Friday, 10 June 2016

Deni Loubert: "It Was Him & Me Against The World"

Deni Loubert
(Photo by Eran Studds)
(from an interview by Terri Brandmueller in Room #39.2, West Coast Feminist Literary Magazine Society, 2016)
...[Dave Sim has] written some weird stuff about women. But you have to remember that I met him when he was about twenty and going through an immense period of creativity. It wasn't until later that the bipolar stuff started showing up. He did too much acid, too much drugs and drank too much and became a totally different person when he did that. 

Dave decided as an interesting experiment -- he called it the "Summer Of Acid" -- he would do an acid hit every day and then do a comic book on it. Couple that with the fact we had just gotten a photocopier. So he did an issue where he would draw a picture -- this was truly an acid idea -- blow it up on the photocopier and then cut it into panels. So each panel was a sixteenth of a drawing with dialogue It became a game with the fans. You'd have to but three copies of the book if you were going to do it right. You had to but two copies to fit the big picture together, because the pages were back to front, and then you had a third copy you kept intact. I have met people at Comic-Cons who've fitted the whole thing together and wanted me to authenticate and sign them. He was fucking floating on acid all month. He started losing it and getting angry. By about the second week he was becoming incoherent and hearing voices. Finally one night we had a big fight and he put his fist through the wall. I had to call 911 and have him committed.

Up until then we were living the life we wanted to live, putting a comic book out every month, signing new artists, going on tours. It was a rock-and-roll lifestyle. When you're twenty-five and run a successful comic book business and employ ten other artists, you think you've got the world by the tail. All we did was comic books -- we were one of the few companies outside of Marvel and DC that actually made a living doing it. We had an office and a studio and an apartment in a high-rise. It was the heyday of indie comics, and our numbers went up every month and we thought there was no end to it. We thought it was great, but you can't sustain that. You can't have a relationship based on that.

Truthfully, when I look back on those Cerebus days when it was him and me against the world -- that's how we always used to refer to it -- it was marvelous, it was what I thought love was about. Those were the good years but when the bipolar started to show up and he started to not trust me about stuff, that's when it started to change. I long for that sweet boy who told me he was going to be a millionaire by the time he was thirty by drawing comic books.

I did go on to do my own thing but I have to admit that I live in the shadow of all that. I am known in comics as Dave Sim's ex-wife -- that's just the way it is...

Deni Loubert was Aardvark-Vanaheim's publisher for the first 70 issues of Cerebus. Deni and Dave Sim were married between 1978 and 1983. After their divorce, Deni moved to Los Angeles to start her own comics publishing company, Renegade Press, which closed its doors in 1989. She was inducted into the Joe Shuster Hall of Fame in 2010.


Unknown said...

Uh, this is pretty weird.

No, what happened was Michael Loubert, Deni's brother gave me a few hits of acid for my birthday in 1979 around the time that I was working on issue #11. My guess would be...three? Four? Certainly not more than that. Michael was a babysitter at the time getting paid to mind this guy's kids so his disposable income was pretty close to zero and a hit of acid would have been probably $5 or $6, so it would have been a major expenditure for him to buy even three hits for his new brother-in-law.

I definitely did a hit while I was working on #11 -- I've talked about this elsewhere -- and pencilled a number of pages on an all-nighter. I definitely did the rest in too quick a sequence over the next week or two weeks and, yes, suffered the consequences. Obsessive and grandiose thinking.

I didn't put my fist through a wall. We definitely came to a break point in me trying to explain to Deni what I was doing. She didn't phone 911, she phoned my mother and my mother came over and the three of us talked and they decided -- best two out of three voting -- that I needed to go to the Psych ward at K-W Hospital. Now called Grand River. So, off we went.

I stayed there for several days and was diagnosed as a borderline schizophrenic. The term bipolar didn't come into use until several years after that. I doubt that the terms are used interchangeably. It was an interesting place and basically all I did was eat and sleep (although it took quite a bit of thorazine or whatever it was for me to go to sleep: they'd give me an injection and then come back ten minutes later, quietly opening the door and I'd say "Hi, there!" and then they'd give me another injection
but finally it "took").

I didn't see that my stay was doing much good. It was more to placate Deni and my mother that I went.

Unknown said...

It was one of the other residents who told me that if I wasn't a threat to myself or anyone else then I didn't have to stay. "Really?" And I asked one of the doctors if that was true. And, yes, it was true. Well, in that case I was leaving. And he said, "You might want to wait until the drugs wear off." I considered that and decided against it.

