Monday, May 07, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #236 (May 5th, 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.


"Breathes there a man

With soul so dead…"

My dad always used to quote that when we were returning from the United States. It goes on: "who never to himself hath said, This is my home, my native land." Maybe my soul is dead, but I have always been a little let down crossing from the United States into Canada, as if I was passing from a more real to a less real country. It hasn't been as bad since Stephen Harper was elected Prime Minister.

SPACE, as always, was great and exceeded my expectations this year since it was pretty close to being the FNW (First Nice Weekend—in the mid-70s) (that's something I'm always happy to go back to: degrees F as opposed to degrees C) in Columbus but, with the addition of a second day attendance was up 25%. Not too shabby. Got back too late to go to the Post Office so I thought I would do my first ever recorded inventory of all additions to the Cerebus Archive from the trip since I have to file all the stuff away anyway.

PUBLICATIONS: Three copies of the SPACE 2007 program booklet which prominently features three pages on the Day Prize. The Ceremony itself as well as interviews with the nominees and Steve Peters the recipient should be up on YouTube as soon as Jeff Tundis has a chance to edit all the footage he shot. Three copies of Cerebus Readers in Crisis #2 for which I did the cover. Best issue yet and a tough act to follow. A copy of Ka-Whump! #2 "Small Press With Big Impact" a brand new publication, a "review-zine" as they used to call them devoted exclusively to the small press. Let me count the ways. There are roughly seventy capsule reviews in here. My nominee for best title is "Horses Don't Have Eyebrows". Apart from the reviews, there's a "20 Questions" for Allen Freeman of Fan-Attic Press (who interviewed me at the show: more on this in a moment), an interview with Josh Roberts, whose ComicSpace website has taken off like a skyrocket. Coincidentally he was at the show as well and gave me his business card on the back of which I asked him to write the most up-to-date stats on the site. 16,000 registered members, 7,200 Comic Galleries, 75,000 comic pages and 100,000 hits per day

www.ComicSpace .com.

Up-to-the-minute info on the Independent Creator's Coalition and a multi-page examination of Print on Demand. They also reprint an article by Tim Corrigan on Small Press Ethics and Courtesies and used my illustration of Tim celebrating his 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award at SPACE which is why it's going in the Archive. The publishing schedule is twice a year so you can subscribe for $6 a year or $11 for two years and the address is

Robert L. Sumner

PO Box 1523,

Depoe Bay, Oregon,


Check this out: their ad rates are $10 for a full page. $6 for a half page. Who can't afford $6 for a half page ad in "the highest quality small press reviewzine around"? I mean, come ON—there are birthday cards that cost more than that! I was really excited reading this one cover-to-cover. A lot of people complain that it's not as easy to do a small press title as it used to be. Well, hey—between ComicSpace and Ka-Whump! it seems to me that there's a lot of potential. If all the small pressers reading this signed on to ComicSpace and bought an ad and a subscription from and to Ka-Whump! there's a couple of resources right there that we didn't have back in Tim Corrigan's and my day. In fact we didn't even have them six months ago. As I see it, you have to support these potential anchors when they come along or you can't complain when you always seem to be having to do things yourself without any help. E-mail all TIFFS or JPEGS and pay by PayPal at

CEREBUS ARCHIVE DOCUMENTS 8.5 x 11 AND SMALLER: I usually put together one or two magazine sized plastic bag(s) and backing boards full of ephemera from the convention. In this case a handbill from the Wexner Center for the Arts for the Will Eisner: The Spirit of an Artistic Pioneer showing from April 19. A flier of film/video at the Wexner Center for the Arts for the same film. Print-out from Jeff Tundis' computer of information on the film (with "Jeff & Margaret Rm. 124" written on the back by Jeff). My "GENADM" ticket for the movie Event Code FVO419.

How was the movie?

Well, it was nice to see Will again and to hear him in conversation with Joe Kubert, Jack Kirby, Milt Caniff and others with the audio recordings from his old "Shop Talk" feature in the Kitchen Sink Spirit, fragmentary and disconnected as they were. Harvey Kurtzman, identified on screen, is reduced to a few incoherent sounds so they can get Will on the soundtrack saying what they need to have him saying. A lot of the camera trickery, trying to invoke Will's storytelling methods fell very, very flat with me. It was nice to see the original cassette tapes with Will's handwriting on them identifying who the "Shop Talk" was with and when it was recorded. Actually zooming in and having the camera pass through one of the apertures in the cassette was the sort of "Citizen Kane" conceit you would expect from a first year film class, not the first try at a serious documentary about THE Will Eisner. And then they just had to go and animate parts of the artwork from The Dreamer, so the Eisner and Iger figures appear to walk into a room—or appear to if you have the level of visual sophistication of a cocker spaniel, otherwise you're just left sitting there going, "Why did they cut out the figures and try to animate them in such a cheesy way?" A few minutes later they try the same thing with a cup of tea or coffee that Jerry Iger is drinking from. It contorts a little bit like a worm on a hook and you miss what the character is saying because you're sitting there wondering "How cheesy is this going to get?" You half expect them to just crop out the arm digitally and have the disembodied cup hurtle up to Jerry's mouth.

But, now I can prove that I saw it as a work-in-progress even before its World Premiere sometime next month at the Tribeca Film Festival in the Bronx.

Ohio State University's Cartoon Research Library's Exhibition in their Reading Room Gallery, Will Eisner: Storyteller was far more worthwhile, in my view. Two complete Spirit stories from 1949, an unfinished John Law cover, early strips from his student days (he was really, really good, really, really young) and a handful of pages and illustrations from his later works. They made very good use of very limited space. If you're anywhere near the Columbus area up until June 8 you really have to check it out. Between East 15th Avenue and East 17th Avenue right at the back of the Mershon Auditorium across from Weigel Hall. Just keep wandering around and you're bound to run across it eventually.

Bob keeps trying to get the Cartoon Research Library to come out to SPACE, offering them a free table, a panel as part of the program, whatever they want, and he never gets any response. Considering that they're in such a marginalised location at OSU you would think they would be looking for any kind of venue to promote themselves. There has been speculation that the reason was long-term newspaper and mainstream cartoon snobbery—"too good for comic books"—which is always interesting when it crops up (the National Cartoonists' Society marginalises comic books as well) considering that newspaper strips and cartoons themselves have always been the victims of real world snobbery. The fact that they did something on Will is a good sign—The Spirit will always be the bridge between comic strips and comic books—and theoretically they're doing something with Jeff and Bone next year so maybe that's changing. But I have to admit that I find it inexplicable. There are any number of guys exhibiting at SPACE every year who are 100% identified with Columbus, Ohio and OSU would be a natural place to donate their papers somewhere up ahead. For that matter I'm still looking for a final resting place for the Cerebus Archive, I come to Columbus every year for SPACE and I'm still completely invisible. This year Bob managed to score a bunch of brochures for the Cartoon Research Library on his own so they, at least, would be available at SPACE and I got one from him, so the Cartoon Research Library will at least have a presence in the Cerebus Archive even though it's a couple of steps removed and just in with a bunch of other documents in a plastic bag representing SPACE's 2007 edition.

I try not to attribute this to Dave Sim The Evil Misogynist Shunning—which I warned Bob Corby about from the git-go—but sometimes you have to wonder. Same thing as Bob keeps trying to get APE to tell him when they're scheduling their show so he can avoid having SPACE on the same weekend and he never hears back from them.

SPACE: The Pariah King of Alternative Comics Shows.

Tomorrow: The Twelfth Imam

Monday: So What Else Have We Got Here?


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.