Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #253 (May 22nd, 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.


Richard H. LeBlanc

from Fredericton, New Brunswick

(say – what's with all the Canadians all of a

sudden? You're making me suspicious)

Dave –

Just a note to thank you for the two reprint issues you sent me recently – it was very kind of you to do so. I enjoyed speaking to you on the phone.

Oh, hey, no problem. Richard was missing exactly 2 (count `em TWO) comic books from his Cerebus collection, both of them Bi-weekly issues. Usually in that case, as I did with Richard, I'll just send them out, no charge. When someone has been with you that long and has spent that much money on your work, it has always really seemed to me to be a basic common courtesy thing. I never publicized it, but every once in a while it meant I could have a nice chat with a long-time reader and pleasantly surprise him with a few "comp" copies he had been unable to fine anywhere else.

That will be coming to an end shortly when Jeff Tundis gets the Back Issue department at www.cerebusart.com up and running.

[It's up and running. - Jeff]

With the mere click of your mouse followed by (hopefully) repeated clicks of your mouse you'll be able to access the entire Aardvark-Vanaheim back issue inventory (literally tens of thousands of individual comic books to choose from!) and order all the issues you're missing online through PayPal without having to talk to me or anyone else over the phone.

Aardvark vanaheim incorporated

It's taken a while, but … gradually …

… Step-by-Step …

We're COMPLETELY Replacing

Basic Common Courtesy and Human Contact


the self-isolating, cold-hearted & well-oiled machine-like efficiency of on-line retail

that you've come to expect! AND DEPEND ON!

I do hope you will give some thought to reprinting Cerebus in a deluxe hardcover format (You could limit it to three or four hundred copies as Stan Sakai does, and not have to keep the hardcovers in print).

My gut instinct tells me to stick with the trade paperback format which, it seems to me, still hasn't really "taken hold" in the direct market. Most people have no idea how many volumes there are and when they hear that there are sixteen of them that's usually enough to make them postpone giving Cerebus a try for at least another five years.

However, gradually, I suspect that that's starting to change as Marvel with their Essentials volumes and DC with their Showcase volumes have finally gotten around to imitating the 500-page-black-and-white-volume-on-newsprint format that I pioneered. I suspect that's starting to change perceptions because:

First, it shows a lot of fans who would never previously buy ANYTHING in black and white that you can see a lot more of the actual artwork in black and white, so it's really the first time that black and white comics have developed a certain cachet in the comic-book field as a direct result that I don't think they ever had before. This was particularly true with Jack Kirby stories with Joe Sinnott inks being reprinted. You don't have to be a professional artist to see exactly how much crystal clarity we had all been missing up until now under all that muddy Sparta Color printing.

Second it makes them realize that—far from finding 500 pages to be too much for them – they actually LIKE having 500 pages of something to read.

Both of those are previously missing "bridges" between the mainstream and Cerebus. If I tried introducing hardcovers at this point, I think all I would be doing is confusing the issue right when it's finally starting to get clarified in my favour

Have you given any thought to reprinting Cerebus in colour? Many of your covers are masterpieces of comic art and I would love to see them offered in a larger format as a series of prints.

Well, I can't rule it out but one of the big questions is "offered HOW?" The retailers aren't really set up to handle prints, so I would probably be swamped with complaints that they would rather have one book than 300 prints. And if I do prints but I don't do all 300, I'll be swamped with complaints that I picked the wrong ones to do. Now, if you compare that to the Collected Letters volumes where I send Claude all of the letters on disk, he puts together 230-page books, I do a cover and solicit for them, I get Lebonfon to print only a handful more than I have orders for and 30 days later I can bank the profits. Putting it another way: if I compare writing and drawing some new work in the time left over from doing the Blog & Mail with the man-hours it's going to take to get the best reproduction of 300 comic-book covers as well as write commentary on all of them and supervise the printing, rejecting and re-doing whatever needs rejecting and re-doing…well, I'd much rather be a writer/artist than an Editor, Art Director and Production Supervisor.

Right now Margaret and a few other people are working on a CD-ROM of all of the back of the book stuff – everything that was published in Cerebus that wasn't the Cerebus storyline itself. And from what Margaret was telling me in Columbus, all of it is being done as word documents which means it will be "fully searchable". You'll be able to type in "Mike Bannon" and your computer will tell you exactly where to find everything that Mike Bannon had printed in Cerebus.

After that, Margaret has also finished scanning all of my notebooks so there will be a CD-ROM of all of the pages from my Notebooks 1981 to 2004.

One of the big differences is that neither of those requires additional commentary and it is all very basic black and white scanning unlike reproducing the covers where people are going to expect better colour reproduction than they got on the original books. That doesn't happen by just throwing the original watercolours onto the scanner and pushing a button.

I discovered Cerebus in 1978 and it became a monthly staple in my reading diet – in the same way that Barry Smith developed his artistic style and skills on the first 24 issues of Conan, I watched you do the same thing in the same time span with Cerebus. What you and Gerhard have achieved with Cerebus is nothing short of spectacular. I admire the fact that you stayed true to your vision of your creation and didn't fall prey to fan influences. You're a class act – thanks for the ride!

Oh, hey – thanks for the money! I really don't think either Ger or myself is anywhere near the league of BWS when it comes to pure drawing ability, but I (and I'm sure Gerhard) appreciate the compliment. And thanks for sticking around this long.

Tomorrow: Scott Berwanger and David Carrington

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. Here are the Diamond Star System codes:

Cerebus #1-25 $30.00 STAR00070

High Society #26-50 $30.00 STAR00071

Church and State I #52-80 $35.00 STAR00271

Church and State II #81-111 $35.00 STAR00321

Jaka's Story #114-136 $30.00 STAR00359

Melmoth #139-150 $20.00 STAR00431

Flight #151-162 $20.00 STAR00543

Women #163-174 $20.00 STAR00849

Reads #175-186 $20.00 STAR01063

Minds #187-200 $20.00 STAR01916

Guys #201-219 $25.00 STAR06972

Rick's Story #220-231 $20.00 STAR08468

Going Home I #232-250 $30.00 STAR10981

Form and Void #251-265 $30.00 STAR13500

Latter Days #266 - 288 $35.00 AUG031920

The Last Day #289 - 300 $25.00 APR042189

Collected Letters - $30 FEB052434