Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #394 (October 10th, 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.


There are a lot of occasions when I'm glad that I'm not actually the Guru of Self-publishing that a lot of people keep trying to make me out to be, otherwise, at some point I'd have to face Randy Reynaldo saying, "So. Guru. I've been self-publishing for a few years now. What am I doing wrong?" You know you're not a Guru when your answer is:

"Beats heck out of me, Randy."

He doesn't publish as regularly as some guys (to say the least) but, as Tony Isabella said in Tony's Online Tips "If you like exciting, fun, well-crafted stories that are suitable for readers of all ages, here they are!" Here they are, indeed. If you go to you'll get to see the covers of the whole kit `n' caboodle, starting with the four-issue first run, ADVENTURE STRIP DIGEST. All nine issues of ROB HANES ADVENTURES (ten including the one I have here), ROB HANES ARCHIVES which reprints the original fanzine run of the series.

Maybe Randy and Rob's time has finally come now that a lot of the classic newspaper strips are being reprinted. The title ADVENTURE STRIP DIGEST struck a flat note in the comic store context but the "shared heritage" I think is becoming more of a norm now that we (that is the comic book market) have become, by default, the custodians of the classic strips. Randy's a huge Milt Caniff fan (you can check out his tribute to Caniff on the Centenary of Caniff's birth, February 28, 2007, on Randy's blog at and you can certainly see it in Randy's work. Good straight-ahead nuts `n' bolts storytelling – a lot like Batton Lash with SUPERNATURAL LAW. Like SUPERNATURAL LAW, it's an all-ages series and although it specializes in espionage and soldier-of-fortune stories in the classic Caniff mould, Randy also branches out into other areas if something attracts his attention as happened with the baseball story here in issue 10. I could have lived without the girl coaching the minor-league team (not Little League – I could get my head, barely, around that – no this is depicted as Triple A ball, that is, just under the Majors. To me, that does a serious disservice to all of those guys who needed the Right Stuff to make it that far, players and coaches and constitutes basic, albeit nearly universal, intellectual dishonesty in the interests of currying favour on the part of a gender that wouldn't read a baseball story if you put a gun to their heads), but what comic artist hasn't imagined at some point – particularly while watching the playoffs -- doing his baseball story someday?

Um. Okay. Good point. Most comic artists are geek kids from way back for whom sports is just that completely alien branch of reality that produces classroom bullies.

What sports freak comic artist (all nine or twelve of us, let's say) hasn't imagined at some point – particularly while watching the playoffs – doing his baseball story some day? Randy does a heckuva job while sticking to his resolution to do only self-contained all-in-one-issue comic books. So, he's got the possible romance, the red herring, the steroid scandal, the false leads, the final resolution and the Big Game all here under one cover. Joe Gill would have been proud, I think. "Here's how you get more story in your comics." The cover is hypnotizing, freezing the moment when Rob's getting ready to slide into home plate, the catcher throwing off his mask, the ball inches from his glove, the umpire with clenched fist ready to make the call. It's going to be a close play at the plate, all right.

Anyway, if you want to see if ROB HANES is your cup of tea, Randy is now serializing the early adventures as full colour webcomics at You can get "The EC Express", "The Real Julianne Love" and "Bounty Hunters!" right now (color by Barry Gregory). After reading all those – PLUS Randy's blog, photogalleries, interviews and articles, character bios, company history and checklists and more – for FREE at, how could you possibly resist buying the ENTIRE WCG COMICS CATALOGUE FOR ONLY $25?!!

What? Oh, I forgot, you're all internet brats. You EXPECT to get all that for free and walk away without buying anything. In fact if "bad manners" is a zero and "fundamental human rights to access free stuff" is a ten, I doubt any of you rate much lower than a nine in your own minds. Hmm.

Internet brats, Randy. That's your problem right there. The guru of self-publishing hath spoken. Ommm.

