Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The Cerebus-Ending Crisis: Can We Keep Going? - Part 4

A Portfolio of 10 Signed & Numbered Prints with Exclusive Commentary by Dave Sim
Raising Funds For The Restoration & Preservation Of The World's Longest Graphic Novel 



In answer to our Kickstarter Survey Question "Do you have any suggestions for future Cerebus Kickstarter campaigns?" Greg G of Los Angeles, California wrote:
Second suggestion is to break these campaigns out of the Cerebus fan echo chamber. Something like a Cerebus Archive - endorsed anthology of criticism, not unlike the Eric Hoffman book. And it should be real criticism, and Dave should have the opportunity to respond to it. Bring in heavyweight literary and comics critics and maybe the premiums could include signed copies by some / all of them, or a video of some of them reviewing their thoughts with Dave, or something like that. Serves dual purpose of widening reach of Cerebus dialogue and raising the bar on Cerebus as literature.

Personally, I find Eric Hoffman's book unreadable, although I sincerely appreciate that his heart was in the right place and am sincerely humbled by the fact that he devoted a disproportionately large amount of his valuable time to it relative to any personal benefit he could possibly have derived or derive from it.

That having been said, I didn't get past half of his introduction or flipping through to random pages -- because it read to me as "We, the good and right-thinking feminists of the CEREBUS fan community, are here to indict Dave Sim for thinking the wrong way and to make sure everyone knows that we think the right way -- the way feminists think. And to explain why -- even though we know Dave Sim and his book are wicked and evil -- there are still parts of it that we like. And to try to understand how Dave Sim became wicked and evil and recommend ways for him to become good and nice, like us!"

With all due respect, we've got Eric's book filling that need. It definitely fills an ideological niche in the overall CEREBUS context. If you or anyone else wants to find MORE and OTHER literary heavyweights and comics critics to craft another book occupying the ideological strata that (obviously) interests you a great deal -- here's why feminism is right, here's why Dave Sim is wrong, here's why I still like CEREBUS in spite of that -- I can't see anyone stopping you. I'm certainly not stopping you.

[I do think that you're ignoring the nature of the feminism which prides itself on keeping as far away -- ideologically, contextually and physically -- from Dave Sim and CEREBUS as possible. For 99% of them, even acknowledging my or CEREBUS' existence -- except as something beneath their notice and/or contempt -- is "beyond the pale". Once they've "gotten the memo" -- and everyone (besides me, I mean) has, I think, "gotten the memo" long ago -- their participation in, with or about anything that includes CEREBUS is just out of the question.]

You're welcome to contact Sean and Sandeep and they'll provide you with high-resolution images to illustrate why Dave Sim is wrong about everything. All you have to do is tell them WHICH images you think best prove yours or anyone else's feminist theses. I've never challenged anyone for reproducing my work for any reason. I know I don't get much credit for that, but I think it's a good example of my being a strong and enduring advocate of freedom of expression. And I'm sure TimW will be happy to promote ANY anti-Dave Sim or semi-anti-Dave Sim book here on A Moment of Cerebus by running excerpts and soliciting outside opinions.

I would qualify that with two "buts":

But #1: All literary heavyweights and comics critics are members in good standing of the Feminist Theocracy. If they weren't they would have been marginalized to a point of non-existence and/or expunged from society in general and the "right-thinking" comic-book field by now. That is, I think you're just talking about another part of the -- I won't say "Echo Chamber", I'll say "CEREBUS Context". Hardcore CEREBUS fans are the only people who will buy a book with essays about CEREBUS. I'm pretty sure feminists won't. It's a core point with them: Don't buy or support anything having to do with CEREBUS. Buy and support only those things that "toe the feminist party-line".

The only THEORETICAL way to create popularity about CEREBUS is to be enthusiastic about it and actively go to comics discussions sites and be vocal about holding the opinion that CEREBUS is a work of Literature -- up with the best of the best comic books -- and something every comics fan should own and read. Period. Not damning with faint praise like "While I realize that Dave Sim and CEREBUS are only suitable as objects for my contempt, there are still a few things, despite myself, that I like about them…" In practical terms, however, I don't think 200 can be heard "over" The Rest of Humankind "vocalizing" the Feminist Theocracy.

Which leads me to:

But #2: I think you're going to run into the same problem Eric did. If you say anything favourable about Dave Sim or CEREBUS -- to the Feminist Theocracy -- that just means you've indicted yourself as a co-conspirator, one of Dave Sim's "useful idiots", and made yourself a deserving object of their malice. "Why are you defending this terrible, evil person and his terrible, evil comic book?" These are not subtle, nuanced people. It's "0" or "1" with them. You are either a good person -- a person who is like them, a feminist -- or an evil person -- a person who isn't like them, not a feminist.

I don't THINK we can keep CEREBUS ARCHIVE or CEREBUS going much further, based on the available evidence.




Jeff Seiler said...

Peronally, *I* found/find Erik's book unreadable because of the vast (VAST) amount of typographical errors. I offered to proofread it for him, for free, and, once he saw the VAST number of typos, he asked the printer to reprint it for him, making the appropriate changes, for which they charged him again, IIRC.

When it was reprinted, in the second edition, the printer had corrected a lot of the typos, per my and Erik's suggestions. But, they had (and I shit you not) made new typographical errors. Yes!

So, I proofed it again and Erik asked them to do a third printing to fix the new typos and the ones they missed the first time. They said that they would and charged him for it, again, and then told him that that was it. No more reprints. And it, too, contained a large number of typos, per page, as I recall.

So, yes, seriously, I really could not read it because of it being so replete with errors.

I think I did read all of my buddy
L nny's essay, though.

JLH said...

I've supported each and every Kickstarter for the Cerebus Archive, but this will be the first one in which I actually buy a portfolio! I need to look into getting the prior ones via the Diamond editions.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

A whole post containing nothing but the usual Dave whine: "I'm not as acclaimed as I should be, and it's all Feminism's fault!" Keep it up, Dave; it's worked so far.

-- Damian

Jack said...

How do you think Dave would react if he had to live in an actual theocracy or even if he had to deal with the rape and death threats that online feminists are constantly getting? I have similar thoughts about right-wingers who call Obama a Commie tyrant--their heads would probably explode if they had to spend five minutes in Stalin's Russia. Of course, you can say the same thing about leftists who compare George W. Bush, Trump, et al to Hitler.

Dominick Grace said...

Part 1.
This would be the Feminist Thoecracy that elected Donald Trump, would it?

Anyway, regarding the repeated claims that the academy is somehow closed to earebus because of said Feminist Theocracy, speaking from inside that academy, I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty (let's say for argument's sake 98%)that this is untrue. For one thing, probably about 98% of comics creators have received little to no academic attention whatsoever, so Cerebus being largely ignored is hardly surprising, unless one wishes to assume that it is a towering work of unparallelled genius that could only possibly be ignored through a conspiracy against its message. In fact, outside of a handful of critical darlings, even the creators who have received academic attention have generally had fewer than ten refereed pieces published on them (refereed scholarship being the recognized gold standard). Bart Beaty and Benjamin Woo have actually done stats on this, in their recent book The Greatest Comic Book of All Time (which does have a chapter on Cerebus, by the way). And those critical darlings--the top one being Art Spiegelman, of course--are mostly folk who work outside the genre/superhero stuff--Satrapi, Bechdel, Sacco, Ware etc. Exceptions, such as Neil Gaiman (probably best-known as a novelist now, anyway) or Alan Moore, make up a relatively small number of the short list of extensively-studied comics folk.

to be continued...

Dominick Grace said...

Part 2.

So, how does Cerebus fare in Beaty and Woo's list? Two refereed works (based on the MLA database, as of October 2015), fifteen non-refereed (based on the Bonn database of comics-related works, also as of October 2015). That might not seem like a lot, until you consider that, for instance, Jack Kirby has only four and nineteen, Dan Clowes 4 and 26, etc. Chester Brown? Not on the list at all. Seth? Not on the list at all. The numbers have changed since 2015, of course. As of five minutes ago, the MLA database now has 4 refereed pieces on Sim (100% increase in a year; and I know for a fact that another refereed article on Sim is imminent and at least one more is currently under review), the Bonn database 19. Kirby? Still 4, but up to 45 on the Bonn database. Chester Brown? 6 and 17. Seth? 3 and 27. The suprise not how little Sim's work has received, but actually how MUCH. It is in fact pretty closely comparable to the attention given to the two other acknowledged great contemporary Canadian cartoonists.

... to be continued

Dominick Grace said...

Part 3.

As for the notion that academics will/do get shunned/shouted down/outcast for daring to work on Cerebus: bullshit. I have published two (non-refereed) articles on Cerebus, co-edited with Eric Hoffman the Conversations series book of interviews with Sim, and have presented several papers on Cerebus at various national and international academic conferences. I have taught both High Society and Jaka's Story on different graphic novels courses. If there is a working academic who might be identified as working on Sim, I am most likely the one. Now, how many times do you think I have been scorned, shunned, shouted down, dismissed, vilified, or even sniffed at for it? Would you be surprised to hear that the answer is never? NEVER. Every time I go to a conference and do a paper on Cerebus (and I always wear my Cerebus for Dictator shirt when I do so--and often wear it when doing other papers, too), I half-expect it to happen: that horrified question from the audience about how dare I to work on such a comics pariah. The outrage. The shock. the shunning. Never happened. In fact, when I have published on Cerebus, I have warned my institution that there could be potential controversy about such a thing. My institution has made no objection whatsoever to me doing such work. Nor has there ever been a word of controversy. Furthermore, I have on more than one occasion been encouraged by other academics and even academic publishers to do a book-length study of Cerebus.

I doubt I will do so, but not because of Dave's views on anything. Rather, because the thing is 6,000 pages long; a book-length study that could do it justice would take me years to complete. THAT is just as legitimate a ground for why Cerebus gets relatively little attention as is Dave's politics/views (which I do not deny are also a factor--A factor--as many scholars of course do not want to do work on something that they find politically offensive): prolificity works against one getting serious academic attention. Scholars, like other people, have limits on how much they can or are willing to work through--or, to put it another way, scholars can be just as lazy as non-scholars. I am fairly sure that one reason a writer like Anthony Trollope has received less attention than, say, Dickens or George Eliot is that Trollope wrote 45 novels, numerous short stories, and a LOT of non-fiction to boot. Contrast that with Dickens's what, fifteen novels?

