Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #367 (September 13th, 2007) + AUCTION ALERT!!


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.




Sad but true. So, as has become our new custom here on the Blog & Mail we'll start this new session – and our second year -- with a progress report on YHWH's War on Dave.

Everything is pretty much "status quo" with both Secret Project I and Secret Project II on hold – work is progressing on both, but I'm definitely starting to feel like Israel here. If I can make it through one working session in between Blog & Mail stints without being attacked I'll be happy to talk about peace (i.e. scheduling the projects).

Not really sure if this latest attack constitutes "progress" from his/her/its point of view – on the one hand its got a proven track record of rallying everyone to the Anti-Dave side of the fence and taking the focus off of feminism, on the other hand, it's got all the appearance of "a dog returning to its vomit" which could suggest that YHWH has pretty much used up his/her/its resources artillery-wise and is now having to repeat his/her/its self. That would be the optimistic way of looking at it and by this point in my life I have learned to be extremely wary of any form of optimism. But, looking on the bright side if the entire comic-book field doesn't stampede away from me as they did in 1994 and 1999 after reading the following then I think I can be safe in saying that we've been eyeball-to-eyeball for thirteen years and the YHWH just blinked. Thanks, as always, to the dozen or so retailers reading this who continue to order the CEREBUS trades and if some or all of you feel compelled to join in the stampede at the end of "Oh, No! Not Jeff Smith Again" Week and never again order the CEREBUS trades, well, nothing new there and no hard feelings.

So anyway, here's how it "went down":

The TCAF weekend got off to a bad but completely familiar start when I ran across Bryan Talbot's new NATIONAL INQUIRER-style volume on the comic-book field which had just come in at the Beguiling. Sad to think that this is the degraded level to which the author and artist of the classic Luther Arkwright and One Bad Rat has sunk, but there you go. As per usual, the Marxist-feminists, unable to counter the Sixteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast, resort instead to character assassination. March 30 of this year, my Technical Director and Research Assistant on the secret project wrote to me:

"By the way, speaking of Jeff Smith…I don't want to meddle in your affairs, but I wanted to make sure you knew that Jeff has continued to say nothing but nice things about you and CEREBUS in the press."

The subtext being: don't say anything more about the contretemps between the two of us: which is always the subtext in the comic-book field. I haven't said anything, privately or personally, and I always find it irritating when the Marxist-feminist comic-book field behaves as if I have, selling themselves on their collectivist Crazy Dave Sim the Evil Misogynist party line. It's always the Marxist-feminists who revive the controversy and then blame me for responding to the character assassination being perpetrated against my reputation, which always amounts to Big Tough Jeff Smith staring down weak (and a new addition this time out) out-of-shape Dave Sim who proves to be a coward. Look, folks: I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings in your Good Jeff Smith/Evil Dave Sim construct, but there is only one obvious source for this calumny and that's Jeff Smith himself. I have no doubt that Jeff continues to say nothing but nice things about me in the press but obviously he is telling a different story at restaurant tables on his many globe-hopping world travels, pumping himself up into the Marxist-feminist Defender of the Faith and bane of evil misogynists everywhere. Or do all you Marxist-feminists think that Bryan Talbot just manufactured this pile of horse manure on his own out of whole cloth? I think I have the right to defend myself and, yes, you're all more than welcome to roll your eyes theatrically at this point, but here we go again:

What actually happened – my lips to God's ear -- was:

SPACE organizer Bob Corby came up to me about an hour into the SPACE show in question and said, "I don't know how you want to handle this, but I thought I should tell you that Jeff Smith just walked in." I thanked him for letting me know and continued to talk to the occasional fan coming by for an autograph or a sketch. My reputation having been completely destroyed by the Marxist-feminists at that point, my table, post-1994, has been seldom "crowded with fans" as Talbot maintains. There was certainly no one at the table except me when Jeff had made his way around the exhibit room – having stopped to talk to a number of exhibitors and to buy a couple of books from them (which I thought was nice of him, local hero and all – it would be nice if he would do it again someday).

It's literally the only time in my life that I made no move to shake hands with someone that I knew when he or she approached. He had behaved in so completely under-handed and dishonourable fashion towards me over our political differences after I had devoted any number of hours to answering his many questions about self-publishing and had made prodigious efforts on his behalf after he gave me the first few issues of BONE at a Capital City Trade Show (he was desperate for help with his comic book which was going in the toilet – the Cap City Show was a make-or-break proposition for him -- and at Larry Marder's behest he came to the table I was sharing with Martin Wagner and asked me for any help I could give him which I then proceeded to give him as I tend to do with anyone I think I can help to this day) that I just could not bring myself to extend the courtesy of a handshake to him.

[It's one of the unhappy repercussions of my experiences with Jeff that even though I continue to help people, I take it as a given that they will all turn on me at the first opportunity as he did. I certainly noticed – and notice -- that no one I had helped over the years had said a word about my treatment post-1994. Helping people is still the right thing to do, so I do it. Believing that cartoonists are decent human beings who remember people who helped them is something I have learned to place in the "wholly mythological" category. Live and learn.]

As far as I was – and am -- concerned, I had met Jeff more than halfway. I had notified him by letter well ahead of time that I would give him the opportunity to make good on his imagined threat of "decking me" or "giving me a fat lip" and told him to name the time and place. I came in two days ahead of time for the exact reason of giving him as many scheduling options as possible.

By that point, I had been – and continue to be -- pretty gracious, I think, about the entire comic-book field turning against me and had accepted my pariah status and the fact that I was completely without any friends or allies anywhere in the comic-book field, high or low – as I am to this day (handful of exceptions duly noted) -- without complaint. You do what's right and if everyone else chooses to do what's wrong – as the comic-book field unanimously chose to do and continues to choose to do -- well that's their choice and, ultimately, they have to live with the consequences.

That's one thing.

However, calling me a coward in print and saying that I backed down from a threat of unprovoked physical violence, as Jeff did, well, that was in a whole different category. That had to do with my personal honour as a man. You're certainly at liberty to call me a coward and say that I backed down from a threat of unprovoked physical violence so long as you do it in tried-and-true Marxist-feminist fashion – that is, behind my back and in secret -- but, if you make the assertion in a public venue like the COMICS JOURNAL, ultimately, you have to back that up. Or back down. I waited a year after the JOURNAL interview to write "Dear Jeff Smith" because I was annotating FORM & VOID in the back of CEREBUS – basically writing the "To Ham & Ham Not" material that appears in the back of the trade at the same time as I was serializing the story. I wasn't about to interrupt something important like that for something as ridiculous as Jeff Smith acting tough five years after the fact.

Tomorrow: On the other hand…



I have been informed by The Hero Initiative that Dave Sim's "Ultimate Spider-Man" #100 tribute cover will be auctioned off on eBay starting TOMORROW, September 14th.



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.