Monday 7 January 2019

The Trial of Dave Sim

Hi, Everybody!

A Moment of Cerebus Interim Editor Matt Dow here.

Before I begin today's long slog through the dregs of humanity, I'ma putting up the:

CLAIMER: (like a disclaimer, but I'm stating what I actually own up to.)
The following is MY (Matt Dow's) accounting of the latest controversy roiling the internet regarding Dave Sim. Unless otherwise accredited, everything is MY opinion, and from MY understanding. I'm speaking for MYSELF. (Or, as it says at the right hand top of this blog: "I AM NOT DAVE SIM"...)

So it started with a comment on the Hot Wacks post on the second of January from my new bestest friend: JLH:

JLH said...
Happy new year! Woke up today to seeing people claiming on Twitter that Dave groomed a child into having sex with him. The fun never ends.
I asked for a link or such, and Everybody's Friend (and Superman's frenemy): David Birdsong posted:
Which included this image:

And on the Facebooks, somebody posted part of that:

...the fuck, right?..
And then Lee Thacker, (Hi Lee!) posted a link to a YouTube video called: "THE TRUTH ABOUT DAVE SIM (HIS relationship with a 13 YEAR OLD)" that somebody calling themselves "ThatUmbrellaGuy" put up. I'm not linking to it, because it's (in my opinion) misnamed. I believe it should be called, "The BULLSHIT about Dave Sim." The guy quotes from a fax Dave sent somebody. But, he only quotes part of the fax. How do I know this? Because Dave send ME the same fax (as Mel Brooks said, "it's GOOD to be the King"):

Here's part one, the fax TO Dave, from Edwin Boyette
Yeah, that's gonna be hard to read. Here, allow me to retype it:
Mr. Sim,
Aloha and Happy New Year.
There is a culture war at large, and specifically within the domain of comic books at the moment.
Over the past year a group of fans and associated creators have managed to crowdfund and put into production dozens of new comic books - bypassing the traditional network of publishing houses, comic book media, reviewers, and influencers.
One of the primary figures in this movement is Ethan Van Sciver, he and the movement are currently being attacked for mentioning support for your work and you potentially being a writer on an affiliated project.
A particular influencer has dug up your comments on your initial attraction to the then teen aged "Judith Bradford" and your subsquent relationship.
Your comments are being used as a cudgel against Mr. Van Sciver and the movement - and you yourself are being accused of predatory grooming.
Reading your article in context you appear to repudiate your earlier behaviour (admirable). Has Ms. Bradford commented on this as an adult, or is this there additional context?
I would like to be able to unequivocally answer this, and as much as is possible and remove it as a point of discussion. I note that in the age of character of assassination on social media, you make an easy target to disparage in absentia.
Thank you and Aloha.
Edwin Boyette
fax: +1 [REDACTED]
celluar 1-[REDACTED]
I didn't correct any language or punctuation.

Here's Dave's response:

And here's Mr. Boyette's response to Dave:
Don't worry, I retyped this too:
Jan 2, 2019 2:00 Hawaii Time.
That is and admirable display of confession and remorse. Paul's observations on marriage in scripture are always germane. Hopefully the Scripture has remained a guiding light for you.
Frankly - I don't want to share this with anyone, you will likely be crucified - by the NEO-Puritan Social Justice Warriors, it would be bitter and ugly.
I appreciate you being forth coming with me, a stranger.
When you have the opportunity please do make contact with Ethan.
Thank you and Aloha.
Edwin Boyette
fax: +1 [REDACTED]
celluar 1-[REDACTED]
Again, I didn't correct any language or punctuation.

And then Ethan Van Sciver posted:
Fuckin' classy...

Okay, so in the meantime I called Dave and left a message, then I got online and looked at some of this stuff, and faxed up:

Oy, Dave,
So, the Judith Bradford thing got brought up on Twitter (as Sir Alec Guinness said as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: “You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy…”)
It started like this: [and the first image up top from the Twitter-MD]
Which is a screen grab of a comment you made on a post from February, 22nd 2017. I’ve sent a couple of tweets to try to clarify things. I expect that it’ll do nothing. It’s Twitter.  I gotta learn to avoid it like the plague it is. 
Sorry to have called BEFORE I fully checked out what was going on.
Take to you tomorrow.

And he faxed back:
Which I posted previously...


And that was the Trial of Dave Sim. It lasted all of five minutes, Dave was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to the Cursed Earth, there to walk the Wastelands until he dies of radiation poisoning.

                                                                        The End.                                                                         
                                     Ya know, again...                                   


As I mentioned in my Fax to Dave, the screengrab from AMOC is from Dave's comments on this post.

Okay, I'm gonna pause here to remind everyone of a couple of facts:

  1. The "girl" in question was born tomorrow January, Eighth. In 1970. I know it's bad form to mention a lady's age, but the "13 year old girl" everybody's up in arms about, is 49.
  2. As Dave mentioned in part 3 of this month's "Please Hold For Dave Sim," she's also a real person with a life. And she might not want her past with Dave Sim becoming an internet "thing" intruding on her life today.
  3. Dave has not tried to hide his past. He put it in the book. (Issue #78, as Dave mentioned)
    Click to see bigger, (Thanks Margaret!)

    Click for bigger

  4. Dave also talked about it in The Many Origins of Jaka Pt. 1. (At the 3:30 mark) (thanks, Anthony Kuchar!)
  5. Plus, there were his comments on the post I just mentioned.
  6. In case anybody missed it in Dave's fax, Dave has been celibate for almost 21 years (since February 1998).
  7. Dave, himself, has said that his relationship with the lady in question was Wrong.
  8. Dave met her in 1983, and he never saw her again after March, 8th, 1992. I'm fairly certain they weren't "exclusive" during those nine years. Meaning, I'm pretty sure Dave had other girlfriends.
  9. Ya know, when Dave said he was gonna do a : "Russian Novel" in Cerebus, I thought he was talking about Tolstoy, or Dostoevsky... not Nabokov... *sigh*
Alright, So, issue #78 was in 1985, #4 is from 2016, #5 is from 2017. It's not like Dave was trying to hide the relationship.

Now, I know the Trial is over, but...

Back when EVS and comicsgate first popped up, and we all started discussing it 'round here, I kept getting praised for my even-handedness and fairness regarding the 'gate.

Yeah, that was because I didn't wanna cause Dave any undue grief.

But since he's off Cyberfrog...

I'm just gonna come out and say it:

Ethan Van Sciver is a Chickenshit.

He's all "ComicsGate über allesüber alles in der Welt!" And ComicsGate is gonna burn down the industry and replace it with something better (or something along those lines...) But the minute the "SJWs"

(Let me digress during my digression: How is "Social Justice Warrior" a pejorative? It's Batman's job description. How the FUCK is calling someone in the comic book world Batman a negative? I don't get it. I just don't... (I mean, if your insult to your opponent is Batman's job description, you are, in essence, calling them Batman. And what does that then make you? The Joker? The Riddler? The Penguin? King Tut? (And before you answer: "Bane. Because I will break the Bat..." let me stop ya right there. You're King Tut. A relative nobody who got clunked on the head, and now you think you're somebody important.)))

Ahem, "But the minute the 'SJW's..." Right, right.

But the minute the Anti-'gate crowd throws this in his face, he folds, like a cheap suit.

Wait, allow me to correct myself, first he defends Dave by saying it's the same as when Elvis met Priscilla. Then he sees the YouTube video by "thatUmbrellaguy" and folds like a cheap suit.


If EVS was REALLY interested in working with Dave, don't you think he would have called Dave and asked DAVE to explain what happened?