It took me a while to find the door, but I found it eventually and it exited right onto the front lawn on King Street. So I started walking home. And I got home and Deni was there and Michael and Eric Hope and then the same thing happened again, we talked about it and I was outvoted. I needed to go back to the hospital (Eric's vote counted for a little more because he had been a resident in the Psych ward after a suicide attempt). So we started walking back from the Conestoga Towers through Victoria Park to K-W Hospital and the more we talked about it, the less I could see the sense in going back. So, I said, listen, I'm going home. And I turned around and started walking back to the Conestoga Towers, with Deni and Michael and Eric who had stopped dead going, "Dave!" "Dave!" "Dave!" [It was very 2001: A Space Oddysey with three HAL's instead of one].

On the way back to the apartment I found out why they wanted me to stay until the drugs wore off, I was suddenly walking like a palsy victim, arms and legs contorted, back twisted out of shape, lurching over to one side. That was interesting, too. But definitely one of those "I'd much rather be watching this on television" episodes. I got back to the apartment, let myself in and crashed.

No idea how long I slept but it was dark when I woke up.

At some point Deni came home and we embarked on the remainder of our marriage.

Unknown said...

She definitely has issue 20 confused with this (as most CEREBUS fans would recognize). Issue 20 was the better part of a year later (factoring in that we didn't go monthly until issue 14).

Unknown said...

I have to admit to getting a rueful chuckle out of "when he started not to trust me about stuff" considering that she formed Tabby Dreams --later called Renegade Press on the wise advice of Bob Burden -- behind my back. Basically contacting all of the Aardvark-Vanaheim cartoonists and telling them she was leaving and were they coming with her? And all of them chose to go with her. And not one of them -- each of whom I had hand-picked to publish -- so much as contacted me to find out what was going on.

Which made me (to say the least) a little more amenable to the deal Deni and arrived at: that I wouldn't contest any of the cartoonists jumping their contracts. Although I still wanted to publish FLAMING CARROT even though Bob had plotted with Deni behind my back.

Unknown said...

"Going on tours" plural sort of jumps out at me. We did ONE tour together in 1982. The 1983 Canadian Tour was me solo (although Deni went to Maplecon in Ottawa for the end of the tour). It definitely wasn't a rock-n-roll lifestyle. The only rock-n-roll thing you could attach to the '82 was smoking pot with the store owner if the store owner was a pot smoker. I think that only happened in Berkeley at Comics & Comix. What an oasis! Someone has a joint! Pot luck supper at someone's house.

No, I'm going through the mental rolodex of all the stops on the '82 Tour and that's the only one that I can say we definitely smoked pot with someone.

Unknown said...

Issue 20 wasn't done on a photocopier. I took a sheet of typewriter paper and made a proportionately smaller version of the Cerebus figure as it would look on the 20 pages together and then scaled the individual pages up by sight. "Here's the 10x15 image that needs to be on this page." It was pretty basic stuff: the individual details were so HUGE when scaled up to 10 by 15 that it really wasn't difficult to do it that way.

It's the reason that the jigsaw puzzle doesn't fit 100%: I guessed wrong on where some details would hook up with other details (and tried to do good-looking pages you didn't need to know were jigsaw puzzle pieces when you looked at them to appreciate them).

Unknown said...

I don't want to belabour the point, but I think if people who knew/know Deni were being honest, she has always had a problem with differentiating things she's read in books, saw on television or in a movie and what actually happened to her.

I hope she keeps doing interviews as long as she's around because I think the inconsistencies will eventually bear that out.

I'm sorry she's only known by some people as Dave Sim's ex-wife.

It's very ungentlemanly to dispute a lady's version of events -- and I've always tried to avoid that -- but sometimes enough becomes too much.

Sincere apologies to all.

Jeff Seiler said...

A few thoughts leap out:

1) You have nothing to apologize for, Dave, if you're telling the truth. I, for one, will always trust your version of what happened, over hers.

2) Having said that, I am reminded of the old adage that there is ever only three versions of the truth--hers, yours, and what really happened.

