Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #281 (June 19th, 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.


Got a phone message from P. Craig Russell. Joe Pruett was up at his place hard by Kent State University and they were finalizing all of the pages for the ART OF P. CRAIG RUSSELL book. Did you see the ad in PREVIEWS? Knock-out stuff. If I don't get a free one for the intro, I'm definitely buying a copy. They're looking for two pages of 12 pt. type for the introduction and Craig said they will send me a few of the chapters on disk when they're ready to go. I'm STILL standing by and ready to enthuse at the speed of light and Sandeep's e-mail account when the pages come in: assuming I can "open" the file on the disk. Is that the right way of putting it? "Open" the file on the disk? The odds are extremely slim. Computers malfunction if I so much as walk past them let alone when I absolutely MUST look at something.

The last time I mentioned Craig's book, I also mentioned BWS' YOUNG GODS collection and that seems to have knocked something loose in the zeitgeist since I heard from the other Craig (Craig Miller) of FOLLOWING CEREBUS that Barry has agreed to let us reprint the original "Cerebus Dreams" for the first of the two Dream issues of FOLLOWING CEREBUS (#10) – or maybe the second (#11) -- and that further he's going to rework some of the artwork.. What a great subject for Cerebus Yahoo debate: SHOULD he do that? WHO could stop him if he shouldn't? Which "Cerebus Dreams" is now the official Cerebus Canon version? The undoctored or the doctored version? That should be worth a thread about three postings long and then it will be back to discussing the new Joker coming up in the next Batman film and what gorgeous wife or gay sidekick he is going to be gang-raping and/or mutilating in the first reel and/or what kind of dental floss Harrison Ford used on the STAR WARS set.

The Cerebus Yahoo Motto: Priorities, priorities!

Back to the mail:

I heard back from Clark Dissmeyer, whom long-time readers will remember as CAD who has been sending me articles and cartoons and comic strips that he's done. Last time I didn't want to give out his home address and I had misplaced his post office box address. Here's what Clark has to say for himself:

"Hi Dave!

"This is almost as good as when cat yronwode said in CBG that I was actually Marc Myers, for reasons too trivial to go into. Later, when Marc called Tom Brinkmann on the phone, he said `Is this Dissmeyer or dat Myers?'" So we've used that sometimes as a band name.

"Anyway, the Box 1, Riverton NE 68927 address is probably the one to go with: it's proven more permanent than others. The ex has a couple of extra houses there and I spend my days off there, playing endless games of Scrabble and Upwords with her, pampering my feral-the-other-4-days-of-the-week cats and pretending to get better on my trumpet.

"Found a few more copies of things you might not have seen – my apologies if you have – from the neo-Marxist through the `neo bucolic' period and this [deleted SF Big Name #1] parody which, as [deleted SF Big Name #2] said, `Did not do too well with [deleted SF Big Name #1].' I don't think his comments should be reprinted (he said, hypocritically, passing on another reprint of them!)

"Yours, Clark"

Actually, I've done far worse than reprinting his comments – I've failed to reprint the piece in question AND his comments thus creating a far greater level of interest than printing either would have generated. Now any SF fans in the crowd will have to write to you to find out what this is all about. I think, from the context, that they're both SF Big Names. Not being an SF fan, I've never heard of either of them.

"PS. I don't think I sent this "Death & Art" bit…written for my own therapy and a couple of other people. Marc liked it so much he typed it up, adding numerous errors to what was already just a very rough draft. I'm still toying with the idea of an autobiography done entirely in terms of what I've read, +when+where+why. I think I neglected to send this to you earlier (if I indeed did) because I thought it would be weird for you to read about someone in rapture over Harvey Comics at the same period you were starting out, but that, in itself, is weird…"

It's an interesting idea and I'm not sure if it's actually do-able but if you ever managed to pull it off it would certainly strike a resonant note with compulsive readers everywhere and their secret vice: that places, events and people in their lives are far less real than the books they were reading at the time. Interleaving passages from a Hardy Boys book or an issue of THE ATOM with a family vacation trip to the American Northeast with the former two vivid and exciting and the latter (the family part) sort of perilous and grey and stultifying. Getting it exactly right in the perilous and grey and stultifying part but with a humorous edge (not too cruel to the ol' family, you know?) would be the trick. And the legal permissions! What a headache! Unless you were prepared to lie and say that you read nothing but those works already in the public domain.

Anyway, if you're in the US of A or you have some American stamps and an envelope lying around, send them to Clark for some of his stuff or send him some of your stuff in trade. You'll be glad you did and Clark will have something in the Riverton post office box the next time he's heading over to the house for a game of Scrabble with the ex.

