Friday, 25 November 2016

Weekly Update #158: Colin Upton's Kicking At The Darkness


Dave takes a look at Colin Upton's new comic Kicking At The Darkness, and gets a phone message from  Kapow! Comics store owner Matthew Dykes about the "I Don't Believe Dave Sim Is A Misogynist" iPetition.


COLIN UPTON:
(from Colin's Facebook page, 16 October 2016)
Well, today was the release of my new comic book, "Kicking at the Darkness" [PDF preview here]. My brother Leslie attended along with my high school history teacher. Mr.Kreiger, who's daughter Nina runs the VHEC! There were also a couple retired history professors from UBC who were colleagues of my father. It's a bit unusual as the comic was paid for and printed by the Vancouver Holocuast Education Centre. It's not intended for distribution but as a tie-in with an exhibit on the Canadian Army in World War Two to be given to student groups. If you really need a copy you can contact me as I have a limited number of copies or you can contact the VHEC about getting a copy but it is not their intention to sell lots of them to the public. They're asking for a donation of $5 for the comic.

29 comments:

Margaret said...

Matthew (hopefully I spelled that correctly) - thank you for the info on the spike of names I saw. It seemed suspicious as it all came at once, and I was about to send an letter to Dave asking him what he thought we should do with all these names. Looks like we can keep them. Thanks for your help! Also, if you see any MIA names from your last input of names, Dave wanted full names: first and last. So I deleted entries with only first names. I used to send an email out to those people to explain why and give them the option to resign, but I didn't see any emails with those names. Thanks again for your help!

Anthony Kuchar said...

I think a major shout out for the spike in signatures is thanks to the people over at Studiocomix Press. I saw them at Niagara Falls Comic Con really hustling to get those signatures, they where also at The Geekery con in NF a few weeks ago.

Dave Sim said...

The Biggest Little Small Press Outfit outside of Diamond PREVIEWS! I let Alfonso buy me a coffee YEARS ago at a Matter of Taste (see Carson's SDOAR page) when he was drawing his first (?) small press title and contacted me by phone or mail (I forget which).

Then, years later, it turned out he was working at Minuteman Press when John Funk was getting the CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios done there (one of the last things I drew was a pin-up of one of Alfonso's characters to help him with his inking).

And, yes, as Anthony points out, the whole crew has been "petal to the metal" getting signatures -- Studio Comix Press does a good 38 shows a year, Alfonso tells me.

We're not quite ready to announce it formally, but they will be publishing Mexican reprints of the first five issues of CEREBUS, hopefully for the 40th anniversary next year. Alfonso was pulling his hair out when it looked like Hillary Clinton was going to win because the peso was just soaring. But, then Donald Trump got elected so the peso is back into his "comfort zone".

We're actually much closer to the 2,000 signatures than it appears: Alfonso has to fit typing the names and e-mail addresses in, in and around all of his other work and he's about 2 to 300 signatures behind in posting them and -- as Anthony points out -- they've been getting an average of 100 signatures per show.

So, it's looking as if my first public appearance as a Designated Non-Misogynist is going to be in Mexico City May 4 if we can work out the details. I was thinking "Red State" somewhere in the U.S. but Mexico City is an even better bet, in the "don't want to rile up the feminists unnecessarily" end of things.

Michael A Battaglia said...

Matthew Dykes of Kapow comics: THANK YOU. It's really fantastic to see someone in the trenches with a humble comic shop putting their neck out--as you have--for what is clearly a valuable cause. I think you nailed it when you referred to the way Dave has been treated as "sickening". It really and truly was and is sickening.

Anyone who knowingly refuses to sign the petition is ostensibly joining the effort to dog pile on Dave. It's that simple.

It's amazing to me that people who won't sign the petition will then attempt to speak to Dave like nothing is wrong. What they're saying is: "I know you're not a misogynist, so I'd love to talk with you and get your take on this or that, but I refuse to sign the petition because I want the people who DO believe you're a misogynist to still like me." That strikes me as weak.

Dave Kopperman said...

Michael wrote: It's amazing to me that people who won't sign the petition will then attempt to speak to Dave like nothing is wrong. What they're saying is: "I know you're not a misogynist, so I'd love to talk with you and get your take on this or that, but I refuse to sign the petition because I want the people who DO believe you're a misogynist to still like me." That strikes me as weak.