... to be continued

Dominick Grace said...

Part 4.

Anyway, that's beside the point. My experience, my direct, personal experience from inside the academy, is that there is no conspiracy against or opposition to scholars doing work on Cerebus. On the contrary, there is active interest in such scholarship. I can guarantee you that I could find an academic publisher for a book on Cerebus tomorrow if I wanted to. Eric Hoffman already did, though that essay collection was not refereed.

Ah, but perhaps I could get a book on Cerebus published because I am really part of the Feminist Theocracy and have an appropriately negative view of the work. Dave may well think so. After all, he thinks Eric's collection is unreadable, and I am in there. That collection, however, is manifestly NOT anti-Sim, or anti-Cerebus, as I hope anyone who has actually read it will attest. it is, on balance, in fact, pretty positive in its various assessments, regardless of whether Dave agrees with them or not.

So, has Cerebus received little critical attention? Yes. Is this paucity of attention anomalous, requiring conspiracy or anti-Sim prejudice to explain it? No. IS there any actual conspiracy against critical study of Cerebus? No. Is there, in fact, interest in the scholarly community in study of Cerebus? Yes. That's the reality.

The end.

Dave Sim said...

Jesse Lee H. - Thanks, Jesse!

As you can see from the AMOC posts on the subject, we're having some trouble figuring out how long it takes for a CEREBUS item to actually become available from Diamond for the stores.

Diamond definitely has the first two CEREBUS ARCHIVE PORTFOLIOS in stock, so if you decide to order one or both of them -- or if anyone decides to order them or any CEREBUS item -- it would be helpful if you could a) keep at it ((i.e. don't take unavailability as a given if a store tells you Diamond doesn't have it), b) keep track of how many visits (starting when and ending when) it takes for the item to show as being available and c) let us know here how long it takes from the time the order is placed to when you actually get it.

If there's a Diamond Order Code attached to an item you see on AMOC that means that Diamond has got them. The only exception is for items that haven't shipped yet. That's where it gets a little bit complicated because the start of the Diamond order code is the month and year that the item was listed in the catalogue which is three months before it's supposed to actually ship.

We also aren't really clear on whether "shipped" means "shipped to Diamond they now have it" or "shipped" "shipped from Diamond, the stores now have it." Or what the difference in those dates is.

For my part, I'll make sure to post here when an item has definitely shipped to Diamond and see about getting Packaging Too to let me know when there's a confirmed arrival in Olive Branch MS (the location of the Diamond Star System).

I don't think anything actually needs FIXING, but I think it would help if we could get a general timeline so we can let people know what their LCS "experience" is likely to be (assuming there is such a thing and it isn't a case-by-case thing).

Dave Sim said...

Jack - I agree that hyperbole isn't helpful in any discussion. I call it a Feminist Theocracy in the sense that there isn't really a discussion ABOUT feminism allowed in our society. And that seems to be a) mandatory and b) becoming more mandatory. The One Right Way To Think. Feminism as the G7 replacement for religion.

Saying that anyone who isn't a feminist is a misogynist seems to me theocratic in its nature. And I think that's the situation in our society. And I don't think that's healthy. And I've definitely paid a price for saying that out loud.

Dave Sim said...

Hi Jeff - I'd caution against making typographical errors into the "be-all and end-all" of what you read and what you don't read. At the same time, I'd agree with you that it would probably be a good idea to accept volunteer help with proofreading if it's offered.

The same as if someone sends me a book and I read it, I'll keep a notepad handy to write down obvious spelling errors and typos. On the assumption that if there's a future printing, it's helpful to have a short list of them handy.

Dave Sim said...

DG 1 - Donald Trump, I think, was generated as a Feminist Theocracy "strawman" argument -- in a zeitgeist sense --: all good feminists know that immigration is the saving grace: the reason feminists don't need to be concerned about the collapsing replacement birth rate.

So, we'll have this non-feminist/anti-feminist present the argument against immigration and go down in flames.

The surprise for the Feminist Theocracy, I think, wasn't that immigration is of concern to people generally (although the extent of the concern I think WAS a surprise) but that it was of concern to the Feminist Theocracy particularly.

In the latter case, because if the immigrants are Spanish Catholics or Muslims, they have normal birth rates, which means when you extrapolate their immigrant population it's that much larger "down the line". A million Spanish Catholics will become five million Spanish Catholics a lot faster than a million feminists will become five million feminists.

Which is a problem because it means feminism will be overwhelmed by Catholicism and Islam. Which put the Feminist Theocracy WAY into bed with Donald Trump. Very much to their surprise.

Re: the Academy response to CEREBUS: one of the things that the Cerebus Archive will, I think, establish irrefutably is the steep drop-off in attention paid to CEREBUS after issue 186. Which I think was entirely political. Unless you want to argue that issues 186 to 300 are sufficiently lacking in quality that the they didn't merit the attention paid to issues 1 to 186?

You can argue that if you want, but I think you're being REALLY disingenous in doing so.

Dave Sim said...

DG-2 - I'd take issue with ACKNOWLEDGED. Seth and Chester Brown are definitely ACKNOWLEDGED in a way that Dave Sim and CEREBUS (and my other works) aren't.

And, again, I would point to the steep politically-based drop-off in 1994. You can pretend that didn't happen as you can pretend that there wasn't a Mob Rule tarring-and-feathering on the Internet for about a year there -- and, obviously, as a member of the Feminist Theocracy it's important for you that you do so: both reflect badly on the idea of the Feminist Theocracy championing free expression -- but, really, I think that's all you would be doing: pretending.

I'll definitely let the Cerebus Archive stand as a record of what actually happened as opposed to the ret-conning that I anticipate. And which I spend a lot of time here counteracting.

Wish that wasn't necessary, but it is.

Dave Sim said...

DG 3 - It would be difficult for me to refute what you're saying here without seeing WHAT it is was that you were teaching re: CEREBUS, HIGH SOCIETY, et al.

My own experience is that Feminist Theocrats aren't really aware that they ARE Feminist Theocrats. In the "does this fish know that it's in water?" sense. They see themselves as presenting objective well-reasoned theses on their given subject when -- for someone who isn't a feminist and who isn't a feminist because of the 15 Impossible Things To Believe Before Breakfast -- it's really just feminist cant. And, of course, you're never going to have trouble with enunciating feminist cant in the Academy.

[this ties in with an uncompleted thought that Jack raised the other day: how can I say that women have no ethics or scruples? Well, if they're feminists and they believe that having more female police officers is more important than maintaining policing standards -- with the safety of the public, presumably, at stake -- then I would call that unethical and unscrupulous. By definition. Theocratic. Politically-based. "Our politics is more important than public safety." That's nuts. But universally believed in the G7 countries]

Dave Sim said...

DG- 4 - This really just reiterates (for me) what I've replied to above.

Dominick, we're never going to agree on these things, but I do appreciate you taking the time and trouble to enunciate your side of the discussion so clearly and articulately -- and POLITELY -- as you've done here.

And for continuing to support me and CEREBUS. In your own well-considered and thoughtful way.

Jack said...

But Dave, I wasn't asking how you can say that women have no ethics or scruples. I was asking why you object to being accused of hating people who, in your opinion, have no ethics or scruples. You replied that you object to it because you don't actually hate anyone, which I guess is a decent answer. Maybe it would be more accurate to say, "Dave Sim believes that women are utterly amoral sociopathic idiots," instead of saying, "Dave Sim is a misogynist." But I don't think there's such a huge difference between those statements.

I do appreciate your willingness to argue about these issues, for whatever it's worth.

Bill Ritter said...

"Diamond definitely has the first two CEREBUS ARCHIVE PORTFOLIOS in stock"

For any who are successful in getting these ordered, let me know. LCS tried and Diamond informed them not the first 3 were not in stock.

Bill Ritter said...

On the positive!

Remastered GOING HOME and READS arrived at the store this past Wednesday. So those 2 are available.

Nice work Dave! Gerhard! Sean! Mara! Jeff!

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave says, discussing distribution through Diamond, "I don't think anything actually needs fixing". One thing that definitely needs fixing is that at least some stores are still unable to specify the remastered editions. I was told this just today, when I picked up my copy of the remastered "Going Home" -- which looks beautiful.

Dave acknowledges to Dominick that "we're never going to agree on these things". That's because Dominick has facts and evidence on his side, and Dave ... does not. I know that Dave's mind is hermetically sealed by now, but perhaps we can stipulate to this: Dave believes that he is not receiving the acclaim he is due, and believes Feminists are responsible for denying it to him. So far "The Too Much Information Answer" is "The Same Old Information Non-Answer".

-- Damian

Jim Sheridan said...

Regarding the response to DG 1 above: the Feminist Theocracy is in league with Donald Trump and is anti-immigrant? Please provide any kind of factual evidence. If you want evidence of Feminists OPPOSING Trump, I can easily provide that. Where's the evidence that feminists were in league with Trump? Without evidence, that's just sophistry.

Regarding the Academy drop-off in interest in Cerberus, I am sure gender politics did play a part. I'd also say that the book was aimed at a narrower market. It became darker and denser. It stopped being what a lot of people wanted it to be. This happened with the last season of MASH; it happened with Woody Allen's films too. Quick, see who prefers "Shadows and Fog" to "Sleeper"! I respect the ambition but am unsurprised by the reception.

Jack said...

I don't know how much it has to do with the main arguments going on here, but a few minutes of Googling indicates that whether male and female cops are required to meet the same physical standards differs from police department to police department in the United States. (In my home state of New Jersey, the physical standards for State Police are the same for both genders, but only 3% of the force is female.) Although men are certainly stronger than women on average, I would imagine that female cops might be better on average at things like diffusing situations and dealing with rape victims. Anyway, for the argument, "Women have no ethics or scruples because they push for women cops at the expense of public safety," to make any sense, Dave would have to prove (1) there is an inverse relationship between women cops and public safety and (2) all women know about this inverse relationship but push for more women cops anyway.

