Monday, August 27, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #350 (August 27th, 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.


A letter from Mike Dawson. Mike Dawson. Where do I know that name from? Don't mind me, folks, I'm old. I do that a lot. Mike…Dawson.

"Dear Dave Sim,

Just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for the Day Prize nomination and plaque, which as you know I wasn't able to receive from you in person at this year's SPACE."

Oh, hey. Mike DAWSON, the FREDDIE & ME guy. Graphic novel about what a big influence Queen and Freddie Mercury were on his life. If I'm not mistaken it was the middle bit of the graphic novel that he had submitted in the form of a digest/ashcan. THAT Mike Dawson. Well whattaya know about THAT, as Jimmy Stewart used to say.

"I enjoyed reading the transcript of what you said when you mentioned my comic, and I really like having the plaque to hang up in my studio. We met briefly at last year's SPACE. I'm good friends with Alex Robinson, and we chatted with you for a little while at the bar on the night before the convention."

Oh, the notorious chat at the bar with Alex. So you were there. That'll be the last time that happens. I can't even pretend to hear well enough any more to carry on a conversation in a bar. I remember you included Alex in your story. That was interesting because you didn't call him Alex, but you drew him the way he draws himself so everyone knew that it was Alex right away. That was another interesting part because you and Alex, in your story, were talking about Queen as this distant, long-ago event and (if I remember rightly) you were wondering how they performed Bohemian Rapsody live. Another "Jeez I feel old" moment because (with Deni and Bob and Karen) I saw Queen live in Toronto at the old Exhibition grounds bandshell (I think that was what they called it)…

Hang on. Another fax coming in. IFC. What does that stand for again? Peter Birkemoe told me. Inside Front Cover but that isn't it. The fax is fuzzy. Oh, The Independent Film Channel. Right. Wanted to do an interview with me at TCAF this weekend. It's a new show on comics called "INK". They wanted Seth, Chester, Joe, Darwyn Cooke and me. How Chester, Joe, Darwyn and me ever got way up there on the "must have" list with Canada's Greatest Graphic Novelist, Seth, I don't know. Somebody didn't get the memo again. I thought all this got sorted out at the CBC/Toronto Star/Globe & Mail quarterly Marxist cabal meeting: Seth is Canada's Comic-Book IT guy, AGAIN. THIS YEAR AND EVERY YEAR. Tell all the other comrades. DA!

One of the guys involved was a CEREBUS fan. That's it. That's how I got in, anyway. It's all coming back to me. They're doing the old Commander Rick trick where Mark Askwith would interview you about fifteen different subjects and then make fifteen different shows by splicing your comments in with the other twenty guys he had interviewed. Neil used to say you could get whiplash just wondering where Mark's next question was coming from. You gave him his thirty-second TV sound byte on the CBLDF ("Remember that we EDIT OUT the questions, so you have to incorporate the question into your answer") and then he'd say, "Okay, tell me about Will Eisner." Thirty seconds on Will Eisner. "Okay, tell me about the importance of inkers." To a born "ease up on your subject" storyteller like Neil it was like putting electrodes on his genitals. Talk, Limey. Tell me about Will Eisner.

I kid. Neil still sends his novels to Mark for an opinion as he used to send him the SANDMAN stuff to critique. As Chester used to show his stuff to Mark back in the YUMMY FUR days. Mark knows his stuff. PRISONERS OF GRAVITY (as the show was called) was just a funny experience and one I avoided for that reason. You were at the complete mercy of the editing process and weeks later there you would be wincing in your living room as you saw what was left of what you said. I always found it interesting that Canada never had its own fanzine, but it always had its own television show about comics thanks for Mark and Rick Green and (now) the Space Channel.

Okay, let me finish up the Mike Dawson story and then we'll get back to "INK".

Anyway, yes, I saw Queen in concert whatever year that was. Before 1983 because, as I said, I was still with Deni. They weren't a HUGE band because it was the "bandshell" format where they would only use half of Exhibition stadium. Unlike the Who or the Rolling Stones who could fill the whole joint. And, as Alex suggests in the story, they just played a recording of Bohemian Rhapsody. Whoever it was on keyboards would start the thing off and, of course, the crowd went nuts and then they just sort of left the stage and we all sat there listening to this recording. I'm a real troglodyte when it comes to music. I wouldn't have noticed if HALF of the music and the singing was a recording if they had all just stayed out there pretending to do PART of it. That was really it for me with Queen.

It wasn't a particularly sophisticated time period. I don't think anyone I knew had any idea about the Queen=Gay Reference thing that's so completely obvious now. We were all just completely clueless -- like Mike Myers as Wayne. Oh, hey, GREAT TUNE. It was a one-two punch. Rock Hudson and Freddie Mercury, one after the other. They're WHAT?! Does Doris DAY know about this? You can't get much more unsophisticated than that, can you?

"I'm really glad you're looking forward to reading the completed FREDDIE & ME. I probably was working on it on this year's SPACE weekend – I'm getting close to completing it. It'll be just shy of 300 pages, and will be published next year by Bloomsbury."

I really am. Genuine enthusiasm for a subject is something that communicates in the comic book medium like – well, like electrodes on Neil Gaiman's genitals ("Talk, Limey!"). You definitely have that in spades, even down to the fact that the enthusiasm is largely inexplicable to yourself as you're writing about it. I hope you'll be sending copies to the surviving members of the band and (while you're at it) I hope you'll send one to me and I'll plug it here on the ol' Blog and Mail.

"Again, thank you for the nomination and the plaque – I look forward to potentially running into you again at SPACE 2008."

I'll look forward to it, as well, Mike, thanks. If I get that "Mike…Dawson?" look on my face, just remind me. Remember. I'm old.

Tomorrow: Back to Comics on TeeWee!


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:

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