Dave Sim's blogandmail #448 (December 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.
STOCK INTRO INSERTION #6 - As you are reading this, Dave Sim is quickly running out of things to do on Secret Project #2 that fall into the "intellectual exercise" category and is, consequently, coming up on the point where he is going to have to decide if the project is a Go or a No Go. Fortunately, he also needs to be doing the Blog & Mail so, at least for the moment, he is able to use that as an excuse to postpone making a decision. Please stay tuned as he makes his way through the Day Prize submissions one at a time. Somewhere up ahead he has to make up his mind about Secret Project #2 – in the next week or two weeks, tops.
POWER MOVES #1 is one of Paul Sloboda's contributions this year from Fool's Gold Press. Paul's an interesting case. He's definitely in the semi-pro verging on pro category. A little too idiosyncratic for Marvel and DC but I bet he could do a Harvey Pekar story and give you full value for your money. The interesting thing about him is that he initiates these intellectual properties and then loses interest. He's probably best known for EXIT AT THE AXIS. This one he started in high school when he was 15 and got back to when he was 30 (ahem) three years ago now. It's really pretty well developed. You could give this to a DC editor as a blueprint for another artist to draw from and I bet it would find an audience. But, right now all it is is this first issue. Same with SALVAGER KAIN, TALES OF OCTOBER (his latest). FOOL'S ERRAND seems to be the one he's gone the longest with, 3 issues. First issue came out in 2000, second one in 2001 and the third in 2002. Really amazing use of black and white. I can heartily recommend his entire output with the caveat that he is going to leave you hanging. If all you're interested in is good comics, though, and watching a semi-pro guy really sharpening his chops, Paul's your guy. www.foolsgoldpress.com
Tom Williams who was a Day Prize Recipient for MISA is back with a digest, S.P.B.:RISE. It's a gorgeous piece of work but he's (personal opinion) going esoteric to the point of incomprehensible but I can't fault that any more than I can fault the guys whose drawing chops just aren't there but whose stories are interesting enough that I don't even really notice. I can and have spent a lot of pleasurable time flipping through Tom's work. This time out he's working in black-and-white, sepia tones and sepia variant tones with the occasional splash of green or pink or blue. The original strip (reprinted in the back) is really more of an infernal riff on PEANUTS than anything else. Tom admits to getting "weirded out by the possibility of it getting lumped in with the whole `goth comic' racket." The part I liked the best was his profile of each of the characters in the back. Check out Tom's work at www.opencrashcomics.com. You should know within a few mouse clicks if he's your cup of tea or not.
Jeff Zwirek's BURNING BUILDING COMIX #1 is one of those great formalist experiments that you always hope people will send to Scott McCloud. Essentially it's the story of a fire in an apartment building that starts on the ground floor, so Jeff's able to do two sequences per issue: in this case the bottom floor and then the fire spreading to the apartment directly above it. Presumably issue #2 will be the third and fourth floors. Very crisp clear artwork, no word balloons to speak of. Less formalist, but no less interesting is BLACKSTAR #4 a digest title which features two serialized stories, part three of "Long Reach" and part 1 of "Lunch Room" both quite intelligent works. He's got a recurring gag in the first strip (an autobio) where the character of Peter will say something in a foreign language:
Peter: It's time to start thinking differently.
Jeff: So what do I do?
Peter Schreiben sie namen nieder
Jeff: What's that?
Peter: Meaning you should try learning some other languages. It helps you think in different directions. It also means it's time to start FRESH! A CLEAN slate.
He gets him every time with that. "What's that?" followed by the name of the language, then "Meaning?" and then the explanation. It works really well. Very intelligent comics. Take a look at Jeff's work at www.jeffscomics.com
SUPER IFFY – MYSTIC FIST & THE MIGHTY OM ROD by Yuri Duncan and Micah Hornung is an interesting experiment: telling a 16-page super-hero story in colouring book format: i.e. one image per page with a single descriptive line at the bottom. One of those times that I think: "Hey I want to try doing that!" Yeah, right in all my ha-ha extra free time. No website but you can contact Yuri at 6171 Rosslyn Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46220.
You know, I try not to be paranoid, but when I'm presenting with three issues of SIHM from Something's Fishy Productions, there is a certain layering effect that I can't escape. Written and drawn by Maria "Wakka" Ciccone (isn't Ciccone Madonna's last name?). Obviously getting off on the wrong foot with "In the beginning, man created God and then, to further their efforts at groping blindly toward immortality, man created good and evil." At the back Wakka confesses "This book almost killed me." It's easy to see why. It's a very ambitious outing for a rookie and she's obviously trying to make use of what she sees in manga that appeals to her while not remaining slavishly "manga-oid". She fixes a lot of the obvious problems as she goes along while still ending up a little too close to manga home base to actually either stay out of the category completely (and so be assessed on her own terms) or to remain obedient enough to the manga tropes (and so be accepted as a manga guru or whatever it is they're called). Answering Frequently Asked Questions in the back of issue 2, FAQ #1 is "What is Sihm's gender?" to which she replies "Uh…Sihm is female. Why does it matter?" and FAQ #2 "What is Leon's gender?" To which she replies, "Leon is male…I mean, he's a demon…who the hell cares?" Well, there's certainly an essay question in there: Women always want gender eliminated as a relevant distinction and female artists usually draw their male and female characters so you can't easily tell which they are. Discuss. No website and I'm not about to print the home address of a college age female cartoonist without asking. Guys in comics aren't usually dangerous but they do tend to be poisonously obsequious and romantic and I can't imagine Maria would need that many people to cat-sit for her at a moment's notice. I have a call in to her.
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