Saturday, 16 July 2016

Jeff Seiler: Dave Sim & Me (Part 2)

Continuing from May 21 to June 5, 2008:


Hi, Dave---I was going to wait until I heard back from you, but I’m being booted off the computer in about ten minutes, so:

I went to eBay and spent a good half hour figuring out how to list a for sale item. I got it all figured and filled out, registered to pay for it, and hit send. Was told that the Internet connection was down. Did it all again, got the same message--bear in mind, I was *on* the fricking Internet. So, chalk it up to these crazy filters here at the library. I’ve got it saved in some nebulous corner of eBay, so I’ll try it again at school tomorrow, or go to Kinko’s after school. Since there’s time, here’s what I wrote in the description. Let me know if you want me to change any of it. You should let me know sooner rather than later, though.

Here’s the copy: Dave Sim is auctioning off the right to put your advertising [Ed: Dave struck out “advertising” and wrote in “advertisement”.] on the back cover of glamourpuss No. 2, which will be released in July of 2008. The cover [Ed: Dave struck out “cover” and wrote in “ad”.] will be in full color. [Ed: Dave struck out the following sentence in full.] The winning bidder will be responsible for paying for the cost of shipping his or her artwork to Sim. In addition, the winning bidder will be paying Sim directly by credit card [Ed: Dave added “or certified cheque or money order.”]--DO NOT paypal to the listed seller. The artwork [Ed: Dave struck out “artwork” and wrote in “ad in the form of PDF computer file”.] must be received by Sim no later than the third week of June. [Ed: Dave added, “Dave Sim will be contacting the winning bidder by phone.”] Glamourpuss is a photo-realistic comic parody of the fashion industry and fashion magazines, as well as being an in-depth explanation of the photo-realistic techniques of 1940s and 1950s newspaper comic strip artwork by artists such as Alex Raymond. The sales figures for glamourpuss No. 1, which debuted in April, were over 16,500 copies sold. [Ed: Dave struck out “16,500” and wrote in “8,000”. Or, “18,000”. The printout of the fax makes it difficult to tell.] This is a rare opportunity for your advertising to be seen by a large comic-book buying audience. [Ed: Dave added, “Starting bid $500 Canadian.”]

Let me know. I’ll be gone in eight minutes from right now, so I’ll look for your answers tomorrow.


[Dave’s inserted response: Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate the “above and beyond the call” very much. (Those CRAZY filters, eh?)]


The next fax in the stack is dated 5/23/08, at 3:35 p.m., from Dave to me, and reprints the fax I had sent to him earlier, with circled numbers at the end of seven paragraphs, but I don’t have the accompanying document in which the numbers correspond to responses from him. A lost document.


The next fax is also from 5/23/08, at 8:41 p.m. It is presciently pertinent to our current times:

Hi, Dave---I’m going to respond more in depth to your latest fax on Monday, but I was wondering if I could post your quote about Hillary Clinton. I noticed that, too, and thought that it wouldn’t hit your radar screen. Boy, she and Bill really are acting as if they both just expected her to be elected de facto and now that she’s essentially out of it, they’re pulling out all the stops. Enormous sense of entitlement, as if we didn’t already know that from round one of “Billary”, eh?




Mm...Better hold off on posting the quote. I’ve been dealing with the “special needs” class for a while and I know how badly they react to the self-evident when it’s pointed out to them.

Two more weeks of 24/7 Hillary rants and I’ll give them a 5% chance of actually seeing what feminism is.

Sandeep said yesterday, “This is getting embarassing.”

I said, “Oh, no, it hasn’t even started to get embarrassing. God picked Hillary specifically for this, “I’m pretty sure.”

As Bette Davis said in All About Eve, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”




Hi, Dave---Sorry for the delay in getting you the info on the auction. I’ve been tied up with a lot of things, not the least of which is the annual summer job search.

The ad space did not sell on eBay. It did not even get any bids. Lenny C. sent me an email that I’m adding below, in which he explains why he thinks it did not sell:

[From Lenny C.]: Jeff--You didn’t fix any of the problems I mentioned to you in the auction. You have no bids, and no surprise--I personally wouldn’t bid on an auction which has so many inconsistencies.

