Sunday, November 04, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #418 (November 3rd, 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.


Yesterday, if you'll recall, we were discussing Todd McFarlane metaphorically kicking some kid in the chest.

Different guys have different approaches to reviewing portfolios. I remember showing my own portfolio to Mike Kaluta back in 1973 and everything he said was instantly engraved in my mind as if he had taken a knife and carved it in there. That's really the case I would make for "finding something nice to say": all you have to do is remember how vividly you remember what a pro said about your work when you were an amateur to realize how careful you have to be in those situations.

Of course the guys who kick guys in the chest are often the ones who got kicked in the chest themselves, so they always figure that's the best approach. That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger. If the kid doesn't have the wherewithal to shake it off and get determined to prove you wrong, then he isn't going to make it very far. I think that's more true in the mainstream where they tend to be absolutely brutal so you have to develop a thick skin early on. But in self-publishing all you really have to do is find an audience large enough to support you. With a little talent and lot of hard work that's always going to be possible even if there isn't an editor anywhere in New York who would give you the time of day.

In the convention context, I think you always have to keep reminding yourself, "I'm seen as a famous person, as if I have the power of life or death over some young guy showing me his portfolio. I don't, but he thinks I do." I wouldn't want to carry the karmic debt of shooting someone down in cold blood. Especially when all you're going to be able to give them is maybe two or three minutes of your time even under the best of circumstances. It's going to take just as much time to say something positive as it is going to take to shoot them down in cold blood.

"It wasn't until high school when I picked up the pencils again. I wrote my first story

Called `typical Sunday' which was a bizarre murder mystery. I had only been back in action a

Few months when I got beaten up by some people at school and left with nerve damage in my

hands. I had to give it all up a second time. For a few years I worked at various jobs


Seemed to work. I got a girlfriend and things were ok. I wasn't very good at doing regular

Jobs due to limitations. I would fight as hard as I could but fall short. What I wanted was to

Be in comics and make a living at it. So I struggled to draw again. I wrote every day. I

Crafted a lot of things over 10 years. I was never trained at art. My work still comes off a

Little quirky and unrefined but it had emotional context. In my quest to come back I lost my

Girlfriend…in hindsight…not much of a loss. This failed relationship helped forge bigger

Stories. One being a book called MISERY MACHINE…which I'm working on in graphic novel

Format. A book that's taking forever to finish as it requires a lot of research into

Science, religion, and mythology in general – along with some history. I'm also working on a book

That will hopefully be released somewhat soon called THE DEAD WITCH which is my take on the

Action adventure horror dark comedy. When I finally release these books, I'd love to send you

Copies of them. Though I'm not sure how you'd react to them. The language and violence being a

Sticking point. My feeling with these works is that I could go in censored. I don't use

Things in exploitive fashion, but it's there.

It has always been a goal of mine to bring in audiences that usually don't read comics.

Primarily the female fans. Through my deviantart page I built an almost completely female base

Which shocks me given the nature of my work. Another goal being the recruitment of new talent.

As I make money (god willing) and expand I want to bring up talented people who would

Otherwise not get a shot in comics. But, first things first. I need to stabilize my situation as

I currently have no income and a stack of hospital bills. I feel that suffering as I do now

That if I work hard enough I can make it. I just have to get the books in the right

Hands. Make some friends in the industry. I'm not looking to make a fortune…I'm just looking

To sustain myself and do what I want. To live to the ideal you wrote about in that SPAWN. It's the outer fringe of comics that appeals to me.

So, yes, I'm a late starter…I have nowhere else to go. I have it really hard in the world

Doing the usual things people do. I have no prospects in any other career. So comics is all I

Have left and I understand full well the risk associated with it. With no options I have to

Turn to my dreams. Failure isn't really an option that this point.

Getting the copy of CEREBUS from you with those words on the cover means a lot. I feel like

Even in a small way I can do this. All hope was drained from things and you lifted me up a bit

So I can keep fighting. So for that I'm very grateful."

Oh, you're quite welcome. You know things are never quite as bleak as they seem when you're young. Everything's magnified because you're going through it for the first time. There was certainly a period of time when I thought `If THE BEAVERS doesn't catch on, I might as well kill myself – this is my chance, my only chance.' Well, it wasn't, obviously. It was part of the training I needed to go through, part of the learning experience, but I had no idea that CEREBUS was just around the corner. Always give 110%, resist the urge to feel sorry for yourself and you'll get your shot. If might not even be in comics. The world is full of very happy guys living fulfilling lives who thought they couldn't live if they didn't make it in comics. It ain't for everybody, that's for sure.

"I really hope I don't come off like a complete nut. I'm just really serious about what I do

As an artist. Sometimes it can be a little much."

Oh, hey, TELL me about it. The crazy thing is how seriously all of us take being "in comics" when it has about the same cachet in the real world as being a champion tiddlywinks player. MOST of the time "it can be a little much."

"Thank you,

"Rob. M"

You're welcome, Rob.

"P.S. Sorry, the printout is terrible. Also…I wasn't done in time but I am making some art for you."

I'll look forward to seeing it. Thank you in advance.

Monday: Roy and Dann Thomas

Tomorrow: picking up where I left off last Sunday


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.