Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #395 (October 11th, 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.


Jarett Kobek writes from Los Angeles:

"Three points:

"#1. A post in Neil Gaiman's blog extends your offer [of] a free, signed CEREBUS comic to any and all who drop you a letter and I'm wondering if that offer's still open? If so, can you please send me a comic? I'm not really concerned with which issue – but if you have any of the SANDMAN spoof left, why not? As to why I'd like an issue: I like free things & I also enjoy writing letters, and I like letters that bring me free things, especially signed comics by revered and reviled independent publishers and artists."

Your revered and reviled servant, at your beck and call. Gerhard even signed a few more of them the last time he was in.

"#2 Forgive me if this is an issue that's been addressed, but have you given any thought to publishing a volume of the 300 CEREBUS covers? I've no idea if cost would make this logistically possible, but I've long thought that CEREBUS, if nothing else, had the best covers of any pamphlet comic."

Well, thanks. We certainly had MORE of them than most people do anyway. David Banks in Nebraska (dpbanks on the internet) has been doing the 300 covers for awhile now. First as a poster and then as a hardcover book. The latest two that he sent me were a 300-page trade paperback of the 300 covers and a 50-page trade paperback of the first 50 covers. They're just scanned from the printed comic books.

So, if your question is "Are there any plans for a giant lavish coffee table edition of the 300 covers shot from the original artwork where possible?" the answer is no, not really. CEREBUS just isn't in the lavish coffee table edition category either in terms of where I'm putting my time and money or how much of a demand I suspect there is. If your question is "Is there any way I could get a copy of a book that had all 300 covers in it, just so I could have all 300 covers?" the short answer is: yes, David Banks could do you one. What would it cost? I have no idea. Presumably David would want something for his time and trouble and presumably he would want to compensate Aardvark-Vanaheim and Gerhard in some way. So, let me leave it at this: unless and/or until I can get to the lavish coffee table edition stage, I'm more than happy to let David do as many as he can get orders for for whatever he can charge so long as he gets compensated and we get compensated in some way. I suspect he would be able to do 50-cover editions more feasibly than 300-cover editions. It depends on what sort of cover price you're willing to pay. We're very big on personal responsibility and individual decision-making around here. I know, it IS terribly annoying, isn't it?

"#3. Forgiveness please if this happens to be another issue that's been addressed, but could you lose the Fifteen Things preface to your blog posts, or at least vary it up a bit? My complaint isn't content – it's just that I find scrolling through [them] with each post to be unusually irritating. This kills my ability to read your blog, which is a shame as I do enjoy your posts and, frankly, I'm one of this planet's most important people."

I had no idea! Well, I am flattered that you're reading these and you are, of course, forgiven, but I'm afraid the Fifteen Things stay so long as I'm the only person on the planet willing to enunciate them and stand behind them. If there is a sudden epidemic of Common Sense in the world and I start reading people actually making sense on the subject of gender politics (or whatever you want to call it) then I'll be happy to take them down. However, for the moment they constitute the metaphorical "thin blue line" that stands between the last vestiges of the Age of Enlightenment and the Ultimate Conquest of Humanity By Feministic Twaddle and Bunkum. Asa M. Larsson of Sweden will be the latest champion of the latter over the former coming up when I get to her letter (and the clippings I've been stuffing in her envelope since it came in). Your kind indulgence of my whimsical defence of the tattered core of Reality is most gratefully appreciated, Jarett, all the more because you are (by your own admission, no less!) one of this planet's most important people.

Interesting book walked in the door a while back, POISON THE CURE (PART ONE OF FOUR) published by The New Radio (good publishing name) written by Jad Ziade and drawn by Alex Cahill. The cover note was written by Alex:


"Enclosed is a copy of POISON THE CURE #1. It's a gift. I'm a fan of your work and a friend of Jeff Nicholson, who recommended I send this to you. Jeff is doing a guest pin-up in POISON THE CURE #2 and if, after looking at #1, you were enticed to do likewise, you would be enthusiastically invited to do so. Otherwise enjoy this book with my compliments and with my sincere appreciation for your own work."