1. Description says $500 Canadian, auction says $500 US.
2. Description says no PayPal, auction says Paypal OK.
3. Charging $10 shipping for an auction in which nothing is shipped.
PLUS, you are a zero-rated seller. It is possible but unlikely you will get bidders--and if you do, it will be at a lower price than if you did the auction right.

If you’d like, give me a call at work and I will walk you through the fixes. Alternatively, you can stop the auction early and relist it correctly. Also, my own eBay rating is 487, with sterling feedback. If Dave wants, I’d be happy to lend my credentials to him to list the auction for him.

Let me know.


[Ed: Me again.]: I see his points, except that, as far as I could tell when I put it up, there was no way to list a zero shipping charge. The listing site wouldn’t accept it when I tried.

Do you want me to contact Lenny about relisting this? Let me know and I’ll take care of it.




Yes, that would be fine. Live and learn, I guess. I’d say do whatever Lenny suggests. Getting him to post it is probably a very good idea. I’ve got a “fall-back” back cover if it comes to that, so nothing to get worked up about. In a way it’s funny--won’t let you list zero shipping cost and that’s what blows it. When on Planet Rome, let the Romans fix it. Hope you’re feeling better.




Hi, Dave--A couple of questions from Lenny:

1. Does Dave reserve the right to reject the ad based on content? And, if so, I would like to say this in the ad for the sake of honesty. I can email you and/or fax Dave the exact text of the auction before I list it, if he would like. But I would suggest something along the lines of: “Seller reserves right to reject advertisement based on content and refund auction price in full.”

2. He should allow PayPal--it will likely raise the final value of the auction--it’s so common now on eBay that many people will simply not bid on an auction if it doesn’t allow PayPal. I can take the payment and write Dave a check OR he can set up an account and I can link the auction to his account (but he needs a bank account and, I think, a credit card) to do this--he just need to go to PayPal to set it up. Either way, though, he will lose about 3% of the payment to PayPal. I think it’s worth offering this option.

[Ed: Me again:] I told him I would run them by you and get back to him tomorrow with your answer.

Also, he posted something interesting in the April comic book sales numbers that I thought you might not know about but that you might find interesting. Here it is, in a nutshell:

Dave Sim’s glamourpuss #1: 16,515
Terry Moore’s Echo #1: 16,350
Jeff Smith’s RASL #1: 16,346

I know you wrote me that the sales figures were 18,000, but I figured that included the direct orders that you got, right?

As Lenny wrote, “those are STUNNINGLY similar numbers and, to me, suggest this is much more reflection of the subset of the direct market retailers who support books by these successful indie creators than indicative of true, end reader demand. What would be the odds that books by three such diverse creators would be separated by 1% in their first months!?”

It’s fascinating. To me and Lenny, anyway.


[Ed: Dave’s inserted response:

1. Yes. Fine.
2. Lenny can take the payment and write me a cheque.
3. Sales on glamourpuss #1 were 9.321 Comics Ed., 7,100 Fashion Ed. I also offered “buy 5, get 1 free” which meant it shipped 19,705 copies, which I figured needed to be taken into account and arbitrarily set it as “half” orders...therefore, the rounded off 18,000.

If Lenny has his dad’s memoirs of the Holocaust, can he email them to Lou Copeland for inclusion on the Judenhass website? As is. His dad had a great literary voice.


Carson Grubaugh said...

I would be REEEALLLLYYYY curious to hear what Dave has to say about the current election, given his comments here about the 2008 election and many other comments RE: Hillary.

Jeff Seiler said...

Me, too, Carson. When Dave called me last Monday, there just wasn't enough time to get around to the election. He wanted mostly to talk about the previous week's shooting deaths here in Minneapolis and in Dallas. We'll probably talk politics next phone call.

Jeff Seiler said...