3) As I have said several times before, as a psychologist (albeit, retired), I can tell you that, coming off an LSD trip, you should never have been diagnosed as borderline schizophrenic, nor as bipolar, for that matter. And, no, borderline schizophrenia and bipolar are not interchangeable diagnoses. There is such a thing as manic psychosis, which is acute, but it manifests differently from schizophrenia. The doctor/s should have diagnosed something like "acute psychosis due to ingestion of LSD" (not an actual DSM diagnosis but ballpark), but perhaps Deni and your mother preferred not to inform the hospital staff that you had ingested an illegal substance. And, regardless of your hospitalization coming a week or two after dropping acid three or four times, my understanding is that LSD can have long term after-effects, and not in a good way.

Bottom line, it was a lazy diagnosis.

Unknown said...

Hi Jeff! No, it was all open and above-board when I was checked in. I wasn't trying to hide anything from anyone. I was very much the same then as I am now. You want a straight answer, I'm your guy.

It was a couple of years later when I was at my GP's that he showed it to me in my file and it was definitely the admissions form from K-W Hospital. "Borderline schizophrenic".

[Another example of what I was talking about in Deni's interview: I have absolutely no recollection of ever saying that it was Deni and me against the world. Certainly, it wasn't my credo. If I had a credo at that time it was "They can kill you but they can't eat you." I said that one a lot. Deni thought Billy Joel's "Vienna Waits For You" applied to me and told me that a few times. I guess Vienna is still waiting. :)

I think she's mixed in the Helen Reddy song of the time "You and Me Against The World". It's a very pretty song and a happy sentiment (although a lot of ex-husbands fighting custody battles would disagree) from the same time period as I Am Woman (Hear Me Roar). But I don't remember either her or me applying it to ourselves.]

Erick said...

I recall going back to read those early cerebus issues after i had been hooked by the wolverroach issues, and i must admot i had a huge crush on Deni, There was only that little picture of her, but it was enough. I loved reading the notes from publisher and the letters pages. It was like an era ended when Dave and Deni got divorced. Dave needed the freedom to grow, but as it turned out he also needed Deni to rein in his excesses.

Jeff? Geez.

Jeff Seiler said...

"Geez", what, Erick? Do *you* have a degree in psychology? Elucidate, please.

Erick said...

You are far too close to Dave to render any unbiased opinion, and i still believe that you are a counseling (school) psychologist who took some course work in clinical psychology. Maybe I am wrong, but that is how you come across. Even if you were the reincarnation of Carl Yung, you are still too close to Dave to render any unbiased opinion. So, yes, geez

Anonymous said...

Here's a few question,
1- would cerebus had made it to 300 issues if Dave and Deni had stayed together.
2- Would AV have survived if Dave and Deni had stayed together.

Paul Mckenzie

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Hmm ... Dave has changed his story about how he did the giant Cerebus puzzle in issue 20 from his accounts elsewhere -- small figure on a sheet of typing paper versus life-size figure on sheets of newsprint. Seems Deni's not the only one who changes the past.

-- Damian

Jeff Seiler said...

Erick--Yes, I have a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology; no, I was never a school counselor. Yes, I took some courses in Clinical Psychology, if 42 credits towards a Master's in Clinical Psychology counts as some courses. In both programs I had to take at least one course in utilizing the APA's Diagnostic & Statistical Manual, which is THE resource for making diagnoses of psychological disorders. The DSM makes it very clear that the psychologist should NOT diagnose schizophrenia, or borderline schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder, or what have you IF the patient is exhibiting maladaptive behavior that is the direct result of the ingestion of, an overdose of, or the aftereffects of narcotics or, as in Dave's case, hallucinogens.

So, while I am "close" to Dave (he might debate the use of that word), I say what I say based on my clinical knowledge, experience, and expertise.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff...

Since you are a Msster... What do you say to me having a sore back... what are my chances of being polar-horizontal-beer-drinker-hockey-watcher?


George Peter Gatsis

Jeff Seiler said...

George, while I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv, I think that doctors often recommend bed rest for sore backs. So, watching hockey might help alleviate the boredom. As for the beer drinking, I leave that decision between you and your actual physician. :)

Tony Dunlop said...

I hope Dave's version of events is the more accurate (there's a reason why Biblical justice requires "two or three witnesses," with the implication that they all have the same story!), as dropping acid every day, even for a short period of time, is a REEEEALLY bad idea…I knew a guy in college who did that; he didn't last very long.

Erick said...