I have to disagree with this. There are plenty of people in my social circle whose views I disagree with - in some cases quite strongly! - but I still maintain the friendship out of respect for their opinions and for the enjoyment of debating the areas where we disagree or simply commiserating on the areas we DO agree.

If you were talking more specifically about Colin being unwilling to sign the petition: a) he's clear about it upfront rather than pretending that it isn't an issue, b) Dave made the choice to prominently feature the comic in a platform dedicated to communicating with his own fans. Perhaps it's what Colin was hoping for, perhaps his take on the situation is more nuanced and he simply wanted to share his work with a cartoonist he admires (i.e., he respects Dave but disagrees with him on his read of Feminism and therefore cannot ethically sign the petition, etc.). Now it's true that Dave has promoted Colin before, and maybe he was hoping for more of the same, but considering he 100% down the line says that the thing basically isn't for sale, I doubt that's the case. So I'd read it as Colin wanting to share work of which he's proud with an artist he admires.

Dave Kopperman said...

Also, amazing news on the revival of public appearances, but also, Dave: I hope you're not seriously considering ONLY making appearances in places that generally vote conservatively? That's not only a little unfair to your fanbase in blue states (count me among them), but kind of feels like changing the rules of the road at the last minute - unless you'd said something along those lines before and I missed it?

Curiously, George Perez just made a similar announcement - he will no longer be making appearances at conventions in states that voted for Trump. As you can imagine, his conservative fans or liberal fans who happen to live in red states aren't happy with this, the former camp feeling such behavior is beneath him, and the latter camp feeling they're being penalized for a fluke of geography.

baalta said...

Hi Dave, saludos form Mexico! There´s only two good events in Mexico, La Mole Comic Con in Mexico City (March 17-19) and La Conque in Queretaro City (May 5-7), wich one would you go, if any?

Michael A Battaglia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael A Battaglia said...

Dave K wrote: "There are plenty of people in my social circle whose views I disagree with - in some cases quite strongly! - but I still maintain the friendship out of respect for their opinions and for the enjoyment of debating the areas where we disagree or simply commiserating on the areas we DO agree."

Let's make a distinction between disagreeing and accusing. You can disagree with Dave's views on feminism, but that is vastly (Vastly) different from accusing him of being a misogynist, which is a career-threatening type of accusation. If you feel comfortable with maintaining a friendship with Dave, that means you do not think he's a misogynist, and if you do not think he's a misogynist then why not sign the petition?

Jack said...

Why wouldn't you feel comfortable maintaining a friendship with a misogynist? R. Crumb cheerfully admits that he's a misogynist, yet plenty of people, many of them women, are proud to be associated with him. Also, as I asked in another thread, 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"?

Michael A Battaglia said...

Jack said:
"Why wouldn't you feel comfortable maintaining a friendship with a misogynist?"

Because the presence of hatred is an indication of other issues. It's not as if misogyny is arrived at via reason/intelligent discourse. There is nothing funny or interesting about misogyny. It is a cluster-f@&# of emotion.

Regarding Crumb being a misogynist (apples and oranges, by the way. I don't recall the media going after Crumb to the degree that his name became synonymous with 'misogyny'), I think it's safe to say that he hates men much more than women.

"Oh, I hate men much more than women." - Robert Crumb.
Source: http://observer.com/2015/10/robert-crumb-hates-you/


Jack said...

I think you're wrong about misogyny always being unfunny and uninteresting; I agree with Crumb that there's natural hostility between the sexes and it can be worthwhile to express that in art. Of course, he also thinks there's a place in art for racism... I'm not sure, but it's definitely tricky to square art with morality. Getting back to personal friendships, I agree that someone who absolutely despises every single person on the planet with a vagina is a nutcase who should be avoided, but come on, you must have had friends who had "issues" with women but were still decent people in many ways.

Regarding the Crumb comparison being apples and oranges, you just said that accusing Dave of being a misogynist is "a career-threatening type of accusation," which also seems to be Dave's view. But Crumb, Philip Roth, Eminem, and (less commonly) Bob Dylan have all been called misogynists, and their careers are doing quite well.

Can anybody who signed Dave's petition answer my Gail Simone hypothetical and, if the answer is "no," explain why they're not giant hypocrites?

Michael A Battaglia said...