FYI, folks, I am very much aware the structure for reprinting this week's and last week's letters is...difficult. So, I'm going back to just reprinting Dave's letters with my annotations, as necessary, starting next week.

Carson Grubaugh said...


The shootings are an interesting topic. It is a great example of how an emotion-based sloganeering, #blacklivesmatter, drew attention away from a thorough discussion about the issue at hand and lead to weeks worth of bickering over how to properly interpret #blm so that #alllivesmatter looked like a foolish thing to say.

Closing in on the end of my re-read, with all of the back-matter included, has me particularly cognizant of this kind of rhetoric and how it spills out of the philosophical stance Dave appears to be railing against.

I actually posted the following two quotes to my Facebook page in response to what I was seeing re: the shootings. The first from one of Dave's essays, the second quoted in an excerpt Dave shares in the "Excerpts" series of front-matter (I don't remember who wrote the overall segment, but they were quoting John Stuart Mill".

"It is exactly the adopting of insensible extremes of anecdotal evidence in place of reasoned discourse - the frantic urge to hit the nearest and hottest "button" to refute an opposing idea - that reinforces my view that there is no genuine debate going on in society, merely emotional reflex response in predictable sequence."

"There is always hope when people are forced to listen to both sides. It is when they attend to only one that errors harden into prejudices, and truth itself ceases to have the effect of truth, by being exaggerated into falsehood."

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Not to ignore the above comments, but to change the subject: I find those figures encouraging. Given the untested comics, I think the orders represented a vote of faith by the stores in these creators. It's good to see that Dave was as marketable a creator as the others who hadn't self-exiled themselves as "the Pariah King of Comics". Glamourpuss was simply the wrong production for the wrong market. Hopefully Strange Death will appeal to more people.

-- Damian

Erick said...

that quote from Dave is indeed very insightful. The problem though is that human beings ARE emotional creatures. All of us. Men, Women and children - even Dave. We are not vulcans. So while we may want to divorce emotion from disagreement or debate, that is seldom .the case. Emotion does not necessarily take the form of yelling or screaming, nor is it inherently destructive. Where it becomes destructive - like anything else, is when we lose control.
BLM is a good example. It is disingenuous for folks to argue that following/believing in blm is racist because 'all lives matter'. The whole point of blm was to raise awareness nationwide of what is commonly felt in the Black community that some police do not think that Black Lives Matter at all and too often treat Blacks as criminals for no reason other than the color of their skin. Protests are a direct way of getting that message across. Non violent protest. Rejecting violence of any and all natures. The fact that they did no allow the Dallas shooting to stop their protest in other cities was admirable, it showed they would not allow others - be it maniacs who killed cops or people in the media to hijack their right to protest. Emotion can not be divorced from human interaction.

Dave Sim said...

To be honest, I don't think people DO actually want to hear what I have to say about ANYthing or anyone. What you want is for me to agree with you. And I don't agree with you. And you know I don't agree with you. That's the part that I don't understand. If you believe in the Feminist Theocracy as an absolute irrefutable good then you really should only read Feminist Theocracy propaganda.

It's...vaguely...interesting when President Obama makes his "inclusive" noises which are then widely reiterated and I sense everyone here at AMOC staring intently -- and STERNLY -- in my direction. I don't react because I know a) they're just noises and b) don't include me. I'm not a feminist. You can only be included in the President's inclusive noises if you're a feminist. So it's ludicrous -- REPEATEDLY ludicrous -- to act as if what you are talking about is inclusiveness. It isn't. It is: We are sitting here impatiently tapping our foot waiting for you to capitulate and admit that the Feminist Theocracy Is The Only Right Way To Think. Well, you and my ex-wife, all of my ex-girlfriends, all of my female relatives etc. etc. etc. dating back twenty years.

I'm aware that the offer is ALWAYS ON THE TABLE: CAPITULATE. I declined the offer twenty years ago and I decline the offer now.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

When Dave says he senses us all staring sternly at him, the sense he's using is his Sense of Paranoia -- which must surely be second only to his Sense of Self-Importance in his list of character traits.

