Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #407 (October 23rd, 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 personal highlight for me at TCAF this year was finding myself sitting behind Robert Fulford, a legendary Canadian journalist whose columns and articles I read regularly in the NATIONAL POST, at the Doug Wright Awards. Brad McKay introduced us (Brad used to work at the NATIONAL POST). He was very nice about asking where my work would be on sale so that he could buy something of mine. "Oh, heck, I'll be glad to send it to you, if you want." So, he gave me his business card and I thought, well, okay, you asked for it and had the warehouse send him all sixteen volumes and COLLECTED LETTERS. He's a real first generation feminist, so I'm pretty sure nothing will come of it, but his was the name I always came back to when I was wrapping up CEREBUS and wondering who in the entire misguided Dominion of Canada would be even a long-shot chance to write about CEREBUS coming to an end?

There was a bit of a rapport there. As we were leaving the theatre he said that he had been interviewed about his long and illustrious career in Canadian letters and journalism and at the end she makes a face and goes, "How long are you going to keep writing for the NATIONAL POST?" I had to laugh. He was probably as surprised to find a NATIONAL POST reader at an "artsy" event in Toronto as I was to find a NATIONAL POST journalist at an "artsy" event in Toronto. But, alas, not being a feminist, that's just "beyond the pale" in this country.

Mr. Fulford wasn't terribly impressed with the Joe Matt Roast (sorry, the Seth, Chester and Joe Reunion) in his review on Monday, which I can understand (In his review, Fulford would also write that the event had been held in Old Victoria College "where Northrop Frye used to lecture" I wonder if it bothers him to think that he was probably one of the few people there who knew that…or, in fact, even knew who Northrop Frye was? I have to admit I only knew because of an article Fulford had written about Frye in the POST a few months before). It is difficult to "contextualize" Joe and having this giant blow-up from his first PEEP SHOW collection of the strip where he and Trish are having a knock-down, drag-out fight and spitting on each other (no, seriously, spitting on each other) and she kicks him in the nuts…well, I want to laugh because I had just read the whole collection before Joe came up, but pretty obviously it's No Laughing Matter. I was talking with Chet before the on-stage reunion and I notice he has a copy of Joe's new SPENT collection and it is just bristling with post-it notes. "Can I see that?" He hands it over. Yep, he's bookmarked everything in the book that Joe made up. Oh, boy, I thought, this should be good.

And it was. Seth and Chester had been waiting a long time to hold his feet to the fire and they sure did. I thought, Joe is toast. But, just like having lunch with the three of them at Sushi on Bloor, he ended up giving as good as he got. Never count Joe out. Chester and Seth would say that something never happened or they never said something ("Seth would NEVER say to a waitress `We're cartoonists'") ("I did not have a dirt floor in my room in the basement of the house I had with Sook-Yin") and Joe would sort of hem and haw and then finally Joe says, "Well, you know, whatever Seth says, Chester just agrees with it. It's always been that way." Oooh, I thought. Good one. Disprove that if you can. He rode that pretty good through the late rounds. They tagged him with a good right cross when it came to the panel where he shows Seth licking a loaf of bread in a restaurant so that Joe can't eat any of it. NO one would believe the fastidious Seth licking a loaf of bread in a restaurant. No, Joe maintained that that was exactly what happened. At that point Chester and Seth were rocked back on their heels. Could not believe Joe would try to bluff his way through on that one. But, he did.

So I stood at the head of the line at the after-party watching the three of them sign books, kibitzing a bit, but mostly just marvelling at how fast Joe can draw when he puts his mind to it. Everybody got a sketch in their copy of SPENT and I'll tell you something else – with all of the whacking off he shows himself doing, and spitting on Trishie and giving her a black eye he sure does get a lot of girls in his line-up waiting to get an autograph. A lot more than I ever did even back in the pre-186 days. One couldn't wait to show off to her sister (cousin?) that she got Joe's autograph and got to take a picture of him. I volunteered to take her picture WITH Joe so her sister or cousin could REALLY eat her heart out and she readily agreed. And Joe was still signing and sketching long after Chester and Seth's lines had disappeared. I got the last one. "What do you want?' He asked. "Old Joe Matt. Like the print you did with Seth and Chester."

So that's what I got.

Tomorrow: Ron Holmes, Chris Oliveiros, Chester and me "do lunch"


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.