Dave Sim's blogandmail #393 (October 9th, 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.
Steve Peters writes in his July 12 letter:
"I knew there was a couple of things I forgot to bring up in my last letter, but couldn't for the life of me remember what they were until now.
"The lettering on the SPARKY IN LOVE cover was, indeed, hand-lettered, to which Margaret Liss will attest – she bought the art, my first sale of my own comic art (I did sell a couple of tiers from our `Origin Of Sparky' jam to her as well, but we all know whose art she was paying for there)."
That's swell, Steve. What's my cut? Just kidding.
"I take it as a high compliment, indeed, that a world-class (or should I say World Class?) letterer thought my lettering was done on a computer."
Well, I really did. Even looking at it closely right now, it's amazingly regular. I wonder if you could make a computer program out of that. Obviously you'd have to factor in all of the different letter combinations and set up heart-shaped templates so that the computer could use the appropriate size of "font" depending on where you were placing the words in the heart. But, it seems to me you could spend thousands setting it up and still sell tens of thousands of dollars worth to all the girls out there on the Internet who are buying all of the HELLO KITTY stationery. "Heart-Shaped Computer Typesetting!" I think they'd eat it with a stick.
"Regarding the two jam pieces I sent in, the day after I sent them I saw that you had a few commissions on queue, as well has having done a pencil sketch in (if I remember correctly) the $400 range. Given my paltry offer, I suppose you will put the jams in the queue and I will get them back sometime in 2009. Hey, if so, that's fine with me."
Well, as you saw you got them back pretty much right away even though, yes, I had a $2,500 commission from Malcolm B. (my half finally completed back in August) and a $2,000 commission from Yoram M. The latter was intended as one of two companion pieces to his oversized "Bonfire of the Super-Heroes" (which can still be seen at www.cerebusart.com) which he asked if I could re-do the sky so it more closely matched the sky in the Frazetta painting (I had done the parody from memory). So, I did, and then the rest of the picture was way too light so I ended up re-doing all of it over the course of two days last week. Including the subsequent variation and Tony Basillicato's original "Cerebus on a Pile of Dead Smurfs" that I traded for the Cerebus Muppet, that makes four versions of the same Frazetta painting, so I think that's it for "Cerebus on a Pile of Dead [Fill in the Blanks]" as far as I'm concerned. And now that I'm aiming to do a bi-monthly comic book (the first issue of Secret Project #2 took me roughly five weeks) that's going to be it for the commissions at least until next year.
"Phooey on you for getting us all intrigued about Chester Brown's PLAYBOY story and then telling us `you'll have to ask Chester about it'. I've written Chester a few times over the years and never once received a response from him. I had an extremely awkward conversation with him at the San Diego Comicon a few years ago, and (for whatever reason) I couldn't `read' him and he made me very uncomfortable and I ended up making an ass of myself, so that was it for trying to strike up a friendship with him. So I guess I'll never know the story now."
Mm. Right. Phooey on me. Don't take it personally, Chet's like that with everyone and everyone thinks that it's just them. I didn't know that until Seth mentioned in the course of Chester's Doug Wright Awards interview last year that he had lunch with Chet several times and each time he wondered `Does this guy even like me, or did he just agree to have lunch to be polite?' I had the same experience. Of course it was right in the middle of my really becoming the pariah king of comics, so I was kind of philosophical about it. At least Chet agreed to have lunch with me which was more than anyone else would have done at the time. I mostly chalked it up to the fact that he didn't have a computer so he didn't know the exact extent to which you weren't supposed to fraternize with Dave Sim.
But, yes, given that virtually everyone isn't going to have the time or the opportunity to have two or three lunches with Chet before he finally opens up it was more than a little disingenuous of me to say that you should "ask Chester about it." From what I understand, the thrust of the letter from Hefner was that he was astonished that anyone "in this day and age" could be as guilt-ridden reading PLAYBOY and masturbating as Chester had depicted himself as being in THE PLAYBOY. Which I thought was interesting because, this many years later on, I think Hugh Hefner has to take a lot of the blame personally for perverting through his "Playboy Philosophy" that very natural response and attempting to "normalize" and make "guilt free" indiscriminate and undiscriminating lust. That is, I think we're hard-wired as men to have a natural sense of modesty and decorum and being embarrassed at buying pornography is a part of that as is self-disgust after masturbation. If you AREN'T embarrassed buying pornography, then there's something wrong both with the individual doing so and the society that treats it as a normal part of life. Owning dozens of PLAYBOY magazines, as I did at one time, is evidence of perversion, to me. If you want to look for a source of women and girls gradually choosing to look and act more and more like cheap five-dollar hookers over the last few decades you don't have to look much further than 919 North Michigan Avenue for your culprit.
I'll try to remember to ask Chet the next time I see him (hopefully sometime next week now that Ramadan is coming to an end on Friday) if I can get the actual text of the letter from him as well as any response he might have had. I've left it long enough that he should have a definite opinion on whether he wants to save it for THE ART OF CHESTER BROWN or something similar or if it's just an artefact he can't picture using anywhere so, hey, why not? I'll also ask if he wrote back to Hefner and what he said in his own letter.
Tomorrow: At long last, Randy Reynaldo and ROB HANES ADVENTURES
REPLIES POSTED ON THE CEREBUS YAHOO! GROUP
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
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:
Or, you can check out Mars Import:
Or ask your local retailer to order them for you through Diamond Comics distributors.