Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #427 (November 12th, 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.


Nice fax from Ted Adams at IDW – who was also nice enough to send me the honking great first volume of THE COMPLETE TERRY & THE PIRATES he's doing. I did manage to read all the Sunday strips in the front, but I had to switch to the Day Prize submissions in the meantime (the clock is ticking down toward March 1 and 2 2008). As soon as I finish reading all the Day Prize submissions, the dailies are next on my list of things to do and I'll be running a review after that. The colour is absolutely amazing. If it was possible to do colour like that in this day and age, I'd be doing colour.

So he was serious about running my quote on the back cover of THE COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD'S DICK TRACY Volume 3. He even sent me a fax to show me what it would look like.

"Hi Dave, Here's the back cover of THE COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD'S DICK TRACY, Volume 3. Thanks for letting me use your quote. Please let me know if you see any errors.

"Let me know if you'd like me to add a descriptive line after your name (like `Creator of Cerebus"). I assume everyone knows what you've accomplished but I'm very happy to add something if you think it would be helpful."

Umm. How about "Noted Misogynist Who Isn't Making a Nickel From This, So Please Don't Take It Out on Us"? Or maybe D**E S*M to show that you got the memo and you understand that printing the name is like printing dirty words? Oh, you mean helpful to ME?

No, I can tell you're serious about this, Ted, and I appreciate it. I haven't seen any sign of the REX LIBRIS book I did the intro for (I did see James at TCAF in passing and he said Slave Labor was supposed to send him a bunch of copies but nothing yet) (couldn't be a certain female editor who would rather roll around in broken glass than send out any copies when she knows one of them is going to yours truly, could it?) and the P. CRAIG RUSSELL book I did the intro for hasn't turned up yet.

(note: The Art of P. Craig Russell has been delayed from its initial July 2007 release date. -J)

Yes, I'm sure it's just a coincidence. Good luck with volume 3, anyway.

Robert Gavila sent along a copy of NISHA 2.7 of 4. I had to laugh when I saw that. Robert does the book as a hobby and he's still climbing a steep learning curve so they take him a LONG time to do. I saw the envelope and I went "All right, Robert! Number Three!" Not out loud or anything, but that was definitely what I thought. Nope 2.7. See the way he planned it was to be 42 pages, 42 pages, 33 pages and 33 pages in issues 1 through 4 and this issue only has 23 pages, ergo, it's #2.7. The idea is that he can make the issues an annual event and embarrass Diamond into carrying his book. Well, it doesn't work that way. I mean, he has part of the argument right in that his work is now getting to a level where Diamond would be willing to carry it, but now they want him to redraw the first two to bring them up to snuff. That's not unreasonable. I mean, there are still a number of rough panels in here and it is really pushing the outer boundaries to the limit to expect that stores are going to carry a semi-pro, verging on pro comic that is a continued story when it takes a year to get 23 pages done. There is no question that CEREBUS was a semi-pro book when it started out (one of Robert's big beefs is that there are a lot of books, like CEREBUS which were given time to evolve and develop) but it also came out every other month regular as clockwork and at the time there really wasn't any competition to speak of. It's not as if Elfquest, Cerebus and Star*Reach were playing musical chairs with one slot in the comics stores. Now there are literally dozens if not hundreds of books all competing for the same shelf space so, now, more than ever you have to be better than the best that's out there, not better than the worst.

My best business advice to Robert is: keep going and get this story done, improving every step of the way and then start your next book as a semi-pro artist and do something self-contained. There is just no way that you are going to break in with an annual continued storyline book: no one can keep track of the plot that long. In fact arguably, one of the skills that comic store patrons are developing is the ability to "get over" comic books more quickly. If two issues came out six months ago and #3 hasn't shown up, yet, then "get over" it: stop waiting for #3 and buy something else and when #3 comes in, ignore it. It's like an unreliable girlfriend or boyfriend. Unreliable every once in a while, well okay give them the benefit of the doubt. Unreliable as a way of life – nobody is worth dealing with whose LIFESTYLE is being unreliable.

That's why I suggest a self-contained work that can be judged on its own merits and where the question of reliability doesn't enter in. It's here, it's self-contained, that's as reliable as the store and the customer need it to be. As Robert writes in his cover letter, "I definitely suck less!" There's no question about that, Robert, and my hat's off to you: but that's progress, that isn't a destination. Check it out at www.gavila.com

Struck a nerve with somebody. There's three postcards here from (it might be David but it looks more like Darl). Card #1:

"You asked for a flood of letters/cards if you would continue Sunday scripture. I say Please! Keep us from going to Hell. Card 1 of 3."

Well, I don't remember asking for a flood of letters and cards. As I recall I think I admitted that the only two people who were likely to be interested were Steve Peters and Margaret Liss.

Anyway, as you can see, (if these got to Jeff on time) the front is a terribly ironic-looking 1950s couple with the slogan "We're all going to Hell". How very droll. See the fact that they look like 1950s people is a way of indicating that going to Hell is something that people used to believe in back when they were concerned about their physical appearance and tried to look nice. The morons! What they need to do is get some piercings, some tattoos, and some hair dye.

Card #2:

"Second postcard regarding scripture on Sunday. I read every Blog & Mail but especially look forward to Sunday (This is ironic postcard 2 of 3). Don't let us look like monkeys."

And as you can see, the side-splittingly hilarious image is of a chimp holding a copy of Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES. Get it? "Don't let us look like monkeys?" See, he's pretending that he doesn't know that the image is actually of a chimp, not a monkey. So it's like a double dose of "post modern" irony.

Card #3:

"(Ironic post card 3 of 3) Don't even know what to say about this card. If you want recognition – try channelling less rage + more creating actual art. Is this really such a pasé idea? More scripture please."

See, the IRONY here, is just as he pretended to actually want more Scripture (Irony #1) and not to know that the "monkey" was actually a chimp (Irony #2), here he's pretending that he doesn't know that there are two s's in passé (Irony #3) – even though he (or she) got the accent right. And then there's the front of the card "some advantages of being a woman artist" where the IRONY (Irony #4 through 8) is that none of them are even remotely funny. See, you look at it and you go, "Oh, it's going to be a funny list to read". But then you read it and it isn't funny. In fact, it's pretty much insulting to women artists, but then it's apparently signed at the bottom "guerrilla girls – conscience of the art world." So that's, like, Irony #9 through 12. So it's just loaded with irony. Is it supposed to be funny? We don't know, so that's ironic (Irony #13). Is it supposed to be serious? We don't know, so that's ironic (Irony #14). And then David or Darl went ahead and bought it and even says, "Don't even know what to say about this card". So there's double Irony there! The fact that he or she bought it even though he or she doesn't understand it any better than we do…and then sent it to me JUST AS IF IT ACTUALLY SAID SOMETHING (Irony #15 and 16).

Wow. That's SURE a lot of irony, ISN'T it, folks? Irony in words AND pictures! Like comics, only in this case the words are on the back and the pictures are on the front. See: that's ANOTHER level of irony. The words and pictures are together but they're actually apart, too (Irony #17). Oh, how IRONIC!

Tomorrow: Almost through the mail


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.