Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #420 (November 5th, 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.


Got a comp copy of Roy Thomas' all-time great zine, ALTER EGO #71, a special Canadian Comics Issue reprinting the entirety of the text and most if not all of the illustrations from THE GREAT CANADIAN COMIC BOOKS, 1971. Hard to imagine, but yes, they did manage to get the entirety of a book into one magazine! Very much appreciated since my own copy of TGCCB is getting a bit delicate almost forty years later on so this means I don't have to crack it open as often.

Hey, remember a while ago when I told you to remind me of the story about Roy and Dann Thomas from the dinner we had with Will Eisner? Well, now you don't have to. Basically Roy had invited Will to come out for dinner with him and Dann and Michael T. Gilbert and his wife and Will said that would be fine as long as I got invited too (since he and I had had dinner the night before as I wrote about in FOLLOWING CEREBUS #4). One of those awkward Pariah King of Comics moments where obviously Will didn't know that you don't invite Dave Sim anywhere these days for fear of offending someone. But, it was one of those Whatever Will Wants Will Gets things that comes with the Living Legend territory. Even if nobody wanted me there besides Will, I was going to be there.

Out of deference to Roy and Michael, I took a place at the other end of the table, having had Will all to myself the night before with the intention of entertaining the ladies so that the boys could talk Comics Comics Comics all night (which is, obviously, what you wanted to do with Will Eisner). Well, at some point, I said something about Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Dann expressed an interest, so I developed the thought a little more thoroughly than I might otherwise have done at table (not wanting to be a social bore about my obsessions). Well, she was genuinely interested in Fitzgerald, but she could see that I was sort of beyond that point so she very politely said, "You should meet our friend Matt. He's probably the world's biggest expert on F. Scott Fitzgerald." And I flashed on the Thomas's address in South Carolina and I remembered that Matthew J. Bruccoli taught at the University of South Carolina. And I thought, "You have to be kidding me." So I said, "Not Matthew Bruccoli." And she goes, "Yes, you know him?" Well, I don't KNOW him, but I certainly know his research on Scott Fitzgerald having pretty much lived with it for a year or two while I was doing GOING HOME.

So, I told her that and she said, "Oh, you should send him a copy." And I said, "I already did and I never heard back from him." Oh, that didn't sound like Matt, she says. He's the most polite person in the world. Not realizing she had more to say, I started saying, "Well the only thing I could think was he was offended by the dedication…"

And she said, "No, that doesn't sound like Matt. The only thing I've ever known him to be sensitive about is…"

And I said, "I dedicated it to a veteran from a novice…"

"Scholar squirrel," we both said in unison. She gasped audibly. I told her I'd send her a copy of the book if she was interested in reading it and she said, yes, she was. So that's what I did.

I always thought that my "non-answer" from him had been unfortunate (but understandable and as far as I could see now verified) because if there was anyone I wanted to have read GOING HOME it was Matthew J. Bruccoli. Even if he hated it, he would probably be the only one of a half dozen people on the planet who would have "gotten" everything I had put into it. But, once a Pariah King always a Pariah King. I have to tie a pork chop around my neck to get dogs to play with me. Anyway, it was one of those stories I liked to tell on the rare occasion that I was in a social situation, most recently having dinner with Chester and John Tranh and Siu Ta the night of the Shuster Awards this year because, hey, what are the odds? Of me and a long-time friend of Matthew Bruccoli ending up across a dinner table from each other, I mean.

So, three years go by and flash forward to a few weeks ago and I'm in the post office and there's a package for me. So I go up to the counter and I get the package and I look at the label and I go (again) "You have to be kidding me." Bruccoli Clark Layman Inc. containing a copy of CLASSES ON F. SCOTT FITZGERALD and a nice note:

"Dear Mr. Sim:

"Four days ago Dann Thomas told me that you were disappointed or hurt because I failed to acknowledge your gift of GOING HOME dedicated to me. She reported that you thought I was offended by the description of me as a "scholar squirrel." Not at all. I never received the copy you sent. Anyone who fails to recognize a dedication as a great compliment is a dope or a nut.

"Dann and Roy—the most generous of friends—gave me today copies of GOING HOME and FORM AND VOID. I will read them carefully soonliest and respond. The purpose of this note is to thank you for the dedication.

"I'd very much like to have an inscribed copy. May I impose on you to provide it and tell me how much IOU for the book and postage? Cordially,"

How about that, huh? Six years later. Tell me miracles don't happen. So I sent him the inscribed book as well as about a dozen tracing paper drawings of F. Stop Kennedy and told him to share them with Dann. And shortly after that I got back an inscribed copy of the CLASSES book as well as an inscribed copy of CLASSES ON ERNEST HEMINGWAY and an inscribed copy of his book on the FITZGERALD/HEMINGWAY friendship (or, most of the time, "friendship").

Anyway, tomorrow, I'll run the latest letter I sent him while I'm waiting to hear what he has to say about GOING HOME and FORM & VOID as the world's foremost expert on F. Scott Fitzgerald and one of the world's foremost experts on Ernest Hemingway.


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.