But nope, calls Dave and says, "you're out."

Which is his right as the creator of Cyberfrog, but it's still a chickenshit move.

Ya know, at one point, I returned to the Twitters for the first time in four or five years. And I contacted Renfamous to clarify a few points.

Renfamous is the Anti-'gater who posted the thing about Dave. While I was sending messages, I sent the following:
Also, if you really wanna "get" EVS, four words: "Where. Is. Cyberfrog. Ethan?"
I mean, his campaign to crowd fund Cyberfrog ended on July 30th of 2018. If you factor a page a day, it's forty-eight pages, so (even with a couple days off,) he could have had it finished by the end of September. As far as I know, it's still not done.

Meanwhile, Master-'gater #1, EVS, has posted how many hundreds of videos on YouTube? I mean I get it, he's probably monetizing the shit out of those things, but if it were ME, and I raised half a million bucks to make a comic, I'd be busting that shit out like a bat out of hell. I'd be eating, sleeping, and living my comic until it was printed and delivered into the hands of the fine folks who gave me 500K.

But that's just me. I'm that kind of guy.

And, I believe, so is Dave Sim.

I mean when Dave does a KickStarter, he's pretty good with getting rewards out to everybody as fast as possible. I'm pretty sure he sent me a pack of comics I didn't order, because he THOUGHT it was the rewards I was getting. 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Always.

Can the Master-'gater's supports say he's treating them the same way?

I think my biggest problem with the Master-'gater crowd is...

(Well, MY biggest problem is the use of the word "gate" in their name. Putting "gate" after another word to indicate scandal is annoying as fuck. Watergate was the name of the hotel. Calling the scandal "Watergate" made sense. Any other "___gate" is just stupid...)

...the mental cirrhosis. Literally, the hardening of the mind.

Let me illustrate:
Okay, whatever franchise you thought of when you read that? Yeah, that's the problem.

Because it doesn't matter what franchise you thought of. Practically everything has "been ruined" at this point.

And the Master-'gaters SAY they want better comics. Okay, make better comics.

"But we're just fans, we don't make the comics..."

Okay, but ya know Previews? That bigger than the phonebook thing at your local comic shop? Well, in the back, past the premier publishers, are hundreds of little publishers. And they're publishing ALL kinds of things. So instead of bitchin' about how Marvel and DC are RUINING your childhood by publishing whatever, grow up and find a NEW thing.

Because let me tell you what I really want from EVS and the other Master-'gater creators.

I want EVS to do A Contract With God.

"Wait Matt, you want EVS to do Will Eisner's A Contract With God? Like redraw it?"

No, I want EVS and his fellows to do THEIR A Contract With God.

See, one of EVS's big ideas, is that Marvel and DC are doing a disservice to their fans, by not giving them what they want. Mind you, that's a STUPID idea.

"Gee, Matt, that's kinda insulting..."

Yes, yes it is. So's the idea that Fan-service is the way to run a railroad.

See, back in the day what the fans wanted from Will Eisner was more The Spirit. And in EVS's worldview, Eisner should have given fans what they wanted and spent the rest of his life writing and drawing The Spirit.

Except, Will Eisner didn't want to do The Spirit. Will Eisner wanted to do A Contract With God. Which is one of the greatest graphic novels of all time. Probably Eisner's best work.

But again, not what the mob wanted.

But by that point in his career, Eisner had the financial freedom to do what HE wanted, not what the FANS wanted. And so he created the greatest G__ D___ graphic novel of all time. Because he could.

Now EVS, the Masterest of the Master-'gaters, crows about how much the Master-'gater movement has raised through crowd-funding. Now, I think he and his fellow Master-'gaters should fulfill their obligations, and then, with the financial freedom they've earned, they should produce works that are THEIR A Contract With God. Ya know, the Greatest G__ D___ Graphic Novels THEY can.

Ya know, like Dave Sim did with Cerebus...

Next Time: AMOC might just have our Special Friend of the Year (and the year's barely a week old...)


Okay, one last thing. Like pretty much every time I write about the 'gate, I revised and wrote and revised and wrote AND REVISED AND REWROTE this over and over again in my head. I got two pages of notes of things I wanted to add.

But really, what's the point. I faxed up a slightly shorter version of this to Dave, and it was 20 pages long. So, this is it.

I WOULD like to add two things:

  1. To all the regulars who visit over and over again: Thank you for reading my crap. Also, Thanks to Tim W. for creating A Moment of Cerebus in the first place. And thanks to everybody who has contributed over the years. And to anybody who's visiting my little slice of the interwebs for the first time, Welcome! And thanks for stopping by. Usually I just ramble about a little grey aardvark. If you stop back again, it'll be a lot less...this.
  2. If you've read this whole thing, and you think this controversy is a "non-troversy," would you please do me a favor and call Dave at (519) 576-0610 and leave the following message: "Hi Dave, this is" then your first and last name, "and I don't think you are a bad guy." It'll go right to his answering machine, so just leave that message. Thanks in advance! 
  3. UPDATE: Since long distance is expensive, you could also fax Dave at 5195760955. Here's a free faxing site. Thanks in advance again.
Matt Dow
Interim Editor, A Moment of Cerebus


Anonymous said...

Having no idea how much phone calls overseas cost these days i won't be phoning in, but if possible do convey Mr Sim my well wishes.

Gerhard (No, not that one, though it was a most fortuitous overlap.)

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Hi Gerhard (no relation),

I updated the post with Dave's fax number, and a free faxing site.

Matt Dow
(Who really doesn't think these things through, OBVIOUSLY!..)

whc03grady said...

"The "girl" in question was born tomorrow January, Eighth. In 1970. I know it's bad form to mention a lady's age, but the "13 year old girl" everybody's up in arms about, is 49."

Yes, she's 49 now. How is that relevant?


Eolake Stobblehouse said...

This is all a question of morality rather than ethics. And if Dave didn’t sleep with her until she was twenty, who cares.

Slumbering Agartha said...


I just want to say, my respect for you has been steadily building, and this just sent it into the stratosphere. Thank you for taking the time to produce this and give all of us a very clear picture of what went down. I think if anyone has a problem with Dave in this context after reading this, and by "this" I mean the entire picture--everything there is to see and say on the subject--they simply have a problem. At your request to have us call him, I just left Dave a message that came directly from my heart and soul. I actually spoke to him on the phone two weeks ago and it was like the greatest day in my life. Anyway, thanks again Matt!!!! Go Dave!

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

"And so we Begin again..."


Grady: because this has been presented as something that happened recently, as opposed to the reality that this happened over twenty years ago.

Eolake: first, Dave wants to know how to pronounce your name. Second, it's both technically. But the fact is Dave screwed up, an admits it. This isn't a Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby, where the lady came forward and accused Dave and he denied it. Dave has been upfront and honest about this for years.

Mike: geez, when are you people gonna get with the program? I'm RUINING AMOC and need to be removed immediately! Seriously. Now. As soon as possible. ;^) Seriously seriously, thanks. Wait until I actually get to talk about Cerebus again!

(Who REALLY needs to get the fuck off Twitter again...)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thanks Matt.

My name often confuses people. I did not predict that; as somebody said once, looking at it: “it can only be pronounced in one way”, if you look at the whole. Because “Stobblehouse” is clearly spelled in English, that would indicate that the whole name is pronounced in English, seems to me. So for Eolake, accent is on the E, the O is brief and unaccented, and “lake” is just like the English word “lake”. É(o)lake.