What have we got here? Oh, this is an interesting little item, the ASP (ARCHAIA STUDIOS PRESS) 2007 CATALOGUE. Came in with DIAMOND DATELINE for March 14. This was when I was starting to think about how I was going to promote the secret project when it was done so I put it aside.

Too over the top? If it isn't I'd sure like to see what was.

It's a glossy, slick full colour thing that weighs a quarter pound (for 48 pages) if it weighs an ounce. They publish MOUSE GUARD which is a certifiable hit. David Peterson sent me a set with a nice cover note saying that indyspinnerrack's Charlito and Mr. Phil had mentioned to him that I hadn't been able to find the book. It's really good, so I sent back a note asking if he'd be willing to do a jam cover and interview for FOLLOWING CEREBUS about anthropomorphic characters. No answer. Sent him a sketch of what the jam cover might look like. No answer. This is when the Pariah King of Comics tends to get the message. Sending the Pariah King of Comics free comic books is one thing: associating with the Pariah King of Comics is something else. Please, Pariah King of Comics, just take your free comic books and GO AWAY! Boom. I'm out of there. No offence intended.

But, what was interesting is that the next book in the catalogue is THE LONE AND LEVEL SANDS by A. David Lewis and mp Mann which won the Day Prize in 2005 and what was perfectly astonishing is that the Day Prize is mentioned prominently in their ad. That's a first. THE COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE and COMICS JOURNAL and WIZARD (AS ONE! Perhaps the only instance in recorded history where all three publications were in agreement) didn't run the press release where I announced the Day Prize and everyone has seemed pretty much to have gotten the hint since then: Mentioning the Day Prize is tantamount to mentioning Dave Sim and mentioning Dave Sim is verboten on pain of shunning and vilification. So major props to A. David Lewis for (presumably) taking a contrary stand. He might not have known in 2005 that he was having dinner with the Pariah King of Comics and Cerebus Yahoodom Assembled, but he sure would have known by 2007 and – seeing as how he already had the plaque and the cheque cleared -- it would have been very easy to join the always swollen Legion of Dave Who? ranks.

And then it gets even more unlikely a few pages later with an ad for ARTESIA BESIEGED where Rich Watson's review is excerpted --from his www.ComicWorldNews.com Top 10 of 2004 list-- which reads as follows: "The way [Mark Smylie] approaches themes such as religion, sexuality, and the use and abuse of power, elevates this into a true work of art, in the same tradition as CEREBUS, ELFQUEST, A DISTANT SOIL and FINDER. In a better world, a book like this would be an international bestseller…"

Weird, eh?

I mean, it's an interesting (reading between the lines) idea: "Maybe I can get away with saying something nice about CEREBUS as long as I mention three books by female creators right after it." Granted, the female creators in question (or, at least, two of them) are probably all making gagging noises (if they aren't actually going "Bubble, Bubble/Toil and Trouble…") but it's one of those things that that, you know, jumps out at the Pariah King of Comics. Either we're all sharing the same Misogynists Only toilet and drinking fountain in the bus station or SOMEONE thinks I should be able to use the same men's room and drinking fountain as everyone else. Belated thanks to Rich – hope they haven't made you suffer too terribly for your perfidy. The rest of you kids? Don't try this at home without adult supervision. As I keep telling you: These People Don't Mess Around When They Decide to Destroy You.

Of course now that I'm printing the Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast here on a daily basis and people can, you know, actually see WHAT it is that made these, these…folks…decide that Dave Sim needs to be destroyed, I suspect that a few of them are (finally!) getting (shall we say) looks askance at their metaphorical disembowelling knives and thumb screws and acetylene torches and bone saws…I mean, you know: "Uh, don't you think you're sort of…over-reacting?" Of course taking it as a given that Dave Sim Must Be Destroyed is second nature (and for most of the Women in Comics, first nature) in the comic-book field it's like trying to get Pavlov's dogs to STOP salivating when you ring the little bell. Which only serves to emphasize the point, doesn't it? When you mention Dave Sim and all that leaps out is metaphorical disembowelling knives and thumb screws and acetylene torches and bone saws…(hunh – I don't know where these came from, but they must be here for a good reason)

Well, it's almost as humorous as the MY GOD THEY'VE DISEMBOWELLED AND RAPED AND DECAPITATED MY GORGEOUS WIFE/GAY SIDEKICK stuff that DC and Marvel have been selling.

Don't you think?

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on? Testing, testing…

Tomorrow: Steve Peters and Love

On Diamond's shipping list for tomorrow:


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.