Darrell Epp checks in from Hamilton, re: THE COMIC EYE (which should be coming out soon, as far as I know) (even if it's been delayed, it's a good excuse for Jeff to run the cover here again with the contact info for Blind Bat Press: all of us who are not going to have Wolverine or a super-hero revamp in our first issues, helping each other out):

"Hey, buddy, I think your COMIC EYE cover is beautiful, even though I am MUCH more a Johnny Craig kind of guy. As to your blog post, there's nothing ignominious about having a walk-on in my obituary or whatever; quite the contrary, that's when you know you've hit the big time! Hope you like this strip. I guess in some ways I'm a "regional" writer; it always helps me to picture a poem taking place on a certain downtown street corner or something, give it a real back story before I started. And it was the same with the strips, I really asked the guys to cram in as many downtown-Hamilton specific details as possible. One reason was just because I think it works well, and I also just like the idea of making people from faraway spend a few seconds in a Hamilton frame of mind, whether they really wanted to or not. Actually, probably not."

You know how you do that? Sprinkle some sparkly soot from Stelco all over the interior pages.

It's a great one-page strip with art by Gp (who turns out to be Gord Pullar as I check the line-up card I had flown in specially on my private jet from Blind Bat World Conquest Headquarters – he's also slated to do the titles and contents pages. Beautiful inking style). It's going to be quite a book with a lot of good guys making contributions. Steve Skeates is in it. Where the heck has Steve Skeates been all these years? Tim Corrigan has a Fred `n' Marvin strip. Day Prize double nominee (with a new title coming out from IDW in November. Congratulations, Pat) Pat Lewis has a piece on Will Elder. That should be worth the price of admission alone right there. Mark Askwith does a tribute to Will Eisner's Spirit drawn by R. G. Taylor in his photorealism style. Bernie Mireault with a THE JAM strip (say, who owns the rights to THE JAM comic that Comico put out years ago? Easily one of the best super-hero parodies ever done and, yes, I'm including my own in that comparison as losing out to Bernie's). Fred Hembeck has a couple of strips in as well, Matt Feazell has a couple of offerings. I really enjoyed Ron Kasman's one pager (drawn by Canadian comics veteran Vince Marchesano) on Richard Comely, the creator of Captain Canuck. Mike Cherkas has a great strip about TRYING to thin out his comic-book collection. If you're a cartoonist and you actually own long boxes full of comics, the situation is pretty much out of control. When I moved out of my parents' house in '76, I went through my comics and got rid of everything that didn't motivate me to draw comics (i.e. no pure sentimental attachment books). I've managed to stick with that. I doubt all of the comic books I own would fill much more than a single long box. Rob Walton's in here, Matt Feazell, Suley Fattah, Earl Geier (I wonder if Earl's still working at Graham Crackers in Chicago or if he reads the Blog & Mail: Hi, Earl!).

Anyway, it's a great package. All of the guys from the 70s who are, however inexplicably, still around and on the cusp of old age. I'm kind of glad that not all the strips have come in yet, so I'll have some new material to read when the printed book finally comes in. THE COMIC EYE. Don't miss it! You can e-mail Mark Innes at for more info.

And what would a letter from Darrell Epp be without a poem? It would be like a day without Anita Bryant. Or something like that.

Mystery Guest

the worst part is the way the ladies

laugh at every joke he makes.

everybody wants to touch him.

he doesn't wear a shirt, his jewelry

is blindingly reflective. he laughs,

says, hey i just give the people what

they want, i never force them to do

anything man. His tongue is scaly like

an iguana's, prehensile like a chimp's

tail. he doesn't blink. i'm not even sure

he has eyelids. i ask who invited him. you

reply, I thought he was a friend of yours…

He also sent along some Victor Davis Hanson columns which I'll probably excerpt for the Sunday Edition (unless I get a better offer in the meantime).

Tomorrow: Jarett Kobek from Los Angalayze.


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.