Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #414 (October 30th, 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.


Scott's update on ANUBIS

"The handcrafted "shoe box" version of boxed minis is a complete success. I've finally figured out the right design! So now, I have a temporary format to work with along the way to completion. And I can exhibit it in a limited sense as I go. I think at this point, having a bit more hindsight, I'm ostensibly not far from the position I was in a little over a year ago with my plan for delaying publication (although, now in possession of a much-needed temporary format for my graphic novel). I really don't think of the boxed sets as a vehicle for publication. It's more a form of printmaking than anything else. It is a temporary format, no more. And I have streamlined my operation to the point that the ANUBIS graphic novel proper is going to be the only creative purpose that I will be tending to from now until the day it is done. There will be no more painting schemes or nebulous down-the-road creative plans between here and the last pages of ANUBIS. I've packed up by ox-hair brushes, canvas and hand tools. My catalog of paintings is stowed away. The future is a blank slate: reserved for ANUBIS. And although I do not know how I will get it digitally adapted, I know that I will somehow get it done, and hopefully be able to self-publish in the conventional sense of the word someday."

A blast from the past from Mr. D.:

"I first met you almost exactly half of my life ago in [deleted] 1993 when you gave a signing at [deleted] (I've always thought it weirdly-timed if not quite synchronistic that I lost my virginity about 5-7 hours before coming into work the day of your signing…an event that only grew more synchronous as sex and women began to play larger thematic roles in your story). I was the `kid worker' at the shop and it was really cool to meet you at the time – you drew some Elrod bunnies and Cerebus trees for me along with a head sketch. You probably remember the manager, [deleted] better than the owner because [deleted] was pretty hip to the radical changes going on in the industry in the early/mid 90s. As I recall, you printed one of his articles concerning the impending distributor consolidation crisis in CEREBUS. I saw [deleted] about a decade ago…married in L.A. – wonder what he's doing now."

Yes, it's really amazing how people come and go in this business. I remember having a lot of discussions with [deleted] through all of the convulsions going on. As it turned out, we were all pretty well informed about what was happening, in what order and for what reason. There just turned out to be nothing we could do about it as individuals when the time came.

"I am kind of writing for the Sandman parody issue but mostly just using the opportunity to say "Hi" and thank you for all you've done. In fact, don't bother with CEREBUS 161 as I have every issue from 50 on and all of the trades except the GOING HOMES (which is weird because I've gone back to re-read through the footnotes of both of those stories). [deleted] told me to start reading CEREBUS the day 151 came out – the beginning of the Second Half – astutely knowing that that would be a good place to jump on board. Then he gave me the first trade for my birthday and that about all it took. I know you're readership changed a lot over the last few years (maybe a decade for all I know) but I eagerly awaited every single issue for many years. It was very rewarding to read THE LAST DAY trade once it was all over.

"I think that's why I'm writing actually. I wanted to tell you that you have had a profound effect on my life and I don't imagine that effect will ever wear off. I don't agree with all your ideas, I'm not ascetically minded at all, and I have nothing to do with the comics industry short of reading and supporting the alternative creators that I like. While I certainly hold CEREBUS in very high regard as one of the greatest stories I've ever read and gained immense satisfaction out of your panel layouts, word balloons, and dialect-laden lingo (not to mention humor, themes and narrative structure), it's really more your artistic integrity that has improved my life so much. And it's not like my life has ever sucked (so far as I've noticed) and has needed improvement – it's more the idea that your example has always been for me a high-water mark of what we humans can achieve in this life, on this world. (At the risk of disappointing you, I'm gonna stick to `on this world' for the time being because I don't share your spiritual inclinations…yet. I'm 32 so I do have a lot more growing up to do…if I start conceiving of the highest echelons of the increasingly ascending chess boards of life in ways that reflect your Islamic-Judeo-Christian view of the universe, then I may just write you another letter).

"But here and now I live and breathe my influences – I think we all do. People with serious drives, creativity, and the will to see things through are the inspiration that makes me excited to wake up every day and to be creative, thoughtful and life-loving every moment. When I think about it, there are really only a few people who have had such profound effects on me. I'm a musician so people like Frank Zappa and Miles Davis are a few who would come to mind. As you no doubt notice, those guys are some of the only creative figures in pop music who have had career-spanning creativity and – importantly – malleable, changing and developing approaches to their life's works. I don't imagine you're too into Miles and Frank (as I recall you've gotten less and less into music and got rid of your stereo years – a decade? – ago). I know comparisons to Eisner, Eddie Campbell or *maybe* someone like Alan Moore would speak more your predilections and artistic ideals. But I see the world as being full of beautiful possibilities and I cherish having found influences that have led to certain aspects of life-enriched experience. And CEREBUS has always been that. And so have Dave Sim's ideas, writings, interviews and pictures."

Well, obviously, my perspective has changed over the years and I now see that creativity needs to be in service to God to have any kind of actual meaning. But for people who aren't there (or, perhaps, aren't there "yet") I think the example of Miles Davis or Frank Zappa or Alan Moore points in the direction of always giving a 110% so that you set your name apart from those people who were just "putting in time" on their creativity and settling for what they settle for. The biggest lesson is: Pass It On. "Measure up". It's very easy to dig down a few layers and find your inner professional musician and produce work that puts food on the table and a roof over your head. It's a very different thing to dig down to your inner Miles Davis or Frank Zappa and find that vein of work that will inspire future generations the way they inspired you.

Tomorrow: More with the Mysterious Mr. D


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.