A little while ago, Dave Sim’s supporters posted an online petition aimed at…well, it was a little hard to tell what it was aimed at, but gaining public support would be the most obvious guess. Sim said he would only correspond in the future with those who signed the petition. Confusion over the appropriateness of this petition led to a crisis over at the Yahoo Cerebus Group, as Sim lashed out against many of his long term supporters. Things got even more complicated with a series of faxes between Sim, fellow cartoonist Chester Brown and Sim’s webmaster Jeff Tundis becoming something of a touchstone. As near as I can make out, Sim wanted the whole thing to be published, but Tundis didn’t because he felt it would make Sim look bad. This and Sim’s rejection of some of his most faithful readers, like Margaret Liss Fisher, have caused much discussion and confusion.
While Tundis has refused to have his side of the faxes published, Rick Sharer has gone ahead
published the Brown/Sim correspondence. This one outburst from Sim seems to sum up his current mindset:
In other words you think I’m the gender equivalent of a racist. This is what I’ve come to realize: that people genuinely believe that I’m the worst imaginable thing (literally: a non-person, a sub-human) in our society. That being the case the only honorable thing is to withdraw from society completely and limit my contact with society to necessities (my rep at Diamond, people I buy food from). Would you associate with anyone who thought you were a subhuman?
Now you may have noticed that I am using the “I” pronoun which I reserve for thing of some serious note. That’s because one of the reasons I’ve read this is my name comes up in my RSS-feeds from various postings. It seems that the hounding of Dave Sim by myself and Gail Simone is being held up BY SOME as what had driven Dave to this sad state of isolation and persecution. I stress the “by some”, as others think he may have been mentally ill to begin with, and others think he had other motivations.
Some think that this is all because of the low sales on Glamourpuss, but according to the John Jackson Miller figures I just linked to, the first issue of Glamourpuss sold 16,515 copies, way more than lots of Marvel and DC books, and nothing to sneeze at for such an oddball title.
Anyway I’ll do no more here than note the above correspondence. There are certainly some notable bits to be mined from them, but the interest is drowned out by the sadness, for me anyway. It’s sad when a great artist goes into a state of self-mandated social withdrawal; the entire matter is sad.