Monday, April 02, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #203 (April 2nd, 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.

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.


Cerebus Readers in Crisis

Publisher Jeff Seiler & Everything

You Always Wanted to Know about the

Sim/Gerhard Split*

*but were afraid to ask

What part of the value of the house does Ger get, since he did a fair amount of upkeep, etc.?

As I say, his call was a lump sum and then five years of monthly payments. His only real interest outside of his share of jurisdiction over the artwork was to get as much money as he could get and that was what he asked for so that’s what I’m giving him.

Even more pertinent, once this split is effected in full, is the question of whether you will leave anything else to Gerhard?

Well, no. Just by virtue of what he was asking for, I think it’s obvious that he wants to remove himself completely from the company. Anything that I "left him" in my Will would just be sticking him back onto the Aardvark-Vanaheim tar baby.

And moving perhaps more into Policy and away from Last Will, what is your intent regarding any possible reconciliation of Gerhard and the property and/or archive after your death?

Again, I have drawn the inference that Gerhard doesn’t want to be "reconciled" to the property or the archive. This does move into Policy areas because it touches on Creator’s Rights. On the one hand I don’t think any creator should be divorced entirely from his creativity, he should always have a stake in it (the Peter Laird/Kevin Eastman situation – Kevin’s name is nowhere to be seen on the new Turtles movie poster which I think is wrong, personally). On the other hand this is a lot like the dispute between Steve Bissette and Alan Moore where Alan told Steve, "Do whatever you think is best" with From Hell. And Steve wouldn’t because From Hell was Alan (and Eddie’s) intellectual property. It was immoral in Steve’s view (and I agreed with him) for him to make the calls on Alan’s and Eddie’s behalf. With the Superman Contract I think I’ve gone as far as a person can reasonably be expected to go to make sure that a strictly non-participatory creative partner continues to be compensated even after he has traded his 40% stake for cash. But, as you say, what happens when I’m dead? At that point I think we might be looking either 1) for Yahoo volunteers to take over the management of Aardvark-Vanaheim after I’m dead strictly for the purpose of providing Gerhard with an income or 2) allowing Cerebus to go into the public domain with the proviso that anyone making use of Cerebus has to compensate Gerhard with a fixed percentage of any sales as long as Gerhard is alive (which is going to be very difficult to enforce) or 3) allowing Cerebus to go into the public domain and making compensation for Gerhard strictly voluntary (the "Kindness of Strangers" clause if you like).

There’s probably a danger with point 1) that whoever(s) volunteered to do it, depending on how long they did it would probably develop a taste for it and would attempt to keep Aardvark-Vanaheim going as a corporate entity in one form or another after Gerhard was dead. It’s the Kafka/Alex Brod thing, in a way. I can instruct someone to run the company just as long as Gerhard is alive and instruct them to wind things up as soon as he dies, but do I know them well enough to have confidence that they can actually "pull the trigger" on Aardvark-Vanaheim when the time comes? The longer they ran the show, the more ways they could find to keep post-mortem control of some kind would be my guess. "Dave and Ger would have wanted it this way." The advantage of the previous set-up was that my beneficiary, if Gerhard went first, would just come in and wind things up and never really experience running the company.

I mean, if there is a Museum of Canadian Graphic Novels or even just an ongoing display of your archives, doesn’t it stand to reason that Gerhard would be sought out by interested parties? Or does he really intend to just fade into obscurity? Honestly I don’t mean to pry into things that are not my business, but some of us should know these things and perhaps other things that I haven’t yet thought of, don’t you think?

It would stand to reason, yes, but reason has very little to do with this. Gerhard is an indirect Pariah King of Comics and has been until very recently scrupulously ignored by everyone to an even greater extent than I’m ignored (which, I think you’ll agree, Jeff, is really saying something). He isn’t so much "fading into obscurity" as calling it a day and accepting the obscurity that everyone decided he deserved and which is really all that he has ever known or experienced in his professional life. In rare instances someone would volunteer to pay his airfare and hotel room for a signing or a convention but very, very rarely and only for a short period of time. Considering that his drawing abilities buried virtually everyone else who was getting their airfare and hotel room paid for I suspect that must have made his molars grind more than once. As you can see from his sailing article in Following Cerebus and his gallery walk in St. Bonaventure when someone did make the effort to include him and actively solicited his participation he would deliver 110% every time. It only happened a handful of times though in the course of a quarter century and, as I say, I think now it’s too late. He’s done, he’s gone. What would his response be to someone wanting to do an Art of Gerhard book or artwork exhibit? I have no idea. That would be up to him. There’s certainly a whole shelf full of exclusively Gerhard material in the Archive and at least 3,800 pages to pick from that I’ll be happy to waive my proprietary interest in for the sake of the context – it’s about Gerhard, not Dave Sim or Cerebus. Do we have to wait for me to die for someone to entertain the idea seriously? Sadly, given the comic-book field’s attitude towards me, towards Cerebus, towards Aardvark-Vanaheim and towards Gerhard, I suspect so. As I say, reason has very little to do with it and I have my own projects to do with whatever time I have left on my clock.

Tomorrow: Meanwhile, Back at my Last Will & Testament





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.