Monday, September 03, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #357 (September 3rd, 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 couple of Darrell Epp's poems.

Baby Don't Fall

everyone was screaming about

`global warming' as if they'd

never seen snow melt before;

dorothee balanced herself on

the edge of the fire escape. i

held my breath, she laughed

at me, dorothee's not the first

alien who's asked me `what

are you people so afraid of?'

The Greyhound

our sixth winter nears but

all i can show for it is the

occasional `sounds good'

or `not bad'. i had hoped

for more, something tree-

shaped, pointing up into

the future – but

i can't see in or out you

put black tape over the

windows and before our

visitors arrive you turn

me into a hound baying

in the backyard the rope

that chokes me is tethered

securely to what i can't tell.

Michael Ragiel writes June 4:

Dear Dave,

It's hard to follow Cerebus when FOLLOWING CEREBUS hasn't come out in quite a while. Any clue as to when issue 10 will come out?

One of your faithful,

Michael Ragiel

There are some advantages to a more than two-month time delay in answering the mail and here's one of them. FOLLOWING CEREBUS 10 came out last month.

Hit a Scott Berwanger letter and thought, just out of curiosity, how many of these do I have in the to-be-answered pile? So I decided to dig down and pull them all out. Roughly, there's fourteen of them here and the to-be-answered pile is now a lot shorter.

Time for my sunset prayer and then I'll put them all in order and then it will be time for


Okay, let's see. The earliest one I have here is June 8 and the most recent is August 4. Jeez, there's enough here for SCOTT BERWANGER MONTH HERE ON THE BLOG & MAIL. I could just FedEx them all to Jeff Tundis and have him scan them in and I wouldn't have to write anything else `til the middle of Ramadan.

Well, that's not actually true. Scott goes back and forth quite a bit on the same subjects so that's one of the reasons I thought it would be worthwhile to gather this batch into one pile so that somewhere up ahead someone else who decides to go the Scott route and completely finish his magnum opus before publishing any part of it can see the various ins and outs of Scott's decision-making. I think a cartoonist contemplating Scott's plan would definitely want to read all of what Scott has to say but all of what Scott has to say might be a bit of a chore (to say the least) for a non-cartoonist or a cartoonist sold on more traditional means of disseminating his or her work.

For those of you who haven't been reading all along, Scott Berwanger of Severna Park, MD has been writing and drawing a huge graphic novel called ANUBIS since the mid-1990s. He tried moving up from an ashcan format to a comic-book format for a period of time (there's a back cover ad for three of the issues on a late 1990s issue of CEREBUS that I comped him back when he was convinced that that kind of exposure would make all the difference for him) and ran into the same problem a lot of guys do: printers with minimum quantities and living space that soon fills up with unsold back issues of their comic title. So he moved back down to the ashcan format (folded 8.5 x 11 sheets to make 5.5 x 8.5 comic books) and then, ultimately, decided to just forego publication entirely until the whole story was finished.

Clearly a completely different approach from the 300-issue CEREBUS experiment and from virtually every independent comic I knew about which is why I thought it was worthwhile to document how his own experiment progressed. It certainly has the advantage of being a direct solution to the problems posed by publishing: basically, don't. Write and draw now and self-publish later.

I wanted to excerpt a paragraph from the June 8 letter which doesn't directly relate to the ANUBIS experiment per se, but makes a couple of interesting points. Scott Berwanger on feminism:

"Even though I am a feminist, I have absolutely no plans for marriage, or a family, or dating for that matter. And no, I'm not a homosexual. It's just that the way I see it, I would be seriously compromising the already-scarce free time I have to devote to my creativity by getting involved with a woman. I've got a creative career to fight for, by gum! And compromising that aim is simply not something I'm willing to do. Besides…I see so many of the relationships around me failing. Why would I purposely want to put myself up against that? These are strange times, indeed. Oh, well. C'est la vie."

Tomorrow: Dave Sim on Scott Berwanger on feminism


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.