Dominick Grace said...

The first academic article on Cerebus was published in 1993, the year before issue 186 came out. Every other academic article on it has been published post 1993. I can't speak to every academic book chapter or discussion of it as well, but given that academic books on comics were rare as hens' teeth prior to the twenty-first century, my guess would be that the same applies there. Has Cerebus received less attention, overall, since 186 came out? I have no way of knowing but will accept that Dave would know. Certainly I do not doubt that, overall, it has received less attention--and that it has received less attention than it has deserved. Are the post-186 storylines less worth serious attention than the pre-1986 ones? In my opinion, clearly no. In some ways they might merit more attention. They continued to push and challenge--perhaps even to the point of breaking--what a comic book could be. There is a lot of deep, complex stuff in them, both in terms of the formal elements of comics and in terms of the ideas they explore.

They undoubtedly have received less attention than they deserve in part because of the widespread rejection of the ideological issues they explore. I would submit that there are other factors, as well, though. Whereas earlier story arcs can be read in isolation or relative isolation--even something like Jaka's Story can be digested reasonably well with little previous knowledge of Cerebus--subsequent volumes become progressively more hermetically sealed; one really can't understand them without having read what came before. It is unlikely that anyone is going to do an academic study of, say, Rick's Story--of which I would love to see a study--or Going Home--ditto--without reading everything that came before (well, no serious, responsible schlar would, IMO), so that just militates against many people being willing/able to study them.

But, it is just, simply not true that the academy has conspired against Cerebus study and/or has little to no interest in such study. Whether the study that has been done and mioght yet be done would meet with Dave's approval is, of course, another thiing.

Dominick Grace said...

Two further points.

First, a clarification: when I say the first academic article on Cerebus was published in 1993, I should stipulate that that is the first one that I kknow of. It's possible that some journal not indexed by the MLA has an earlier one, but if so, I have never found it.

Second, I find it profoundly ironic, Dave, that you believe that one can be so immersed in the ideological construct of Feminist Theocracy as not to know that one is indeed a Feminist Theocrat. I trust that you are aware that this sort of "false consciousness" argument--you are so immersed in your water that you don't even know you're swimming, or a fish--developed as a Marxist rhetorical gambit? I would respectfully submit that it is a very convenient rhetorical tactic if one wishes to deny or avoid confronting the fact that those who disagree with one may well have rational and well-thought-out reasons for such disagreement, rather than simply being sheep. I would submit, further, that it is a rather disrespectful position to adopt when disagreeing with someone. But, then, it is a common Marxist and feminist tactic, so I guess that should not be surprising. ;-)

Jack said...

Sorry to be posting so many longwinded comments, but I'll add one more thing about the theocracy comparison. I actually agree that even in liberal democracies with free-speech protections, people with unpopular opinions aren't welcomed into the mainstream, and conservative opinions on social issues (such as gender roles) are very unpopular in much of the mainstream American media, literary, art, and academic worlds at present. But I think that if Dave lived in an actual theocracy, he'd be dead or in prison instead of lacking Chester Brown's acclaim and getting excluded from The Comics Journal's Top 100 Comics List, which seems like a pretty big difference.

Also, I think it's worth remembering that what the mainstream deems acceptable has always been in flux, and the fact that Dave's opinions are currently unpopular doesn't mean that North America has suddenly changed from an open-minded, free-speech utopia into a fascistic hellhole. I remember Howard Cruise asking Dave something along the lines of, "What right do you have to be disgusted by me kissing my boyfriend?" and Dave responding to the effect of, "When you question my right to be disgusted, I hear the approaching footsteps of fascism." I agree that a law that forbids people to say, "I'm disgusted by homosexuality," would be fascistic (and by the way, I think it's already illegal in Canada to say, "I don't believe the Holocaust happened"). But at the time of Dave's exchange with Cruise, sodomy was illegal in several US states! Dave was more concerned about the potential restriction of his own freedom than he was about the existing restriction of Cruise's freedom.

Jeff Seiler said...

Thank you, Bill, for your compliment on my proofreading of Going Home. It has been, so far, actually the book on which I did the least work, as Dave told me not to bother with proofing F. Stop's dialogue/writing, since my proofreading sensibilities would clash across the board with F. Stop's "voice". In the end, Dave approved just 11 of my corrections, out of the 20-some suggestions I made. I suspect that the same thing will apply to proofing Form And Void, with the Ham Earnestway "voice".

Jeff Seiler said...

Dave, normally I try not to let typos prevent me from reading any written work. (Witness my having read Cerebus many times over. ;)) It is the reason, however, that I don't subscribe to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune or the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

And, one could say that I did read Eric's book, since I proofread it. But I was mostly reading for typos, rather than content. When I tried reading for content, after first receiving it, I was so appalled by the vast number of typos that I couldn't continue. I'm sorry if that makes me sound like a snob or the Typo Gestapo (good name for a band?). Someday, I will go back and read for content.

Dave Sim said...

I think Ivanka Trump is the answer to your assertions/questions about "feminists and Donald Trump".

I saw the recently concluded election as a Feminist Theocracy internecine struggle:

Old Feminist Theocracy (Hillary Clinton) "We have to have wide-open immigration to patch the holes in our replacement birth rate. That's okay, though! We'll just convert all the Muslims to feminism."

New Feminist Theocracy (Ivanka Trump): "We can't convert them that fast and our success rate is very low. The ones we convert are just disappearing demographically like we are and the ones we don't convert are breeding us out of existence. Same with the Spanish Catholics. We have to be REALISTIC about what's going on and not indulge in wishful thinking."

The Answer -- as opposed to the "answer" -- I think is that feminism has to recognize its unique character. Half the world's population is responsible for 100% of the world's births. It just isn't logical to say, "No the Answer is to have 86% or 90% or 95% or 100% of women out in the workforce." The Answer is an unknown % but, logic would tell you, substantially less than 86%. We can Not See That for as long as we want to Not See That. What we can't do is avoid the natural consequences of it.

I mean, no skin off my nose. Spanish Catholics and Muslims are both monotheists. My Team.

Dave Sim said...

Just sayin' :)

I think we need a feminist presence but we need a sustainable feminist presence which isn't what we've got in the long term.

I think a lot of it was "How SPANISH CATHOLIC is the United States getting?" And the answer is "REALLY Spanish Catholic" and -- either now or soon -- "TOO Spanish Catholic". And everyone had just been waiting for SOMEONE to say SOMETHING. DJT did and never looked down, never looked back: just went through the whole electoral process like a hot knife through butter.

Being concerned about immigration doesn't make you a racist any more than seeing feminism as seriously flawed makes you a misogynist.

IMHO. :)

Don't shoot the messenger. I'm hardly a racist. I think the more SPANISH CATHOLICS the better.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave: I'm not confident that you can prove you're not a racist by trotting out the ol' racist canard: fear of demographic extinction. Just as a rhetorical tactic, like. The idea that a country's soul can be perverted if the population gets a little too dark contains a number of assumptions, some of which might approach your opinions on women for unpopularity.

-- Damian

ChrisW said...


And that is why Dave and "Cerebus" will, for all intents and purposes, not receive academic scrutiny for a long time, if ever. As we learned by Hillary's defeat, these assumptions aren't so unpopular after all. "SJWs Always Lie" and similar books are selling quite well after all.

I think a collection of "Tangent," "Mama's Boy," the text sections of #186 and so on would have great appeal, because it's not so unpopular. And it would provide promotion for "Cerebus."

It's easy for me to say and I don't have a clue what Dave would do after spending the money to print up this hypothetical collection. The essays are already on the internet, but he's not going to promote them there or pay a publicist to do so.

ChrisW said...

I've been without sleep too long – and will be without sleep for a while longer, alas – but I'm actually pondering the mechanics of how to attempt to open a door that could lead to something fruitful as I describe above.

I'm willing to take the lead on cracking this nut. Someone has to. It might take me a bit of time to figure out exactly how to make the approach, but I'm leaving on a depressingly-long car trip in a couple hours, but I won't even be the one driving, so I'll have time.

I think the main problem would be making an approach to a publisher on behalf of someone else for whom I have no legal authority to negotiate anything whatsoever. It seems unlikely, but there might be legal questions about even making the approach. I know Dave has often stated "Cerebus" fans have pretty much unlimited freedom to promote “Cerebus.” It’s not like it’s illegal to go to Hollywood and tell a producer they’ve gotta make a movie about this talking aardvark. “Don’t worry, we can get the rights.”

In fact, I would also include a link to this comments page, so it’s clear I’m not trying to blindside Dave, as well as the link to Dave’s contact information on the ‘About’ page. I would also like to cc someone closer to Dave than myself, preferably Sandeep and/or Margaret in case they need someone who has internet access and can answer questions I can’t. If that’s not doable, I’ll take my chances. If the door can be opened on this, obviously the important thing would be get them in touch with Dave as soon as possible so negotiations and decision-making can begin.

If Sandeep, Margaret or anyone else are willing to be cc’d on this – Slambo and Dom are the only two I can think of who’d remotely have any reason to be needed here, but I might be missing somebody – I’d appreciate making sure I have your correct emails as soon as possible, as well as a decently-professional way to describe your roles, should the question arise.

ChrisW said...

If Dave sees this, then for his edification, the book I mentioned earlier, “SJWs Always Lie,” is an account of the writer's experiences in 2014 "Gamergate" and with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2013. It reads like a 21st century version of what Dave went through if Dave had spent decades channeling his competitive urges into video games – thereby competing directly against thousands of other video gamers – instead of the more solitary pursuit of writing and drawing comic books. The Amazon description reads as follows:

"Social Justice Warriors have plagued mankind for more than 150 years, but only in the last 30 years has their ideology become dominant in the West. Having invaded one institution of the cultural high ground after another, from corporations and churches to video games and government, there is nowhere that remains entirely free of their intolerant thought and speech policing.