@ Jack: Obviously I can't speak for everyone who signed the petition, but as far as I'm concerned, the prospect of spending time and energy defending myself against a potential accusation of hypocrisy (outcome dependent on how I respond to your hypothetical (isn't that convenient)) is less exciting than the prospect of reading a phone book from cover to cover.

Jack said...

What do you mean "outcome dependent on how I respond to your hypothetical (isn't that convenient)"? If your answer is, "Yes, I'd definitely sign a 'I don't believe that Gail Simone is a misandrist' petition even if Gail said the exact same things about men that Dave has said about women," then of course you're not a hypocrite and you have my kudos. But if your answer is "no," then you obviously judge misogyny and misandry (or at least Dave and Gail) by far different standards. It's fun talking to you too, Michael!

Bob said...

"But Crumb, Philip Roth, Eminem, and (less commonly) Bob Dylan have all been called misogynists, and their careers are doing quite well."

I know a somewhat successful businessman, who once lost more money in one year than any of us will make in a lifetime, who was called a misogynist and now might be forced to give up his business and take a low paying civil service job.

Kit said...

^ ha.

Regarding Crumb being a misogynist (apples and oranges, by the way. I don't recall the media going after Crumb to the degree that his name became synonymous with 'misogyny')

Crumb cancelled his entire trip to Australia in 2011 (to be interviewed, exhibit original art, and perform music at the Sydney Opera House) because of a local newspaper fulminating about his inherent hatefulness against women, making Crumb's wife fearful for his safety.

Kit said...

Also, Michael, a) Crumb hating men more than women doesn't mean that he doesn't hate women, and b) while I don't care whether he does or doesn't hate women or men, it's poor form to reach for citation and grab a piece that was actively and promptly denounced by Crumb as being misleading and substantially fabricated.



...A lot of things in this poorly written article I’m sure I never actually said. I never said Tim Leary was a “big phony.” In fact I think he was quite sincere, though perhaps a man with a big ego. I know I absolutely never said “I like to be sucked while I’m sitting on a chair with the woman kneeling…” I swear, Hyzagi just made that up. I know because I would certainly remember if I ever did that in my life and I can say absolutely that I never, ever had a woman kneel in front of me and perform oral sex on me while I sat in a chair. [...]

I believe The New York Observer WANTED to make me look bad. Just the name of the article, “Robert Crumb Hates You,” over a photo they carefully chose of me at some art opening somewhere scowling miserably at the camera. “Robert Crumb Hates You.” What does that even mean? I don’t hate “you.” How can I hate “you” when I don’t even know “you”? What is this meant to convey? Obviously, the message is, this is a nasty, mean-spirited old crank. Sure, I hate a lot of what goes on in the world. A lot of what people do is hateful. But I try to hate the sin, not the sinner. It’s a mistake to focus one’s hatred on persons, on individuals. It’s the fucked up things they do that one’s outrage should be focused on. I’ve always felt that way.

I regret that I ever consented to give this interview, that I let the journalist, Jacques Hyzagi, come to my home and hang around for two days talking to me. I should’ve known better. I was warned about this paper, that it was owned by the ruthless real estate developer, Jared Kushner, that the editor, Ken Kurson, was an old friend of Kushner’s who was once “deputy director for communications at Giuliani Partners,” that Jared Kushner is married to Donald Trump’s daughter and that they pal around with Rupert Murdoch. You’d think I would know better than allow myself to be had by these people, having received this information.

It’s hard to say how much the distortions and words put in my mouth by Hyzagi were deliberate. He taped the interview but as English is not his first language it’s possible that he simply misunderstood some things and put his own interpretation on them. That’s possible. He sent me a first draft which was so bad that I rewrote some of it but was reluctant to mess with it too much for fear of offending him. He was “pissed off” anyway, accused me of being “manipulative” and trying to “control my image.” He did leave in most of my rewrites but he also put some things back in that I had taken out and even added things and did not send me a final draft before going to press. I didn’t even know the article was out until a friend told me he read it on the Internet. I regret now that I didn’t just rewrite the whole thing. It was badly written. It’s still not very good.

[...] I was truly dismayed by the sloppy patch job he did, taking bits and pieces from different conversations and tossing them together very carelessly. A lot of the rewriting I did was just trying to make it readable, coherent. I spent way too much time on that frickin’ article. I had to do it as it was by then too late to stop them from running it.

