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Lonely, Hateful, Bitter, Insane? or Defendable?
March 31, 2004 12:14 PM   Subscribe

The Dave Sim Misogyny Page - and a recent Onion interview. I find Dave Sim (comic book artist, notable for long-running, multiplevolume Cerebus) to have deeply troubling, almost poisoned ideas about women.(despite his efforts, these bitter screeds are almost unexplainable,unless someone here can explain them, that is - please!)Beware if you've never read them. And laugh with me, an apparentlyweak male-feminist (and lovin it!) if you have. Viva la Void.
posted by Peter H (53 comments total)

 
You can enjoy the works of Pound despite his support for Mussolini.
posted by Slothrup at 12:26 PM on March 31, 2004


Gad... boy am I sorry for having wasted my time that way. Some of it makes sense, some of it is just plain bizarre, and all of it reinforced my belief that I should stick to enjoying the products of other's minds and never, ever try to look into those minds.

When I was younger, reading Cerebus was a blast (the first 50 issues anyway). I'll stick to that and ignore his later work, thank you.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:46 PM on March 31, 2004


High comedy!

Sims describes his project as "the longest sustained narrative in human history", showing a fine sense of proportion and humility. To continue:

Dave on "thinking":

The evidence that I see around me in society indicates that not only is thinking very much out of favor, but I'm not sure that the last couple of generations—Generation X and Generation Next, or whatever you want to call them—even know what a thought is, having been raised to be women.

Dave on the less than ecstatic critical reception of "the longest sustained narrative in human history":

I wouldn't classify the non-reaction to the end of Church & State as disappointing or annoying—those are emotional responses—so much as inexplicable. The first 1,100-page graphic novel in the history of the medium, and the reaction could be summed up as the sound of one cricket leg chirping.

Dave on affirmative action:

[It was] introduced to balance the number of women and men getting into university. More women than men are getting into university, but no effort is being made to achieve a state of balance now that women are winning.

"Winning"? Seems this sums up his wordview right there...

Feminists are in an untenable position, defending something they no longer believe in, and which history will force them to recognize was destructive of most of the central pillars of civilization. I'm just the first one to point it out publicly. Everyone ignored Winston Churchill's warnings in 1937, but the question for Churchill wasn't, "What are you going to do to convince people you're right in 1938, 1939, and 1940?"

and of course the punchline:

Leftist reactions are always histrionic.

But wait! There's more!

It's very dangerous to pretend to be open-minded when you're the exact opposite.

Haven't laughed so hard for days. Thanks, Peter H.
posted by jokeefe at 12:53 PM on March 31, 2004


Dave Sim is a dick, and not very important.
posted by the fire you left me at 12:54 PM on March 31, 2004 [1 favorite]


You can enjoy the works of Pound despite his support for Mussolini.

Yeah, but Cerebus is the most overrated comic I've come across.
posted by mkultra at 12:54 PM on March 31, 2004


I tried to read it, I really did.

I made it almost two full paragraphs, then everything went black.

I awoke face-down on the desk, in a small slick of my own saliva. After glancing at the clock and discovering that two and a half hours had passed, I had an epiphany:

Tangents may be the greatest sleep-aid humanity has ever produced.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:00 PM on March 31, 2004


I was a huge admirer of Cerebus, but these writings make me feel a little bit sorry for Sim -- I suspect somebody he cared about did a job on him (or he on them) and the ideational and emotional accommodations he's made in order to be comfortable with himself have led to this strange belief system: it all has the reek of cognitive dissonance about it. OTOH, maybe his workload just broke his brain. At any rate, as long as he's happy, hey, no problem.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:07 PM on March 31, 2004


I can't speak for others, but I outgrew the fixation on lording over others the superiority of my ability to follow "reason" over the "emotional thinking" of others when I was much, much younger than Sim is, now.
posted by deanc at 1:15 PM on March 31, 2004


Crash- try Edmund Burke's A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. To read a sentence of it is to lapse into a coma.