"Because the SJW agenda of diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness, and equality flies in the face of both science and observable reality, SJWs relentlessly work to prevent normal people from thinking or speaking in any manner that will violate their ever-mutating Narrative. They police science, philosophy, technology, and even history in order to maintain the pretense that their agenda remains inevitable in a modern world that contradicts it on a daily basis.

"The book is named after the First Law of SJW: SJWs always lie. SJWS ALWAYS LIE is a useful guide to understanding, anticipating, and surviving SJW attacks from the perspective of a man who has not only survived, but thrived, after experiencing multiple attempts by Social Justice Warriors to disqualify, discredit, and disemploy him in the same manner they have successfully attacked Nobel Laureates, technology CEOs, broadcasters, sports commentators, school principals, and policemen. It analyzes well-known SJW attacks as well as the two most successful examples of resistance to the SJW Narrative, #GamerGate and Sad Puppies.

"Written by Vox Day, Supreme Dark Lord of the Evil Legion of Evil and three-time Hugo nominee who is described as the most hated man in science fiction by Black Gate and The Wall Street Journal, SJWS ALWAYS LIE is a powerful weapon in the cultural war against the thought police."

Dave Sim said...

Jack - Just wanted to be clear that I have no objection to female cops and female soldiers as long as they can pass the same tests as the men. In fact, I think that's GREAT!

Dave Sim said...

Damian - Uh, no, I'm talking about demographic extinction of a political viewpoint because the political viewpoint -- if left in an unlimited form -- is diametrically opposed to propagation. If you don't propagate at a normal level, and feminists don't propagate at a normal level, numerically, you're going to get outnumbered by those who do propagate at a normal level.

It needs -- in the self-interested sense, the self-interest of feminists -- to be limited. You have to figure out how many feminists you need propagating and how many feminists you can afford to have out in the workforce in order to sustain your population. It's a complicated math problem, but not an unsolvable math problem by any stretch of the imagination.

The problem with that, I think, is that mothers tend not to be sufficiently ideological to be "made use of" by self-interested feminists. "If I'm going to stay home and have kids and rear them, I'm going to leave it up to them whether they want to be feminists or not".

That doesn't "Work" for the Feminist Theocracy. If your political philosophy is "If you aren't a feminist, you're a misogynist" or (as seems to be the case since the election of president-elect Trump) "If you aren't a feminist, you're a Nazi", then you need ideological purity to even move to the next step: Feminists willing to live counterintuitive non-feminist lives in order to rear and indoctrinate population waves of feminists.

Dave Sim said...

ChrisW - Well, it's certainly something "new under the sun" and that doesn't happen every day.

The short answer would be: whatever I can do to help, let me know. And off the top of my head on that one: probably what you want to start with is a formal permission in digital form written by me for any CEREBUS fan interested in doing something along these lines (with a "project-specific" paragraph added in). That is: your desire is approaching some publishing (or "publishing") entity or an entity of any other kind with a package that I legally own. Attaching the permission as the first step towards a "done deal". And then just keep me posted in real time as to whom you've sent it in case they contact me.

The "criteria" I think would be a combination of "This is what's needed to communicate CEREBUS to the Big, Bad World" and "This, in my opinion, best represents CEREBUS". Both subjective. But, that's really the point. It isn't MY viewpoint, it's the viewpoint of the CEREBUS fan who thinks this is THE package and this is THE means of getting THE package out to THE public.

So the offer extends across the political spectrum on what type of project you want to do. I mean, if you want to do:


If that's what you think is needed: people need to be warned about CEREBUS and me, you SHOULD probably be seeing about getting such a book published.

Good luck on your long drive!

Jeff Seiler said...

Chris W---Slambo. "Now, that's a name I have not heard in a very long time." To quote a great Jedi master.

If you want to try packaging Dave's anti-feminist essays and think I can help, then I could certainly do the proofreading (I no longer trust publishing houses to properly proofread, especially vanity publishers). I could at least help out in that manner.

You may contact me at

ChrisW said...

Dave, I'm actually thinking more in terms of providing you revenue streams to assist your short, medium and long-term goals and not about "Cerebus" specifically, except as a beneficiary of getting your [face it] non-"Cerebus" work to a receptive audience.

You are a prolific and insightful writer. In addition to the 'anti-feminist essays,' I would also say your commentary on the Gospels could find an audience here, both for the possible worth of your material and the fact that both are, for all intents and purposes, finished packages that could be presented to a publisher already interested in these markets. Many of the men in these markets are devout Christians.

For instance, the 'pitch' I've been sketching in my head would open up with a brief-but-concise explanation of why I'm advocating someone else's work be published, a brief-but-concise description of you as a prolific writer with insights upon multiple topics. Then I would post a link to "Tangent" and say that I will spare the editor time and effort reading the whole thing because I'm going to spoil the punchline: "Instead, 1970 would become synonymous with..."

I think that would be a 'grabber' and most likely interest the editor in looking further in and possibly moving these projects forward. But he might read “Tangent” and think it’s too wordy or circular or whatever words editors use. However, the “Fifteen Impossible Things” could make a book, long or short, on their own. Break it down into fifteen chapters, then break each chapter into a few hundred or thousand words on how each Impossible Thing relates to, say, Art, Politics, Marriage, History, Religion, Sports and Miscellaneous. Could you do it, how many words, how long would it take you? Maybe you’d say you can’t do that, but you can offer a counterproposal.

[Perhaps I overtly-flatter you with compliments on your productivity, but it sure looks like that to me. I always liked what you said about #186 where you had been collecting clippings and anecdotes and such for years, only to realize afterwards that you could have written the same thing by reading a few newspapers and turning on the television.]

Beyond the money streams that any success on this level would offer you and the preservation of “Cerebus,” I think it would best serve “Cerebus” the graphic novel in the medium-term as a wedge issue. Suddenly “Guys” looks like the standout book for this nascent market. It has the bonus of ending on a cliff-hanger which both sets up “Rick’s Story” – itself ending on a cliff-hanger that successfully ends “Guys” – and leads an interested reader to “Jaka’s Story,” with no chance that he would ever ask when Cerebus is going to become a barbarian again or when Lord Julius and the Roach will return. “He was in love with your wife? After what we’ve seen with Joanne, Bear and Zigpig, what was that chick like?”

Of course all suggestions in this vein are just spitballing ideas into the ether and I don’t want you to think I’m going too far down that road with efforts yet to be accomplished, decisions I have nothing to do with making and a completely imaginary success rate. The idea of you as the Next Big Thing doesn’t enter into it. The idea of you as an Existing Overlooked Big Thing Who is Still Alive and Capable of Contributing More does.

ChrisW said...

By the way, I did realize before posting that I had twice written "brief-but-concise" but decided it was funnier that way than trying to fix it. "Brief but imprecise" maybe?

Dave, if the idea of tying this into Cerebus gets used, I think the cover should be one of your commissions of "Cerebus as Conan, atop a pile of dead superheroes." However, my Wolfspidey sense [hi, Jingles!] says that might cause problems.

[Sorry, I came up with the joke and I had to find a place for it.]

Jeff, no offense, but I wouldn’t include you on this except as a possible character witness if needed. I would place Margaret a distant second to Sandeep [sorry, Mags] and she’s Cerebusfangirl, a shoo-in as future Kitchen Staff Supervisor. Even Sandeep is mostly just someone who currently works professionally with Dave on a regular basis *and* has internet access. And Dave has said Sandeep does not want to become Dave’s personal email handler. I would like to cc Sandeep if he is willing, just so Dave will have as much access as possible to whatever discussions are going on. Dom’s name was added to illustrate this point, because he’s somebody who’s done something somewhere. I have to be involved because I’m the tip of the spear for this idea, but my whole intent is to bring the parties to the point where the publisher and/or Dave can say “Thanks, Chris, we’ll take it from here.”

Put it this way, Dave does not need to be known as someone who has a ‘personal proofreader.’ I’m trying to find a way to interest professional publishers who pay professional proofreaders that Dave produces prose packages they can profitably publish. [Sorry again, couldn’t resist.] I’m not thinking about vanity press, Dave already has that. I’m talking about companies that publish and sell a lot of books. For instance, I wouldn’t even suggest that they publish further editions of “Collected Letters” and would react with a horrified “Heavens, no!” if a publisher asked if I thought “Collected Letters” was a valid option. I’d give advice if the publisher believed it was a valid option, but I’d pay more money for the finished books than I’d be willing to bet on their profitability.

Jeff, I’d suggest that, when you have the time and inclination, you do the proofreading on whatever essays are relevant. If a collected “Letters From the President” ever becomes a real possibility, we’ll be riding the hoverboards and eating the food pills we were promised so long ago, and the world will be a vastly-different place, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

However, if one or three years from now, a publishing company has internally-assessed Dave’s work and authorized a phone call to be made, offering him $100,000 for a one-time collection of “Tangent,” “Mama’s Boy,” “Islam, My Islam,” “Why Canada Slept,” #186 and the Torah commentary from “Latter Days,” Dave can say “Sure! Send me the check” and he’ll look at your proofreadings for the first time ever.

By the way, this comments page will be my go-to point-of-reference for demonstration as well as authorization. Thanks to Dave for contributing, giving permission and providing insights like the “Ivanka/Hillary” comparison, and dealing with those who disagree in a respectful way.

Jeff Seiler said...

Chris--Well, that's confusing. "I don't want to include you" but "go ahead and do the proofing and then Dave will have it, down the line".

I don't think of myself as Dave's "personal proofreader". I see it as a business arrangement, wherein Dave saw the necessity for proofreading the previously proofread books, in order to assist in the attempt to get the best possible remasters out there. I believe that he asked me to do so because he had prior knowledge of my skill.

Tell ya what I'm agonna do: I will proofread the selected essays on my own schedule, not expecting to be paid for my services, but always on the back burner because the remasters proofing takes first priority.

Unless Dave tells me something different.

Who knows? Maybe he would want to "include" me.

ChrisW said...