[...] I shoulda’ known when I learned of the character of Kushner, the owner of the paper, and that he had brought in his old friend Ken Kurson to be editor-in-chief. I didn’t listen closely enough to my inner paranoia. As it turns out, Hyzagi greatly admires the editor, Ken Kurson. Kurson seems to be a charismatic, persuasive person. He will go far in this world.


[My edited version still too long for Blogger: continued below, as it seemed amusingly relevant in light of Bob's comment]

Kit said...


Crumb, cont.:

Just to set the record straight, it was Hyzagi who said that he went to Zuccotti Park to check out Occupy Wall Street, and opined that the people were fools, but it’s not at all clear the way it’s written that it was him saying that. It doesn’t say who’s saying it. Am I paranoid for thinking this might be deliberate on the part of the editor, Ken Kurson? Kurson, this “close and trusted friend” of the owner, Jared Kushner, this former deputy-director of communications for Giuliani Partners, this employee of Jamestown Associates, a Republican political consulting firm based in New Jersey. What do these men want with this newspaper? They are money men. How do they mean to use this media venue? Do they mean to influence how the public thinks about politics, economics, culture? Did Kushner receive advice on the usefulness of owning a newspaper from his friend Rupert Murdoch?

Okay, enough dwelling on this miserable blunder. I just want to say to any left-liberal media personality or writer, artist, musician, whatever, be very wary if you are approached for an interview by anyone working for The New York Observer. They are out to skewer you.


https://slumgoddess.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/r-crumb-doesnt-hate-you-r-crumb-hates.html

http://jezebel.com/spurned-elle-writer-goes-on-truly-bananas-rant-torches-1768021068

Michael A Battaglia said...

@ Kit -- "Also, Michael, a) Crumb hating men more than women doesn't mean that he doesn't hate women, and b) while I don't care whether he does or doesn't hate women or men, it's poor form to reach for citation and grab a piece that was actively and promptly denounced by Crumb as being misleading and substantially fabricated."

Apologies if I've muddied the waters in some capacity, Crumb-wise--not my intention.

The distinction I was trying to make was, Crumb hates everyone and doesn't apologize for it--it's part of his 'charm' -- Dave hates nobody and nothing, and doesn't want to be viewed as someone who DOES. In fact, Dave does not harbor hate on any level, as he isn't an emotion-based man. In my view, that is apples an oranges -- in fact I think it's a chasm of difference, and should be regarded as such.

In as much as Crumb knows himself, Dave knows himself, and he has said (countless times) that he is not driven by emotion, and is not a misogynist. He's asking people to sign the petition and I really hope more of his peers get on board. As someone who supports him, I WANT him to do well. I guess you could say (get your hankie ready) that I care about Dave's well being. It makes me happy when people 'get it' and sign the petition. It makes me happy when people understand what he has to offer the world and it compels them to get involved. I find myself grateful for people like Margaret and Sandeep and Jeff, because I know they are enormously helpful in this regard. So, you could say that I'm intimately involved from the vantage of hoping the best for Dave, and contributing what little I can when I can. Crumb, on the other hand, I know little about and I don't have any awareness of what he's going through, or interest in his life, etc.

I'm not sure if that helps to clarify my position or not, but I didn't want to just leave a void after all the work you've done in formulating your response to my snippet.

Jack said...

But I think "hate" can mean, "Views in an extremely negative way," can't it? I mean, I'm not sure that all the anti-Semites whom Dave quoted in Judenhass ("hatred of Jews") had an emotional reaction of hatred toward Jews, but that doesn't necessarily mean Dave was smearing them. Similarly, I usually don't have much of an emotional reaction to Donald Trump, and when I do, it's often more along the lines of dread than hatred. But as I view Trump as a reprehensible piece of shit, I think it's reasonable to say that I hate him.

Along those lines, here's something that Dave once wrote to yours truly (see http://davesim.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html):

"Since Israel has chosen to do what I recommended a while back: build a security fence which walls them off from the Palestinians or Transjordanians or Latter Day Philistines or whatever you want to call those mad dogs and left them to tear each other to shreds."

I guess Dave would say, "I don't hate the Palestinians--I just think they're mad dogs who should be walled off and left to tear each other to shreds." But I'm sure as hell not going to sign a petition that says, "I don't believe Dave Sim hates Palestinians."

Dave Sim said...

Well, this is definitely persuading me NOT to go out in public.

We'll see what's going on if and when there are actually 2,000 signatures on the petition.

