Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #219 (April 18th, 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.


What Else I've Been Up To

Peter Dixon came up from Toronto (more on this next Wednesday on our Extra Special 25th of the Month Feminists Get a Free Ride in Our Society Edition where [SPOILER WARNING] still nothing has been heard from Jackie Estrada or Heidi Macdonald or The Friends of Lulu about my idea for a feminist petition denouncing censorship that our good buddy Charles Brownstein at the CBLDF could use) and mentioned that he had been talking to Jim McLauchlin at Hero who had told him that they still have a few of the Ultimate Spider-man 100 covers trickling in and that he's been auctioning 10 or so at each convention he goes to while also displaying all 100.

I understand that you can see them all at, which I haven't been able to do what with my 12-hour a day workload and the one-hour time limit at the library. That would work out to about 40 seconds per book or something. Anyway, it made me feel "less late" than I already am and serendipitously, I had recently found my copy of Spider-man 24 which I had traced the cover from…

[see, that was another thing when I checked the discussion group and Brian's website. Someone was ragging on the fact that I had traced the cover. I mean, to me, it was like going the extra mile. Jim had said in his cover letter that all I needed to do was a quick con sketch thing, nothing elaborate expected or demanded. But it's for charity, so not only do I decide to do a drawing, I decide to do a whole cover…and in colour. What I get out of it is getting in there and actually seeing how a Ditko cover is put together. And it's amazing. There is no fat on there, no "spinach" or technical effects, just a solid black and white comic book drawing, perfectly balanced. The thick lines are just thick enough, the thin lines are just thin enough. Because the colours I'm using are incompatible with India ink, I have to colour the whole thing before I ink it and all along I'm thinking "There's something missing here. I don't know what it is, I'm matching colour for colour and ink line for ink line, but all I really have left to do is the thin straight lines that indicate where the walls go, the air vents, the desk and it's just not pulling together". But as soon as I did put the thin straight lines on, KABAM, there it is, 100%, everything doing what it was supposed to do. You couldn't remove a single line or pen mark or brush stroke without the whole thing collapsing. As I said to Lenny Cooper on the phone the other day, you really have to admire that. These guys had to turn out pages like nobody's business because they didn't have original artwork sales or royalties or advances to fall back on. If your expenses are $900 a month and you're getting $40 a page you have to draw 23 pages a month just to stay current. If you want to get ahead you have to draw more than that. EVERY month. Not for eight months and then take three months off and live off your royalties. EVERY month. So you really had to know what you were doing, you had to know exactly how much was needed and you had to limit yourself to that. Of the modern coterie of artists, Ger and I were pretty close to that in terms of productivity, but we were both still in the "if it looks wrong add more lines" school, add some feathering, add some Mort Drucker finesse edgings. On that entire cover, the only spot where Ditko possibly did that was along the base of the inverted ceiling where he possibly turned a thin line into a white square/black square broken line just to give it a bit more definition. Turning Spider-man into Spider-ham—given the Cerebus connection—well, excuse the heck out of me, I thought it was a good idea. What can Dave Sim do on a Spider-man charity drawing that might fetch a better price given that there is no connection between Dave Sim and Spider-man? I also thought it was a good idea to link Spider-man's co-creator (however indirectly) to the Ultimate Spider-man 100 celebrations. It's for charity. Char. I. Ty. This is what I thought would sell for the biggest bucks. Doesn't that seem like a sensible question to ask yourself when you're doing a piece for charity? "What do I think is going to bring in the most amount of bucks?" And here's someone dumping on that. Dumping on me for tracing an entire Ditko cover – SIZE AS! -- as if that was the easy way out or meant I was "dogging it" and…what?...doing a Flare pen head sketch of Spider-man was somehow more credible? And then dumping on me for writing a nice caption for Bendis and Bagley! And THEN dumping on Bendis and Bagley for this run of books that "didn't do anything but make a lot of money," as if it's hypocritical or "un-cool" to applaud someone for doing something difficult that very few people have accomplished and as if it's something to be ashamed of that you did 100 issues (one HUNDRED issues) of a title that sold really well. I mean, I really and sincerely Do Not Get The Point of Dumping On Any of That. Not theoretically. Not hypothetically. And no one posted anything about it! I mean, what WAS the reaction? "Huh. Here's a guy dumping all over a charity drawing and every creative person involved. That's nice. Nothing that concerns me, though." The non-Internet mind boggles. Oh, well. Now I have a nice three-month vacation before I have to face the decision of whether to read any of this stuff again or not. You'd think I'd learn by now] [or maybe it is just luck of the draw and people only do things like that on the day that I'm going to be "tuning in"] [yeah, let's pretend that that's it]

Whoops. Prayer time again. Think I'll read Exodus 12 to 14 out loud (yes, again. Hey, it's Passover and I don't have a seder to go to. Humour me.)

Okay, I'm back. Well, it turned out that my Spider-man 24 had been filed with the Following Cerebus #3 parody covers. I had picked it out at random from my period Marvel Comics to get a close look at how the corner seal was done, what the "12 cents, Marvel Comics Group" typeface was actually made up of for the Avengers 4 cover parody. I think the closest approximation I came up with was Arial Black, oddly enough the same font that DC was using for the months on their covers (No.123 FEB.) around the same time which I had discovered in doing the Rabbi cover parodies in Latter Days (pages 274-275). Did typesetters offer a discount on Arial Black for some reason, or was it just something in the comic-book zeitgeist?

Anyway, it was a relief to find it. The idea that one of my few original Ditko Spider-man issues could just get up and wander away was making me consider putting the alarm system on even when I was in the house so I would know if any of my other comic books was making a break for it.

Speaking of Marvel, I've been playing telephone tag with my contact there…

Like I say, I know a good cliff-hanger when I read it or write it…

Tomorrow; Speaking of Marvel…


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.