Wednesday, 25 December 2013

"Was I Dumped For God?"

Susan Alston (2013)
Photo by John Suchocki
(from a comment posted to The One About Dave Sim by Heidi MacDonald, February 2008)
Well done Heidi! You have captured the essence of the external Dave Sim. I have to say though, as Dave Sim's last known girlfriend, that this was not the rhetoric/speak/persona he used in my presence in the almost five intimate years that I spent with him (1994-1999). He was a very contemporary thinking and emancipated guy. Yes, he had feminists issues, not unlike the anti-male rhetoric from us in the 80s, (and yes he had mother/sister/girlfriend/wife issues from his past) - but a true misogynist - not in my opinion. We discussed such things at great lengths - but I could never keep up with him on any subject - he is a brilliant well-read person, and would obsess about certain subjects for weeks at a time, reading everything he could find about whatever he wanted to know about. 

He supported my efforts as the Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, oftentimes coaching me for media interviews or writing my ‘stump speeches’ for convention appearances etc. He adored my little dog, Smutty Nose, and pampered her like a baby! He was a very romantic guy too; he would call me on the phone and sing me Frank Sinatra songs. Sometimes he 'cooked' for me! He was very fair about equally dividing time between his home and mine (500 miles apart). Sometime we would decide to connect at Cons. 

His oratory did change after he started reading the King James' version of the bible. But not at the beginning. At first he would read me passages in complete jest, his inflections and emphasis on certain words and phrases (taken out of the intended context) would have laughing so hard I had to wipe back my tears! Then, suddenly, he stopped reading to me from the bible, even though I asked him to. The bible traveled with him everywhere after that, never far from his eyes. We broke up within a year or so from the start of his relationship with the bible, when his love affair with god began. Was I dumped for god? 

I am not defending him; he did disappear into his own void for days at a time, and came out elated and refreshed. We agreed not to communicate when his hair started to grow and he began to snarl. I used to track them on my calendar, every 30-45 days, like a menstrual period! I am not sure what he did there, perhaps became his evil twin Viktor Davis. Is he bi-polar, a schizophrenic? Maybe. I'll reveal more when I publish my own book, Dave Sim’s Last Girlfriend - coming soon...

Susan Alston, the CBLDF's first Executive Director (1993-1997) and former board member (1997-1999), is a development, marketing, and communications professional based in western Massachusetts, USA. Alston began her career as Assistant Director of Marketing at Bank of Boston, then as Director of Administration at Tundra Publishing, owned by Kevin Eastman. In 1993, Tundra merged into Kitchen Sink Press, whereupon Denis Kitchen offered her a part-time position overseeing CBLDF administration. Shortly thereafter, with the onset of the Mike Diana case and a large donation from Dave Sim, the position was moved to fulltime. After leaving CBLDF in 1999, Alston took her interest in fundraising, marketing, and communications and honed them at positions with Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, VNA HealthCare, and Center for Human Development. In 2012, Alston earned her Master’s degree in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy from Bay Path College. Alston rejoined the CBLDF in 2013 serving on its newly formed Advisory Board together with Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Jim Lee, Matt Groening, Mike Richardson, Chip Kidd, Louise Nemchoff and Frenchy Lunning.


Anonymous said...

Ya know, I'm really, really interested in this part of Dave's life, and Dave did give her permission to write the book/publish his letters, but... reading the way that she writes about it skeeves me out a little. It's a little... Kato Kaelinesque, I guess?

-Wes Smith

David Birdsong said...

(from a letter to Susan Alston dated 19 March 2004, reprinted in 'Dave Sim's Collected Letters 2004')
"You certainly don't need any permission to print your own views on what you remember of myself or Cerebus, nor am I any kind of stickler for keeping my correspondence or personal memorabilia private. I would caution you against such a course of action only because Cerebus isn't really that kind of thing. I'm reminded of the memoir of Adele Morales of her marriage to Norman Mailer (which cost me an exorbitant sum when I found it in Chapters). I knew going in that it was probably not going to contain anything interesting, merely the salacious and the mundane and in that I wasn't disappointed. A good example was dinner with Edmund Wilson. Having just excerpted his F. Scott Fitzgerald parody from Discordant Encounters in the annotations to Going Home, I was on the edge of my seat to see what he and Mailer would discuss. All Adele remembered was that Wilson had a piece of food lodged in one of his teeth throughout the dinner and that that had repelled her. And that was all she had to say about Edmund Wilson. "Serves me right," I thought, remembering the sixty dollars or so the hardcover volume had cost me. "Serves me bloody well right."

...if you have something to add to any discussion of the creative side of the book or if you remember any of the conversations that I had with [Steve] Bissette or with [Rick] Veitch about various aspects of the comic-book medium or with Larry [Marder] about the business, that would be useful in its own way... But, as I recall, the start of those discussions was usually when you decided it was time to go to bed."

Yeah right, a book by a dumped girlfriend. Who gives a rat's behind.

Anonymous said...

I dunno ... Dave's made his life such a part of appreciating Cerebus, and a part of Cerebus itself, that it might be interesting to get some additional background material.

Do I recall from a previous post here that Dave and Susan enjoyed spanking as part of their sex life? Kinda funny, given Dave's reasons (or "reasons") why women have such soft, cushy buttocks ...

-- Damian T. Lloyd, pod