Jack said...

Why would anything here persuade you not to go out in public, Dave? I don't get it. But if you'd like me to stop posting on this site, I'll certainly oblige.

Dave Sim said...

I think that feminists have to realize that they "present" schizophrenically. They are total hard asses just like men, but they're also insisting on "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces" -- like rare, delicate and easily bruised flowers -- particularly in those environments that would be called "Blue States" in the U.S. and pretty much all of Canada.

A couple of Canadian conventions -- both of which are in Extreme Leftist environments -- have offered $5,000 for me to make an appearance. Canada is very different from Mexico when it comes to feminism. So I'm inclined to say no, mostly because I can't figure out how I can go to a convention and have a "trigger warning" attached to me. Four guys? One on each corner? With signs any time I walk anywhere "TRIGGER WARNING! DAVE SIM IS NOT A FEMINIST AND IS VERY LIKELY TO SAY THINGS OUT LOUD THAT WILL CAUSE FEMINISTS ENORMOUS STRESS AND MENTAL ANGUISH!" This is not an exaggeration. This is how Canada is and has been for some time.

The only tentative solution that I've come up with is to go to the convention the same way Stan Lee does. You sit there and someone assisting you hands you the things to sign that people have paid to have signed. No talking. No eye contact. You pay your money, you get your autograph.

AND if enough people are interested in getting a hospitality suite at a nearby hotel, then we say anyone who wants to socialize with me and has signed the petition is welcome to come up. And make sure everyone has to sign in and sign a TRIGGER WARNING LEGAL RELEASE that they understand that Dave Sim is not a feminist and they accept that he is apt to say things that will cause feminists ENORMOUS STRESS AND MENTAL ANGUISH.

And then see how many people are STILL interested.

It's a nutty way to run things, but what I'm doing is accommodating Feminist Theocratic Reality. Eight years to get 2,000 signatures, I'll give you Mexico City. Eight years to get 2,000 signatures: Canada? CANADA? I don't think so. Nutty countries demand nutty solutions.

Bob said...

Two conventions have offered you $5000 for three days of "work", during which you could probably sell at least that much in books, plus do more effective advertising for your kickstarters than anything you've done so far, and yet you still play the self-anointed pariah. I've yet to hear of one "feminist" who you caused "ENORMOUS STRESS AND MENTAL ANGUISH" with your words, so I think you can risk it.

Somebody definitely "presents schizophrenically"...

Michael A Battaglia said...

Bob said... "I've yet to hear of one "feminist" who you caused "ENORMOUS STRESS AND MENTAL ANGUISH" with your words..."

Hi Bob. Dave specifically said he was referring to Canada, not sure if you caught that.

I can provide you one TOTALLY feminist entity that had an "enormous stress and mental anguish" reaction to Dave's views: The Entire Comic Book Industry in the mid nineties.

Jack said...

Dave, I still don't understand why this thread is persuading you not to go out in public. What does anything here have to do with trigger warnings, safe spaces, or feminists who present schizophrenically? At any rate, if my presence on this site is persuading you not to go out in public, just let me know and I'll stop posting, both for your sake and the sake of Cerebus fans everywhere.

Thanks again for your willingness to come on the internet (which I know you don't enjoy) and talk to fans every day except Sundays. It's much appreciated, although obviously not as much as your work.

Barry Deutsch said...

Dave, are you aware of the irony of you complaining about feminists being "easily bruised flowers," while explaining that you can't appear in public because there are people there who might disagree with you?

Plenty of cartoonists who are publicly right-wing or who have been criticized by some feminists (or both) appear at cons in blue states - in recent memory, Frank Cho, Howard Chaykin, Milo Manara, Frank Miller and Chuck Dixon have been at blue-state cons I've attended.

The last time I saw Seth at a convention, it was in Toronto, and he was promoting his autobiographical book about the libertarian case for using prostitutes. There was a huge line to get his autograph.

If you don't want to appear at conventions, then don't. You have every right to act like an "easily bruised flower" if you want. But it's silly to blame feminists for that. You make your own choices.

Michael A Battaglia said...

@Barry --

That would have been Chet (Chester Brown), not Seth.

I wanted to add that I don't see any irony, here, at all. You're imposing the irony on something that is otherwise free of it.

Barry Deutsch said...

Thanks for the correction, Michael; you are of course correct. Chester Brown, not Seth.