Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #411 (October 27th, 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.


Sandeep's going to be here in about five hours, so let's see if I can actually GET THROUGH THE REST OF THE MAIL before he gets here! That would be a first.

Letter from Jeffrey G. of Miami, Florida.

"Dear Dave

"I received the books I ordered from Aardvark-Vanaheim recently (I ordered all of the signed and numbered volumes in stock). A slim package that appeared to contain, at most, one book arrived a day before the package with the remainder of the books. On receiving that first package, before opening it, my first thought was, "Oh, well, I guess Dave was wrong and the warehouse only had one signed and numbered book left in stock."

"Well it turns out I was wrong and the first package contained a "special" signed edition, with a great drawing of Oscar on the title page. Realizing you simply could have sent the other books and said forget about Melmoth, I wanted to thank you for the gesture and the nice drawing of Oscar in my copy of Melmoth."

Oh, you're quite welcome. It was a bad month. First the Roberta Gregory fiasco where she said she had never gotten any comp copies. Flip through the freebie list and, yup, it's not there. Then I tell Jeffrey on the phone what books I have signed and numbered copies of and send his order to Recker. Julie phones a half hour later. "I haven't GOT any signed and numbered Melmoth". Pull out the latest inventory list. "Jeez, Julie, according to this, you don't have any signed and numbered Melmoth." "I just said that." Then I got the fax from Gary Groth with the end of Jeff Smith's interview where he says "We went on with our weekend and forgot about it." I don't know where I wrote about it before, but I was sure he had said – and I quoted him as saying -- "I proceeded to enjoy my weekend."

More than a little worrisome for someone who read the dialogue "Everyone dies in the end." "No. In the end everyone is dead. It's not the same thing at all." in a Roger Langridge story, what? Seven years before, ten years before I needed to use it in the front of CEREBUS 268? Recited it to Gary over the phone and asked if he could look it up for me (I've really got to start paying him as a research assistant) so that I could get the phrasing exact and I think I was off by one word.

It's a one-man operation and if the brain cells go bye-bye, that's all she wrote, brother!

Hey, I TOLD you I had another letter from Bryan Douglas in here somewhere:

"Dear Dave

"The one thing I've taken away from the Roberta Gregory affair is this: creators send each other copies of their stuff. Somehow this never occurred to me before. So without further ado, Last year's best selling Alphabet of Manliness!...including some illustrations by me. It is, for the most part, a silly, light-hearted book. But I also like to think of it as post-feminist literature (of a very low order when compared to CEREBUS) and am therefore proud to have been involved in it at all."

Well, thank you, Bry! Hate to belabour the Roberta Gregory situation but I had been wracking my brain trying to figure out why I would have given her a trade paperback (which I didn't usually do) instead of trading comp subscriptions (which is what I usually did). But now that you brought it up…

It was part of the '92 Cerebus U.S. Tour which had been built around Fred Greenberg's Great Eastern Convention on Sunday, a store signing on Friday and/or Saturday and media interviews Wednesday and Thursday. A few hours before I was getting on the plane to Seattle, Fred phoned to say that all or most of his dealers had bailed on the show and he was going to have to cancel it. Emergency. I asked him if he was going to be on the hook for the room rental and, yes, he was, he was cancelling too late. So, I suggested that he have them go ahead and set up the room with the 30 draped tables or whatever it was and I would phone (I think) Colin Upton in Vancouver and see how many cartoonists he could get to come out on Sunday with their books and sketch pads with an offer of a free table. I then left for the airport and by the time I got to Seattle, I think there were about a dozen cartoonists who were up for it – Roberta Gregory and Donna Barr among them.

That's really where the idea for the Spirits of Independence came from. It was definitely weird, walking into this dealer's room that didn't have any dealers in it and the turn-out was probably a couple of dozen people at most, but everyone had a good time and sold some books and did some sketches. The weirdest thing was the dead silence. No one had ever been to a convention where everyone was dead silent: the cartoonists were all doing sketches in silence and the patrons were all from the quiet end of the spectrum since they were grown-up, indy fans. Finally, somebody said, "Jeez, it's awful quiet. We need some music or something." And everyone laughed. And then someone started singing "The Star-Spangled Banner". And then EVERYONE was singing "The Star-Spangled Banner". And then everybody applauded at the end. That was when Colin started singing "O Canada" and I joined in and it was funny because it was only the two of us. Nobody else knew the words.

Anyway, part of the deal with the store signings (Perry Plush's Zanadu Comics, still going strong, hi Perry) was that the retailer got a whack of trade paperbacks fronted to him in exchange for hosting the signing and then selling the books at the Great Eastern show on Sunday. So, what happened was, Perry ended up getting probably three times as many trades as he could hope to sell in his store and there was no convention per se. He was going to be overstocked for months as it was. So, as I now recall, at the end of the "show" I basically just handed out trade paperbacks to everyone since it was either that or pay to ship them all the way back across the country. And that's when Roberta got her copy of JAKA'S STORY.

Thanks again for the book and the great sketches (which should be around here somewhere, right, Jeff?).

I've made a sacred promise to God that I will work hard, keep up with my prayers and pay the zakat if He promises that I'll never have to illustrate five pages of fart jokes as you have here (beautifully I might add, but still…) just to put food on the table. You can order a copy from But, seriously, folks, think it over before you do.

Mel Smith sent along a nice big packet of Gumby comics, postcards and trading cards (I got four each of Mike Mignola, Mike Golden and Bill Sienkiewicz so I can't wait `til recess to see what I can trade `em for). I gave the duplicate comic books to Andy at Carry-On to see if he can't drum up a little Gumby action in his store. Congratulations to Bob and Rick Geary on their Eisner wins this year. Well deserved and long overdue.

If you aren't reading Gumby what are you waiting for?

Nice note from Jim McLauchlin at Hero Initiative. You might remember that I did a Spider-Ham riff on Steve Ditko's cover to SPIDER-MAN 24 as part of the ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN 100 PROJECT where Marvel printed up 100 copies of USM 100 with a blank space and got 100 cartoonists to do drawings on them to support Hero Initiative.

Well, according to Jeff Tundis (who was bidding, so he should know), it went for around $1500. Jim sent along a list of the winning bids. Todd McFarlane was Top Dog by a wide margin with a bid of $6,701 (it was that last dollar that killed somebody I guess). Frank Cho was just a little bit back of him at $5,116.88 (which looks as if the winning bidder drained his bank account and then went scrounging for change in the sofa cushions as the clock was winding down). Joe Quesada/Danny Miki clocked in at $3,000, Tim Sale at $2,500, J. Scott Campbell at $2,247, Joe Benitez at $2,000 Ty Templeton at $2,000 (so there went my chance to be Top Canadian Resident), Tone Rodriguez at $2,000, Neil Gaiman/Joe Rubinstein at $1,945, Joe Linsner at $1,682, George Perez at $1,526…

The grand total was $81,475.21. I even got a Noncash Charitable Contributions form with it (#8283). I can't use if for anything, but it makes a lovely souvenir from Uncle Sam. It's a great book, too (I got a free hardcover). I had it sitting out on the coffee table and I picked it up frequently the first week just to thumb through it. You can order it in hardcover or softcover at Tell `em Spider-Ham sent you.


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.