I think the issue is that the name seems alien no matter where you are, and so people assume it’s strange and try to find strange ways to pronounce it. I talked to a highly educated man recently who went through five different pronounciations before he got kinda close...
In fact text-to-speech software always gets it right. :-)

Eddie said...

1) Mr. Boyette: "Frankly - I don't want to share this with anyone, you will likely be crucified - by the NEO-Puritan Social Justice Warriors, it would be bitter and ugly."

I wonder if Dave knows it seems Mr. Boyette relayed the fax to someone who I assume is involved with Comicsgate who put up that video on YouTube crucifying Dave (with Mr. Boyette's blessing it appears).

2) Someone may want to let the "influencer" Ren-whatshername know that she's opening up herself to charges of libel by saying on twitter Dave transported a 13 year old across state lines. As the above fax states, she was 15 at the time (1985).

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Eolake: it came up in the second "Please Hold" video, and Dave said it right, and then was like "that can't be right". I mean, that's how I've been pronouncing it in my head.

Eddie: except for the bit about the Batman villains, and everything after the "Next Time" I sent this whole thing up to Dave before I ran it. And 2) I don't think Dave would sue anybody ever. But yeah, a case COULD be made that Dave's been wronged. (But as I keep saying on the Twitters: "Dave didn't sue the guy who counterfeited Cerebus#1, he's not gonna sue because he didn't get to write Cyberfrog...")


Eddie said...

Matt: Oh, no, I don't think Dave would sue anybody either. I'm just saying she may want to be more cautious about saying stuff like that, because she might come across someone who would.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

(Dang, I missed that video, I’ll try to find it.)

... I thought it was only illegal to “transport” a minor across state lines if it was to have sex with them?

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Okay, I found it... And Dave pronounced it perfectly the first time.

The sad truth is that the name is made up anyway, it’s not Danish or Belgian or Taiwanese. I picked it out of thin air in the eighties when I needed a nom de guerre. I had a friend who used one and I heard his friend call him that, and thought that was kewl, so I made one. Then I found out some had problems with it, and life got a little more complicated. :-)

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Eddie: yeah, well that's her problem... I don't mean to be a dick, but she has apparently taken it upon herself to be the locus of the Master-'gater's ire on the Twitters. So if she's not careful, that's on her.

Eolake: see this is why I need to be fired. If I were a GOOD editor, I'd give you a link. Oh wait, in the last "please hold" post (from Saturday,) click on the "please hold" label, and it'll bring up just those posts. I think it was the December one.

Mike: part of the great unwritten version of this post had a bit: "if you were a fan of Dave Sim in the last few days of 2018, and you're not a fan in the first few days of 2019, that says alot more about you then it does about Dave Sim..." Okay, guys, hit me with why I'm wrong. I've been on the Twitters, I can take it...


Jeff S. said...

First of all, Matt, please say "Hi!" to your Lovely Ladies (good comic book title?) from me.

Secondly: You obviously put a LOT of time and effort into this essay (not a post), an essay, that should be printed out and passed around to LCS's everywhere. The commendations and laudability that should be yours probably will not arrive any time soon, but they will be overdue.

As you may recall, I sniffed out EVS pretty quickly, and posted about it. He is a poseur, at best. I called Dave, back in (what? '17?) and said that I thought it was a bad idea. Dave, sadly, called me back and said that he didn't agree. I guess that he does now.

BTW, the phrase, "but I have the ass of a twenty-year-old" is a direct quote by Dave of a letter that I wrote to him, quoting the Crazy Canadian Lady, back around 2011, or so.

If you guys don't believe me, ask Dave.

Jeff said...

BTW, In EVS' defense, a half-million bucks is a HUGE incentive to NEVER do anything again in your life, except, you know, *spend* a halfa million bucks. I TOTALLY get that.

HOWEVER, when you actually *get* a halfa million bucks by "promising" that you're gonna, you know, give something back in return ('cause, you know, you said, "gimme an assload of money and, then, I'll draw something you might like", well, then, you might wanna [you know] *actually* DO that.)

Dave Sim *always*, *always*, fulfills his promises, plus, if you've experienced my experience, more than what he promised. Free, gratis. That's just Reason #301 why he's still #1, at the top of my list, of my most favorite people that I know.

What's that? Hmm. The rest of the list?

Okay, #2, Paul Chara, my friend and former professor; 36 years of very kind friendship.

Number 3: Gerhard & Shel ('cause they're peas in a pod). And, Gerhard, still, is THE nicest guy in the room, no matter where you are, and Shel (but, you know, not being a guy) is a very close second.

Sometimes, I wonder ... in their nice, cozy, little, just-right-for-them apartment at the top of the house in which they live, does either of them turn (especially in the dead of winter) ... *not* so nice?

"Heeeeeere's *Gerhard*!"

Just kidding. Two of the best people you will ever want to meet. Truly.

Number 4: Reina Starr, karaoke dj extraordinaire, and one of the sweetest persons you would ever want to meet.

Number 5: Hmm. This is a tough one, but I'm going with Andy, the bartender at my favorite restaurant, who always has a Newcastle Brown Ale sitting on the bar for me before I even sit down.

What about you guys and gals? Wanna write a paragraph or two about *your* favorite people, that you actually know?

Reply here, or better yet, send pix to Matt.

You're welcome, Mr. Dow (and the three lovely Ladies!)

Slumbering Agartha said...

Jeff said: "Dave Sim *always*, *always*, fulfills his promises, plus, if you've experienced my experience, more than what he promised. Free, gratis. That's just Reason #301 why he's still #1, at the top of my list, of my most favorite people that I know."

This. 100%. Try sitting down and listing all the ways that Dave has been an exemplary and transformative force in the industry, in terms of all that he has done to enrich the lives of OTHER people and the industry itself. It's staggering, even overwhelming. It's hard to believe that ALL of those things seem to just get lost in the ether of time, not only from the vantage of the casual fan, but by the people that were directly benefiting from his actions. He has been nothing but honorable, honest, consistent and oh yeah, all along the way he was creating not only one of the longest running narratives in the history of comics, but arguably one of the BEST (in my opinion THE best).

Jeff S. said...

Mike? Please don't take this the wrong way, but ... you just made me wet my panties a little bit. ;)

But, seriously? Dave Sim is one of a very small number of people with whom I have been blessed to share some kind of relationship, who always, always, gives back more than I give. And, honestly, I always try to give a lot. Dave gives more, always.

Haters? Give it up. You're hating on an honest, humble man who turned his life around and is now a paragon of ... well ... niceness. Decency.

Hate, if you must, the words he writes; hate, if you must, the philosophy that he espouses, but, please, don't hate the man any more.

He is a good, decent, God-fearing person who just wants to pray five times a day and try to get his "stuff" in order.

You know, so you, also, can someday enjoy it.

Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlNickerson said...

Lee Thacker said...

Great job, Matt - very well written. Now sign out of Twitter for good! Ha, ha!

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Al: thanks man.

Lee: I wanna try to exit gracefully, but I'm sure it's gonna be Mr. Bean. I really underestimated what the hell I was doing. I brought a knife to a thermonuclear war...

David: well said buddy.

Jeff: breathe dude, breathe.


Tony Dunlop said...

Huh. Here I figured it was "ee-AHH-lah-kee."

No, not really.

whc03grady said...


Grady: because this has been presented as something that happened recently, as opposed to the reality that this happened over twenty years ago."

I read most of the replies on Twitter and on the youtube video when they were originally posted and I don't recall anyone remarking that the event(s) in question were recent. That Umbrella Dude with the weird accent was pretty clear that this was a long time ago.

