Monday, September 24, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #378 (September 24th, 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.


Nate Neal sends along a copy of The Sanctuary 3 – his title that centers on a band of cavemen and cavewomen, a sincere attempt at documenting what primitive life must have been like – becoming in the process, as far as I know, the first Blog & Mail cartoonist/reader to make it to issue 3 since I started doing this. Also a short note dated May 15:

"Hi Dave – Here's issue 3. I could bore you with the details as to why it took so long for this issue to get out, but why put both of us through that? The artwork was done in December, so a huge distribution mix-up is the main culprit. I can't afford to print any more pamphlets anyway, so…looks like I'll have to finish the book in solitude. Hope things are goin' all right up Canada way."

So far so good. He printed some observations of mine on issue 2 as part of the letters page. Same thing holds true with this one. It's actually very easy to follow despite the lack of actual English in the word balloons and that most of it is told through gesture. I "read" it when it first came in and missed most of it and now I've been able to actually Read it. There's a sort of interior resonance to that quality: in order to "get" what Nate is doing you have to slow your reading down to a very primitive caveman-like pace. Dave not get this. [Turn back to the previous page] Which one cavewoman with triangles on cheeks? [study the previous page] [turn back to the page before that] [re-read the three pages]. Oh, okay. Dave get this now.

Sorry to hear that you aren't able to keep going with the serialization, Nate. Actually, I think the three issues are good stand-alone comics such as I've been discussing lately that I hope stores will experiment with finding room for. Obviously it will read a lot better when you've finished it, but the approach certainly lends itself seeing each instalment as a separate anecdote. Or maybe you could bind copies of 1 to 3 into "preview" editions of the finished work.

Anyway, if you folks are looking for a project to support, I do recommend Sanctuary 1 to 3. You can write to Nate at OM Comics, 55 Ionia NW Ave, Apt. 315, Grand Rapids, MI, 49053. Or e-mail him at Thanks for keeping me on your comp list for the last year, Nate, and good luck the rest of the way! We'll be here waiting for you when you've finished Sanctuary.

What else have we got here? Oh, hey a letter from Joe Chiapetta! Yes, THE Joe Chiapetta.

"Hi Dave,

Long time no see. I just wanted to let you know that I heard your recent interview on Indie Spinner Rack and it was great to hear your Jack Bauer voice again."

Oh now don't YOU start. It was Scott McCloud who started that. That I look like Kiefer Sutherland. Now I SOUND like him?

"You really had so much insight to share in that podcast and I'm so glad I stumbled across it. It's nice to know you are still drawing and continuing your lifelong career as a cartoonist. I wish you much blessing with your photorealist project."

Photorealist projects. Plural. They breed like rabbits around here, Joe.

"It was fascinating hearing about Gene Day, early zines and your industry experience. I remember reading Gene's MASTER OF KUNG FU with my little brother and I never would have imagined being one step removed (through you) from him."

I wouldn't have pictured you as a MASTER OF KUNG FU reader, Joe, so that's make us even.

"The podcast made me think about my own origins in comics and how much your work really did have a positive impact in my own development as a SILLY DADDY cartoonist and self-publisher. The main concepts that you helped to reinforce for me are as follows;

1) a creator really can do what he/she wants in terms of content and from the heart is powerful!

2) Comics are not a second class art medium

3) Have a business plan if you want to be in it for the long haul.

4) A creator can entertain without compromising on what personally seems right to the story

5) If you say you are going to do something, do it!

So thanks for everything and God bless you. I hope we meet again some day.

Sincerely, Joe Chiapetta 2209 Northgate Ave. North Riverside, Il 60546

PS. I'm still doing SILLY DADDY (as a webcomic) It is 16 years old this year!"

AND still living at the Northgate Ave. address! Unbelievable. Here I am trying to get caught up on the mail and instead you've driven me down to the Off-White House Library to dig up my copy of the first Silly Daddy trade, THE LONG GOODBYE which reprints the first seven issues of your zine because I couldn't remember "Coach's" real name. Maria, right. The nickname, "Coach" stuck because you called her that all along and then suddenly she hit an age where she didn't want you to call her that anymore. For those of us who have never been fathers, it was a very effective moment. WHAT? But…but…Joe's ALWAYS called you Coach.

I'm not going to read the whole thing. "I Was a Shitty Father" – where you confessed to hitting Maria when she was five months old. Boy, I had forgotten that one. With that last line "Does she remember?" You did the story when she was two. "Suzy was sleeping off an argument we'd had the night before; about how Maria wouldn't listen when we'd tell her not to do something. Maria whines her way out of it and Suzy lets her get away with it." Yeah, a lot of that going around and just getting started. Creating strong, independent women. You were ahead of the learning curve in identifying that one. Flip to the back cover photo of the three of you. Suzy was a real looker. I remembered that part, too.

You always had a really primitive, infantile drawing style which is far from my favourite so it's a real testament to your storytelling abilities and your story that I remember as much of this as I do. Right #3. THE BIG DIVORCE. That was when you really started going to town with the visual symbolism, that great effect of having a doppelganger head hanging in the air next to you or Suzy or Maria, all the different covers for issue 4. Probably the best documented marriage break-up in comics history. "Coach in the Box". That was a cute one.

Well, I almost read most of it. Thanks for giving me an excuse. And thanks for the print-outs from your website. I'm writing this one down I have to go to the library to look up a photo of Ghandi for Secret project #2. While I'm there, I always think. There was something I wanted to look up on the Internet. But when I'm there, I always draw a blank. 95 photos? This I've gotta see. Hope you have ordering info for your books, but at least they can check out your webcomic.

Give me a call if you're ever going to be up this way and thanks for writing.

GIANT CLAM No.2 where Ralph Kidson gets some more mileage out of the Stick & Envelope GREAT GATSBY cover I did for him back in '99. It has CEREBUS on it for you completists. Very funny stuff. Noah arguing with God about how is he supposed to get up to the polar wastes in order to get two polar bears? A Ralphie riff on Cat Steven's near death experience that led him to convert to Islam:

People who prayed to God during near-death experiences and then died.

SKELETON: Yeh, I went swimming and got swept away by a dangerous current. And I was praying like a BASTARD all the TIME for God to save me! And DID he? Did he f—k. He's f—kin' over-rated, I reckon.

RALPHIE: Hmm. You see, you don't hear from people like that because

RALPHIE: THEY'RE DEAD! All you hear from are these smug c—ts, who often only make it through sheer f—king LUCK, banging on about how they were chosen by God for a special f—king REASON.

RALPHIE: Y'know? I mean, I'm damn sure every last ONE of those poor f—kers who copped it when the tsunami hit was praying and praying and PRAYING to God like a MOTHERF—KER. Isn't it a massive f—king insult to all those deceased to say, Well GOD think I'm some HOT f—cking shit, but you all can just f—king die and it doesn't MATTER? HMM?!

BYSTANDER: Oh, sorry. What? I wasn't listening.

That's my Ralphie. Order a copy from him at 3 Langridges Close, Newick, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 4LZ or e-mail him at





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.