Jeff, here is the rub. You are asking us to believe that your close relationship to Dave, and your master's degree in counseling (yes i am discounting clinical course work credits because you did not complete degree let alone practice as a clinical psychologist - lawfully that is) gives you the ability to come up with a different diagnosis than the Doctor who actually saw and treated Dave 37 years after the fact.
So, um yeah. Geez.

Dave Kopperman said...

There's an anecdote that Jim Woodring shares in the introduction to his first anthology (I believe), where he gives his new therapist some of his comics at their request, and then the therapist discontinues treating him, saying "I don't think I can treat you." Woodring later tells another therapist he meets at a party about this, and the second therapist says of the first, "That's against professional ethics. Let me see those comics." Upon reading the comics, the second therapist says, "I wouldn't have wanted to treat you, either."

Tony again said...

If it would change Woodring's comics, I don't want him psychiatrically treated either!!!

Jeff Seiler said...

Erick, you may discount the credits I earned towards an uncompleted degree if you wish, but you can't discount the fact that it was an *education*, most of which knowledge I gleaned (and earned A's for while so doing) I retain to this day. Furthermore, one does not have to be a *clinical* psychologist in order to make psychological diagnoses, using the DSM. I did so on many occasions--lawfully. I think you should stop denigrating me about my knowledge and experience in a field about which you clearly know little to nothing.

I will concede one point, upon further consideration: It is possible that the version of the DSM that was most current in 1979 did not include the section pertaining to drug abuse (the DSM is constantly being updated), so that differential diagnostic tool may not have been available to the doctor/s who treated Dave. Regardless, common sense should have informed them to factor in the drug abuse. Furthermore, to call Dave crazy (or, "crazy") on the basis of having been diagnosed as borderline schizophrenic is incorrect, as there actually is no such diagnosis listed in the DSM. Given what I know about the incident, from Dave's writings, I would most likely have given him the diagnosis of Substance Induced Psychotic Disorder (Hallucinogenic). And, again, Erick, the preface in my copy of the DSM states, under the sub-heading "Criteria for Substance-Induced Disorders": "There is evidence from the history, physical examination or laboratory findings of either (1) or (2): (1) the symptoms developed during, or within a month of, Substance Intoxication or Withdrawal (2) medication use is etiologically related to the disturbance." Clearly, #2 didn't apply, but, clearly, #1 nailed it, thereby obviating any other diagnosis.

I have said all I need to or am going to say on this matter, at this time.

Erick said...

Jeff, calm down. Take a deep breath. It is around this time that you start calling for the moderator. But that will not be necessary because no one is denying that you are accomplished in your chosen field. You are too close to Dave to make an unbiased judgement. Not now and certainly not 37 years ago

Jeff Seiler said...

Thirty-seven years ago, I didn't even know that the DSM or Dave Sim existed, Erick. I think the thing speaks for itself, in that, IF Dave *actually* had been schizophrenic he would not have had the capacity to go on and finish his work--another 289 issues. He was misdiagnosed. Period. Whether I'm "too close" to him or not, Erick, has no bearing on my being able to make that judgment in hindsight.

And your now resorting to telling me to "calm down" after I rationally explained to you whence I derived my informed opinion about that misdiagnosis clearly speaks to the sort*person* you are.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Oh dear, Jeff; oh dear. You're not a medical professional, and you exaggerate what qualifications you do have (way to go, awarding yourself that second degree when the actual institution you attended wouldn't); you're 37 years too late; you're relying on second-hand information at best; and you're completely incapable of any kind of objectivity about Dave. Why should anybody be skeptical about your medical diagnoses?

-- Damian

Jeff Seiler said...

I didn't make a medical diagnosis. I made a psychological diagnosis--more like an observation. I've never claimed to have a medical degree. I'm not a psychiatrist, most of whom are less trained in psychology than are psychologists. Psychiatrists are trained in medicine and psychopharmacology. Hence, since Dave was hospitalized, he was given Thorazine (he says) or some other major sedative, the long-term side effects of which are debilitating. (Trust me, I've seen the side effects in some of my former clients, firsthand.) Fortunately, for Dave and us, he had the presence of mind to walk away. So to speak. Otherwise, he might still be institutionalized and on daily doses of major sedatives. And, clearly, he has never been a danger to anyone since he walked away, except maybe mainstream comics.

And, Damian, I never claimed to have 2 Master's degrees. I said that I had done the course work equivalent to two Master's degrees, which I did and can prove by my transcripts.