In any case, maybe next time you could spare yourself a *sigh* if you'd clarified the point by saying something like "1.The earliest event in question occurred more than thirty years ago, not recently." And maybe eschew the scare quotes (e.g. The "girl" in question; the "13 year old girl"), because that makes it seem like you're trying to make another point entirely. A really unfortunate point.

It's interesting to me that I'm pretty sure Dave would agree with me on this topic, and not generally with his defenders above--what with their citing age of consent laws, the difference between morality and ethics (??), Dave's remorse, etc. The fact is--and like I said, I'll bet dollars to donuts Dave would agree--that Dave acted pretty, pretty squickily with a too-young lady back in the mid-1980s (and for that matter so did Bob Burden, Butch/Jackson Juice, and Art Adams) and that any of her brothers (if any) or father would have been perfectly justified in bashing Dave's face in.


Unknown said...

Ron, could you expand a little on your request at the end? I didn't pick up anything from Dave that implied that he is concerned that people might think he's a "bad guy." I'm just curious what the motivation is for a voice message to be left (I certainly don't mind calling and leaving one, just curious).

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


Dave's heard from me and two other people. He's of the opinion that it's just the four of us.

I was hoping for a Frank Kapra "it's a Wonderful Life" (heh) moment.

But I expect it's gonna be more of a Franz Kafka "it's a Wonderful Life" (heh) moment.


Anonymous said...


Perhaps it's time to start another petition? ;)

Anonymous Dude

al roney said...

Not sure leaving a message of support really makes all that much sense.

Will Dave "feel" better? No matter the number (4, 10, 50 etc.) it's gonna be considered small.

In either case, I support Dave. He knows what he did was wrong, has made his peace, and that's that. In fact, I'd trust him alone with my 13-year-old daughter before almost anyone else these days.

The mob will find someone else to string up soon enough...

Jeff said...

Al, well said. I learned, from Dave (a long time ago), who learned from Wilf (his former lawyer, who I hope is *really* enjoying his retirement), "Trust no one."

These SJWs are, in my opinion, just trying to get their 15 minutes of fame. Having already done that myself, several times over, I can honestly say that it's overrated.

If they have honest, true, serious issues with men who have abused them, then I have no problem with them speaking out. And, receiving justice.

But, a truism is that, if you cast your net wide and far, you will not catch what you want, which makes you a poor fisher-person.

And, Al, like you, I think, I trust Dave both explicitly and implicitly.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I’m sorry to be uninformed, but is Jeff here the author of Bone?

Jason T said...

Thanks for the post and summary. Neil's "playground squabbles" almost makes this sound too profound. And, thanks for all you do here at AMOC. You really 'took one for the team' in getting on Twitter and dealing with that... stuff. Why people think a closed proprietary social media system is important in any way is beyond me. Oh for the good old days of the Yahoo News Group (or even the TCJ boards! Sheesh).

Jeff S. said...

Me, Jeff Seiler, Eolake, is NOT Jeff Smith. "Bone", notwithstanding, is one of the best graphic novels out there. Not "Cerebus" great, but really damn good. Seriously. Buy it, and read it.

Jeff Smith pissed off Dave Sim years before I became aware of who Jeff Smith was. Dave challenged him to a boxing match. Or, maybe, it was the other way around. Regardless, they only, as far as I know, fought verbally. It was interesting for about fifteen minutes.

The boxing match? Had it happened? I woulda paid an assload of money to see that.

It's been a long time. I have forgotten who challenged whom.

But, Man, two welterweights, without experience, dancing around in the squared circle?

Major bucks.

But. We woulda been disappointed. Both of them, as they have done, would have left us disappointed for the fight.

Although, as Dave has alluded to, I think Jeff (not me; definitely not me), I think that Smith has chosen, as an artist, to go the mainstream way.

Good on yer.

BUT, if you can make a decent living, not going mainstream, AND make some noise (in a good way), well, then, why the heck not? That's what Sim has always done and will always do.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Seiler's sycophancy is a wonder to behold. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Most people would have enough of a sense of common decency and self-respect not to debase themselves so overtly, yet Jeff seems only too eager to do so at every opportunity. Truly astonishing.

Kit said...

Jeff Smith found a way to make millions of dollars from his writing and drawing while still owning and controlling his own work. And founded a city-wide arts festival to give back to / expand the audience for comics and artists. What a mainstream hack.

This wasn't so much about Dave Sim as it was Ethan Van Sciver, but it reveals that very few people have a spine in the comics industry

The only person "in the comics industry" you name with this blanket condemnation is Van Sciver. Perhaps try and list a thousand or so as a good-faith effort towards the superdupermajority you claim, with their qualifying moral failings?

(NB: "not knowing or caring about some woman-hating dipshits on youtube clickbaiting to an echo chamber, about a former cartoonist" does not prove anyone lacks rectitude.)

Tony again said...

Who called Jeff Smith a "hack?"

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

(I think it’s a good thing to put one’s name on comments, especially critical ones.)

Jeff, if I recall right, Jeff Smith had said he’d give Dave “a fat lip”, so Dave, being a real man, said he was welcome to try, and brought boxing gloves to a convention. Smith did not accept the counter-challenge.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I took a new look at Bone yesterday, and inded the art is wonderful.
How is he making the bucks now if not Bone?

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Biggest laugh of my day: Jeff S. calling Dave (the only person in history to understand the Bible, cosmology, feminism, etc.) "humble". Thanks, Jeff!

Third biggest laugh: Eolake S. thinking "real" men must resort to violence.

-- Damian

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Damian, Hmm, seems I have to bolster my sarcasm a little.

whc03grady said...

And the second biggest laugh...?

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

I'm guessing today's Ziggy?


Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

So I faxed Dave at let him know it was me who suggested that people call him.

He got 10 messages.

So thanks to the other 9 people who called.


Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I didn’t call, I’m not good with phones. Email would be way easier, but that’s clearly not an option.

Maybe you could somehow show him a couple of the very positive comments in this thread.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


I did update the post with a link to a free eFax service. So you could "fax" Dave if you wanted to.


Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Kool, will look at that.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Matt: Close! It was "Marmaduke".

Anon (07:14): Indeed, Jeff's sycophancy is ... undignified. As Jody Powell once said of "Papa Doc" Bush, "It's not the fetching and heeling but the excessive tail-wagging that grates."

Michael B.: Never mind listing "all the ways", can you list five ways Dave was "an exemplary and transformative force in the industry"? And I'll give you the first and most obvious two:

1) Dave was the most visible and vocal proponent of self-publishing as viable both artistically and economically.

2) Dave was one of the first to publish (though he did not invent) the TPB of back issues collecting one story-arc in a single volume.

I would argue the reverse of your point: it is interesting how little influence Dave has had on the art and business of comics. People have suggested various reasons: He followed more the tradition of Will Eisner, while most of the comics field followed the tradition of Jack Kirby; Dave continues to embrace a tradition of comics art that is less popular with the comics audience; the frequent topical references render Cerebus a product of its time, rather than timeless; Dave was the Court Jester in the Kingdom of the Big Two, and the fracturing of the comics audience reduced that position to irrelevance; Cerebus was only ever the biggest of the small-timers rather than the smallest of the big-timers; the sheer size of the work puts off potential readers, especially as the very early issues look increasingly amateurish as the field advances; Dave's peculiar personal views alienated the general audience.

I agree that in this "trial" of Dave Sim, EVS is the villain and Dave comes off as the dupe.

-- Damian

Glen said...

