Dave Sim's blogandmail #295 (July 3rd, 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.
Yes, there was more good news at Paradise Toronto Comicon even though the show didn't work out the way I thought it would. I THOUGHT I was going to use a giveaway of WORLD TOUR BOOKS with Chet's and my jam strip in it to coerce people into waiting in line for an autograph and that while they were waiting in line they'd be forced to look at the photorealism strips that I brought for display. No go. I was always busy but the state of conventions today has really shifted in the direction of sketchbooks. Some autographs but mostly people just want a drawing in their sketchbook or on a backing board. Since I wasn't really equipped for that (and remembering last year where I ended up staying up until I am Friday night getting my sketch list caught up), I instituted a couple of new policies: 1) no sketch list. I would work on the sketch I was working on and then the first person who came up with a sketch book when I was done would get the next sketch. 2) no fixed prices. Since I didn't plan to do sketches, I left it up to each person to pay me what they would be happy paying for the sketch. Everyone REALLY HATED THIS NEW POLICY. Which I understood completely, but the fact remained I hadn't intended to do sketches and I would have been happy to not do sketches so (as my Dad used to say) "Be reasonable: do it my way." The first one ended up being for Alex, the new kid on the block at Paradise Comics (hiring him just before the Toronto show falls into the category of Trial by Combat) who wanted me to sketch a Cerebus as Captain America on the cover of the DEATH OF A LEGEND or whatever they called it where they left a blank space in the middle of the cover. So, I was sort of sitting there fuming about the fact that no one was looking at the photorealism art I had brought. Fuming but in what I hoped was an intelligent way: Dave, you are the only person in the world who even thinks about Stan Drake and Al Williamson and Rip Kirby and Johnstone & Cushing, et al. You can lead comic book fans to water but you can't make them drink.
Zero super-heroes/zero movies=zero interest.
So I sort of took that out on the background on Alex's sketch using the super-fine ballpoint pen I had with me to dense-pack the area to what was a Reduced Movie Poster density (roughly two inches by five inches so, pretty dense), chatting with Malcolm the whole time. Pretend you fit in here, Dave. Pretend they asked you to do a thumb-nail for a Death of Captain America movie poster and the artist who does the best one in forty minutes gets the commission. Gives you a rough idea of the mental contortions I have to go through to find a way to fit into the comic-book field as constituted in 2007. And, of course, the gag that I came up with was Cerebus as Captain America with a bullet wound in his head going "Ouchie." The larger point being that it is RIDICULOUS to even suggest that you can kill Captain America. You can kill the fictional character on a temporary basis (and I suspect Marvel's actual motivation is the same as DC's motivation in killing Jimmy Olsen or whatever Paul Levitz has decided to do to him: it's a basic capitalized "SCREW YOU" to Joe Simon and Jerry Seigel's family, respectively, for having made progress in recovering their characters under the new Not Made at Disney copyright laws. Basically, you can make progress in recovering your characters but because we own them right now we can mutilate them before your eyes and there's nothing you can do about it. Needless to say, Doctor Doom and Lex Luthor have nothing on these people. How old is Joe Simon? How old is Mrs. Joanne Seigel? You want them to carry this scummy baggage of yours with them for the next twenty years? You want them to carry it with them to their respective graves? Is that the idea?) and make it an ill-concealed Liberal conceit in doing so. As Tom Crippen so astutely put it in the latest COMICS JOURNAL "Together to a New Future" (May, 2007):
"Looking for political allegory in CIVIL WAR is embarrassing. There it is, poking out all over like the band of somebody's underwear. ('Captain America Assassinated!' Yes, we all feel pretty bad about the Bush years.) Viewed charitably, the 'political' stuff is dreamwork.. The subconscious of the super-hero genre has some mighty work to do, so the whole Marvel line sleepwalks through the kind of epic bad night that sometimes goes with personality redirection."
Let me just express reassurance right here to Joe Simon (and I hope that anyone who is in touch with him will see that he reads this) that he needn't worry FOR ONE SECOND about whatever is being done to Captain America right now. When the current proprietors are all at the Old Folks Home with their walkers and wheelchairs pulled in a tight circle mindlessly singing "Give Peace a Chance" over and over again to no one in particular, Captain America will still stand for all that is good and true and decent about America, just the way you and Jack Kirby created him. You can make book on it, sir.
Anyway, Alex paid me $140 for the sketch which was about $100 more than I would have charged him for it and the You Set the Price was established with the result that I made about the same amount of money doing sketches that I did last year on about a quarter the number of sketches. One guy even stood and watched me finish a sketch so he would make sure he was the next in line whereas everyone else when I told them I didn't have a sketch list and I would just do the next sketch for whoever was there when 1 was done this just wandered off without another word (obviously in search of an artist with better manners). Needless to say he got a really good sketch for his patience and interest.
And, along the same lines, sincere THANKS to Billy Tucci and Joe Linsner for dropping by the table to say hello. Ordinarily I wouldn't print their names here because of the potential Association With Dave Sim Backlash, but I asked both of them flat out if they would be willing to be part of the series of prints that I'll be selling over the next while autographed by me and other people (me and Chet on the COLLECTED LETTERS 2 cover, me and Siu Ta on the SIU TA SO FAR strip #4) and they both said sure. I mean, without hesitation. Just send the prints down and they'll sign them and send them back.
Checking the "overnight cable traffic" (i.e. the fax machine) here at the Off-White House, 1 have a new communique from my Technical Director and Research Assistant in [name].
So, keep watching the www.cerebusart.com website under "prints" for further details. The Billy Tucci one will be the double page spread that I did of SHI for the big guest artist book that he did (my original black and white version: all me and no Billy except for the use of his character) and the Joe Linsner one will be a colour piece he did of Cerebus and Dawn from CRY FOR DAWN back in 1992 (all Joe and no me except for the use of my character).
It's now 1100 Hours, EST, and owing to the peculiarities of the Blog & Mail tomorrow we'll be skipping back to the beginning of the day, 0625 Hours, EST, now that we've taken care of the first order of business, apologies to David Peterson and all that that led to.
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P.O. Box 1674
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2
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