Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #241 (May 10th, 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.


Dave Sim Update for those

Who are, you know, disposed towards

That kind of thing

Still trying to get the right balance on the ratio of Blog & Mail to Real Work. The time before last, I did three weeks' worth of Blog & Mails for the first time and felt as if I was on top of the world. It was only when I was doing the next batch that I realized that I could barely remember where I had left off three weeks before and was faced with roughly twice as much updating and twice as much mail. By the time I finished updating everything, I barely got to the mail which meant that the mail has been building up and I'm now answering letters from a number of weeks ago instead of just a couple of weeks ago. I get the sense that someone is telling me that two weeks worth of Blog & Mails are going to work better, so I think I might go back to that.

It's getting a little intrusive. I had a phone message from my Marvel contact when I got back that it's time to have another little chat about where things stand. I really should have called him back today…

(as I did with everyone else who left a phone message—except Aura from the Stickland Bookkeeping who left a question and then phoned back to say that they found the answer to the question and to disregard the earlier message) (which was GREAT—two of the eight messages and they cancelled each other out!) (one of the phone messages was from Day Prize recipient Steve Peters—I had asked him to let me know what the Diamond order code is for his new book, Sparky in Love. I have it in with the mail in photocopy form and I will review it when I get there, but if you trust me why not order it BEFORE I tell you how good it is? Guest art by Alex Robinson, Batton Lash, Carla Speed McNeil, Matt Feazell, Lee Thacker, Bob Corby, Sean Bieri, Jimmy Gownley, Jeff Nicholson) (Impressed? Me, too. Time to go up a few point sizes and say

You don't DARE Miss

Steve Peters'







…but, I didn't because I haven't updated you on the Blog & Mail yet and if I had another conversation before doing so, I'd probably lose track of when I said what.

So, as it stands now my Marvel contact is still hoping to get me to do a multi-page story of some kind. As I told him, it's going to be difficult because I am now 34 pages into my 48-page secret project and it really is just a drawing exercise now. I know where everything goes and I'm learning enough about the style of drawing I'm using to do it faster (or, more accurately, "less slowly") and I really just want to get it done at this point. If he had called even six months ago, it would have been a different story. I was looking for any excuse to stop thinking about the secret project since I was still trying to decide if it was worth doing or if it was just something else that I was going to put to one side. Three-to-eight pages of paying work from Marvel or even a handful of covers for Marvel would've been just what the doctor ordered. A bit of a lark and an excuse not to think about the secret project. Being rather wise to the ways of the comic-book world, I asked him a few logistical questions: is the five-issue series of which this would be a part scheduled? Something that's still in the planning stages is very different from a book that is actually on the schedule when it comes to mainstream comics. If it's on the schedule, by the time you're actively discussing it and certainly by the time you see the contract you're already late or close to it—as happened with my aborted Fables negotiation with DC. Well, so far, it's green-lit but, no, it isn't on the schedule. I'm still wary because that has a way of changing once the artwork is coming in. Everyone starts getting excited and before you know it "no deadline" has turned into "tight deadline". It's actually good news in a way if and when that happens because that means there's a genuine buzz in the Marvel offices which is better than a flat-line response. Covering my own ass, I suggested that I might do a cover on one of the early issues or the first issue so he would have Dave Sim's participation guaranteed and then leave open the possibility of doing story pages somewhere later in the five issues. These are the sorts of tugs-of-war you get into when it comes to making the commitment/not making the commitment. I don't want to promise or even seem to promise anything that I can't deliver.

Then he surprised the heck out of me by revisiting the Stan Lee question on his own. Was I still interested in having Stan Lee write pages that I would draw? The reason he was asking was because Stan Lee is incredibly busy and he is no spring chicken. My contact was willing to see if it was "do-able" but that would mean setting things in motion in the Marvel offices and then making the connection in Stan Lee's office but that really required a commitment from me. If it was going to take two or three months to actually make all the right connections and get all the right answers (and that was probably optimistic, I thought later) then it would be "very bad form" (at the very least) if I pulled the plug after all of that, leaving everyone between me and Stan Lee with egg on their faces ("I thought you said this guy wanted to work with me?"). As I say, it's a series of tugs-of-war at this point.

Then he started asking some obvious questions: how long was I going to be tied up with my secret project? Well, I didn't have an answer to that. Intentionally didn't have an answer to that. The whole point of the secret project was to not have any deadlines, to actually work on it until I was completely happy with it no matter how long that takes. I might be right that it's really just a drawing exercise at this point, but that leaves aside the question of what I'm going to think of it when it's done. Does it need major tweaking at that point? Are there pages that have to be re-done from scratch? For all I know, I'll have to sit and stare at it for a couple of months. If something about it is bothering me and I don't know what it is, that's what I intend to do. I have to look at all 48 pages (49 actually—it ends on the inside back cover) and to not have any part of it bother me in any way. Then there's the question of promoting it which is probably going to be a full-time job. Whether it's a full-time job for weeks or for months is another question entirely. Am I willing to tour to support it? I'm not exactly in love with departure lounges at this stage in my life but I'm also not inclined to have two or three years worth of work vanish without a trace because I was disinclined to get on a few airplanes. And all of that leaves aside the question of: What if it's a success? A success is a lot more time-consuming than a failure. As I told my contact, it's very easy to sit here and say that after I get the last 15 pages done my whole life will open up and I'll have nothing but time for outside projects. Of course, that's never happened before and I still only have time to do one or two commissions in between doing my secret project and these Blog & Mails.

Are you sure I can't just do one Marvel cover? He's still holding out hope for story pages. He tried to scope me out as to page rates—how close were they to being able to buy a block of time? I doubt that that's really the issue but he's going to try to get me more money.

So, that's where it stands right now and I'll be able to call him tomorrow and, hopefully, remember what order all of this got dealt with in.

Apart from that I went on a bit of a binge with the Comics & Games Retailer 2007 Industry Directory trying to figure out if there's anything I can do to produce a couple of more revenue streams to help pay off Gerhard without having to do an inordinate amount of work. I believe the most widely used term for that is "selling out". To me, personally, selling out would be signing an option for a movie or a television show. My thinking is that at that point if a deal does go through then I either have to drop everything and fly out to Lotusland in a futile attempt to protect my intellectual property or I wash my hands of it and live with what I get. In either case it seems to me to be a matter of trading what's best for Cerebus as an intellectual property for a mess of pottage. The sort of things I was making phone calls about was to Richard Starkings at ComiCraft—"Electronic comic-book lettering, logos and package design service since 1992"—to find out how much they pay for a lettering font.

Tomorrow: How much Comic Craft pays for a lettering font


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.