Dave laments that the happiest times of his life was when he was with his friends (Gerhard included) & fellow comic artists at parties, dinners, & conventions, dating (mostly) women of his own age, & helping fellow artists find their way in the business. Yet it doesn't connect that he now chooses to barricade himself at home with almost no contact from the outside world except through a fax machine, exiling everyone who was ever close to him & complaining that Cerebus was never appreciated.

Maybe it's not the world that hates Dave Sim but himself.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Perhaps, but I think the more important point is just that Dave puts god about his own happiness. It’s clear from everything that few people on Earth are more religious than Dave has become.

Jeff said...

E? Absolutely correct. As Dave seems to see it, God (the one, true, God of Abraham) is the FIRST priority. When one is committed to praying five times a day, that doesn't leave a lot of time for anything or anyone else.

Damian: In the hierarchy of Cerebus/Sim fans, I am not so much a sycophant, as I am an insecure sinecure.

Everyone: Are we really going to let this thread challenge the record (88, IIRC) for the most comments ever on a single post? If so, let's go! I can filibuster with the best of them.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


I know I'm not Mike, but he said nice things about me, so:

2a) Dave was the first to realize that you need to have the whole run of your book in print or else people wouldn't buy it.

3) Dave (through #1,) showed that if you owned what you create, you reap the rewards. Leading Todd and gang to form Image.

Okay, I'll stop helping Mike now,

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Matt: A couple of names for you that you may not have heard of, just off the top of my head (there are others):

2a) Mike Friedrich

3) Will Eisner.

-- Damian

Dominick Grace said...

"2a) Mike Friedrich"

Did Friedrich keep it all in print? I don't recall ever seeing that, so if he did, it sure didn't make it any more visible in the stores I frequented.

"3) Will Eisner"

True enough, but in a rather different context, iirc. Eisner effectively left the comics genre market behind and went with a mainstream publisher for A Contract with God, did he not? And ditto with his later "graphic novels"? (If you are thinking of the older days, I'd say Eisner was more analogous to Marvel or DC, as an owner--artist as well, to be sure, but owner--of a company that primarily depended on work for hire labour to produce its work--even the stuff that Eisner himself supposedly did [e.g. all the Spirit stories ghosted by other hands]. Dave's model was ownership without that exploitative model attached to it. Even when he published the work of others, they retained ownership of their work.)

Slumbering Agartha said...


I just spent an hour responding to this and then promptly closed the window on accident.

So, I'm guessing you weren't there for all of this. You kind of had to be there. Dave was massively influential from the mid 80's through the late 90's. There was about a 15-year window where he was at the forefront of multiple revolutions and there was a resulting tsunami of industry-wide transformation going on as a result. This isn't something you can read about on Wikipedia, so I'll do my best to capture the mood of the time.

1) Dave Sim defined what he believed to be the rights of all comic creators and shone a bright and consistent light on this, bringing an awareness of the questions of ownership and authority to the general public. Before this, nobody outside of the industry had any awareness of "artist's rights" or gave a vague crap if they did. Dave's capacity to "sell" an awareness of the situation to the public at large--to present it as a kind of war where the side of the "good guys" was the only side that made sense--left the opposition exposed. This transformed the way the industry dealt (and deals) with artists at large, and in a positive way. Note that I am not referencing the Creator's Bill of Rights, here, even though he co-wrote the bill in the late 80's, because I think that it--in and of itself--didn't have nearly the impact that he himself had by simply sharing his thoughts and ideas in a consistent, focused and exciting fashion (by exciting I mean he generated a huge welling of interest on the subject, and this interest turned into action on multiple fronts).

2) Started the Spirits of Independence in 1994, whose tour put APE (Alternative Press Expo) and SPX (Small Press Expo)--both in their first year of existence--on the map, and was directly tied to the creation of SPACE (Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo) the following year. I don't know if I'd be able to do any justice to how exciting this tour was, and how massively and permanently it impacted the industry at large by transforming the convention culture from embarrassing and bleak to sexy and avant garde, seemingly overnight. This effort attracted a whole new wave of artists and fans. At the time he was the primary draw, the source of the excitement. This is not an opinion, this is a memory, just to be clear.

3) Featured many artists and projects in the back pages of Cerebus, during its heyday, which absolutely and utterly transformed the landscape, as there would have been zero awareness of these artists without it; instead we know who most of them are to this day (Bob Burden, the great Arn Saba, et al). Even Scott McCloud's UNDERSTANDING COMICS benefited from this, as I'm sure Scott himself would admit. Not to take anything away from the amazing Mr. McCloud.

4) Dave is the single biggest contributor to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to date, and a driving force that led to its inception, and was constantly drawing attention to and awareness of it until it became a mainstream fixture.

5) As you stated, Dave was the first to publish the phone books, but I want to repeat it because literally EVERYONE started doing 25-issue collections on the heels of this--in fact some of them were in black and white, and I'm talking mainstream Marvel and DC collections.

6) Paved the way for self-published cartoonists--on multiple fronts, from the artist to the distributor to the comic shop owner; he fostered the entire environment via a tireless campaign, one that allowed for this work to get from the artist's mind into the consumer's hands--that we otherwise never would have heard of. Though it allowed for a lot of crap to be produced, it nevertheless transformed the landscape massively to have so much new blood pouring into the industry, and some of those people were producing great work out of the gate and went on to the mainstream. Paul Pope, for instance.

I'm approaching my character limit, so I'll leave it at that.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Thank you, Mike. I was only half aware of all that.

(I’m getting sick of traffic lights.)

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Mike B.: You are incorrect in your guess that this I wasn't "there for all of this" -- the first of many errors in your comment.

Your drooling sycophancy is more overtly homoerotic than Jeff S.'s (going by your recent soggy-underpants Facebook post) -- though Jeff still takes the prize for his enthusiastic self-abasement. But if we remove your superlatives and unsupported claims, there's not a lot left of your comment to critique. I don't feel like going through and debunking all your ridiculous claims, so here's a scattershot few corrections:

1) Dave did not "co-write" the "Creators' Bill of Rights". Scott McCloud showed up to the Summit with the bill already written. I've no doubt Dave discussed it, and I think I recall him saying that he added the bit about "freedom of mobility". It did not "transform" the actions of the mainstream publishers, as we can see by looking at the actions of the mainstream publishers.

You are wrong that Dave made the non-comics public aware of creators' rights; nobody knows or cares to this day. You do a great disservice to such people as Neal Adams, who fought for creators' rights before Dave Sim knew what a Cerebus was. But Neal A. actually shamed DC into giving Siegel & Shuster a pittance, with that one action having more effect on the mainstream publishers' practices than Dave's whole career.

2) You spewed just a big ol' mess of confused half-remembered feelings here, didn't you? Spirits of Independents (not "Independence", as you have it) was a promotional tour for Cerebus, so who else did you think would start it? "It's not an opinion, it's a memory" that Dave was the major draw of his own promotional tour? Gosh, you are clever! Of course I applaud Dave for partnering with the local creators at his stops on his tour.

I also applaud APE, SPX, and SPACE for championing non-mainstream comics. (It's a peculiarity of the comics industry that "mainstream" refers to one particular genre.) But Dave was not part of the creation of those ventures. And their effect on the comics industry (still largely Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse) was (and is) minimal. That's on purpose; these ventures were designed to be an alternative (you might say) to the mainstream companies.

Comicon had already effected the transformation of conventions you attribute (for some reason) to Dave). Check out Mark Evanier's writings about Comicon's evolution, from the perspective of having attended every single one of them.