Don't act so hurt. I misread your comment as wanting to be cc'd on the emails I'll be sending out so you could stay in the loop. That was my mistake. However you weren't offering to do anything you aren't already doing, so the offer itself was pointless, as was giving the world your email address. If Dave suddenly needs "Islam, my Islam" proofed ASAP, no doubt he'd turn to you and no doubt you'd help. If you've already proofed it, awesome, one less thing to worry about. Great job.

I did want to emphasize that us Old Fans who "knew" Cerebus when he was "alive" need to be completely out of the way if (God willing) I'm right and New Fans can be found where I think we can find them.

Jeff Seiler said...

Chris--Not hurt. Very confused and a little bit pissed off. You invoked the name Slambo, the nickname that Matt bestowed upon me years ago in the previous forum, so I naturally thought you wanted my email address. Perhaps you misremembered to whom the nickname referred and wanted someone else's email address. Fine. Really; if you don't want me in this hypothetical "inner circle", well, then, I'll take my red pen and go home. ;)

I think you're dead wrong, though, about the Old Fans, as you call us (I prefer "First-generation fans") needing to be "completely out of the way" (whatever that means--"out to pasture?"). I assume you include yourself as an Old Fan, even though my mental math tells me you're just a little over half my age. I think you're forgetting that the Old Fans make up a very large percentage of the people who are donating to Kickstarter and purchasing the portfolios, as well as purchasing the remastered phonebooks. If it weren't for us Old Fans, then either the remastering project (the Mt. Everest expedition) or Dave's personal funds would be dead in the water.

Furthermore, I think you may be sorely mistaken if you think that printing and binding Dave's antifeminist essays and getting such a volume or volumes into mainstream bookstores via well-established, professional publishers is going to lead to a sudden tsunami of sales of the Cerebus phonebooks (which are cospicuously NOT in the aforementioned mainstream bookstores and which are largely ignored by well-established, professional publishers, Penguin Press notwithstanding) to a whole new generation of (God willing) New Fans. And, apparently, your plan hinges on a belief that these New Fans (whatever age group in which they fall) would be *responsive* to and agreeable with Dave's antifeminist viewpoints. That, my friend, is a yyuuuuge assumption.

I would love, however, (as Dave likes to say) to be proved wrong. Good luck! (BTW, ask Matt how many mugs he has left. No, seriously; I broke one of mine.)

ChrisW said...

"OVERLY-flattering," not "overtly-flattering." Granted, I'm doing that too, but still... Do I need to start running my posts through Jeff beforehand?

Jeff, if I wanted your email address, I'd ask for it. Or I'd go to the Yahoo Group and find it myself. Those of us who remember "Cerebus" as an ongoing series don't need to actually be put out to pasture, but we need to accept that this is either true now, or it will be the truth sooner than we'd like.

To make an egregiously-overstated analogy, Moses had his tribes, Jesus had his disciples and Muhammad had his first three generations. Regardless of their importance to their prophets, those Old Fans didn't conquer the world [with the arguable exception of the Muslims.] They made it possible for the New Fans to do so, and history shows that all three types of New Fans have succeeded over the last 4,000 years. Which is basically what Dave said above about feminists versus Muslims and Spanish Catholics. We need New Fans.

Sorry Jeff, but "invoked the name Slambo" just screams to me of "inner circle." I envision a day where Dave opens a copy of my latest book to find a collection of in-depth discussions about "Cerebus" that I've taken from the Yahoo Group, carefully edited for spelling, readability and not much else. Wide-raging and divergent arguments about "Cerebus," yes. Me presenting my side of the epic ChrisW/Rainmandu Wars, famed in song and story, for future generations to pick sides and carry on with, no.

I do have one such discussion edited. I put it together during that "Following Cerebus: Yahoo Group" debacle. Since then, I've dreamed of having the time to track down all the best arguments so I could copy, paste, edit and format them into several dozen in-depth, wide-ranging discussions about "Cerebus," the kind Dave thinks we never had because we were busy talking about "Star Wars."

The New Fans won't care about what I just wrote in the last two paragraphs. They'll recognize the words "Cerebus," "Star" and "Wars" and move on. I'm just yammering about some book I may have written.

I think you're sorely underestimating the audience for what Dave and others have been saying for a long time. This is how we get Brexit. This is how we get Donald Trump as POTUS. This is how we get - if what I'm hearing is true - Le Penn [sp?] in charge of France. And, if I may be so bold, this is how we get people saying that a black-and-white comic book done by some guy in Canada has no chance of making it. It's the printing and binding and bookstores that truly matter because of course. How can you compete against Batman?

There are well-established publishers who have objective success among the voters for Brexit and Trump. They are successful and they are growing. They're the ones I'm looking at. What's the old saying, walk up to a hundred women and ask them 'wanna fuck,' at least one of them will say 'yes.' Metaphorically-speaking, I envision a way to ask a hundred-woman crowd if they wanna fuck, and a lot more of them will say "yes" immediately.

This is how we get Donald Trump as President. He knows how to make the sale, the "art of the deal." Notice Hillary has never looked back at 'that night' and demanded a recount, no matter how close the votes got in some states. She was schlonged really hard for the first time in her life, and she knows how badly she begged for it. Poor girl is still having trouble walking.

Jack said...

Good one, Chris! One might even say that he "grabbed her by the pussy" or "sexually assaulted her, as he's been accused of doing to multiple women"!

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Chris W.: You say, "Dave and Cerebus will, for all intents and purposes, not receive academic scrutiny for a long time, if ever," in the same thread that Dominick G. has already proven your point to be incorrect.

I am not certain that doubling-down on the misogyny will improve Dave's reputation and sales. Dave feels that he has been unfairly labelled as misogynist, and that this label has had a negative effect on his own and Cerebus's critical reputation. Your solution is to package everything that people point to as justification for this reputation (material that's already available to publish for free, and has been for 20 years), publish it under one cover, and ... what will happen exactly? Dave will make a lot of money and a mass audience will embrace Cerebus? I fear that seems more like wishful thinking than a real plan.

Your own misogyny is confirmed with your worshipful embrace of the GamerGaters. The quality of the debate was best illustrated by one side literally threatening to rape and kill the other side -- and the side making the threats was the side you support. I'm a little less supportive of raping and killing people who disagree with me than you are, apparently.

-- Damian

nonservator said...

Damian believes the media narrative about Gamergate. In Damian's reality, Hillary won the US election. Damian apparently also believes that it is ethical for a woman to violate a man's sexual consent, since that is what started Gamergate.

Jeff Seiler said...

Again, Chris, you are confusing as all fuck. Above, you wrote, "If Sandeep, Margaret or anyone else are willing to be cc-ed on this--Slambo and Dom are the only two I can think of who'd remotely have any reason to be needed here, but I might be missing someone--I'd appreciate making sure I have your correct emails as soon as possible..."

So, having been given the nickname Slambo several years ago, at the Cerebus Yahoo Chatgroup, I dutifully responded with my email address. Hey, if I can help out, sure. Why not?

And then you "politely" tell me to buzz off, as if I were somehow encroaching on private territory. Repeatedly, you do so. And kind of insultingly.

So, go on, have fun. I (and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one here) think it's very much pie-in-the-sky to think that you could actually, you know, *sell* this/these collections of essays. As Damian pointed out, they're already available for free or, I would add, can be obtained in back-of-the-issues form for around $3 or less. I think the collected discussions of Cerebus by Cerebus fans at the Yahoo forum has a better chance of, whattayacall, *selling*, but those would include exactly zero comments by Dave, and are also available for free by going to the still-running (to my knowledge) chatgroup.

But, hey, good luck! Just, without me. Which you apparently intended all along, even though you called me out and said I might be needed. Or, is there some other Cerebus fan with the nickname Slambo who has some professional (or, "professional") skill which you can utilize for your project?

And, just to stir the waters and muddy things some more, how many commentors here who are NOT first-gen, Old Fans, want us Old Fans to fade away to make room for you? Do you, the "New Fans" honestly believe that we, the "Old Fans", have no insights to offer and are just in the way? Or, do you think we, the "Old Fans", can, hypothetically, provide information that could augment your appreciation of all things Cerebus, and that you'd like for us to stick around and be accessible, just in case, hypothetically, the need for first-gen insights might arise?

Seriously, I'm curious. Even if Chris isn't.

ChrisW said...

Jeff, you're acting hurt again. "Who'd remotely have any reason to be needed here" are the key words. I'm preparing an incursion into potentially-hostile territory. I don't expect it to be hostile, but that's not the way you prepare a successful incursion. You look at the potential problems and you make sure you have support ready if they're needed, if there's remotely any reason to need them. Dave said above to notify him in real time in case someone contacted him, which is what I was doing here. The guy who jumps up to help immediately when there's no obvious need is as much a potential liability as the guy who has to be dragged kicking and screaming.

I had a longer response to Damien which got eaten by the internet regarding the fact that Dave can't offer "first publishing rights" for most of this stuff [as far as I know, his Gospel commentaries remain unpublished] and how I'm not happy about that, but regardless, is anybody looking for his work? I think "Comics and the Mass Medium" is more relevant than ever in today's world of billion-dollar superhero franchises, especially Dave's analysis of the internet, but he didn't even include it in the revised "Guide to Self-Publishing." And is anybody looking for it? Anybody who won't automatically label it "misogynist" because Dave Sim wrote it?

Sorry, but the rest of your post still screams "inner circle." People who were starting grade school when Cerebus died are now old enough to vote. The people who were just old enough to vote when Cerebus died started grade school before the first Gulf War. The people who became old enough to vote during Gulf War I started grade school about the time "Cerebus" began.

If, God willing, Dave and "Cerebus" can find New Fans, those New Fans won't care what Old Fans thought about anything so much as they'll care about what Dave's work says to them Today. It's the nature of the beast. You actually think they're going to go through the Yahoo discussions to find anything worth reading about "Cerebus"? That's not how they roll.

It's a New World. "Cerebus" needs New Fans. Dave needs New Fans, and I think they can be found. Serna certainly wouldn't approve of the attempt, but that's kind of the point, isn't it?

