Friday, August 10, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #333 (August 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.


What's this? A card of some kind.

Oh, right. Elizabeth Bardawill.

A Message of Sincere Sympathy/ May the love of those who care, strengthen you during this time of sorrow. "Was so sorry to hear the Maple Leafs didn't make it [into the 2007 playoffs]. Bear up. Best wishes, Elizabeth."

Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. Yep. They beat the Habs on Saturday night to put them one point INTO a playoff position and then the NY Islanders won their last two games to put the Leafs one point OUT of a playoff position. The Islanders then got their asses kicked by the Ottawa Senators. But that all happened at the end of April, so at least we're moving forward through time again. Whoops, I spoke too soon. Next one is the cover letter from Ted Adams for the comp copy of THE COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD'S DICK TRACY, VOL. 2 dated April 12.

Dear Dave,

Thanks for mentioning the first volume of our DICK TRACY series on your blog. I really appreciate it. In this package you'll find an advance copy of THE COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD'S DICK TRACY, VOL.2. ISBN. 1-60010-037-6 Release date 05/16/07 Price 29.99

I hope you enjoy the book. If you do, a mention on your blog would be most appreciated. I really want to publish Gould's entire run, so I'm trying hard to get the word out about each book.

No problem. Did I mention before that Chester decided to pick up the series as well? He took a look at volume 2 when it came in at The Beguiling and decided that I was right – that Chester Gould hit his stride pretty quickly on the strip and, as Chester said, it would be kind of pointless to start buying the series with volume 2, so he went ahead and forked out for both volumes on the spot. Peter Birkemoe told me that the volume 1 was a second printing so Ted and IDW are off to a flying start. Volume 2 covers May 1933 to January 1935.

Chester and I had a long chat about DICK TRACY on my next visit. I kicked things off by mentioning that way back when Judith and were going out, she, being a complete creature of the Atlanta, Georgia nightlife, had recently gone to see a Stray Cats concert and had been surprised to see that virtually everyone she knew in Atlanta was there. There was something about the Stray Cats' music that cut across every form of music loyalty in the city. It seems to me that DICK TRACY is in the same category. I mean, I'm a raving enthusiast of the strip and so is Art Spiegelman (just to cite two diametrically opposed set of cartooning criteria). I can't think of anyone in the field who has anything bad to say when the subject of DICK TRACY and Chester Gould's cartooning comes up. And for most of us old guys, it really comes down to the one collection, THE CELEBRATED CASES OF DICK TRACY volume from way back in the 1970s. Offhand that was the only widely available collection in existence until Ted Adams did us all a favour and started this (God willing) COMPLETE reprinting. That across-the-board appeal is one thing but the even more amazing part is that the strip, technically, isn't very good. Beyond "technically" it verges on the functionally illiterate. I kept track of them reading my comp copy. Junior is "speeded cityward" for medical care in the 11/5/33. Speeded. Cityward. The 11/14 strip gives us "Delerious" and then there's the repeated use of "Kidnaped" for kidnapped. It's DICK TRACY. Every third day someone is getting abducted and week after week, month after month it's spelled "Kidnaped". "Brazon effrontery" (7/3/34) "tear bomb" instead of tear gas bomb (1/27/35).

Then we both started doing it. Chet pointed the sequence where Junior is under threat by the mob and Tracy arranges for him to travel by boat to England to be out of the way. A week or two later here comes Junior back again. Went to England and wasn't crazy about it and decided to come home. But…but…and we're both laughing. The POINT wasn't to send him to England because Junior was sure to have a swell time – it was to get him out of harm's way. And as I said, there was really something to Chester Gould's work that you can have all of these atrocious spelling errors (evidently no one at the syndicate bothered to even READ the strips when they came in) and ridiculous plot inconsistencies and it's still nearly a universal favourite of cartoonists everywhere.

One of my favourites is in the second volume, the 10/1/33 Sunday page where Dick Tracy's girlfriend Tess is pressed into service operating a fake storefront in order to trap some mobsters who have been running a protection racket to the businesses in the neighbourhood. "LOOK OUT THIS A NITRO-GLYCERINE BOMB – IF ANY OF YOU MOVE A STEP I'LL THROW IT!" "AND THEN…a most startling thing takes place! From out on the street, Pat Patton sees the hand raised with the bomb and realizes the plight of those within! The hand is directly over a glass jar containing pickles and brine. Tracy sees this and secretly signals Pat to fire… "OW!"

Shoots the guy in the hand holding the nitro-glycerine bomb… through a plate glass window no less and the bomb drops directly into the pickles and brine. Just in case we don't get the point, Dick Tracy yells "IT FELL IN THE JAR OF PICKLE BRINE!". I mean, aren't you kind of taking a chance that it WILL fall in the jar of pickle brine? What if it misses the jar and hits the floor? Or what if it hits the pickle brine a little too hard? What if you don't hit the guy in the wrist and instead shoot the nitro-glycerine?

Wait, wait. That's not the best part.

Tomorrow: The best part of the 10/1/33 Sunday strip


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

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