But you and Erick do so like to misdirect and obfuscate the dialectic when it doesn't go your way, don't you? Jeff makes an informed and valid point about Dave having been misdiagnosed, so let's attack Jeff personally.

Well done!

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Jeff, you are (as usual) intellectually dishonest. You did make a medical diagnosis, even quoting the DSM. You manifest the usual dismissive attitude that amateurs with psychology degrees have towards real doctors. And both Erick and I have maintained that you made an ill-informed and specious point about Dave, based not in reality but on your personal love of Dave and inability to find any fault with him. The only "attacks" on you personally have been where you have misrepresented yourself or the facts.

-- Damian

Jeff Seiler said...

Damian, I was not an amateur; I was/am a degreed, professional psychologist. I have not, nor have I ever, misrepresented myself or my education/degrees. A psychological diagnosis, made by a psychologist, is not a medical diagnosis. Nor does it purport so to be. A real psychologist (degreed with a Master's and/or Ph.D.) is a real psychologist. A real doctor (M.D. and/or Ph.D) is a real doctor. That doesn't mean that they have interchangeable expertise or skills. I would never attempt to make a medical diagnosis, nor would I attempt to pretend that I had more than a limited understanding of psychopharmacology, nor would I attempt to prescribe such medications.
Psychiatrists (M.D.s) obtain far less education in psychology than do psychologists, due to the focus on medical science and psychopharmacology. That is why, in my *experience*, having observed it firsthand, psychiatrists diagnose, prescribe, talk for a few minutes with their patients, re-up scrips, and then hand them off to the psychologists for in-depth counseling.

I have no problem finding fault with Dave, nor he with me. It is not a love affair; I love his work and his writings (essays), but I only admire him personally. I honor his faith, as should any right-minded person, even though I don't fully agree with it. He and I have disagreed on many things over the years but we have always been civil and respectful towards one another, unlike you and Erick towards Dave and towards me.

As to your accusation of me misrepresenting the facts (as I understand them), once you have received an advanced degree in psychology, get back to me on that. Meanwhile, please stop trolling me.

Erick said...

Jeff, I am not trying to troll you. Just pointing out the inconsistencies in your personal narrative concerning your ability to properly diagnose a friend of yours- especially from a remove of 37 years. You seem in inflate or deflate your own qualifications depending on the level of scrutiny they receive. You are also being very disingenuous because you knew full well that I meant that you are offering a counter diagnosis 37 years AFTER the real Doctor made one. I made mentioned 37 years After the Fact multiple times, but you chose to latch on to the one time I did not mention After the Fact to try and weasel out of answering the real question. You are not qualified to offer a diagnosis now, nor are you qualified to offer it based on an incident 37 years ago that you had nothing to do with and only gather info second hand from a source that is either a close friend of yours and/or someone you slavishly admire.
You issues with Damian are separate you have a long history with him.
I should probably refrain from using the phrase 'slavishly admire' but i thought it sounded better than saying sycophantic. Do you ever ask yourself why you chose the field of psychology? I hear quite a few folks do that because they are trying to heal themselves or find themselves. From my perspective you have latched on to Dave for what you were looking for. Yes, amateur diagnosis. Then again, so was yours -oh wait you backpedaled and did not actually offer a diagnosis, right? Look, you love Dave, whether you want to admit it on this forum or not. Ok, nothing wrong with that and I truly mean that. But when you bandy about your qualifications and not address that particular elephant - your affection for Dave, then we call you on it

iestyn said...

To go back to the most pertinent point

Jeff had it there with
'2) Having said that, I am reminded of the old adage that there is ever only three versions of the truth--hers, yours, and what really happened.'

And as time goes by, so it gets worse and worse with our minds re-writing history to support the present.

Or, put another way - the only useful information one can TRULY get from this, is how the comments reflect how Deni and Dave see themselves now, and how they see this time as informing who they are now.

None of this is FACT, it's PERSONAL MEMORIES and the stories we tell ourselves about our lives.

That's how I see all things.

There's another applicable adage - what we complain most about in others is what we dislike most about ourselves.

I also think - Dave's comments about people trying to just talk and think without having to agree. That there is why I agree with Anarchy - you can all disagree and get on with doing what you want as long as it does no harm to others right to exist without fear or suffering.

iestyn said...

Also, just a couple of things in the comments kind of grated, being either bipolar or schizophrenic would not make Dave crazy. That's some really low level discrimination right there.

And neither would they necessarily prevent Dave functioning in everyday life or creating great art.