3) "[A]bsolutely and utterly transformed the landscape"? Do you think that if you repeat an assertion often enough, it becomes a fact? I applaud Dave for promoting other creators; who doesn't? But I think you insult the creators by stating in so many words that we would have "zero awareness" of them without a few pages in the back of Cerebus. You remind me of an old Dilbert strip: Wally said that he assumed that all projects would fail without his participation, so all the revenue they generated was due to him alone.

Do you really think that (just eg.) nothing would ever have happened for Terry Moore if Dave hadn't published a handful of Strangers In Paradise pages? I suggest that most of SiP's success was due to Terry M.'s own talent, promotional efforts, and stick-with-itness. Arn Saba was doing Neil the Horse two years before Cerebus existed, and was by the time A-V published Neil a well-known comics journalist and radio personality. You think the now-Katherine Collins owes her success to Dave? Mike, son, events that happen later can't cause events that happened before.

(To be continued ..!)

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

(... The exciting confusion -- er, conclusion!)

4) Check contemporary coverage of the Friendly Frank's case to debunk your claims here. Dave heard about the case from TCJ, as we all did. The CBLDF (the organization) was created by Denis Kitchen. I applaud Dave for his donation (of found money), and for his (nowadays not quite as solid) support for freedom of expression. But to say he was a "driving force" behind the CBLDF's creation is to stretch the truth until it snaps. (And Dave's outing of Susan Alton's fondness for spanking in their sex life is one of his many ungentlemanly actions through the decades -- a deliberate attempt to kink-shame her.)

5) You're half correct (which is pretty good for you). Marvel and DC had tried various reprint-collection formats years before Dave; I probably still have some Spider-Man paperbacks that sliced up the pages to fit the 4"x7" pages. What happened in the '90s is that Marvel and DC started routinely collecting six-issue story-arcs into TPBs. The "Marvel Essentials" and "DC Showcase" B&W phonebook-type publications were years later. Dave did not invent the reprint collection in any way.

I don't know how much credit to give High Society for tingling the mainstream publishers' Money Sense. Maybe it's the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc. But I give him credit for being among the first to do this in the North American comics industry. But yeah; this is the second point that I started you off with.

6) Self-published cartoonists predate Dave's campaign by 25 years, and Cerebus itself by a decade. ElfQuest started publication before Cerebus, and was (and remains) much more popular; you can buy ElfQuest collections at Chapters, but not Cerebus collections. I applaud Dave for his (for a time) tireless promotion of self-publishing as artistically and creatively viable; that's the first point I started you off with.

I predict that you will now come back with personal attacks. Let me give you the first two:

1) If I'm such a hater, why do I pay so much attention to Dave Sim?

2) I should shut up 'cause I'm hurting your feelings.

-- Damian

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dominick G.: Mike Friedrich did indeed keep all issues Star*Reach in print. I suggest that the lack of visibility was a general product of the comics market at the time; comics stores were still a-borning, and most comic were still sold on newsstands. (I think I recall reading that Jack Katz's The First Kingdom was kept in print as well, but I'm less certain of that. It might have been that he fulfilled mail orders from stock on hand, rather than reprinting. Anyway, they were all available.)

-- Damian

Anonymous said...

"Dave laments that the happiest times of his life was when he was with his friends (Gerhard included) & fellow comic artists at parties, dinners, & conventions, dating (mostly) women of his own age, & helping fellow artists find their way in the business. Yet it doesn't connect that he now chooses to barricade himself at home with almost no contact from the outside world except through a fax machine, exiling everyone who was ever close to him & complaining that Cerebus was never appreciated."

Part of the reason that Cerebus has largely been forgotten and will never reach a wider audience is because it's one of the biggest disappointments in the history of fiction...and I'm including the Star Wars prequels! What started off as a fascinating experiment in comic-book storytelling devolved into a lunatic exegesis and a pathetic display of narcissism and paranoia. Politics? Sure! Religion? Okay! Interpersonal relationships? Fine! A long, drawn-out, near-unreadable interpretation of the Bible stretched out over twenty issues while the author snidely insults everyone who isn't him? No thanks.

Cerebus just isn't good enough to merit a wider audience.

The first 4,000 or so pages are great. Not Shakespeare-great or Milton-great or Faulkner-great, but for a medium which consisted mostly of adolescent power fantasies, it was a huge leap forward. But the myopic and byzantine conclusion is, in a word, shit, and ruins the whole. It doesn't deserve a wider audience. This is a shame. Had he not lost the plot (as it were) and provided a decent conclusion, Cerebus would have remained at least as popular as it was and would be a widely-respected work. But who can honestly recommend someone put forth the effort to read the entire thing, knowing how it ends? The sanctimonious tone of the work, along with Dave's obnoxious communique's to the world at large, drove off anybody who didn't feel like being repeatedly insulted. This inability to tell an engaging story along with those caustic, self-important pronouncements are a series of wholly self-inflicted wounds from which Cerebus, and Dave, can never recover.

Jeff S. said...

Damian: First off, it would be nice if you could reel in the Jeff hate. At least, a little bit. Secondly, having read what both of you (Mike B. and, um, you) wrote, the first thought that I had was, they're both partly right and they're both partly wrong. Three versions of the truth, and so forth. I do think, Damian, that you're a little bit more correct in your history lesson than is Mike. (I know!!! Me giving credit to Damian?!?)

However. In your last point (6), you try to make the case for "Elfquest" being more popular than "Cerebus" by saying that people can purchase "Elfquest" at Chapters (which I assume is a bookstore). That point fails, because Dave decided many years ago that he only wanted "Cerebus" to be sold in LCSs. He finally capitulated to digital series. But, so far as I know, he still doesn't market to bookstores. And, I speak from experience. Just ask Dave how many times I pushed him to sell to bookstores.

Good for the Pinis and their publisher to sell to bookstores, but that doesn't mean, de facto, that "Elfquest" is more popular than is "Cerebus".

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

>Dave did not "co-write" the "Creators' Bill of Rights". Scott McCloud showed up to the Summit with the bill already written.

I don’t think that that is an accurate account of events. I spoke with Dave, Scott, Steve Bissette, and others who were at the 1988 Northampton summit. Scott showed up with a draft of the Bill, which was inspired by the Creative Manifesto: “I wrote the original draft, yeah. It was mostly in response to the Creative Manifesto which had been put together by the first of those summits.”

Before that, Dave with other creators had, already, created the Creative Manifesto: "The first draft of the Creative Manifesto was a communal effort on the part of Kevin Eastman, Pete Laird, Steve Bissette, John Totelben, Michael Zulli and Stephen Murphy and myself—with supplemental input from Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, Steven Grant and others—in response to Diamond raising the possibility of not carrying the Puma Blues because I was selling the High Society trade direct to Cerebus readers and not offering it through the direct market. Essentially the Manifesto was an attempt to determine what rights and obligations each level of the direct market ‘food chain’ had in dealing with each other."

Jeff Seiler said...

Anon, you're entitled to your opinion and your right to express it, but, again, if you're going to do so, then have the cajones to sign your name to it.

John Hancock pushed other founding fathers out of the way so that he could be the first signator (and with the largest one) to sign The Declaration of Independence. That's why still today people use the phrase, "put your John Hancock on this".

They don't ask you to "please sign this anonymously".

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Jeff S.: Your thinking seems, as usual, a bit confused. Indeed, I think your statement of Dave's position on bookstores might be one reason *why* ElfQuest is more popular than Cerebus: it's available in more places. It's not really surprising that something that more people can find would be more popular than something that fewer people can find.

