Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #351 (August 28th, 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.


Okay, so here we have INK. I might as well run the whole press release AND letter, eh? I sometimes forget that I'm supposed to be a real Jimmy Olsen about these things now that I R. a Blogger. This is hot breaking news, I'm sure, for…uh…somebody. GOOD EVENING MISTER AND MISSUS COMIC BOOK AND ALL OUR SHIPS AT SEA. LET'S GO TO PRESS!

"Synopsis – INK is a new, 10-part, stylized-documentary series exploring the world of comic book culture and its impact on popular culture. The series takes [a] mature look at the comic book medium in all its forms: its creators, writers, artists and editors and anybody else who's [sic] business is comic-book related."

"The series will be examining the world of comics through themes like: Hero Worship, Social Relevance, Life, Death, and Resurrection and Pulp Fiction: Heroes of Yesterday, as well as many others. This ten-episode, stylised documentary series begins airing winter 2008 on IFC Canada."

Am I being cruel in pointing out that the thing I love about press releases having to do with television shows is that they are guaranteed to be functionally illiterate? There's a certain admirable insouciance, about it though. We're TELEVISION, Bubbah! Correct spelling is BENEATH us! Anywhere else and it would make the use of the adjective "mature" ring rather hollow, but here, it's like a declaration that they have their priorities and heads on straight, their ducks in a row. We don't give a s—t that we spell it "stylized-documentary" in the first paragraph and "stylised documentary" in the second paragraph. We have footage to edit, sound levels to adjust, computer animation to add in, green screen trickery to partake of. HYPHEN OR "NO HYPHEN" IS A GEEK CONCEPT! Stylized and stylised – hey, they're BOTH RIGHT, aren't they? DUH, GEEK BOY. Get out of my editing suite.

Oh, it's you, Mr. Sim.

And so to the letter:

Dear Mr. Sim,

Peter from The Beguiling may have mentioned our television series "INK" to you and that we were hoping for an interview at the TCAF. We certainly understand your decision to let Cerebus speak for itself and not try to condense a discussion of your epic work into a series of meaningless TV-friendly sound bites.

But, and you knew that was coming, our show does take a different approach than you may be expecting. The fact is we were not planning to focus on Cerebus as much as discuss your own insights into the medium of comics as a whole, for which you are an important voice to be heard. The story of Cerebus would be referenced more as a jumping off point to a broader discussion of some of our show's comic-related themes which include Hero Worship, Life, Death and Resurrection, Social Relevance, Politics and Propaganda, the Independent Market, etc….

We plan to speak to an eclectic roster of comic creators about these themes, having already interviewed the Hernandez Brothers, Jeff Smith, Terry Moore, Brian Azzerello, Adam Hughes, Bill Sienkiewicz, Mike Carlin, Matt Wagner and others.

I've attached a short synopsis of the series which should give you the broad strokes idea of what we're up to. If there is any way you'd reconsider a sit-down with us during the event or at another convenient time for you, please let us know.

All the best,

Well, now. What to do. What to do.

The "stylized documentary" thing sets off alarm bells. That usually means chintzy computer effects like what they did to the Will Eisner documentary, trying to translate comic book tropes onto film on a) a low budget and b) a tight deadline. "its impact on popular culture" usually means clips from Hollywood super-hero movies while they play the latest pop song that has a "Superman" or a "Lois Lane" or "Solomon Grundy" reference in it. WIZARD magazine, only now it's a television show!

I'm tempted to fax them a questionaire

"How many times does INK intend to use the word `cool' or `awesome' within a typical episode: ___ not at all ____ between 5 and 10 times ___ Dude, we can't count that high: that's why we're, you know, in TELEVISION!"

Can I write my own sound bytes? I mean I already know the answer to that one. Television people hate that. It's not a matter of them wanting a good show, the good show has to be the result of me blathering for an hour and them getting to decide what is and isn't usable. I can do it, guys. I've played Dave Sim on television many, many times. I can write the material and then deliver the material as if I just came up with it off the top of my head. I can give you different readings of it and you can pick the one you like. No, in TeeWee land, the only thing you're not allowed to fake is on this side of the camera. Faking stuff? That's THEIR job. Take a completely unrelated sound bite and give it a contradictory lead-in so that you appear to say the opposite of what you were actually saying? That's what makes it a "stylized documentary". That's good television. Actually writing your own sound bites and delivering them? No, that's…that's DISHONEST!

This is kind of funny. Brad Mckay of the Doug Wright Awards phoned earlier today and left a message (I haven't been answering the phone. The day started with a weird message and that's usually a sign that I can't go wrong not answering the phone). So Brad wants to know if I'm coming in for the Doug Wright Awards so he can put me on the guest list and if I'm coming alone or if I want someone ELSE on the guest list with me.

I'm Dave Sim the evil misogynist, the Pariah King of Comics. Who would I bring with me? A ha-ha friend? I just thought he was being funny. Then Chester just left a message. He had talked to Brad earlier and he understood that Brad had asked if I was bringing my friend with the camera again to film the Awards. Oh, right, I'm thinking. Trevor. Trevor taped the Awards last year. I had just started the Blog & Mail and decided, what the heck, I might as well make my own television programs, too. So Chet said, "Brad made it sound as if he's hoping you WILL bring him with you and, personally, I'm hoping you're NOT bringing him with you because I don't want to end up on YouTube again." I cracked up. So I called him back and told him Trevor was bringing three cameras this year and three cameraman. And one of the cameras had a telephoto lens to get nice tight close-ups of everyone. Then I told him I was kidding. And he cracked up. I asked him if he was doing this INK thing. He didn't know what I was talking about. So, I read him part of the press release. Two sentences in, he goes, Oh right. No, I'm not doing it. Are you? he asks me. I said, I don't know. I'm getting a funny Blog & Mail segment out of the invitation, though. "There WILL be cameras filming at the Awards," he said, "But that's the NFB, they're doing a documentary on Seth."

See? The National Film Board got the memo. THEY were at the Marxist cabal meeting of the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail and CBC like they were supposed to be. NATIONAL Film Board, get it? As in "nationalize"? I was pretty sure the word had gone forth to friend and foe alike: Seth is Canada's Comic-Book IT Guy, THIS YEAR AND EVERY YEAR! Tell all the other comrades. DA! Chet gets to play boy sidekick just by sitting next to him. You GO, Chet!

Half an hour to my last prayer. I told you. Doing the Blog & Mail on a fasting day it flies by like the wind.

Tomorrow: To INK or not to INK…


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.