Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #416 (November 1st, 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.


Finishing up with the Mysterious Mr. D

"Having a sarcastic view of the world as an outsider without dismissing the moments of beauty, irony, and synchronicity that revolve all around us – noticed only by those who work and learn to notice – is a wonderful gift and you, as well as your work, have given some of these skills to me. Art helps us to realize and conceptualize the world and CEREBUS has given tens of thousands of people some of the most artistic perspectives of the twentieth century. I'm sure I was not alone in having my own mess of a brain validated by watching Cerebus spend years in a bar either drinking, not drinking, or talking himself into/out of drinking. And that's only one example."

Yeah. It really is a foundational aspect of creativity that most creative people mention but which most people – creative and non-creative – tend not to register. While I was going through my own wrestling match with the bottle, spending literally years on end sitting on the same bar stool at Peter's Place, it did occur to me, "I can't be the only person in the world who is going through this or who will ever go through this." And that usually means you have a point of identification that is the basis of art. As opposed to CHEERS where no one ever seemed to get absolutely stink-o or to be actually wrestling with alcoholism. The difference between art and entertainment, I guess.

"Well that's it. Just wanted to say Hi and thanks. As someone writing in as a fan, I think I would appreciate you not really mentioning me on the Blog. The quotes from the Sandman fans are funny but I don't really want my own fanboyness plastered on the infranet. Maybe this could just be a (shudder) private correspondence between artist and fan?"

Sorry, I can't really do that anymore. However I have gone back and deleted anything that might give away your identity. It's one way of cutting down on the mail around here. Everyone who was fine about having their letter printed in CEREBUS is absolutely terrified of appearing on the Blog & Mail. Too much like being on television, I suspect – that is, being seen in Ultra Reality.

"Man, I was gonna sign off with `Enjoying FOLLOWING CEREBUS, too' but I can't stop without telling you how MUCH I loved the Neal Adams issue. What a great dialogue – from comics history to the expanding earth theory, that stuff was terrific. The magazine is nice, your art is great. I'm generally a little disappointed in the criticism/commentary about CEREBUS. I guess I don't know what I expect but they say if you don't like how it's done, do it yourself…I'll let you know if I get around to analyzing thematic coherences or dissecting symbolic formations (ay yi yi) in my free time. `Cerebus, author, reader, point of view' is what I'd be getting into. Your shifting narrative perspectives throughout READS is a real high-water mark of writing as far as I can tell…don't know if it's really `modern', `post-modern' or what and I really don't care. Nothing like really making the reader feel a concert stadium, a Lucasfilm spaceship and falling off the grey and into the black all in a few pages…s—t, man, I love that s—t."

Well again much obliged for saying so. In our present world there's only one accepted adjective for READS and that's "misogynistic" so I appreciate the fact that even though you don't share my views, you could acknowledge that I did something really interesting there. It was certainly a lot of hard work. Craig Miller is always wide open for people who want to write about Cerebus, but people are (justifiably) cautious, I think. The consensus in the field is still that Dave Sim needs to be shunned and that means anyone that has anything nice to say about him is going to get shunned as well. As you can see from my on-going dialogue with Gary Groth there's a definite wilful blindness on the part of the Marxist-feminists. He still maintains that because I've been the interview subject in the JOURNAL more times than anyone else that that makes it a good vehicle for expressing my opinions. I don't think that's the case. If a Marxist-feminist is interviewing you and you aren't a Marxist-feminist, all it's going to amount to is an on-going indictment of you not being a Marxist-feminist. It would be nice if someone could write an appreciation of READS and issue 186 somewhere but I suspect that's still years, if not decades, away in our society.

Maybe you could do it under a "Mr. D." by-line so that no one knew that it was you who wrote it.

Dan Fogel has been a busy guy lately. He called me a while ago to offer me a free full-page ad in the next edition of his UNDERGROUND COMIX PRICE GUIDE & SUPPLEMENT (which took me back to the days when the late Jay Kennedy first published his THE NEW WAVE AND UNDERGROUND COMICS PRICE GUIDE with its Ground Level Comics supplement guide in the back – I think there was a period of a few months or a year there where CEREBUS was the only comic book in both the Overstreet and Underground Price Guides). What's weird is that CEREBUS isn't in here, but there are a lot of books that are like LOVE AND ROCKETS, EIGHTBALL, ED THE HAPPY CLOWN and Don Simpson's BIZARRE HEROES. So he's not only been a busy guy, he's been a trend-setting guy, setting new rules for UG comics and, hey, more power to him. The undergrounds have been hiding out from the whole Price Guide end of things for years even while the prices have been going through the roof and a lot of research is being done. From the introduction:

By the time UGs like Zap Comics 1 ran its first print and made its commercial debut on Haight Street in the late 1960s, the print runs and rights to that series would go berserk in the following years, sending that title's total print output into well over two million copies over the next decade.

He has illustrations attached, showing the "hair line artefact" in the letter "Z" on the cover of Zap Comics 0 which only exists on the first printings, the 25 cent cover price and "Printed by Charles Plymell" found only on the first print copies of Zap Comics 1. Why is that important? Well, because Dan also has an "HRP" column on the highest profile books – Highest Recorded Price – and the first print of Zap 0 is standing at $2,760. The HRP on Zap #1 is $12,000. The second printing on Zap O drops down to $100 and the second printing on Zap #1 drops down to $3,450, so if you're paying those kind of prices, I assume you'll want to know the difference.

Tomorrow: More with Dan Fogel


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.