailed to Jeff. For the record, while I suspect that you would expect the comics industry to be disinterested in the facts, I think this sort of news deserves some sort of joint explanation from both parties to try to prevent rank skewering of you and universal cries of "poor, poor Gerhard, however did he put up with Sim for so long", and such lot.

Well, I've had from November 1st when Gerhard first made his intention clear to assess how I was going to deal with it and the conclusion that I came to was that it was Gerhard's story – that is, his departure was the story, not what he was departing from – so I figured I would let him announce it anyway that he saw fit. I anticipated the, as you put it, "rank skewering" of Dave Sim that would follow and couldn't see any way around it so there wasn't much point of giving my side of things even if Ger had given his side of things: at the end of the day I would still be the Pariah King of Comics. People in comics will latch onto anything bad they can say about Dave Sim in order to avoid discussing the Fourteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast. I ended up dictating a short paragraph to Jeff Tundis that he could use as an announcement and from there news trickled out over the next few weeks and, I'm sure, the rank skewering ensued and ensues unabated to this day.

Reading between the lines of my most recent letters which I won't be getting to for a few weeks, there seems to be a minority opinion shaping up that the loss of the Dave Sim/Gerhard art team is a great loss for the comic-book field which – however few people hold it – seems to me a nice albeit "too little too late" acknowledgement. I'm on record as saying that Gerhard was, for twenty years, the best pure pen-and-ink artist in the comic-book field and that it was unfortunate that he got pigeon-holed as a mere inker and that Dave Sim's "pariahdom" extended to someone who never voiced an opinion about anything one way or the other. He was never "of" the comic-book field, was never a comic-book guy so his connection to the field was always tenuous at best. Could that connection have been solidified by some public acknowledgement of his abilities so that we might now have been looking forward to more of his work in collaboration with me (and others?)? Well, now that it's too late, we'll never know, will we?

We made it nine years further along (1983 to 2006) than did Lennon and McCartney (1956 to 1970) but we'll obviously never have the lifelong (however troubled and troublesome) connection of Jagger and Richards (1962 to the present). I suspect that that's both a blessing and a curse.

Tomorrow: Into the real Nitty-Gritty of the Thing

There's MORE for you




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.