Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #465 (December 20th, 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.


The World's Shortest Blog & Mail Entries

EVER as Secret Project #2 Comes to the Direct


If you're a retailer reading this or if you're a friend of a retailer (and who among us isn't?) I don't really know what to say to you that you can say to your retailer about the ComicsPRO situation. I don't like to think of myself as coercing anyone into joining ComicsPRO just for the sake of getting in on Secret Project #2 on the ground floor. As I said, I'll be running most of the information here on the Blog & Mail at solicitation time so I don't think you'll be missing out on anything per se. What you might be missing out on is shaping the way that Secret Project #2 is sold. The next month or so, as far as I know, constitutes the largest amount of lead time any publisher has offered on a No.1, promising to remain completely open to any retailer suggestions of ways to make the book sell better. Obviously, by the time the whole promotion package is in place, that is, around the time that I announce it here, there's going to be absolutely no time to tweak it before the ordering period in mid-February.

I've got my timeline here of the sequence all of this is supposed to happen in.

I'm writing down "Jan 29 – Post ComicsPRO pitch to Blog & Mail."

So, okay, you can tell your local retailer that. If they want to know everything that's happening with Secret Project #2 they can click on the Blog & Mail for January 29 and read all about it there.

If they want to have input on the way Secret Project #2 is marketed they should consider joining ComicsPRO. Because most of the communication between ComicsPRO retailers takes place online I think it's prey to all the same deficiencies that make up most attempted communication on the internet. Because you can't see the person, you're more likely to say things in a far more abrupt or belligerent way. As opposed to their first meeting in Las Vegas where they ended up getting a consensus on just about everything right from the beginning because they were all human beings all in the same room and so treating everyone with courtesy. They're also just starting to get the charge of elitism backlash that is going to happen anytime you have only 100 or so people out of a potential pool of 3,000 or so people and you're charging a $300 admission to the party. Whatever the reason, a backlash is a backlash and it tends to make the inside people – if they've never experienced it -- more than a little "gunshy"

(another built-in implication of the Internet from what I can see: negative people dominate because just being vocally and immediately negative is a good way to make positive people shut right up, meaning that most of the communication starts negative and then goes more negative right from the starting gate on anything).

I'm hoping that the fact that I'm giving them a month's lead time to shape the marketing of the book in directions that they want will overcome that inherent negativity in the Internet context. I'm also hoping that non-ComicsPRO retailers won't automatically go negative on my proposals just because I offered them to ComicsPRO first.

Obviously there are no guarantees in either case.

So, this could be either the stupidest or best idea I ever had on how to bring Secret Project #2 to market. If the external and internal pressures are "getting to" the ComicsPRO retailers all I'm doing is offering myself as a combination scapegoat and substitute victim they can channel their infighting into. Which would maybe not be a bad thing for comics retailing in the long term: Dave Sim saved ComicsPRO from tearing itself apart by giving them something else to tear apart at a critical moment. It would be kind of an expensive contribution on my part and perhaps a needlessly wasted opportunity on their part, though.

On the other hand, if they're keeping their heads level even while they're starting to feel some heat and having their very existence called into question then I could very well be the greatest beneficiary of that. Future generations in the comic field could very well look back at Secret Project #2 as -- as Winston Churchill put it about the English people in the face of the Nazi threat in the gloomy years where nothing Great Britain did seemed to be going right – "That this was their Finest Hour!" It could be a watershed, a turning point, where retailers stopped being "published at" and became full partners in shaping the way books are released just by taking the bull by the horns and steering when they were given an opportunity.

We'll see.

Due to Dave Sim's recent computer difficulties, the December 25th blog&mail will be the last for the foreseeable future.

Announcements concerning Secret Project II and other events will be made as soon as possible.


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.