Dave is the one saying, "Capitulate." His offer is to society: Admit that I am right and Feminism is wrong, or do without Dave Sim in society." That society doesn't address Dave's offer isn't a sign of a conspiracy. Cerebus and Dave really punched above their weight in their time and place, but society never really noticed Dave (as he has said), so it never really noticed his withdrawal either, and his offer (c.f. his petition) just looks egotistical (like Barbra Streisand to Colorado).

-- Damian

Tony Dunlop said...

Well, first of all, I pay almost no attention to what President Obama - or any mainstream politician, I hasten to add - says. But when I do pay attention, I can promise that "What does Dave Sim have to say about this?" is very much *not* on my list of questions...

Carson Grubaugh said...


Emotion may bring me to the door of debate but I try to wipe the shit off on the doormat before going inside.

Also, this is what I perceive just happened between the two of us:

Me: #BLM was a poorly chosen rallying slogan (for a very justified cause) because it's us/everyone-else language is inherently divisive and will obviously lead to "emotional reflex response in predictable sequence". Which is exactly what happened. We spent weeks arguing over the proper meaning of the slogan.

You" let me tell you the proper meaning of the slogan.

Me: *sigh* *puts shoes back on*

Carson Grubaugh said...

I actually am legitimately interested in your perception of the current election. I feel stuck between:

A) An obvious sociopath and unrestrained ball of raging ID.

B) The Sainted Mother of a progressive agenda I find horrifying in aim and logically impossible given the paradoxical desire to homogenize through bifurcation.

But decide I must, because choosing a third-party candidate is as good as not voting. The more viewpoints I hear the better equipped I am to navigate the decision. You always present carefully thought through, admittedly singular, viewpoints. I, for one, find that the more singular a viewpoint is the more illuminating it can be, whether I come to agree with it at all, in part, or whole.

Erick said...

I do not think it is possible to remove emotion from debate. It is possible to control emotions to some lesser or greater extent depending on the individual but not to completely remove it.
Hence, and side of the debate is formed by emotions of the individual.
You felt like BLM (slogan) was wrong because you think its us/vs everyone else.Whereas BLM does not think that way and refuses to be defined by others lack of understanding.
The real key is that BLM has forced people to discuss what happens, regardless which side they come down on or whether or not they appreciate the "slogan" or not. Times change, people change, language changes. Acceptance happens. Yet another Black male was shot by police - captured on video - which is the distinction. His hands in the air while lying on the ground. Blacks have been saying for generations that this is how they have been treated. Only recently has video evidence in form of omnipresent camera phones, started to show how true that is. The slogan is fine. If it causes anxiety in some, so be it. At least they cant ignore it. And the explaining of its true meaning - such as i did in the above post, will continue and more and more people will understand. Those that refuse to do so, would never have no matter what the "slogan" said

Tony again said...

I'm sorry, but "refuses to be defined by others lack of understanding?" This means a movement's goals can be as incoherent as it wants, and if anyone points that out, you can blame it on the pointer-outer. Not buying it.

This isn't intended as a judgement on the merits, or lack thereof, of the BLM phenomenon, just as a general comment on rhetoric.

Erick said...

that is very disingenuous.
Their goal is clearly stated. Black. Lives. Matter.
It does not mean that all other lives do not matter - which it's critics and those who refuse to use any nuance try to claim. It means that for too long a segment of police have treated Blacks as criminals just because they are black. For generations Blacks have been unfairly targeted by police. Pulled over, beaten up, murdered. For no reason other than being Black. Black. Lives. Matter. it means police need to realize that Black. Lives. Matter. Blacks are not to be treated as criminals that the police can do with as they see fit and get away with it. It does not mean other lives do not.

Jeff Seiler said...

The only apt, and non-divisive slogan should be and is: "All Lives Matter".

Or, "All Life is Matter". Take your pick; sloganeering is ridiculous, prima facie.

Barry Deutsch said...


I think that it's a mistake to talk as if a slogan as the source of division, when the division precedes the slogan.

