Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #232 (May 1st, 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

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

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.


And the SECRET WORD from Monday was:


and we sure don't want to be

THAT when Alex Robinson has

asked if Dave was lying to Cerebus


Well, yes, the idea that there was even going to be such a thing as
a Big Cerebus Picture didn't really happen until the end of the
second year (issue 13, but you were close), in the sense that after
two years of bi-monthly issues it was apparent that I was going to
be able to keep going, I hadn't flopped (yet?). So that raised the
question of "If I'm able to keep going, how long am I going to keep
going for?" Which led to the 300 issues decision.

But, prior to that I was definitely working to keep the continuity
plausible, sticking to Michael Loubert's map and making sure that
everything was consistent. It wasn't Big Picture thinking yet, it
was more of an awareness of all the trouble Robert E. Howard got
himself into by not having Conan's environment and the exact
sequence of events fixed firmly in his mind. Glenn Lord and those
guys had the devil's own time trying to place the Conan stories in
their proper sequence. Very early on, I decided that the way to
avoid that problem was to do a strictly sequential narrative. Don't
jump around from one locale to another, don't tell one story about
Cerebus at age twenty and then tell another story in the next issue
about him at age forty because devoted readers are continuity
junkies and "Well, I just thought I'd like to do him a bit older"
isn't going to cut it with your core audience.

We pick up with Cerebus at issue 2 exactly where we left him on the
map at the end of issue 1, pick up with him at issue 3 exactly where
we left him on the map at the end of issue 4. If I got asked to do
an outside story for someone, I'd locate the story in the
environment where he was in the continuity at the time. "Passage"
that I did for John David Cothran's Faerie Star I set between the
events of issues 3 and 4 because that was when he asked me to do a
Cerebus story. And I was also working mentally on who and what
Cerebus was, why the Pigts had a statue that looked like him, why he
was such a born loser, why he was the only aardvark. I didn't put
all of that into issue 5 but I was always aware that somewhere up
ahead I was going to have to explain it and explain it to everyone's
satisfaction and in a way that didn't violate continuity and, if
possible, explained continuity. The only way to do that effectively
was to know all the answers as I went along—to know the explanations
for every question I could be asked even though I didn't put half of
it in the book.

So, the stuff that I was showing Cerebus and talking to Cerebus
about his having screwed up in Minds (I think it's Minds, not Reads
that you're referring to) was stuff that I had worked out mentally
as I was doing issues 4 and 5. At the time, Cerebus was still,
really, a bi-monthly experiment. Since I always failed at
everything, it seemed more likely that I might get to do three or
four more issues and then after that I would just have Cerebus as
part of my COMICgraphics repertoire—along with "The Beavers" and
Revolt 3000, "The Masque" and whatever else I could come up with—
anytime that someone wanted a Cerebus story. And in order to keep
the continuity consistent, all I would have to do was to read the
introductory caption on page 1 of the last story I had done, look to
see where he was on the map and then do another story. And somewhere
up ahead, I would explain the "magic magnifier" stuff and all the
other conclusions that I had come to. Of course, "up ahead" at that
time I pictured as being maybe a freelance story in 1979 or
something—"The Secret Origin of Cerebus"—when poor sales made self-
publishing the comic book no longer viable.

When the comic book continued to be viable and I was already in 1979
with no sign of sales dropping, that was when I had to rethink my
mental image of what Cerebus as an intellectual property was.
Instead of individual comic books and freelanced short stories, I
conceived of it as One Large 300-Issue Story. At that point, it was
a matter of saying, well, okay if the story is 300 issues long,
where is sensible place to put the "Secret Origin" stuff. I couldn't
put it at the end because it wasn't interesting enough. It was
interesting but it wasn't "At The End of 6,000 Pages Here's The Big
Pay-off, Here's the Money Shot You've Been Waiting For" interesting.
The reader would be going "I shaved my legs for this?" The
appropriate place for it, it seemed to me, was after the politics
novel, after the religion novel, after the Unrequited Love novel,
after the little Death novel, after the Cirinist novel set-up part
and before the Here's What You Get For Being Who You Decided To Be
novel. Mentally I was standing there with what I had so far and then
throwing the story points a decade and sometimes two decades up
ahead. "The Secret Origin……………………………………of……………………..Cerebus"………WILL…

Finally, there was no perceived slight by you with my wife, Kristen,
regarding the MoCCA festival. We'll prove it to you by taking you
out to dinner next time you're in New Yawk! Get well soon, If you
haven't already.

Hey, it's a deal. My health is about the same as the last time I
talked about it. Numb patches around my upper right arm, still
relatively deaf in my left ear, pains in my left leg. Nothing I
can't work around, though.

Thanks for helping me fill in some Blog Space, Alex!

Tomorrow: Our Second Ever Surprise Guest Host!

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.