Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #400 (October 16th, 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.


Adam R. of Leicester England asks some good questions like:

"Do you have much mail still coming in? I suspect that the answer is yes. Are you still staying on top of it?"

Mm. No and yes. It's as if God measures my filing cabinet and decides how much more mail I can handle. As soon as it looks as if it's going to spill over the sides of the file drawer, it will drop off to close to nothing. As it did after TCAF. I've got an eight-inch stack of mail but half of that is stuff I picked up at TCAF. Of course, the innocuous-looking strata in between the trade paperbacks often turns out to be several multi-page letters which can often take more time to answer than it takes me to review a trade paperback if I don't have much to say about it. Two months on, it's always a surprise. Oh, right. This one.

"What about The Archive? I would imagine that that is either completed by now or in near completion – having said that, I guess that it could go on forever. Just how complete will it actually be? If you are like me, I would imagine that you are being rather anal about this one and won't rest until everything is documented."

The 8.5 x 11 and smaller Archive is all in chronological order. I'm pretty sure I'm missing a number of very basic publications and I've already gone on one binge of buying back issues that I was missing to "flesh out" the 3 copies of each that I hope to have. It's really a matter of sitting down with the checklist in the CEREBUS COMPANION and looking at what I haven't got three of and then ordering them. Sometimes I think about mentioning here that I don't have any copies of say, the issue of ADOLESCENT RADIOACTIVE BLACK BELT HAMSTERS that Cerebus was in. Of course that's a good way to end up with 50 copies of something that I only want 3 of. What I really need is the services of a full-time librarian for a couple of weeks but I know that I'll enjoy doing it myself when I get around to it. Compared to actually putting thirty plus years of paperwork in chronological order and bagging and boarding all of the documents, there isn't very much heavy lifting left to do on the Archive at all.

"Any news on its final resting place, yet? I am hoping that you have managed to keep it in the True North, but NYU sounded fairly prestigious as well. Is that a bit like Oxbridge? I really don't know much about U.S. Universities."

Well, I have a draft of my Last Will and Testament that's been sitting here all summer and that's one of the things I have to make a decision about. In the draft version, the University of Waterloo gets everything including the house and get to pick and choose what they want to hang onto and they've already made it clear that that's the paperwork and the artwork: they don't have any capacity for artefacts and probably wouldn't have any interest in the comic books unless they're autographed.

Also, the facility they have on campus isn't particularly secure since we're in the Land That Stalin Didn't Quite Forget so the idea of tight security is something they seem to see themselves as being "above". Security=Nazi Germany=U.S.A. That kind of thing. Most of their protocols involved doing back-flips in-house before you call the police if something's missing. Like all good socialists the police are always more to be suspected than any perpetrator of any crime who, to them, is probably just disadvantaged and misunderstood. That's fine if what you are housing is obscure archives of professors that no one has ever heard of. It's something else again if you have the cover to Cerebus No.1 just sitting in a file drawer and an "honour system" for people who want to take it out to look at it. They certainly aren't going to expend any money preserving some "cartoon" when they have serious Archives from people like the patriarch of the Dare Cookie Empire. Locally, that's huge. CEREBUS doesn't even show up on that map. That's not likely to change in my lifetime in a backwater town like Kitchener/Waterloo.

I don't know how well thought of NYU is, but the point is more the collection they wanted it for, which started with a collector who decided he was going to own every novel ever written and made remarkable progress in getting there before he passed on. That seems most advantageous because it allows me to forge a link between the novel and the graphic novel in context (I already sent Michael, the curator, two copies of the first printing of HIGH SOCIETY for that very reason) as opposed to the University of Waterloo where CEREBUS would just be this quirky thing that some local guy did buried out of sight and more a source of socialist resentment because it attracts international attention of the worst sort (that is, American, rather than European).

In the short term, I'm just trying to stay healthy because we are probably decades away from anything being viable. If I can make it to age eighty, say, before I crumble to dust, then I can maybe pick someone in their twenties or thirties to curate the place until they're in their eighties (using the life insurance that I don't have a beneficiary for) and to hope that 130 years or so would be long enough for comics to break out of the ghetto that they're in. It's a problem since I do want the intellectual property to go into the public domain when I die so the theoretical curator would have very limited resources to work with. You can't preserve an Archive and sell it off at the same time to pay the electric bill. Not for long, anyway.

It would be nice to be able to preserve the Archive within the house, but I'm not sure that any institution is going to go for that with the budgetary constraints that they're all facing. External premises are always more expensive than "in-house" to maintain and my best guess is that short of 130 years they would probably take the first opportunity to sell the house for cash and move the Archive in-house. If I mandate that they can't do that, they would probably reclassify the Archive as Local Culture or something and use the house for something socialistic that they were keen on and just stack up all the Cerebus stuff in a locked room.

It's not something that I lose sleep over. I've really done my bit by bagging and boarding thirty years worth of paper and putting it in chronological order, getting letters of recommendation from Cerebus readers on letterhead, maintaining everything. It's there and there's a public record of what I've done. If that gets screwed up after I'm dead, well, it wouldn't be the first Kitchener/Waterloo fiasco to make headlines (get a local to tell you the story sometime of the old City Hall getting torn down).

Tomorrow: More Musings on the Archive


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.