In fact, Spike Milligan and John Cleese- both genuine comedy geniuses - were bipolar as is Stephen Fry.

Mental health issues - if Dave does have them - do not prevent people living normal and productive lives.

Unknown said...

Uh, I would qualify that Jeff and aren't friends. Jeff is a fan of my work and a very intelligent one with whom I enjoy discussing any number of subjects because he understands what I'm talking about even when he doesn't agree with me (a not infrequent happening). We share a number of opinions, like having a dim view of feminism. But I'm not really a friend any more than I'm a husband.

My last friend was Gene Day. All of the friends I had before or since were people who were there for a while and then weren't. Which I think has more to do with my being a loner -- or, rather, a Loner. I enjoy visiting with people and talking as a novelty but it wears off in a hurry and a little goes a long way with me. My last visit was to see Darrell Epp in Hamilton in April Friday/Saturday. Before that visiting Blair and Rochelle Kitchen and their kids for three days before Christmas.

I never HAVE to talk to anyone. That's unusual I think. But I don't apologize for being the way I am.

Unknown said...

This also seems to me another "premise" thing. Jeff's premise that psychology or psychiatry is definitive isn't my premise. To me, psychology is a misconstruction of a way to deal with "unclean spirits". You deal with unclean spirits by staying away from them. Prayer, fasting, reading Scripture aloud. I think you can only accidentally "cure" mental "illness" with Freud's "talking cure" and what you're really doing is treating the symptoms instead of the problem. NOT GOD is the problem and GOD is the answer.

What I was looking for in pot and acid and alcohol I found in fasting in Ramadan.

I don't mean this in an antagonistic way towards Jeff or anyone else who believes in psychology as a science. I believed in all that forty years so it's not as if I'm unfamiliar with it.

But I did decide that the premise didn't reflect reality as I perceive it by the time I had finished reading the Torah, the Gospels and the Koran. "Okay, here's what I was looking for." And that has only been further reinforced in the ensuing twenty years.

Unknown said...

Paul M - Hi Paul! There's no control group for that. I think it was inevitable that it would happen the way that it happened given who I was and given who Deni was. There was no way that Aardvark-Vanaheim wouldn't have been successful enough to provide us with two livelihoods and as soon as it was that successful, we were going to split from each other.

We tried to keep the company together but that wasn't going to happen either. Deni wanted to be THE publisher so when a situation came up where we were offered Normalman and Megaton Man at the same time -- I thought we should publish the latter and she thought we should publish the former -- we published what THE publisher wanted to publish. She was far more influenced by cat yronwode in the final couple of years than she was by me and cat yronwode, to say the least, was not a huge Dave Sim fan.

Unknown said...

iestyn - Yes, I would agree that memories get fuzzy as the years go by.

I do think, however, that when you read Deni's versions of events what you are really seeing is the Feminist Theocracy in action. Feminism is the one right way to think. Dave Sim isn't a feminist. Therefore Dave Sim thinks wrong. Therefore Dave Sim is crazy. Or Dave Sim is evil. Or Dave Sim is crazy and evil.

What she's doing is saying: "Here's what made Dave Sim crazy and evil: drugs and alcohol."

You're talking about premise again. The Feminist Theocracy allows for only one premise: all sane people are feminists. Anyone who isn't a feminist, therefore, is insane.

Same thing on belief in God. Only crazy people believe in God. Sane people know that God doesn't exist.

Uh, no. People believe in God or in feminism in good conscience. Reasonable, sane people (I HOPE SOMEDAY) can explain their premise without feeling threatened or having to attack someone they disagree with. Agree to disagree and then talk about something else you can enjoy talking about.

People don't hold contrary views as a means of threatening you. They hold contrary views because they've come to their own conclusions.

"Isn't that interesting?" is of greater value than "You're crazy and evil!" I think. But I seem to be very much alone in that.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave says something here that I absolutely agree with: "People don't hold contrary views as a means of threatening you. They hold contrary views because they've come to their own conclusions." Jeff, are you listening to your hero here?

-- Damian

Jack said...

It does seem questionable to diagnose someone with schizophrenia when he's coming down from an acid trip.

