Monday, August 20, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #341 (August 18th, 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.


I could never get the comic-book field – the comic-book INDUSTRY, in the sense that the comic-book retailers collectively make up the comic-book industry now – to understand the difference between someone who had a 26-year plan and stuff that is just made up on the spur of the moment.

DC and Marvel don't have a plan now and they didn't have a plan in 1992 and they didn't have a plan in 2004. They have about as much institutional memory as NPR does. What they do is look at their characters, figure out what new coat of paint they're going to put on it this character and that character three months from now, where they're going to stick the plastic sparkles, what the cover's going to look like and that's it. If you ask them, "Well, okay, but what happens with this character in 2009?" All you're going to get is a blank look. 2009 isn't the issue. The next PREVIEWS catalogue. That's the issue. And then the PREVIEWS catalogue after that and the one after that. The comic-book world four months from now is One Big Empty Blank. Two months from now, that big blank will be filled with 600 different covers, 600 of which no one knows what is actually going to be inside it.

As far as I know 2004 was the second year for Free Comic Book Day and, as I say, I consider Joe Field a genius for having come up with it. But every genius has a blind spot. Joe wrote in his column in COMICS RETAILER that the problem with scheduling Free Comic Book Day for 2004 was that there was no obvious Big Event to tie it into.

Twenty-six years and three months and even the only retailer who came out to my meet `n' greet at the San Leandro warehouse can't think of a Big Event in 2004 to tie Free Comic Book Day into. Fifteen trade paperbacks with a total retail price of over (WELL over) $300 and Joe the Genius can't think of any – you know, HOOK – to tie Free Comic Book Day into.

It's something that I just had to get used to. That I still have to get used to on a daily basis. How little the comic-book field – the comic-book industry -- thinks of comic books. What Joe meant was, there was no big budget super-hero movie coming out like the Spider-man film that the first Free Comic Book Day had ridden on the coattails of.

I'm being more than a little disingenuous, Dale. The biggest thing was my opposition to feminism and I knew that. As I said earlier in this batch of blogs, "making things go away poof" is something of a feminist specialty and it became obvious that that was how they intended to deal with CEREBUS coming to an end. Dave Who? CEREBUS what?

Seriously, I thought. You actually think you can make twenty-six years and three months worth of work disappear just by ignoring it? In the short term, sure. What do you figure the comic-book field is? Ninety-five percent guys? But every guy picked up on the signal and every guy fell into line.

Dave Who. CEREBUS what. Got it. Never heard of either of them. Three years later most of them are still doing it. That's what the blank stare at your local shop was about. Dave Who. CEREBUS what. He'll be doing that `til they plant him six feet under. What six-thousand page elephant in the room?

Anyway, it's been a fun ride and it's always gratifying when somebody turns up from the olden days as you have. There are a handful of store owners who read the Blog & Mail and keep track of the CEREBUS trades and restock every time they sell out of one of them. Not a lot but enough to keep me from having to declare bankruptcy. I suspect that was the store that was about an hour's drive away from you. The fact that he told you to leave right THEN if you wanted to get them THAT DAY was a good sign. They're an expensive commodity for the folks who do carry them so they can't be putting them aside for a week or two in the hopes that you turn up. First guy to the counter with $150 gets them. But he wasn't saying "If you don't get THESE you aren't going to get them (because I'm never ordering them again)". No, he'll order the ones you're looking for if someone else buys them but it might take a week or ten days for them to come in from the Star System.

Those are the guys who, quite literally, keep me alive, Dale. And guys like you, too.

All my best to the wife and (former) toddler. By all means if you want to discuss plot points and deep philosophy send another letter. I'm answering this one July 26 and (God willing) it'll be up on the Blog & Mail August 18. You sent it May 6. With any luck it'll be your turn again around Christmas!

Thanks for writing.

Tomorrow: Jeff Seiler and The Dallas Morning News Returns!


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.