And (like Dave), when you can't refute someone's argument, you retreat to attacking the person. Soon you'll be telling Anon he's possessed by demons (as Dave did to Michael B.). Or are you upset that you can't cyber-stalk Anon (as you did me, and presumably all your other Enemies Of Sim)? Who cares who Anon is? His or her or its arguments remain as good (or bad) whatever you think of the person. Back when Dave was a self-admitted sleazebag, his arguments promoting creators over gatekeepers remained (and remain) worthwhile.

-- Damian

Anonymous said...

Anonymity, adjective "anonymous", is derived from the Greek word ἀνωνυμία, anonymia, meaning "without a name" or "namelessness". In colloquial use, "anonymous" is used to describe situations where the acting person's name is unknown. Some writers have argued that namelessness, though technically correct, does not capture what is more centrally at stake in contexts of anonymity. The important idea here is that a person be non-identifiable, unreachable, or untrackable. Anonymity is seen as a technique, or a way of realizing, certain other values, such as privacy, or liberty.

The tradition of anonymous speech is older than the United States. Founders Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote The Federalist Papers under the pseudonym "Publius" and "the Federal Farmer" spoke up in rebuttal. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized rights to speak anonymously derived from the First Amendment.

Jeff said...

Damian, it's late, so I'm not going to get into it with you tonight. But, I have not "cyber-stalked" you, whatever the fuck that means. If anything (if the term means what I think it means, going from context), then you have done that to me. You consistently make fun of me and try to humiliate me, here. All I did was to finally stand up and say, "that's enough!"

Anon: I take your well-made point. I still think that people levelling criticism or attacks at others should own their comments, but you made a good point.

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Damian said:"Michael B.: Never mind listing "all the ways", can you list five ways Dave was "an exemplary and transformative force in the industry"? And I'll give you the first and most obvious two:"

And then Michael did.

And then Damian Van Pelt yanked the football away...

Sorry Damian, but "oh yeah name three?" Followed by "here's why I don't accept your three:" DOESN'T invalidate Michael's three.

I mean, I welcome the debate here, but let's not turn this into "Calvin-Ball".

(Also, lay off Seiler. He's a "Dave Sim Chauvinist," yes. But, prove him wrong factually, not with insults. And Jeff, ol' buddy, remember that Dave may be your hero, but he DOES have feet of clay...)

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Matt: Mm. No. I didn't think I needed to say, "Name three things that you didn't make up out of your head," but if you think it's necessary I shall do so.

But you're right; I shall avoid tweaking Jeff S. in future.

-- Damian

Slumbering Agartha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Thanks, Damian and Matt. And, yes, Matt, I am *very* well aware of Dave's "feet of clay" (they're a little bit stinky, too). I just feel the need to try to defend him from detractors, since he's not here to do that, so I tend to err on the side of "chauvinism".

AlNickerson said...

Bleeding Cool reports:

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...


As I said on Facebook, "I'm famous. You people better start treating me better..."

I guess Rich DID get the email I sent...


Glen said...

The Bleeding Cool article states ".....a debilitating illness has left Sim unable to draw for some years."


He damaged his wrist writing & drawing Cerebus & refuses to go the doctors for treatment.

Slumbering Agartha said...

Thanks for the link, Al.

From the article:
"How it wasn’t consummated when she was twenty-one."
I think Rich meant to say "...wasn't consummated UNTIL she was twenty-one".

Matt, don't forget us little people when you hit the red carpet!

Tony Dunlop said...

? Forgetting the little people is the WHOLE POINT of hitting the red carpet....

Sean R said...

Glen-- Dave has seen MANY doctors and specialists for his wrist. MRIs, physical therapy etc. No specific diagnosis, only some pain relief from the physical therapy exercises (which he continues to do).

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

And Glen,

Dave's only got the one hand. If he goes for surgery and it works, great. If he goes and it doesn't, then he loses whatever abilities he currently has.


Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Slumbering Agartha said...

Good point on the red carpet, Tony.

Anonymous said...

Such a shame to see Dave throw everything away for The Bible. What a waste.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Reading his Sunday posts demonstrates that he didn't even throw away his life for the Bible, but rather for his own schizophrenia, and is using the Bible as a crutch to prop up what remains of his mind -- a crutch he is enthusiastically dismantling in favour of further progress up his own asshole. It's probably sad, but he's not really hurting anyone, and it's pretty funny to watch.

-- Damian

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Damian, I think you are taking your schadenfreude too far.

Andrew miller said...

I recently posted on the Cerebus Facebook page the question, something like, “When did you first realize that there was something seriously repugnant about Dave Sim’s views?” For me it was “*To those 17 and 18 year old boys, let me reassure you that your time will come. Don’t settle for “what you can get” in your teens and 20s and you,lol pretty much have your pick of USDA prime cut in your 30s and 40s. None of whom (the part you won’t want to hear) is worth the paper she’s printed on.” And “It is certainly unfair that when a girl hits her peak of physical attractiveness at the age of 17 or 18, her interests lie (almost without exception) in the direction of men much, much older than she is. Or at least it SEEMS unfair to the 17 and 18 year old boys who desire her (usually with a greater sincerity than those men who are much, much older than she is).* It is equally unfair that when a man hits his peak of attractiveness much, much later, his interest- his GENUINE interest, his IRREFUTABLE interest- remains with the 17 and 18 year olds.** it continues on at some length with many other equally shamelessly repugnant, presumptuous assertions.

Not having always read Cerebus chronologically, I guess I had been out of the loop concerning the direction his rants in essays and letter responses had been taking. So my thoughts as I read these things was, “Is being ironic? Is he, for some purpose of demonstration pretending to be a completely shallow, adolescent-minded, narcissistic douchebag?” It turns out he wasn’t pretending.

So Sim thinks that older men are so attractive to the only “women” he considers worth pursuing. But what happens when an older man becomes a truly old, old man who cannot any longer capture the interest of these teenagers who he considers to be at the peak of female attractiveness? Well, apparently, the old, old man becomes a bitter, celibate hermit.

A few absurdly obvious points - #1 The current age of the girl in the story is completely irrelevant.
#2 The fact that Sim broadcast his interest in the teenager and the details of his relationship with her as a 21 year old is completely irrelevant.

Recently, Rolling Stone published a retrospective issue about Led Zeppelin. It turns out that Jimmy Page dated a girl who was 14 or 15 or something. And he didn’t wait until she was 21. I still love Led Zep. But let’s face it...ignoring requires some serious denial or some hypocritical and convoluted rationalizations.

There was a time when human beings were not necessarily expected to live far past their mid 20s, and if they wanted to have children and raise them, they needed to marry much earlier than we consider appropriate today. But that time is not now, here in America.

Personally, I find it endlessly fascinating to delve into the layers of Sim’s ridiculous views, each one more hilariously indefensible and puzzling than the last. All pompously, exhaustively expounded upon as though he were imparting profound wisdom. Years ago, I used to like to talk in what we called “fake intellectual talk”, which was using big words and fanciful sentence structure to say absolutely nothing. Sim has been doing the same thing for years, but rather than saying nothing, he’s been using big words and fanciful sentence structure to state these shallow, adolescent views, like “I had sex with this really hot chick! Here’s some pictures to prove I really did!”

Andrew miller said...

One of the top 10 most pathetic and repugnant things that Sim has ever done is to bat his eyelashes and court a MAGA douchebag like Ethan Van Sciver, ostensibly because he assumed that obnoxious jerks must be of a like mind. And then it turns out that Sim’s fellow conservative big mouths are the ones to take a big crap on him after making a big show of revering him.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave has always regarded himself as the measure of all things. Dave is interested in 17-year-old girls, so the natural state of men is to be interested in 17-year-old girls, and being interested in other girls is feigned or settling or otherwise necessarily aberrant. Dave is interested in sports, so the natural state of men is to be interested in sports. Dave isn't into cars, so it's fine for men not to be into cars, never mind that there's a pre-existing stereotype to the contrary. Dave is interested in women's fashion, so he redefines that as a fine and manly interest.

