Comicdom’s continuing enabling of Dave Sim astounds me, not necessarily because his beliefs are crazy and evil but because those crazy and evil beliefs so directly inform all his work. Actually, it’s more than that: His work is about his crazy and evil beliefs. I’m not sure why otherwise bright people would “look forward” to a comic about women by a man who espouses any number of noxious, vile, misogynist, almost paranoid-schizophrenic beliefs about women. I wouldn’t look forward to listening to an opera about the Jews by Wagner, either.

Wagner isn’t exactly the perfect parallel we’d use (his anti-Semitism was sadly standard for the times and he also hired a Jewish conductor to lead the premiere of Parsifal) but, you get the point. There’s a lot of fascinating stuff about Sim floating around these days, but we don’t want to spoil the peaceful holidays with what is sure to become a conflagration. So let’s meet back here in a few days, k?


  1. I’d say there’s a bit of a fascination with his craziness. It’s like a car accident, you know you should, but you don’t want to look away.

    Plus whatever else you might say about him, Sim is still a brilliant story-teller and an innovator in the medium. There’s really interesting work even in the last few years of Cerebus, with everything that represented.

  2. Are we really that low on good comics work these days that we even have to bother with him? It’s not like we’re hurting for new, good comics these days from non-crazy people.

  3. I don’t think Collins really knows what he’s talking about. Certainly, Sim’s beliefs are crazy and weird and maybe even evil, but Sim’s comics do not always reflect those beliefs. You’re going to have to dig pretty deep to find female characters as developed and powerful as Astoria in “Cerebus,” a series that, incidentally, ended with the titular character — who believed things Sim does — going to hell for being so crazy and weird.

    Sim often and I’d say mostly does speak from his characters’ points of view, not his own. That’s probably because Sim’s so fiercely insane, he can do that with his brain. But Cerebus himself was the closest thing to a Sim mouthpiece, and he was portrayed as a hideous, miserly, ignorant tyrant who died alone and unloved.

  4. Oh, and I meant that “Collins doesn’t know what he’s talking about” remark in a peaceful “I think he’s not seeing the whole picture” kind of way, not an aggressive “That Collins guy is full of shit!” kind of way. Sorry!

  5. “Evil?” Wow, talk about given to over-the-top hyperbole! Expressing opinions about people’s “craziness” relative to your personal value system is one thing (though I find it a bit much), but “evil”? By what possible objective standard? There’s lots that one may disagree with about Dave Sim’s beliefs (I find attempting to combine Christianity, Judaism and Islam a bit too overwhelming to attempt myself), but at least he knows what he believes and why he believes it. Many of the so-called requirements of the modern feminist society are fiscally unsustainable. That is a simple fact that cannot be argued, and it is one of the things Dave sets forth clearly. Thank your lucky stars that the same freedom of speech that permits you to call Dave crazy and evil also permits him to express his own views on the world. (I might add that he’s also probably among the least dangerous practicing Muslims in this hemisphere, and one of the few I’d like to dialogue with.) If you don’t like what Dave has to say, then don’t buy his books; that’s your choice. But if I or other members of Comicdom choose to “enable” Dave, that’s ours. I’m most interested in reading glamourpuss.

  6. Comics really stick to thier heroes through and through. I think that’s why Frank Miller is writing Batman the way he is right now, to make fun of the readers for demanding a DKR sequel 15 years later. What I’ve heard Dave Sim say haven’t been ‘anti-feminist’ as many have called it, but downright sexist. But obviously he’s a comics player, 600 self published issues, his relationship with Jeff Smith, plus a bunch of people agree with him. He’s very very sexist, but he’s a central character in indie comics history.

    Glamourpuss looks evil. More of that ‘void’ stuff, plus he’ll attach it to fashion. just sayin’.

  7. Evil? Oh come off it.

    Sim’s a brilliant artist and writer. He has opinions that are deeply strange and if I was sitting over a pint with him we’d likely find a metric ton of disagreement. That does nothing to diminish his work or the quality of his craft. Cerebus is a monument, not only in it’s artistic achievement but what it contributed to indy publishing as a whole. Ike Turner was awful to Tina, but the man founded rock and roll. Keeping the art and the artist separate isn’t that hard.

  8. I’m going to pick up Glamourpuss not because I’m a fan of Cerebus, but because Glamourpuss looks to be something new and exciting. Of the few bits we’ve seen it the art (characters and backgrounds), look great and the Sim sense of humor is visible (and made me laugh a few times). Whether or not you like Cerebus shouldn’t matter, what you think of Dave’s views shouldn’t matter: this looks like a fun well drawn comic, and if you pass up on that, you’ll be missing out on a good read.

  9. “Many of the so-called requirements of the modern feminist society are fiscally unsustainable. That is a simple fact that cannot be argued,….”

    What the hell does that mean?

  10. Ike Turner founded rock and roll? That’ll come as a shock to Chuck Berry, believe you me!

    And about a 1000 other performers as well.

    Oh… and I’m also not sure about Dave Sim being “evil” per se. I think that’s stretching it. Delusional fits about right. While I don’t necessarily agree with it, I don’t mind at all his anti-feminism stance. That’s politics and can be debated fairly objectively with solid facts and statistics and whatnot.

    If one cares to go that route.

    It’s just when he starts in on this male equals light/female equals void stuff where he comes off as schizophrenic. Using a lot of made up metaphysical baloney to justify his anti-feminism is just sad. Reading his essays is like viewing the remains of a train crash with the bodies still in the wreckage. Something good destroyed by illness and a turn inward towards illness to the point where little of the initial brilliance remains unmarred.

    Anyway, how can you have any kind of rational discussion with someone whose belief system comes from some internal chemical imbalance and inability to perceive reality? The problem is, he like a lot of people who need treatment believe their fancies to be concrete reality so much so they end up not getting professional help.

    Sim truly lives in a world we cannot fully comprehend. One of his own making.

  11. I’d no more want to sit across from Dave Sim and discuss his views than I would Asa Earl Carter. Doesn’t mean that I don’t think he should be allowed to espouse what he believes, but the idea that his work should be subjected to any sort of intellectual rigor is akin to giving flat-earthers the time of day.

  12. “Many of the so-called requirements of the modern feminist society are fiscally unsustainable. That is a simple fact that cannot be argued.” The demand for taxpayer-funded day care in Canada, Steve, is an example. I’m referencing #2 of Sim’s “Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist”, which I’m sure you can google if you’re interested.

  13. “Ike Turner founded rock and roll? That’ll come as a shock to Chuck Berry, believe you me!”

    For what it’s worth, “Rocket 88” predates Chuck Berry’s first single by a good 3 or 4 years.

  14. Come now, let us not get so off topic as to forget the main conversation, which, as I will recall has something to with brilliant people often being crazy-flawed as well.

    Will the world every forgive/forget such people? Can these people be forgiven, why are such flaws allowable, would you admire someone who helps thousands but stomps one person into the dirt, or the opposite? Truly, the mass consciousness is a wonderous and awful thing to behold.

  15. I posted this last night to: “commemorate the final moments of the 30th Anniversary of Cerebus, with the unveiling (drumroll, please) of a premiere-exclusive-sneak peak of the progress on the 3D animated adptation of the very first legendary issue! The much loved comic that spawned an entire industry of alternative indy comic books.”