I find this kind of stuff fascinating. Creepy, like Maldoror, and not the work of someone I want to know personally, but fascinating none the less.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:23 PM on March 31, 2004


It's ridiculous to think about More Crime, More Punishment or The Sons & Nephews Karamazov.

Okay that's pretty hilarious.
posted by xmutex at 1:24 PM on March 31, 2004


Whoah! What the...

I discovered, through celibacy and the avoidance of masturbation that sexual desire is a lot like a rash.

Ah. Nevermind. Good luck with that though.
posted by freebird at 1:26 PM on March 31, 2004


Sims got delusions of grandeur. In his mind, he's much, much smarter than everyone else.. and what he says is so plainly true, that anyone who disagrees must plainly be stupid beyond belief. Of course, those who disagree with his unconscious self-assessment are thus stupid beyond belief.

In short, he's always right.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:28 PM on March 31, 2004


Okay, so I go to read Tangents.

He declares that his aim is to prove that "feminism has no sound intellectual foundation". Fine. I settle in to read what should be, from that introduction, a review and refutation of the ideas and intellectual foundation of feminism.

Instead, we get this:

The research which most contributed to my “ideas about women” was the series of informal interviews I conducted with mothers and daughters – with mothers about their daughters, with daughters about their mothers, with daughters about their daughters, with mothers about their mothers. It was really the first time in my adult life that I spoke to women who I found physically unattractive and the first time I spoke to women with any motive besides getting them into bed.

and a couple of pages of ranting about womens' communication styles later:

That was when I realized that women are emotion-based beings [...] and that (consequently) any female-centred or female-originated political movement – more precisely, “political” “movement” – will lack sound intellectual footing.

But don't worry, Dave has everything under control:

[I discovered, through celibacy and the avoidance of masturbation that sexual desire is a lot like a rash. If you keep “scratching it” you make it worse and, thus, “scratching it” comes to seem like an urgent, toppermost of the poppermost, central necessity in your life. If you learn to leave your penis alone, I discovered, your penis will learn to leave you alone.]

As the kids say, ROTFLMAO.
posted by jokeefe at 1:29 PM on March 31, 2004


I love how in the Onion interview Sim just shoots off about feminists and leftists without any prompting from the interviewer. The interviewer's like, hey come back here, that wasn't what I was asking you. I figure Sim's getting himself a warblog any time now.

As I recall his wife Deni separated from/divorced him sometime during Church & State, or perhaps Jaka's Story; I don't remember the lore. Personally I trace Sim's battiness to him giving up the pot.
posted by furiousthought at 1:30 PM on March 31, 2004


In a lot of ways Dave Sim created the comics revolution of the early 80's. Long before Alan Moore and Frank Miller were doing Swamp Thing and Daredevil, Sim was doing the groundbreaking and brilliant Cerebus. He really changed everything and I hope eventually history acknowledge that.

It's a shame that his non-comic writing has drawn so much attention away from this monumental accomplishment. 300 issues writing a single comic book title. That's an amazing feat.


I think somewhere along the line Dave went a little nuts, but I also think it's irrelevant.
posted by Bonzai at 1:35 PM on March 31, 2004


Dave Sim is a strict-father model then huh?

While I agree with some (*some* not too many, just a few) of his points, I think his anger at women is misplaced. He seems to blame them for many of the social ills that are afflicting our culture. For example, his opinion on gov't funded daycare. If we lived in a society where a family with one bread-winner could provide the opportunities for their children to have a better life/education/job/what-not then I would agree that gov't-funded daycare is not something that we need. Unfortunately, since the advent of women in the workforce, the average family income in the US has *gone down*. In the last 30 years the bottom 90% of families in the US has seen their real income go down by 7%. That's not too bad you say? Well, the top .01% has seen their income go up by 600% in the same time frame.

