Saturday, 2 March 2013


Paying For It (Drawn & Quarterly, 2011)
by Chester Brown
(from A John's Gospel interview,, 9 May 2011)
...I was considering, at a certain point, having Dave [Sim] as a character in [Paying For It], in the way that Seth and Joe [Matt] are, because Dave and I had lots of discussions about prostitution, and he was very disapproving... he disapproved of paying for sex. He thinks women shouldn't have jobs. He wants them at home getting pregnant and raising children, not out in the world having jobs. And so prostitution, for him, is just another job that keeps them away from their real role in life. That's why he disapproves of it. So I was considering having us talk about all that kind of stuff. But at a certain point I decided not to put him in there, which turned out to be a good idea once our friendship fell through. Then I would have felt funny about getting his permission for depicting him in the book.

(from the article 'Chester Brown's True Romance Comix', The Comics Journal #302, 2013 )
...In a Comics Journal interview Chester Brown says that Dave Sim disapproves of his whoremongering, which you would expect, but for reasons you wouldn't: It's not because he feels Brown's exploiting women or endangering his immortal soul but because he disapproves of women having jobs. You gotta love Dave Sim, sort of like you had to love Col. Muammar Qaddafi - anytime you think you've got him figured, he always proves to be even crazier than you could've imagined...

(by fax, 25 February 2013)
Hi Tim: Sorry to bother you again. Just got in COMICS JOURNAL 302 from Fantagraphics and hit the footnote on page 513 of the article on Chester. If you get a chance can you run this? Ordinarily, I would suggest leaving out the actual footnote but comparing me to Muammar Qaddafi, to me, once more puts Fantagraphics beyond the pale of fair debate:

No. I disapproved of Chester's whoremongering because I think that prostitution is wrong. But I tend to think it's a masculine wrong primarily. If guys don't "pay for it", voila, no prostitution. And I think a world without prostitution -- and strippers -- would be an exponentially better world. I used to say to him at lunch, "You can't really believe that it's a GOOD thing." And yes he did. He really does believe if you're nice to your hooker and make it a positive experience that makes it okay. I just can't see how selling your body to a stranger can BE a positive experience. Or even a neutral experience. I used to say to him, believe me, if I thought it was a positive experience or even a neutral experience, I'd be right there. Go shopping on the internet and pick your make and model? No. I tried it a couple of times and it was like going to see strippers. I couldn't wait to go and see strippers when I was 13 or 14. Women who just take their clothes off in from of you because they HAVE to? Because that's their JOB? Which strip club will I live at? And when I tried going it was "Oh." Because, they -- I don't know how else to put it -- they're dead inside. Or if they've been doing it a while, they're dying inside. But it's far worse than that. Their insides aren't dead or dying from natural causes. They've been killed by men or are being killed by men. And that's what I was participating in. I'd TRY and tell myself that I was just imagining it or I was going on anecdotal evidence. But, once a thing is seen it can't be unseen.

I have no problem with women working. Female cops and female soldiers I only have a problem with if you're lowering your standards so you can have more women cops and more women soldiers. As long as everyone has to pass the same physical tests and hit the same standards, no problem. But I think it's obvious that it is structurally unsound to have -- whatever we have now -- 90% of women out working. Half the population is capable of producing 100% of the births. If 90% of those people are working, as a society you are committing suicide.

I do take the side of Erika Kitchen, stay-at-home full-time wife and mother (whose husband is Mike Kitchen, creator of the SPY GUY indy comic book when she says she wants to get 'Too Good For Daycare' t-shirts done for daughters Anika and Raina and sons Erikson, Marcus and Zack. The more women who think that way, the healthier your society is (in my opinion).


Anonymous said...

I know that anyone that reads the comments on this blog knows that I am the biggest Dave Sim "kiss up" around here, but he just echoed my thoughts exactly. I don't go to prostitutes and never have. I don't like pornography and I don't view on or off the internet. I do not frequent strip clubs. It is all for the very reason he states: Look into their eyes, they are dead inside.

And no, I am not passing judgement. If you indulge in such things then just know what you are doing and try not to blow smoke up your own backside.

David Birdsong

crazyyears said...

I was all set to tweet a link to this post, as I was pissed off that TCJ was at it again with the Crazy Dave Sim = Crazy Col. Muammar Qaddafi thing, but then I read the TCJ article and did not find that statement or anything even close.

Am I missing something? Are the online TJC posts edited versions of the print articles?

If anyone can clear this up for me I'd appreciate it.

Michael Hunt

A Moment Of Cerebus said...

The link above takes you to just an excerpt of a larger article printed in The Comics Journal #302. You'll need to buy that issue for the full text.

Jim Sheridan said...

David Birdsong - if I could blow smoke up my own backside, I would not need to see a prostitute!!

I kid, I kid. That line was just too good to ignore!

M Southall said...

There is no doubt Chester Brown - or someone editing him - distorted Dave Sim's opinion against prostitution, taking the easy shot of turning it into an accusation of misogyny. In other words, realizing that prostitution couldn't be logically or morally defended, distraction was used to move it to an attack on Sim, characterizing his reasons for being against it as wanting women to be enslaved. As if prostitution doesn't most often have that enslavement dynamic already.

Eric Hoffman said...

I (and my wife) agree with Mr. Sim's comments relative to Ms. Kitchen. All available research (and personal experience) supports this view. Day care is undoubtedly a destructive force in society. Unfortunately, and for whatever reason, it is the only economic choice for many, many people. Yet for many who could choose otherwise, it is not, and that is a real tragedy.