The public is divided on the question of racism, and on the question of police reform. Because of these divisions, no matter what slogans and rhetoric are used by either side, it is inevitable that the other side will seek to interpret them in an uncharitable fashion.

As an analogy, think of all the negative commentary pro-lifers have given the "pro-choice" label ("the baby doesn't get to choose"), and pro-choicers have given the "pro-life" label ("they're only pro-life until the birth takes place"). If the two sides had instead chosen different labels - say, "pro legal abortion in most circumstances" and "pro outlawing abortion in most circumstances" - the result would not have been a lack of acrimony and greater agreement and understanding. Rather, the two sides would be disagreeing just as much - because their core disagreement goes much deeper than just a disagreement about what words mean."

Police accountability and racism are issues that the American public are strongly divided about, and that's why there's so much dispute. Choosing a name other than "Black Lives Matter" would not have changed that at all.

Also, fwiw, none of my many progressive friends consider Clinton "the sainted mother of a progressive agenda." Clinton is generally seen (by progressives) as someone who is well to the right (most infamously, on her vote for the Iraq war), and who is as far from being a "saint" as any professional politician, but who can be dragged to progressive positions by pressure from her base.

Erick said...

Well said Barry.
Jeff, well if you did not know that the slogan 'all lives matter' has been adopted by the racists at 4chan and reddit et al, you do now.
And just as Barry said, no matter the slogan some would find a reason to disagree no matter what. If BLM had been ALM then i guarantee that Blue lives Matter would still exist and people would still think BLM/ALM was racist.
And it is not just a slogan it is a movement to educate All Americans to how Blacks have been treated just today on NBCNews website there is a story - with video of a woman being yanked from her car by a cop for no reason other than being black. but the real revelation is in the words recorded by the cop about blacks in general.

Every life matters, but some police do not feel that Black lives Matter.
How many times must it be said?
People who do not get it are either willfully stupid or simply racist

From the story: url below

In a second video showing King being driven to jail by Officer Patrick Spradlin, who is white, King asks Spradlin if he thinks racism still exists and she says she thinks white people have more rights than blacks, and some people are afraid of black people.

"Why are so many people afraid of black people?" Spradlin says in response. "I can give you a really good — a really good idea why it might be that way," Spradlin says. "Violent tendencies."

"I'm not saying anything, I'm not saying it's true — I'm not saying that I can prove it or nothing. But 99 percent of the time, when you hear about stuff like that, it is the black community that's being violent," Spradlin says. "That's why a lot of the white people are afraid and I don't blame them." At another point, Spradlin admits that "some of them, because of their appearance and what not, some of them are very intimidating." The conversation is a back-and-forth discussion, and calm.

Every life matters, but some police do not feel that Black lives Matter.
How many times must it be said?
People who do not get it are either willfully stupid or simply racist

Tony one more time said...

Erick, please read entire posts before responding. I concluded with "This isn't intended as a judgement on the merits, or lack thereof, of the BLM phenomenon, just as a general comment on rhetoric." I specifically said I was not talking about BLM, but about a specific rhetorical flourish in your post. *sigh*

Erick said...

are we going to play games with semantics? Ok, then howsabout dis: One nation under God.
What does that mean? Whose God are they talking about? According to you if things are not exactly spelled out then it must be incoherent. And since we do not know which God is meant in that statement, that seems to be an incoherent statement. But if someone, oh i don't know someone with half an inkling of intelligence and curiosity where to look beyond those first few lines then maybe they would get the context. Ir as in the case with BLM, look beyond just what those first three words mean. Or maybe not. In which case then what I said about"refuses to be defined by others lack of understanding." comes into play.
Oh and as for your statement about me not reading you entire post, maybe if you had written it more concisely, i would have understood it. You said "rhetoric" but did not indicate whose rhetoric. So i must have misunderstood or perhaps your phrasing was "incoherent". Ironin iniit?

and here is your entire post no cherry picking and as far as 'rhetorical flourish' i still do not see any indication it was directed at me -are you going to sigh again?