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Nonservator: Sandeep, is that you?

Chris W.: From here, you seem a bit pugnacious. It looks like you proposed an idea, Jeff S. said, "I'll help!", and you took offense. Is that how you both intended to come off?

On another point: You acknowledge, Chris, that Dave has a pre-existing reputation as a misogynist that might pre-encourage readers to reject his work. In such a marketplace, I really think it would be a mistake to offer a collection of the very work that gave Dave this reputation -- unless your goal is to further cement this reputation in the public's mind. You may feel (as I don't) that this is perceptive and important work, and is thus worth doing and consequences be damned, but that is a different motivation.

Nor am I certain there is an audience for Dave's "Gospel Commentaries". His sort of neo-gnosticism isn't really mainstream to either secular Biblical scholarship or believers' Biblical interpretations. The failures of Judenhass and Glamourpuss show that the comics audience won't follow wherever Dave leads, and outside the comics field he's a nobody. Maybe it could find an audience, but I think it would probably be only a small one, and wouldn't help Dave much in the current context. Again, you may feel that Dave's commentaries have enough worth as commentaries that they should be published, but I think that's a separate matter than "Can We Keep Going?" posts.

A project that I think might work is the previously-mentioned collection of critical essays about Cerebus. I think there would be an audience for such a book. The failure of Dave's other projects shows that comics readers don't want "comics by Dave Sim", but Diamond's support and (I hope) sales on Cerebus In Hell show that comics readers do want "Cerebus by Dave Sim". And such a book would demonstrate that Cerebus is a work worthy of critical attention.

-- Damian

ChrisW said...

I need to stop responding to Damian. The internet ate my answer again. Here's what I managed to salvage:

If I were an editor at Marvel or DC, I would be doing everything I could to get Dave to plot a dozen or more issues of whatever title he has ideas for, and submit proposals for anything else. "Power Pack," "Millie the Model" or "Comet the Superhorse" no problem. [sorry, Jingles.] He knows the restrictions, he knows he won't own the results, he knows his work will be changed, and I wouldn't even think of asking him to script unless he volunteers to do it for the extra paycheck.

I did say more and address Damian directly, but this is ridiculous, why is there a limit on characters?

Jeff Seiler said...

Actually, Chris, I think the key words, those which caused the confusion in the first case, are "If...anyone else [is] willing to be cc-ed on this...". "Anyone else" seems to imply that you were saying "all hands on deck"--anyone else who wants to help out. If, say, Travis Pelkie or, say, Tony Dunlop had said, "hey, Chris, good idea; sign me up!" would you have responded to them in the same manner?

You opened the door by writing "anyone else" and by writing that Slambo might be able to help. You wrote that you wanted the "anyone else[s]" to make sure that they got their email addresses to you asap but, when I did so, you wrote that if you had *wanted* my email address, then you would have *asked* me for it or would have found it on your own. Well, the thing is: YOU DID did ask for it!

You seem very proprietary about this, which is okay. It's natural; you came up with what you think is a sure-fire, can't miss idea to increase public knowledge of Dave Sim and his works and to generate revenue (presumably for Dave/A-V, Inc.) and you want to be the one to advance it. Again, natural; it's human nature. But right out of the gate you said "anyone else" could request to be cc-ed.

When I was asked by Dave to proofread the remasters, I was honored. But: I knew that there would be other eyes involved. There were the original proofreaders (among them Diana Schutz), there was Mara, there is Sean and finally and foremost, there is Dave with the final say. That's fine. I am not proprietary over my proofreading; I don't believe that I am or even could be the be-all, end-all proofreader. I just know that I have above-average proofreading skills that I can bring to the table, that I can contribute. But, it's just one piece of a collaborative effort to make Cerebus better.

Perhaps if you were less pugnacious (Damian's word) and more open to collaboration, you might achieve a better end result and piss off fewer people.

And, let me stress again, I am not hurt. I honestly don't give a tinker's damn whether you succeed or fail. I was about to add "with or without me" but that phrase, clearly, doesn't apply here. Good luck!

ChrisW said...

Maybe responding to Jeff will work better than responding to Damian. Couldn't hurt.

Reconstructing my eaten post as best I can, my point was to notify whoever-needs-to-be-notified what I was going to attempt, and proximity to Dave was my baseline, particularly with regards to questions I can't answer.

"I don't know how Dave reacts to editorial changes on his prose essays, but Jeff Seiler does. I don't have direct personal contact with Dave and I can't convey Dave's response to anything you say, but Sandeep can. I don't have the numbers of Dave's sales or extensive collection of work, but Margaret Liss does. All three of them know what it's like to professionally work with Dave better than I do, and can serve as character witnesses too." Am I missing anybody? Dom has done something somewhere, score one for him. Who else? Gerhard? Bob Burden? Diana Schutz? If Diana was posting here regularly, I would absolutely ask for her advice and guidance.

[I also had a joke about Jeff picking up almost literally where Diana left off. Let's pretend the internet didn't eat that joke, which was very funny and left Jeff shaking his head with a big grin on his face, "good one."]

I'm going to push "post" now, hoping I can respond to Jeff in ways that the internet won't let me respond to Damian. More later, God willing.

ChrisW said...

If I seem proprietary about this idea, it's because I know it's not going to happen without me. That's actually what I'm looking for, people who can make it happen without me. I am lubrication to make the wheels turn. I am not the wheels nor am I the mechanism that requires turning wheels to produce a result. I may think it's best for Dave and "Cerebus" to go THIS way, but Dave, "Cerebus" and other people decide THAT way is better. Fine with me, whatever serves the Mission and the Commander.

Yes, I was metaphorically saying 'all hands on deck,' but it was notifying people that their services may be required and not actually looking for volunteers. Those who volunteer are at least as suspect as the people who have to be dragged in, kicking and screaming.

Father's Day, 2014. I was wondering what to do with my Sunday morning on that three-day weekend, and I got a call to go to work immediately. We had guys leaving for Iraq Today. "Whatever they want, they get." I contributed a little, but I could have left at noon without a problem. I spent most of the day catching up on paperwork, or otherwise sitting around because we're all One Team, One Fight and I wasn't going to go home just because I had nothing to do. Everybody else has to give up their Father's Day Sunday, so I won't abandon them. Google will tell you how Obama changed his mind on Iraq in late-June 2014. I was part of that.

I would have responded to Travis Pelkie or Tony Dunlop in basically the same way because I have no idea who they are or what they contribute. Jeff, I know you and your contributions. If Travis or Tony handles Dave's finances or business or otherwise has regular contact with him, great, but they need to let me know who they are and what they do. Otherwise they're just commenting on an internet website, just like you and me. If someone else was promoting this idea, I wouldn't even consider volunteering to help, whether or not I thought it would work.

Pushing "Publish Your Comment" now. Hopefully more later.

ChrisW said...

Dave isn't a misogyist. Dave's work isn't misogynist. Doubling down on zero misogyny results in zero misogyny. I think there's a large potential-audience among those who are tired of hearing people being called "misogynist." As Trump's election shows, that dog will no longer hunt. [Hi again, Jingles!] Clapping and shouting "Go gettim, boy, go gettim!" won't change that.

For ten years, men have been using the internet to interact and come to the same conclusion that Dave had twenty years ago, and wrote about extensively. If nothing else, Dave has the credibility of coming from a pre-internet era. And he comes off as a religious convert. Many men in the area I'm aiming for are devout Christians. They may not be swayed, but they will find it interesting reading in exactly the way Dave intended. "I disagree with this. Why do I disagree with this?" I notice that Roosh, who has led the internet charge on 'how to fuck hot chicks' has admitted that he may be an atheist, but he's turning more and more to the Bible these days. Dave was well ahead of the curve, and he's still alive and can contribute more.

I do think that Dave's commentaries on the Gospels would find an audience. Hell, buy Dave a ticket to every Marvel movie that comes out and pay him for a 10,000 word essay about every movie. Within a year, you'll have a book that will be awesome for movie-goers and comics fans alike. Dave will analyze Natasha Romanov from her Czarist origins to her Don Heck creation, and then include Denny O'Neill and Frank Miller, before concluding that Scarlett Johansen has passed her 'best before' date.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Chris W.: Dave's work is misogynist, and Dave is a misogynist. He once rightly mocked a woman who, despite having both a husband and a wife, rejected the lable "bisexual"; Dave said you don't always get to determine your own lables, and he was right. A reasonable reader would conclude that Dave's work is misogynist, and I cite as proof the fact that most reasonable readers have done just that. You and Dave seem to think that the fact that readers conclude this is itself proof that they are not reasonable -- an interesting way of stacking the deck.

But leaving that aside, I think we can agree that Dave comes pre-sold as a misogynist. Anyone who's ever heard of him has heard that he's a misogynist, even if they have no opinion themselves. Anyone who hasn't ever heard of him will learn that he has a reputation as a misogynist with their first Google search. You may lament that it is so, but I think we must admit that it is so.

It is into this environment that any new Dave Sim work will be released. And I just don't see how a collection of the very material that gave Dave that reputation will help dispel that reputation. Insisting, "But it's not what its reputation says it is!" doesn't refute the point. You may think it's still worth doing, but it's unlikely to be a quick cash cow for Dave.

Chris, you say, "If I were an editor at Marvel or DC, I would be doing everything I could to get Dave to plot a dozen or more issues of whatever title he has ideas for, and submit proposals for anything else." But why? Dave is not a marketable name to that audience, so it's unlikely to be a quick cash cow for him. What he wants to do is Strange Death, and that already has a publisher when, frog willing, it's ever completed.

Strange Death I think has a chance at being a critical success, as Michael B. suggested above (though I think he lets his enthusiasm run away with him a bit), because it's about cartooning and the comics world. People with nothing else good to say about Dave acknowledge his skill as a cartoonist, and he has a great breadth of knowledge about cartooning and comics. The examples of Dave's "Comics Metaphysics Theology" that we've seen give me pause, but there seems to be lots of other stuff that will interest me and (I hope) others.

-- Damian

ChrisW said...