The fact is, if we are going to allow a society where money = opportuinities, especially when it comes to raising kids, then we need to understand that gov't funded daycare, and other social services like it are going to be required. A democracy isn't going to stand for long when you can't provide people with the hope for a better life.
posted by DragonBoy at 1:36 PM on March 31, 2004


Oh boy, more angry bitter little screeds on the web, just when I thought the internet was chock full and couldn't hold any more loser angst.

I've never read Cerebus and have zero interest now that I know the author is a hate filled fool.
posted by fenriq at 1:37 PM on March 31, 2004


I think somewhere along the line Dave went a little nuts, but I also think it's irrelevant.

SPOILERS BELOW



Generally the work stands on its own; but Sim's philisophical writings/rantings on women add some new angles to events like the rape of Astoria and Jaka's abortion.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:45 PM on March 31, 2004


Am I the only one who thinks that Tangents reads pretty much like Dianetics?
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:47 PM on March 31, 2004


It's a shame that his non-comic writing has drawn so much attention away from this monumental accomplishment. 300 issues writing a single comic book title. That's an amazing feat.

Or an amazing act of self-indulgent wanking.

Okay, being provocative there. I don't see what's to monumental about it. The writers who Sims tries to claim some sort of affinity with-- Tolstoy, for example-- wrote much, much more than the amount of text contained in 300 comic books, and that goes for both quantity and quality. As far as visual art is concerned, very, very few graphic novels or comic artists can claim to be truly innovative in that direction. Krazy Kat. Maus. I doubt that Cerebrus could hold its own in this company.
posted by jokeefe at 1:48 PM on March 31, 2004


his sister in law suggested the character be an aardvark and his wife named it... this poor hypocritical tool would have had no career if it weren't for the women in his life.

deni and sim were already divorced during church & state, which is when she stopped reading cerebus... she was a tad disturbed that the rape victim astoria was drawn to look just like her.

I figure Sim's getting himself a warblog any time now.

he's said that he now plans to spend all his time reading the bible and the koran aloud on canadian cable access tv. he's huge on religion which is hilarious considering belief has nothing to do with logic.

sims world, sims world, party on
posted by t r a c y at 1:48 PM on March 31, 2004


You, know, Cerebus pretty much started me on thinking about comics as a literary genre (well that and Sandman) even though I quickly recognized that Sim is, well, kinda loopy. One has to wonder whether he sees that he has, in effect, become a comic charicature, a kind of perverse, one-dimensional archetype. I dunno. I guess I'd rather he really was a kind of Rush Limbaugh of graphic artists than truly be delusional.

Then again, who cares. Cerebus is a thick, post-modern tale, and places Sim in an elite class of graphic storytellers. If he's also a man stricken with hate and spite, well thats too bad - he shares the stage with a lot of notorious authors - but at the same time I guess I feel dont need to know him or agree with him to appreciate the best aspects of his art.
posted by elendil71 at 1:56 PM on March 31, 2004


A chap called Andrew Rilstone has covered this and better than I could, so: 1 2 3 4 5 6

The thing about Cerebus is that even up to the end of Form and Void (the most recently I've read), it seems separate from the bizarre prose that is wedged in with it. Not just the misogyny - the last couple of phone books have been squeezed in with wretched essays on Fitzgerald and Hemingway.

The tragedy is that there is some wonderful work - absolutely astonishing, not just funny but moving and intelligent. And intertwined with it this stupid, irrational, self-centred rubbish.

On top of that there is the illustration (incredible economy amongst the fine detailing - his ability to convey subtle emotion is among the best) or pace comic books.

It really is that good, a lot of the time. It's a long slow read, but worth it. For a lot of the time.

The thing is that it seems to have driven him mad. It's actually very sad.
posted by Grangousier at 2:03 PM on March 31, 2004


The early "Cerebus" was extremely interesting, I think. Sim's graphic style and imaginative world--which always struck me as an early 20th century Sax Rohmer/Prisoner of Zenda/H. Rider Haggard fantasy--was compelling.