I'm sorry, but "refuses to be defined by others lack of understanding?" This means a movement's goals can be as incoherent as it wants, and if anyone points that out, you can blame it on the pointer-outer. Not buying it.

This isn't intended as a judgement on the merits, or lack thereof, of the BLM phenomenon, just as a general comment on rhetoric.

Tony again said...

Jeez, who put a quarter in him?

What? I did? Oh…uh, sorry, everyone.

Carson Grubaugh said...

I will share the blame with you. We have both "*sigh*"ed at the poor fellow. He doesn't seem to grasp that his responses to the both of us only prove my point about the slogan leading to arguments about the meaning of the slogan. Ah well.

Carson Grubaugh said...


Of course situation precedes to slogan. That doesn't mean a set of words aren't poorly chosen for their intended purpose.

Had the social-media activists taken a different approach instead, #nomore, images of the slain with big bold "NO"'s super-imposed over top of the images, I think we would be much more focused on the actual issues than we are.

How we frame our discussions is of the utmost importance. We can be mere rhetoricians but if we really want to solve problems we have to have deep, rational discourse.

People would obviously still disagree about abortion had more accurate labels been chosen. Most of us have more pressing matters to attend to than undertaking laser-point-accurate analyses of conceptual Gordian-knots. That said, if you are going to take it upon yourself to contribute significantly to the public discourse on any given topic it behooves you to do so in a carefully considered and responsible manner.

Unfortunately, with social-media being what it is everyone can just pop off whatever, however valid, first reaction they have to any issue. This inevitably sets off "emotional reflex response(s) in predictable sequence"(remember, this was my true worry, not #blm or abortion or any other symptomatic flare up of the disease). This problem is compounded by the echo-chamber of a curated friends-list, in which, "...errors harden into prejudices, and truth itself ceases to have the effect of truth, by being exaggerated into falsehood."

Erick said...

Tony -
at least you did not sigh on the last post that is a win win

Carson -
i notice you are one of those types that forms an opinion and then hilariously adopts a condescending tone to anyone who can't see the 'self evident correctness' of your ideas. Then even more hilariously you attempt to defend said opinion with a bunch of useless word salad and ignoring of the counter argument. You must win a lot of debates with yourself -please don't sigh

Erick said...

and Carson,
as for "slogans" and it is a bit small of you to reduce a movement that wants to save lives to a mere slogan, but as for "slogans" that can not possibly have any offense, i give you Rainbow Coalition/Push.
Jesse Jackson's organization. Which emerged from Operation Breadbasket, but i digress. How is "Rainbow/Coalition/Push" in any way offensive? and remember this is 1970's early eighties before rainbow became a symbol for gay unity. Well it was so offensive to some that even david Duke himself thought that their boycotts especially of Nike was as if "whites were being oppressed by blacks"
Rainbow Coalition/Push. So if it is not the words, then it must be the deeds. If large amounts of Blacks were protesting what they see as unjustified mistreatment at the hands of cops, but their slogan was "Puppies and Kittens should hug" i guarandamn tee you that people would still find it offensive.

here is a snippet of RbC/P from wiki

the more you know

The organization staged several boycotts including early 1980s boycotts of Anheuser Busch and Coca Cola as well as a 1986 boycott of CBS television affiliates.[14][15] The boycotts became so well known that at one point David Duke supporters referred to a boycott of Nike, Inc. as if whites were being oppressed by blacks.[16] Nike spokesperson, Michael Jordan, disavowed the Nike boycott.[17] The boycotts of Budweiser, and Coke as well as one against Kentucky Fried Chicken were touted for having won minority job concessions from white businesses.[18]

Erick said...

Carson, one more thing.
i responded to your first post with a measured and concise explanation of what BLM stands for and why the BLM slogan was important. I did not insult or demean you in anyway. You chose to escalate. You chose to inject emotion and argument and insult in your reply. Irony abounds. not to mention hypocrisy

Tony again said...

Carson, you're a pretty thoughtful guy for such a young whippersnapper! Hope to see your work published in "Strange Death" someday.

Carson Grubaugh said...

Thanks, Tony.