Dave isn't misogynist and his work isn't misogynist. Citing the overall consensus does't make it so, and ignores all those who have come of age in a world where people get slandered or libeled as misogynist, and they really don't care anymore.

I would hire Dave if I were an editor for Marvel or DC because he's a font of ideas. A marketable name? No. Ideas out the wazoo, yes. There's the legend of a never-named writer of "Superman" who had no idea what to do with the character, so he solved it by finding out what train Jack Kirby was taking when he went to Marvel, and "running into" Jack and bringing the conversation around to their current work. By the time the guy left the train, he had a dozen ideas to submit to Julius Schwartz, Mort Weisinger or whoever was editor at the time.

Dave can't have Dazzler because she's mine [MINE, I TELLS YA!] but otherwise, if I were a Marvel/DC editor, I would absolutely try to get as many of his ideas as possible. Sugar and Spike, Night Nurse, Binky or Power Man and Iron Fist.

Jeff Seiler said...

Hmm, Chris. I (and, I suppose, Dave), am/are supremely gratified that the Internet ate the joke about me picking up where Diana left off.

I'm also gratified to witness your more conciliatory tone toward Damian and me.

I do find it amusing, if not bemusing, that Damian (of all people!) has joined the fray to support me in this battle of the, battle of wits. Thanks, Damian! We can now resume regular programming.

You mentioned, above, "proximity to Dave". From my experience, anyone can gain "proximity to Dave" by writing a letter to him or by phoning him. I have had, over the years, limited proximity to Dave and have learned to utilize that in the most efficient ways possible, except for the (very) occasional phone calls, during which, I truly believe, he's calling to suss out the latest craziness in my pedestrian life, and lets me run on at length for the better part of an hour--he always times it out so that he can cut me off at around 45 minutes, reminding me that he has a prayer time coming up at the top of the hour and, knowing I save the pertinent stuff for last, allots me another ten minutes or so.

The truth is, Chris, you don't need Maggs, Sandy, Dom, me, or anyone else to gain access to Dave, if your motive is to help the cause of supporting the continuation of the Cerebus remasters or the (eventual) publication of The SDOAR comic book.

If you have a viable idea and can pull it off, with a positive cost/benefit ratio, Dave is likely to embrace you (sorry, Dave; I know that's an emotional term, but it fits here), much in the same manner that bears embrace honeycombs. Sure, he might get stung, but...oh, sweet, sweet!

My only caveat to you would be that you ought to research past endeavors which have been tied to the property of Cerebus ("Cerebus"). History has shown that nearly all such projects have proven to be "non-starters" or outright failures. I wear a very, very small merit badge for having had all four issues of CRIC (barely) make enough money to cover the printing costs.

And, I agree with Damian (AGAIN! Sheesh!!) that the idea of reprinting the very essays to which people (kindly stated) refer in their diatribes, which accuse Dave of misogyny, is (perhaps) not the best business model by which one might grow the coffers of A-V, Inc. Yes, there may be a small subgroup of persons out there who might agree with his viewpoints (God knows I do), but to find them, outside of the core Cerebus audience, would likely require a LOT of advertising, and not just in the comics field. To paraphrase Dave's advertising for "Guys":

"Say! Do you find Feminism repulsive? Do you think that the genders opposite the aisles have their own, inherent, God-given strengths and weaknesses? Do you believe that women ought not try to be men and men ought not try to be women and that, by virtue of that, the two genders can continue to support one another in the manner in which God always intended/intends? Well, do I have the collection of essays for you!!! Step right up, ladies and gentlemen!"

Thanks again, Chris, for being conciliatory.

Travis Pelkie said...

Damn, this thread blew up!

Damian and Jeff finding common ground?! Next there'll be cats and dogs laying (lying?) together, lions and lambs and such.

A few thoughts:

I am in fact just an internet commenter, with no particular "access" to Dave other than he's mentioned me by name when responding to comments before. (I do blog, though, as you can see by clicking my name)

From something Damian said up above, if you're siding with the people that not only threatened to rape and murder women, but published their home addresses to make it easier for loons to do so, solely for having the audacity of not having penises while they wrote about video games, well, I don't know about you. While I don't agree with everything Dave believes, I do think that he has an internally consistent worldview, and has done the "decent" thing (within that view) of keeping himself apart from society. To my knowledge, he has not advocated the rape or murder of women just because he is anti-feminist. The modern online mass of misogynists seem, to me, to be a different ball of wax.

If that's the audience Dave decides to pursue, I will no longer be contributing to the Kickstarters or any other Cerebus related stuff.

Unless I fold on that principled stand...

And while I think Dave is great and would love to see him on any Marvel and/or DC book, why would any editor go after him? Even ignoring the fact that the big 2 ignore nearly all of the older creators they had from the 80s and 90s, Dave obviously comes with his own baggage. And putting him on properties that no one gives a shit about? Really? Let alone the fact that Dave rather publicly ... didn't agree with the contract for doing 3 pages of art for Fables ("he's bitching about the boilerplate contract for 3 pages? fuck it!") , why would they waste their time with him when they've got plenty of other, younger, less contentious and easier to exploit creators on hand?

So in other words, no, I wouldn't be volunteering to help with this idea, don't worry.

nonservator said...

" if you're siding with the people that not only threatened to rape and murder women, but published their home addresses to make it easier for loons to do so, solely for having the audacity of not having penises while they wrote about video games, well, I don't know about you."

Like Damian, Travis has swallowed the media narrative hook, line and sinker. I suppose all Nazis are Republicans, just like all trolls are Gamergate. But do keep making false equivalences based on lies, and engaging in hypocrisy and double standards when confronted with facts. As the election has shown, that will surely be a winning strategy that will alienate no honest person.

Travis Pelkie said...

OK, what are the facts? There were NO people who threatened to rape and murder female gamers?

Jeff Seiler said...

Umm, just for the record, I have less than zero knowledge of, interest in, or involvement with this "Gamergate" thingie.

But it does sound pretty horrible...

And, yeah, Travis...I know! In fact, Damian and I have a wine and cheese scrapbooking get-together planned for next weekend!

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Looking forward to it, Jeff! Just please don't bring the same flavour of paste as last time -- blecch.

-- Damian

Bob said...

"There's the legend of a never-named writer of "Superman" who had no idea what to do with the character"

The only person I've heard tell that story is Mark Evanier, who got it from Kirby, and Evanier always clearly says the writer in question is Robert Bernstein. Two of the specific examples used to support the story are by Bernstein, one introducing Metallo (the super-villain powered by a kryptonite heart) and the other having Jimmy Olsen meet Thor. Where are you hearing the story where it's a "never-named writer"?

In any case, I'm not sure where you get this idea that Sim has ideas that would be of value to DC/Marvel, Sim is willing to sell those ideas to DC/Marvel on their terms, or DC/Marvel would want to put up with the hassle of dealing with Sim to get those ideas. Other than that, your plan seems sound.

Jack said...

Regarding nonservator's comment about double standards, if Gail Simone said that men are obviously inferior beings who have no ethics or scruples and will eventually allow cats to vote, would anyone here sign a petition that said, "I don't believe Gail Simone is a misandrist"?

Jeff Seiler said...

No, I would not, absolutely. She once dissed me publicly because she misunderstood something I had written. She did, later, apologize, publicly, but the damage was done.

The double standard, guys, has shifted to the gals' side. As if it ever had left their side.

BTW, my cat votes daily. He goes to the back door and decides, judiciously, whether the weather will permit a foray for requisitioning mice and/or birds.

He's very adamant about casting his vote.

But, he does, occasionally, produce some definitive election returns. With a mousie's tail hanging out of his mouth.

And, yes, I do believe that Gail Simone is a misandrist.

Jack said...

But... Dave Sim says that women are obviously inferior beings who have no ethics or scruples and will eventually allow cats to vote, yet you've signed a petition that says, "I don't believe Dave Sim is a misogynist." Your double standard is obviously working in Dave's favor, Jeff.

Jack said...

...I mean, that was obviously my point. The connection between your answer, "No, I would not, absolutely," and your claim, "The double standard, guys, has shifted to the gals' side," is beyond me. So is the relevance of Gail Simone "dissing" you publically and then apologizing. Maybe this says something about the current left/right divide--not only do we disagree on ideology and facts, but some of us seem to have completely different conceptions of basic logic.

ChrisW said...

Cutting this down as much as possible to avoid posting problems:

Jeff, me trying to get "proximity to Dave" makes this sound like a fanboy 'I just wanna chat with my hero' attempt. I don't want proximity to Dave, and I'm only interested in getting other people with proximity to Dave involved insofar as it becomes easier for an interested publisher/editor to reach Dave. I am not trying to help "Cerebus" or "SDOAR" except by helping Dave first. So I'm not tying these ideas to "Cerebus" except insofar as most of the first essays were published there.

I think you're sorely misjudging the extent to which there is an audience who shrugs off accusations of "misogyny" and publishers who do likewise. I might be misjudging the audience/publisher's willingness to look at Dave's work, but saying "There's something there and I failed to grab it" is vastly different from saying "There's nothing there." As Jack Nicholson said in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "At least I tried, goddammit." I also think you're misjudging the worth of Dave's work as being from a pre-internet era, for all intents and purposes. Exaggerating for effect, he looks like the mad scientist that "those fools" refused to listen to and turned out to be right all along.

"To paraphrase Dave's advertising for "Guys":

"'Say! Do you find Feminism repulsive? Do you think that the genders opposite the aisles have their own, inherent, God-given strengths and weaknesses? Do you believe that women ought not try to be men and men ought not try to be women and that, by virtue of that, the two genders can continue to support one another in the manner in which God always intended/intends? Well, do I have the collection of essays for you!!! Step right up, ladies and gentlemen!'"

Maybe a few tweaks are needed, but that basically sounds like the best advertising you can get. The publishers I'm looking at take these things seriously, and have enough successful books to show for it. Jeff, I'm going to steal that advertisement, because I think it was the last piece I've been looking for. I've been holding off on sending the letter because it's Thanksgiving week, and this shows me I was right to do so.