-- Damian

Andrew miller said...

Of course Ethan Van Sciver, being a Trump supporter, must be a shameless hypocrite, outraged at things democrats do, then ignoring much worse things that Trump does every day. Likewise he constantly refers to liberals as pedophiles, but his first reaction to the story about Sim is to excuse it with a comparison to Elvis. It’s nice to see that a Trump supporter can actually be shamed into changing direction on something, even though I’m not certain Sim’s behavior should brand him forever as a pedophile.

I wonder what it would take for Sim to get out of the ridiculous corner into which he has painted himself with his silly, rigid philosophical ideas. I think if he raised a girl from a baby, he may comprehend the awe inspiring perfection of a human being and abandon his absurd theories and bigotry specifically against women. Maybe he’d say, “I was wrong, I understand that now!” Then maybe he could find a woman against whom he wouldn’t feel compelled to constantly pit himself. Maybe he could admit that a 50 year old like Sandra Bullock is actually sexy as hell. Or maybe he would just indoctrinate any kid he raised with his own lunacy. Or maybe he would just say that any girl he raised is the exception, and all his silly ideas still stand. Either way, I think he is determined to never ever admit he was wrong about anything. So he built his own miserable little prison.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Damian may have a point. Just for one thing, I don’t see all that many teen girls looking for mature men, unless it’s for temporary fun and the men have the money. People with hot young bodies generally want partners with hot young bodies.

Dave has some rigid views. For example, he airily dismisses a whole profession, acting as Not Being Art and not being worthy of note. While of course cartooning is up there with Michelangelo. (Not that I’d argue that it can’t be.) I think he even said at one point that music is not interesting or important. Which is just like slicing whole continents of human expression off the map just because you lost interest.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Hmm, I can’t seem to be able to edit my comment. That should be:

“... dismisses a whole profession (acting) as Not Being Art...”

[H] said...

It's great when A is A and everyone can see it.
It's great that a single human being was able
to make such huge waves without killing anybody.

Anyone can talk based on projected moral grounds.
Very few will be able to surpass
Dave Sim's body of work and influence.
For better or worse.

God bless comics.
And facts.-

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Fortunately very few comics creators have to kill people to do their job.

CerebusTV said...


Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Cerebus TV,

Okay, I'll bit. What Pat Boyette angle?

Matt Dow

Rob Snell said...

Cerebus IS more popular than Elfquest, at least in terms of Google Searches over time:

ScottF said...

Thanks for all this updating. As a devoted reader of the entire story arc, sharing the admiration and puzzlement of many readers, I want to suggest that it's hard to imagine that anyone could be seriously shocked by this news. I agree with many that Dave Sim has a complex mix of genius and paranoid delusion, with early success perhaps contributing to a self-aggrandizing martyr complex abetted by weird religious ideas and perhaps some mind-altering drugs. So learning that before his complete divorce from womankind he had a sexual relationship with an underaged girl fits into this perfectly. Of course, adolescent girls are physically attractive, but surely a particular attraction for Dave Sim (and doubtless, many other groomers to one degree to another) is that the girl didn't yet have her own strong personality to assert--he admits that she was a comic book sycophant and a Cerebus devotee in particular, worshipping the ground he walked on. Vague details of how the relationship fell apart aside, this couldn't be expected to last as she grew into her own personality, as Dave Sim doesn't seem to have room in his personal life for many people other than Dave Sim, and mature women in particular. Then he got religion and became convinced that contact with women of any age was simply sapping the male strength of his precious bodily essence, and laid off them, perhaps keeping the memory of the best and last one. This may shed a lot of light on the later appearances of Jaka in the story arc, and Cerebus' (both the character, and the epic story's) ultimate disillusionment with and casting aside of her. So we have art and life reciprocally imitating each other, just as Dave Sim so marvelously and self-consciousness portrayed over and over again in his work. It also makes me think of the Woody Allen/Konigsberg appearances in a new light as well. Of course, an artist's self-consciousness of his flaws doesn't absolve him thereof, and I'm sure Sim knows this too. Hard to say more, except that now we all know just a little bit of "the rest of the story."

ScottF said...

One tiny correction which I don't think anyone else has commented on: Dave Sim's confession makes it clear that the girl's 21st birthday was on January 8 1992, not 1991 (a letter from her in late 1991 led to a meeting for their having sex prior to this 21st birthday early the following year); so she was born in 1971, not 1970.

MrsChaos Manor said...

TL,DR: There was no grooming nor molestation, and the lot of you using my adolescent relationships as ammunition are more exploitative than Dave ever was!


As the former adolescent female whose name and past relationships are being used as a cudgel by the prurient and presumptuous, I can correct the previous comments and confirm I was born January 8, 1970. I met Dave Sim once in the earliest year of which he is now accused of some form of immoral predation; we did not become close until somewhat later and at NO POINT did he behave in any way objectionably. Unless talking to an adolescent locked in a boarding school dorm a thousand miles away and once visiting to spend several hours in company are a crime, Mr. Sim has nothing to reproach himself for upon my account. In fact I remain grateful to him for his time and attention, which was unmarred by the scent of predatory interest, and I know what it looked and smelled at felt like; I'd been I don't know if he would "take No for an answer" because he never put me in the uncomfortable position of having to say either yes or no. Whether or not he found underage me attractive or not is beside the point--- he treated me with perfect courtesy as though I had no sexual aspect whatsoever. Indeed he refused to discuss the matter except to say it was something we might address someday, once I was an adult; and if he found it difficult, he never burdened me with that knowledge.

It has been quite traumatic to find out a bunch of total strangers have concocted a moral crime out of this personal series of events, violating my privacy as well as twisting the actual past to conjure up an indictment.
It is based on little more than the age I was on FIRST MEETING Dave Sim. The subsequent course of events is nobody else's business-- it should be sufficient to say that I trusted him and he never failed to be worthy of that trust. I could have slept in the same room, even shared a bed, without fear of inappropriate advances, because finding someone attractive does not preclude care for their well being, or even ordinary prudence wishing to avoid bad behavior.

Whatever he may now see fit to condemn in his past self from the perspective of his religious conversion, he did nothing sleazy or even sleaze-adjacent. Due to his disapproval (stated circa 2004) of married women corresponding with males other than their husband, we do not speak to one another. Otherwise I might have found out about this revolting persecution somewhat earlier, and spoken up to call out those who, it is clear, care nothing for either the truth or the alleged "victim" when they wish to hang a dog, and come across a promising bad name to hang upon him.

Did it never occur to ANY of the self appointed guardians of my "innocence" that you were publicly sticking your Grundy noses into the personal and sexual history of an actual person whose views COULD BE ASCERTAINED? Or did you make up some kind of excuse for why it was somehow "better for me" to have it raked over by people eager to presume a certain story, the better to wield against someone you dislike? You may all, with celerity, go f**k yourselves. Dave is worth a hundred petty scandalmongers, even if he does not always seem to realize that fact.

With freezing contempt,

Judith Bradford

PS. It's somewhat sad Dave seems to attribute so much more of my interest to supposed particular devotion to the comic. I worked in a comic shop and liked a lot of them, and met a lot of artists et cetera there and at local conventions-- but didn't want to call them to talk :) It was actually the person, and appreciation for his qualities, that was significant to me.

Anonymous said...

Amazing that Judith writes just like Dave Sim