Saturday, 23 June 2012

A Defender Of Liberty

Cerebus Backcover Advert (1997)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(from a News Watch article, The Comics Journal #189, August 1996)
The Comic Book Legal Defence Fund has named Cerebus creator Dave Sim and underground legend Paul Mavrides as the first recipients of the fund's Defenders Of Liberty awards. The pair were honored at the San Diego Comic Book Expo for their efforts as industry leaders in support of free speech rights.

Mavrides - who is perhaps best known for his work on the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers - was selected for his unyielding battle with the California State Board of Equalisation over their decision that only prose manuscripts could be considered exempt from sales tax. He finally won in court after five years of legal wrangling with the BOE that saw Mavrides devote an inordinate amount of time  to enlisting support for cartoonists.

Sim was given the honor due to his tireless and generous financial support of the CBLDF; by far the leading contributor to the fund's treasure chest, he donated more than $122,000 over the past few years, in addition to raising money for the CBLDF by selling autographs at conventions and giving away original art to be auctioned off. Sim donated his entire royalties from several projects, including the Spawn-Cerebus cross over issue.

(from the article The Comics Profession 1980-2000, The Comics Journal #220, February 2000)
Image is our next stop on the slippery slope to the deepening feeling of ennui and lethargy that has gripped the industry. Image, which wrapped itself around the Capraesque theme of the little guys vs the big, bad corporations of America, Mom and apple pie, is a flash-point in both the corruption of creator rights and the trend among professionals for mistaking money-grubbing for principle... How Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and Dave Sim could've been gulled by these idiots is beyond understanding (I'm not even sure how Miller's, Gaiman's and Moore's profiting obscenely by Image vs Sim's giving all his Image profits to the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund enters into the moral equation; does that make Sim smarter or stupider than the rest?).

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