Monday, October 15, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #399 (October 15th, 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.


A nice letter from Adam R. in Leicester dated 24 July. It's 2 October when I'm typing this so I'm almost back to the two month time lag answering the mail.

"Just a quick note to say "Hi" and thanks for the COLLECTED LETTERS (both volumes). I've just finished number two and, as usual, find myself nodding my head in agreement to a lot of the common sense that you write about. I did start the book by just dipping in but it was far more rewarding to read it as a sustained narrative – something similar to the original comic which I still thank you for – although your personal writings could transcend even this great work."

Well aren't you nice! And here I thought I was doing well when people said that CEREBUS was a great comic IN SPITE of my personal writings. I'm going to skip the next part which is more suited to a Sunday Edition, so that's where I'm putting it.

"Have you any plans to publish the essays in book form? I would really appreciate that – perhaps you could use the print on demand book service that you mention in the letters vol. 2 as a quick, cheap and efficient way for you to get them out there as I am sure I am not the first to mention them. Keep me informed."

Well, you know, here in the Internet age, you can always make your own – just with the essays that Margaret has posted to her website. Jeff Seiler said in his last letter that he prints out all the Blog & Mails and keeps them in a binder. I have no problem with that. If I'm not printing it – and right now I have no plans to print it with two secret projects to try to keep up with – anyone should feel free to print up a copy of the essays for themselves if they're a "book person".

"Assuming that you have the time and inclination to reply, is there any chance that you can let me have an address where I might be able to order ANUBIS – you mention this many times in both volumes. I am really intrigued."

Oddly enough there was a shot of Anubis coming into London on the Thames just this morning in the NATIONAL POST (2 October). Must be an omen. You can contact Scott Berwanger at 1100 Bellevista Court, Severna Park, MD 21146. Yes, I know I sent it to you awhile ago, but by pretending I didn't maybe a few other people will drop Scott a line.

"I used to joke with the comic shop where I picked CEREBUS up that when it finishes with issue 300 that would be the last comic I bought. Needless to say that was not the case, and I have discovered some wonderful stuff over the years. Some through the CEREBUS back pages. Just as an aside, the local branch of FORBIDDEN PLANET is obviously going through a bit of a financial crisis at the moment and selling off copies of the phonebooks dirt cheap. I purchased several copies – mainly intended as presents, etc. I did, however, purchase CEREBUS and JAKA'S STORY as reading copies for the store – they looked rather bewildered at me when I suggested it – but took to the idea. I nip in every now and then to see how thumb-worn they are and they are certainly being used – I did also notice that the shop has restocked the other volumes again (after a fairly lengthy absence). Hopefully they will remain available."

Hopefully. I think it tends to go in cycles with most of the stores. They get into a cash crunch, as you say, and blow out all their CEREBUS trades at an extreme discount so they can focus on what they want to focus on (usually super-heroes if they're getting a bit jaded or scared or the avant garde if they're feeling adventurous or optimistic, neither of which category CEREBUS fits in) (although now that most of the Market is moving towards Absolute Super-Heroes, CEREBUS might be considered "avant garde by default" in those stores that won't carry Fantagraphics or Drawn & Quarterly).

I used to drag Chester into the Silver Snail before we had lunch at Peter Pan and count myself lucky if they had even half of the trades in stock. The last couple of times, they've had them all including COLLECTED LETTERS. Anyway much obliged on your treating the shop to a couple of reading copies. It's actually very funny picturing them cutting the price that dramatically as a loss of confidence and then you turning around and giving them back as reading copies. I'd have liked to have been a fly on the wall for that one.

"Please tell me that you are not planning deluxe hard backs or oversized slipcase books of CEREBUS."

I'm not planning deluxe hardbacks or oversized slipcase books of CEREBUS.

"I really like them as they are but am not sure I would be able to resist the temptation. And money is rather scarce at the moment. Besides I think that would be a rather crass move. What's your view? I really am fed up with seeing the same material repackaged to death."

Well, yes, me too. Storage space is at a premium in the Off-White House Library. I can see hanging on to the serialized form AND collected form of my favourite books (From Hell, Bacchus, Alec, Rare Bit Fiends, etc.) but, just to cite one example, Chris Staros sent me the first copy off the press at Lebonfon of the new printing of From Hell because he knew I was shopping for a printer. Comparing the serialized version from Tundra/Kitchen Sink on glossy paper with the white newsprint Lebonfon did it on, I was instantly sold. They picked up a lot of detail that was missing from the first go-round. But I gave the copy to Sandeep after I had done the comparison. TWO collected editions of FROM HELL? I could get nine average sized graphic novels into the space occupied by one of them. If you have the 16 CEREBUS trades, I'm already taking up an inordinate amount of your shelf space and your bank account. That's the way I look at it.

Tomorrow: About The Mail


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.