ChrisW said...


Dealing with Dave is not something I'm looking forward to encouraging anybody to do. That experience is what it is. However, there's (a) Dave has always been free with his ideas (b) Dave has a ton of ideas and (c) you are the first person I've ever seen putting a name to the never-named "Superman" writer. Can you point to where Mark Evanier cited Robert Bernstein specifically? Because I've never heard of the guy or have a clue what "Superman" stories he wrote.

In one of his letters to me, Dave said he saw things every day that he could write a "High Society"-sized book about, but pointed out that the time required to write *and* draw a "High Society"-sized book wasn't worth the time and effort. So why not remove the time and effort, particularly since he won't be drawing or (unless he really wants to) scripting? Wouldn't surprise me in the least if he couldn't come up with a few really good ideas for Sgt. Rock, including some very plot-specific ideas, and a few more that he came up with in passing while filling in the blacks on Panel 4, Page 10 of "Cerebus" Issue Whatever.

I wouldn't envy the people negotiating with him - hence my call for people with proximity to Dave - but I think it's a short, straight line to ask him how much he'd charge for those ideas. If they never get used, well, he gets paid and the company has his ideas locked away for use somewhere down the line.

Which is why I'd be trying to promote Dave as a writer *apart* from "Cerebus" and the comic book medium. Like I said above, send Dave to every Marvel movie and pay him for 10,000 words or more about each movie, very soon you'll have a book that appeals to Marvel movie fans, and "Cerebus" is only mentioned in the ads on the inside back cover. "Avengers 2" and "Sandman: Overture" were both nominated for Hugo Awards this year, in the exact same anti-SJW spirit. And "Sandman" won!

ChrisW said...

I've just checked Mark Evanier's website, and for all his essays, he only mentions "Robert Bernstein" once, just to give his pen name. "Carl Bernstein" and "Leonard Bernstein" get mentioned far more often.

Jeff Seiler said...

Chris--Steal away. See, turns out I *could* help, after all! (Nyah, nyah.)

Bob said...

I think I first heard the Bernstein anecdote from Evanier in a mailing list discussion in the 1990s, but I'm sure he's mentioned it in print as well, probably in either his column in THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR or a panel discussion transcribed in there. I've never seen him mention it without Bernstein's name and without Kirby as his source, so it's odd that you've heard it (from multiple sources, it seems) as an anonymous writer.

Here's a place where Evanier mentions it online:

Do you think Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman got Hugo nominations as part of some "anti-SJW spirit" wave? And that's part of your argument for the commercial/critical viability of Sim's anti-feminist rhetoric? Enjoy rolling that boulder, Sisyphus.

ChrisW said...

Bob, thanks for that link. I'm always happy to read more about the background of my favorite comic books [yeah, I never read "Superman" regularly, but he's Superman, so it still counts] and I've always wondered who that never-named "Superman" writer was. Looks like I have a few hours of reading ahead of me. :)

One of Evanier's collections of his "Comics Buyers Guide" columns was my source, and he did not name Robert Bernstein in whichever book it was. Maybe he named Bernstein in the original column, but not in the collected version.

And yes, I think "Avengers 2," "The Force Awakens" and "Sandman: Overture" got Hugo nominations as part of the same wave that nominated "Space Raptor Butt Invasion." SJW-friendly works like "Avengers" and "Sandman" won, but "Space Raptor Butt Invasion" lost big-time, even after so many SJWs thought it was hilarious and insisted it was a great idea and wouldn't all those anti-SJWs be humiliated by all the votes it got.

Now the Hugos are re-writing their rules on nominations. Neil Gaiman was noticeably not happy with how and why he won a Hugo Award in his acceptance speech. He won a Hugo Award, what's he got to complain about? Absolutely nothing. None, zero, zip, zilch, nada. I think "Avengers 2" won as well. Yay, anti-SJWs. There's no way they can lose against internet geeks who've been competitive since the first time they started playing video games. Next year is going to be fun.

If I was sure it would help, I'd send Dave a copy of "SJWs Always Lie" for Christmas. Depending on my circumstances in a few weeks, I may still do so. As it is, I've got the email ready to go, and I'm just tinkering with it to see if there are any last-minute ideas or insights.

ChrisW said...

I have sent the email. I've also left Dave a message on his answering machine. I would post my presentation here, but it's over 4,069 characters.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Chris W.: You could split it into two parts.

-- Damian

Barry Deutsch said...

Jeff - Hugo Award politics are really convoluted lately.

Basically, in 2015 some "anti-SJW" fans, by voting for a pre-agreed slate rather than voting as individuals, dominated the nominees for the Hugo Award. The large majority of Hugo voters responded by voting for "no award" rather than vote for substandard works, and so no award was given in a bunch of Hugo categories in 2015.

In 2016, in order to avoid being "no-awarded" again, the same group of fans deliberately nominated some popular works by highly regarded creators, like Gaiman and Whedon. (Alongside some obviously substandard nominations).

So yes, Gaiman and Whedon were nominated for Hugos in 2016 as a result of strategic voting by "anti-SJW" fans, as Chris claimed.

But no, that situation doesn't prove that there's a mass market for Dave's anti-feminist writings.

Kit said...

What were the motivating principles of the ironic voting blocs that saw Gaiman win Hugo Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2012, and be nominated but withdraw from consideration in 2006? Presumably there must have been one in each of those years, if the Worldcon members are so opposed to his work in novels, short stories, novellas and short-form dramatic presentations as they are to his work in graphic stories.

Bob said...

Y'know, it seems like Sim might be a good fit for the "anti-SJW" crowd. They seem to have the same ideas as Eddie Campbell's version of Sim in KING BACCHUS, where "anything you do can only prove me right" and "I fixed it so I can't be wrong" are his mantras. Plus the same persecution complexes and tendency to project their own flaws on their "enemies".

Kit, do you really not see that Gaiman is saying that he thinks he and his collaborators certainly did work he's proud of and worth awards consideration, but regrets being put in a situation where it's associated with people he disagrees with, who will take any outcome and spin it into a "victory":

"No award" wins - yay, we broke the Hugos!
Sandman wins - yay, one of our slate won!
Something else wins - yay, we tricked the SJWs into not voting for Sandman!
Sandman withdrawn from nomination - yay, we took a choice away from the SJWs!

ChrisW said...

Barry, by "substandard works" do you mean "Space Raptor Butt Invasion"? Because Chuck Tingle, author of such works as "My Billionaire Triceratops Craves Gay Ass," "Taken by the Gay Unicorn Biker" and "Pounded by the Gay Unicorn Football Squad" will go to his grave being able to call himself a "Hugo-nominated" writer. And the SJWs thought it was hilarious that they could vote for him and prove all the anti-SJWs wrong. And then poor Mr. Tingle came in fifth place. And now the Hugos are re-writing the rules so that *those* people can't even be nominated.

I don't follow the sci-fi/fantasy worlds. Hell, I don't even follow video games. But I do know not to mess with people who understand tactics and strategy better than I do. [As Dave pointed out, checkers is a game of tactics, chess is a game of strategy.] Neil Gaiman is a safe, easy choice. So why not support him? New "Sandman" comics, yay! "Avengers 2" and "The Force Awakens" are also safe and easy choices.

Don't mess with people who know tactics and strategy better than you. First they stop the awards almost entirely, then they force the safe and easy choices, then the awards re-write their rules. Do you think they haven't planned ahead for that? Yes, Bob, I think they planned ahead for each of those eventualities and more. We're talking about a large contingent of men with nothing better to do than compete in whatever areas are left for them. They are trained and they are ready.

Kit said...

Kit, do you really not see that Gaiman is saying

Hi Bob (BobH?) - it's ChrisW who's saying that Sandman: Overture wouldn't have been nominated in 2016 without Puppyblocs. One can only conclude that, if this is so, his certainty is predicated on a knowledge that Worldcon members would not nominate Gaiman in any other year. Therefore, I'm wondering how he won in all those other years, and hoping Chris can elucidate.

then they force the safe and easy choices, then the awards re-write their rules

As I understand it, the rewriting happened after last year's awards, not this year's, and it takes time to enact the changes.

Chuck Tingle [...] will go to his grave being able to call himself a "Hugo-nominated" writer

As Chuck Tingle does not exist, this seems unlikely. The entire character being a multi-platform work of speculative fiction makes his nomination a delightful wrinkle in the overall Tingle tapestry, though.

Barry Deutsch said...


Although Gaiman certainly can be nominated for, and win, awards without any help from Puppies, not 100% of his works get nominated. This particular graphic novel probably wouldn't have been nominated without the Puppies.

I say this because the Hugo Awards committee releases complete statistics after the winners are announced; here's the 2016 statistics. It looks to me that about 400-450 puppies voted for the puppy ballot in the nominations round. Sandman got 520 nominating votes; if 400 of those were puppies who voted for Sandman because it was on their Slate, then without Puppies Sandman would have gotten 120 nominations, which wouldn't have placed it in the top 5.

Chuck Tingle's work is hilarious; I don't think it deserves a Hugo nomination, but I'm glad it's gotten more attention because of this mess. (Honestly, that's the only good thing to come out of the Puppy mess.)

Barry Deutsch said...

Chris, the sentence about "substandard works" was referring to the 2015 nominations; Chuck Tingle wasn't nominated until 2016.

All the crowing about how tactically brilliant the puppies are seems misplaced to me. It's as if someone notices that everyone in a certain neighborhood trusts their neighbors and so leaves their doors unlocked. It's not tactical brilliance to break social norms by walking through unlocked doors to trash a place; it's just being a jerk.

As for "force the safe and easy choices," I'm not sure you actually know what happened this year. Very few Puppy choices apart from Gaiman won. For the most part, non-Puppy choices, like Jessica Jones and N.K. Jemisin, won, while most Puppy choices ended up below "no award."

Bob said...

Kit, sorry, misread your tone. Or rather, I misread who it was directed at.

Dominick Grace said...

Also, it was the anti-so-called SJW who got Tingle nominated, in yet another attempt to fuck with the Hugos, not actual so-called SJWs.