It's 104 pages (seriously!) or more but still saddle stitched, so there's plenty of room to get fully involved in the story. It's a nicely layered introduction to Jad and Alex's world, starting with an alien civilization scouting what appears to be an earth-like planet devoid of life but with sophisticated sensor tools that allow them to pick up traces of what happened twenty years before. So already we know that this does not, as a rule, end well. The story they start picking up is of a small band of rebels fighting back against the monolithic corporation, Infinitum Corporation. The first confrontation we see is between a chick with a) a Mohawk b) a bad attitude c) a shotgun and d) a nice body who Dirty Harry-like (with the help of her plucky robot sidekick) blows two of the Evil Corporation's employees away with said shotgun.

Did I mention these guys are from Portland, Oregon?

The writer and artist, I mean. For all I know so is the chick, who goes by the name User Mugshot, which, I suspect is what happens to the hippy names when all of the Patina Sweetwines and Placid Sunrises in Portland, Oregon eventually decide enuff is enuff and, Olive Oyl-like, declare "that's all I can stands, I can't stands no more (out of my way, Popeye, you pansy), a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do and much as she deplores physical violence, particularly out in the pristine wilderness, there comes a time when it's either You or Haliburton" (sorry, Infinitum Corporation) "this pristine wilderness ain't big enuff fer the two of us, etc." (which is why I tried to be as politically correct as possible in listing her attributes in descending order of politically correct importance: just reverse the order if you want to see said attributes in descending order of market share importance).

If your inner Jeff Tundis has been starved for entertainment lately, this just might be the red meat to feed the ravening beast within.

I'm kidding. It's not quite as Marxist-feministic as all that. Well, okay, it is. But there are interesting moments of introspection, such as User Mugshot giving Miguel a hard time about never having learned to use a gun ("out of my way, Popeye, you pansy"). Miguel says

Pedro used to always tell us that the strongest way to fight injustice in this world is to educate yourself and to trust in your own intelligence. That every human being's first duty is to think for himself—and when there are many of us willing to stand together for justice and equality, violence will no longer be necessary.

To which User Mugshot replies

Oh, that's such bullshit. And you're an idiot to eat it up. We're pretty far away from that dreamland. In this world, it's my shotgun or death.

To which Miguel's younger brother Loquito offers

She's right, Miguel. I used to hear Pedro and Sonja argue about this stuff in their room. He eventually convinced her to stop carrying her gun. She's dead, Miguel. Don't think I understand that.

So, okay, it's a John Wayne Western only with John Wayne wearing a dress and humming "Kumbaya" to keep his spirits up while Jane Wyman saddles up with the reins between her teeth and a sawed off shotgun in each hand ("Fill your hand, you Sunuvabitch!") but, hey, looking on the bright side, it's also the Portland tree huggers having a conversation with themselves about Iraq (you know, in a way, if you stand on your head, and squint and try not to let the Mohawk throw you). And on the next page User Mugshot actually pulls guard duty for pansy Popeye and his younger brother ("You stay here and watch the womenfolk"). And it's a guy who tells her. No, seriously. A guy tells User Mugshot what to do and she does it. It's her Dad, but still. So all is not COMPLETELY politically correct in New Radio Land. And the action sequences that take up most of the rest of part one are pretty darned good, fast-paced and engaging. And Alex has a very unique drawing style.

Okay, having given the boys a hard time, I'll be happy to do a pin-up in one of the future issues. Not User Mugshot, though. Maybe the robot. Oh, and guys? I'm going to need a mailing address. The post office doesn't deliver to websites (yet). Whoops. Check that. Just found the illustrated envelope which is worth the 9 bucks by itself. The New Radio, 1416 SE Salmon St. Portland Oregon, 97214

Check it out at and see if you don't agree that it's worth the 9 bucks.


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.