Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #343 (August 20th, 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.


It's Blog & Mail Overtime!

That's right, kids. Sandeep will be here around 3:30 to download July 31 to August We Don't Know Yet – it really depends on how much more typing I can do between now (1116) and 1530.

So, who have we got next? We have Margaret (cerebusfangirl) Liss!

Hello Dave,

Once again, I thank you for your hospitality at SPACE. Reading "Goat" with you (High Society pages 309-312) was not only a lot of fun, but a challenge to keep up with you "doing" Lord Julius as I'm well aware that my Margaret Dumont pales in comparison to your Groucho Marx. The reading of Jeff Tundis as Cerebus, Lenny as Duke Leonardi and yourself as Lord Julius was very funny – a demonstration not only of the voices all three participants did (aided I'm sure by how you write Duke Leonardi with his pronounced accent), but of your excellent grasp of the Marx Brothers' comedy. The heck with the movie, let's just do an animated teevee show.

I kid…I kid. An animated movie will be fine.

Ha. (Margaret trying to be funny: don't worry, she won't leave her day job.)

The funniest thing was that, doing that much Groucho in a row, when it came time to do the Day Prize presentations the next day, I slipped into doing Groucho again. I always write a couple of "ha ha's" into my introductions and no one ever laughs because I'm just not a public speaker. But this time I definitely got laughs. The Groucho voice compels an audience to LOOK for laughs. Very weird. I had to remind myself: Okay, now stop talking. That's a laugh line. Let them laugh. There's a first time for everything, I guess.

You mentioned when we were going through the returned Friends of Cerebus stuff that you had some extras of miscellaneous FOC fan club stuff. I was hoping you had an extra copy of Newsletters #6, 7 & 8 and perhaps one of those "Support Your Prime Minister" buttons.

Margaret and I ended up trading copies of the newsletter. I think I had an extra #6 and she had an extra #9. So, I have at least one complete set now. The returned material was fan club stuff that had come back twenty years ago because the person had moved or the address was incomplete or something. I decided to give them to Margaret and Jeff and we had the official "opening of the envelopes" at SPACE. I waited to see if they were going to save the envelopes as fan club collectibles but, no, they threw those away. So there is hope for both of them, yet.

I made an online donation for $100 to the Foodbank of Waterloo Region (who knew they had a website with such an easy form to fill out to donate directly via my checking account? How conventient!) as a thank you for the items (see attached, so while you can take my word for it, you can also see with your own eyes as they gave me such a nice form for tax purposes). But, if you rather, I can also send Aardvark-Vanaheim a payment as well. Just let me know.

No, the Food Bank is fine. I should warn you though, that that's a Canadian tax receipt so you can't claim it on your American taxes. Thanks for writing, Margaret!

Next up, we have…

…what the heck is this?

Oh, right. Jeff Tundis after the May 24 Blog & Mail where I had done most of it in the Leningrad typeface and only realized later that that doesn't translate, had sent me the list of typefaces I can use as well as the 7 point-size variations.

Other options are BOLD, ITALICS, UNDERLINE, HIGHLIGHT (optional colors), FONT COLOR, paragraph alignment, numbered or bulleted list, indent…and "emoticon" (the stupid little smiley faces and such).

And I can also insert pictures. For example, your recent story about "St. Sebastien attended by Irene…" was followed by a picture of it (and you're right – an absolute stunner).

On the "blogpot" secondary site, it is a much more stripped down version. Indent, bold, italic.

Yes, not only do I read all the blogandmails, but I reformat them. Twice.

I didn't want to bother you with all these technical details, but if you feel limited now I figured it would be better if you knew your actual options so you could have "fun" with them!

FUN? I tell you it made me swear off everything except 12 pt. Times New Roman.

However I did send Jeff a picture of himself to insert in here because there seemed to be a kind of existential surrealism in doing so. Thanks, Jeff and Other Jeff.

So what else have we got here? Ah, yes. We have an issue of HEAVY METAL magazine. July 2007. Which would mean I was now completely caught up if it wasn't for the fact that they date these things two months ahead. As I've mentioned before, Kevin Eastman has had me on the HEAVY METAL comp list I think since he bought the magazine. Since I started doing the Blog & Mail last year I've been trying to squeeze in a mention of the magazines whose comp lists I've been on (which seems only right) and every time an issue of HM would come in, I'd flip through it hoping there was something that I could discuss. Most of it is, well, what it is. T&A with a science fiction and fantasy flavour. Particularly now that I don't own any actual porno flipping through the new issue when it comes in has got a certain JOLT quality to it, all right. BARENAKED LADIES! Especially the ads, so I try to just flip past the ads and see what the strips (usually a double meaning with HM) are about and whether I want to read them. As with most magazines, I flip through from the back and then reverse field if something I've just gone through back to front looks like it's worth reading in the right order. Doesn't happen a whole lot with HEAVY METAL. Each to his own.

But, it finally did happen. And unmistakeably. Flipping through from the back, I hit a page that had some amazing storytelling transitions to it. I mean, AMAZING. One of those times when you see comic books a whole different way and think to yourself, "Oh, of course – why didn't I ever come up with that?" Some of it is just really solid storytelling – a very keen sense of what the eye registers in moving from panel to panel and knowing exactly how extreme the transitions should be in order to register the most effectively. It's the first appearance of a strip called "Boy Zero" written by Quinn Tetterton and illustrated by RobertValley.com (that's the way he's credited).

[It's maybe even more complicated than that. On the contents pages the copyright is credited to Extra Large Technology, produced by Extra Large Technology Created by Charles Cohen & Robert Misiorowski & Quinn Tetterton illustrated by RobertValley.com If I had to compare it to something, I'd compare it to Dave McKean's CAGES. Some of it is just clever, sure, but the cleverness itself is so much the point – and there's so MUCH about it that is clever and smart (and stylish. Don't forget stylish) that there's no way you can see calling it clever as a pejorative. It holds at clever and then robertvalley.com just suddenly does a dissolve or a transition that is just so brilliant that you realize that for him clever is day-to-day – clever is the basis that he starts from – and then brilliant is what he throws at you every few pages]

I can tell Kevin's impressed. It takes up half the issue – 54 full pages.

I'm not sure if you could describe it as content. There's nothing here – as subject matter -- that hasn't been done in comics and particularly in HEAVY METAL a hundred times in the last twenty years. But the WAY it's done. The way it takes those comic book fantasy tropes and strips them down and makes them glow in the dark.

Well, it made me glad that I've been flipping through HEAVY METAL all this time.

I'd be willing to bet you can order it from www.heavymetal.com. Even if it works out to ten bucks with the postage, believe me, it's well worth it.

And on the "stroke book" side of things there's a feature on Luis Royo's fresco that he did on the domed ceiling of a castle that one of his art buyers bought. Very, very explicit lesbian paintings but with all the foreshortening and painterly tricks of the Renaissance brought to bear.

Again, I can tell Kevin's impressed. How? He's published a 64-page book showing every inch of the work itself and the work in progress as LOUIS ROYO DOME, a $19.95 hardcover (plus $4 shipping and handling). You can probably find it at www.heavymetal.com as well. The thing is absolutely HUGE.

Can't wait for the next instalment of "Boy Zero" myself.

Okay. Sandeep's here.

Tomorrow (or, for me, two weeks from now): Suley, Julie and Magic!


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.