Monday 23 July 2012

HARDtalk: The Dave Sim Interview (2)

Dave, it was a pleasure to receive your random phone call the other day, habitually out of the blue.  You were funny, gracious and convivial.  It was just like old times on the signing circuit.  Your personable charm was always one of your best weapons.  Any plans now to finally come down off that cross and walk among us once more?  Even Uncle Alan gets out and about.

Uh, Stephen, I'm not ON a cross -- not even on a "cross".  I'm where I was put, unfortunately, when the "talked about/not talked about" thing kicked in "in earnest" (sorry, I couldn't resist).  I didn't call myself a misogynist and I think the charge is as ridiculous as you do, but unfortunately it's the most serious charge imaginable in our society so it has to be taken seriously.  I've been saying for some time that I'll happily revisit the question of going out in public if there are 2,000 signatures on the "I Don't Believe Dave Sim is a Misogynist" petition at ipetitions.  Not actually go out in public, but revisit the question.  Until then, we're exactly where we were eighteen years ago.  It's a painful reality for you and people like you who assume that everyone in our society is open-minded and inclusive with those with whom they disagree politically.  Carma Chan is the latest to get a "faceful" of reality when she embarked on her own campaign to get the 2,000 signatures in time for me to consider flying to Los Angeles for the debut of Oliver Simonsen's 3D CEREBUS MOVIE in November at a convention.  Carma is not one to take maybe for an answer and I have to give her full marks -- better than full marks -- she got about 15 or 20 signatures over the course of a few weeks.  Relative to the petition -- and the political climate/elephant in the room we all inhabit/are inhabited by -- that verges on the superhuman.  But, alas, it is what it is.  

It's not a cross or a "cross" and it certainly isn't the Bataan Death March.  It is, to me, a bad choice made worse with each day that goes by -- that is, NOT signing and establishing that you realize (as you and I do) that people have political differences but that political differences aren't settled by name-calling, shunning, vilification and all the rest.  You've got another question along the same lines here somewhere.  

While I'm looking for it, let me apologize for being one of those people who only phones when he needs something.  In this case, a place for Alexa to crash for the night.  I got a postcard from her saying that PAGE 45 is, indeed, the best comic store in the world and telling me how interesting it was to hear all those stories of the "pre-Biblical" Dave Sim. I'd accuse you of embellishing, but the "pre-Biblical" "On Tour" Dave Sim never needed it.  I haven't heard from her since.  Coincidence?  

Ah! here's your question now:

When we spoke on the phone the other day you came out as a royalist surprised that you could find no royalist sympathisers on this side of the pond. What I don't get is this: you were one of comics' most radical iconoclasts as well as innovator and your portrayal of Thatcher to me (possibly clouded by my own contempt for the poisonous cow) was as a repressive, suppressive, conniving bitch - especially when it came to art. She was the jailor to artists. We all thought you were a liberal-leftie after our own hearts. Obviously I understand from what you've written over the last fifteen years that this is no longer the case. But were we always wrong or are you just wrong now? ;)

Whoa!  What will Dave Sim say to that?  Don't Miss All the Action Tomorrow... or the next day or the Day After That. Same Moment of Cerebus Time! Same Moment of Cerebus Channel!
Mrs Thatcher in Cerebus #133 (April 1990)
Art by Dave & Gerhard

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