I have a mixed view of the value of psychiatry/psychology. On the one hand, some memory, thinking, and emotional problems are obviously the result of physical and potentially treatable problems with the brain. If you agree that this is the case with senility, mental retardation, and brain damage (maybe Dave thinks all three result from secularism and demonic possession?), you have to admit that it might be the case with a whole host of other issues. On the other hand, when you get into the area of thinking and emotional issues and the behavior that goes along with them, there will always be a push to pathologize whatever goes against social norms, from homosexuality 100 years ago to not caring about school today. Also, drug companies will always have a motive to sell cures (or "cures") for nebulous yet widespread problems like depression, and there have always been lots of individual psychiatrists and psychologists who are awful (most recently, psychologists played a vital role in the Bush Administration's torture programs). So I'm pretty skeptical of both the mental health industry and its critics (many of whom are tied up with Scientology, by the way).

CerebusTV said...

I think Tom Szasz had a lot going for his thesis of "mental illness" being a moral, not biological problem. And old Tom was an atheist at that and the greatest dissident psychiatrist of his age, heading up a chair at a major institution and writing "The Myth of Mental Illness." My own experience with mental health professionals I've known is that they are often interested in the field because they hope to find answers to their own, er, anomalies. I had one friend I could no longer with integrity design and host a website for, because it was clear that it would be a clear and present danger to be counseled by her. Heck, I had to counsel her myself! And the most famous psychiatrist I've known personally, Dr. Evelyn Hooker, was so divorced from reality the last time I spoke with her, didn't know whether it was day or night.

So, in your guts, you know they're nuts.
And in your nuts, you know he's got guts.

Anonymous said...

I am posting this as a feminist. As someone who knew Deni Loubert. As someone who worked with Deni Loubert.

I wouldn't trust anything that came out of that woman's mouth.

And yes, I am posting this anonymously, because she is a barracuda, and not someone I would ever want anywhere near me again as long as I live.

This liberal, this feminist, this compassionate person, made sure that everyone knew her ex-boyfriend was incontinent, and that she couldn't stand the smell, and she sneered at him for being partially disabled, which is one of those things you should never be saying about anyone. It was vicious and awful. That was something out of his control, and since this man worked in the business, he now has to live with a bunch of strangers knowing this about him.

I have listened to this feminist trash the hell out of much younger and much prettier women who had the gall to actually work in comics on their own merits, while she gets to spend the rest of her life complaining that no one thinks of her as anything but Dave Sim's wife. She walked around slut shaming every woman under the age of 40, while she swung from chandeliers and cheated on Dave. I guess slut shaming women who were not sleeping with her husband was her smokescreen.

No one thinks of her as anything but Dave Sim's ex-wife, because outside of this, she really didn't have much going for her.

Anonymous said...

Some of her cuter conflation, right there in the article:

"When you're twenty-five and run a successful comic book business and employ ten other artists, you think you've got the world by the tail. All we did was comic books -- we were one of the few companies outside of Marvel and DC that actually made a living doing it. We had an office and a studio and an apartment in a high-rise."

She was not twenty five, she was 30 years old by 1981, when Cerebus was hardly selling enough copies for either a rock star lifestyle or a high rise. She separated from Dave in 1984, when she was 33. Middle aged.

She loves to cover little things like that up.

By the time Renegade Press died the death it thoroughly deserved, she was pushing 40. Working as a waitress to try to finance the thing. And begging those of us who knew not to tell anyone.

When she was the industry passaround in the early 1990's, she was working for every penny-ante company that would give her a desk, and going to cons saying shitty things about what much younger women were wearing and who she thought they'd fucked to get jobs.

Jeff said...

I have said for years that Deni Sim, born as a Loubert, was an opportunist. Yes, she did her job, as the publisher ( or, "publisher", or, "Publisher") of "Cerebus", but she hitched her little red wagon to a rising star and took off.

Having said that, Dave, like about 100% of guys, got charmed (or, "charmed", or "Charmed") by her and then they proceeded to get married, work together and, ultimately, serially, cheat on each other. This is not unknown--I'm not breaking any confidences, not that there were any in the first place.

This article utilizes the word "passaround" as if it meant her jobs in the comics industry. But, no, she was the girl every guy got, including (most notably) a certain famous artist who worked for years on the second-most well-known character at Direct Currents.

Having said that, it should be noted that, until the mid-90s (or so), Dave was well-known, by his own admission, as a hound. So, draw your own conclusions.

It was an ill-fated marriage.

I am impressed that Dave is close to, or has reached, or surpassed, the point where (timewise) he has reached the equivalency point between bad behavior and good behavior.

God knows, it would be good if we could all say the same.