Clearly, Mr. Sim is experiencing some kind of mental illness at the moment, though. Not because of his opinions, but because he can't follow a simple question without making bizarre leaps and assumptions about the questioner's SEEKRIT INTENT.

Elendil71, I think that "delusional" is the only word that fits.

Maybe he and Ann Coulter could get together, though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:03 PM on March 31, 2004


Grangousier, thanks to the link to Rilstone's piece.

It's interesting that he begins with that quote from Auden which, I think, proves the opposite of what Auden was trying to argue.

Time has not "pardoned" Paul Claudel "for writing well"--today, if he is known at all, he's best known as a religious bore, a Vichy tool, and a cruel brother (yes, he's the one who had sculptor Camille Claudel committed to a mental hospital for offending his ultra-Catholic prudery in her work).
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:10 PM on March 31, 2004


To be fair, here is a pretty good Voice piece on the actual Cerebus comic, and its literary/comics achievement in being completed.

A good point to make, however - everyone has demons and prejudices, but Sim has chosen to force his politics out through the very issues of Cerebus themselves, and bring them up out of no where in interviews. It is impossible to separate them from the work, as he is so eager to speak of them in the same footing. To him, they are clearly equal, if not a singular statement.
posted by Peter H at 2:11 PM on March 31, 2004


Other links of interest:

Dave Sim guide to dating

Is Dave Sim Mad?

I read Cerebus for a mighty long time. I didn't leave it because I thought Sim was a nutcase — there are lots of people with goofier world views — but because it became so damn boring.
posted by jdroth at 2:13 PM on March 31, 2004


Inaccurately named 'feminism' is a vile, failing, malignant, marxist, lie.

Before claiming "solidarity" to such pernicious, intentional malevolence, reconsideration might be in order.

"Contemporary (or second wave) feminism has aptly been described as "Marxism without economics," since feminists replace class with gender as the key social construct. Of course, what society constructs can be deconstructed. This is the feminist project: to abolish gender difference by transforming its institutional source — the patriarchal family."F.L. Morton & Rainer Knopff
posted by hama7 at 2:16 PM on March 31, 2004


Also — does anyone know what the permalink for the Onion piece is? I'd like to link to it from my weblog, but don't want to do so if the link'll just be dead in a week...
posted by jdroth at 2:22 PM on March 31, 2004


Mmmmm, imagining an Ann Coulter/Dave Sim interview on Larry King Live. Maybe the WWF (or whatever they're called now) could co-sponsor?!

Grangousier: Yeah sad I guess. "I'm not mad! I get mad sometimes, but I'm not mad!" Maybe he's read too many comics (wish I could find a cool link for that last one, but the ones I found were too lame for inclusion).

Sidhedevil: "delusional". Perhaps your right. See above comment.
posted by elendil71 at 2:26 PM on March 31, 2004


Sim's achievement, in terms of length/beauty/richness of imaginative, doesn't serve as a testimony to his sanity.

Henry Darger, who was as nutty as a truckload of batshit speeding down the Loony Highway toward Crazyville, generated an enormous amount of gorgeous and scary art around his delusions as well.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:31 PM on March 31, 2004


I got as far as this:

All I got out of that research, I already knew: a) women want to be raped by rich, muscular, handsome doctors b) women are completely self-absorbed and, thus, see themselves in everything around them

and realized I didn't need to read anything more.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:52 PM on March 31, 2004


I made it a few more paragraphs than mr_crash_davis did, but not many. I did learn one thing from it though - it is easy to create "the longest sustained narrative in human history" if you just repeat yourself over and over again.

Quite apart from his idiotic view of the world, the guy is well, an idiot. Maybe one day in the distant past he had something to say, but that day has clearly long since passed into history.
posted by dg at 3:03 PM on March 31, 2004


*skims through all 8 gabillion words of pointless illogical tirade*

Ahh. So that's how people spend their time when they haven't had sex for years and years and years!
posted by contessa at 3:19 PM on March 31, 2004


As far as visual art is concerned, very, very few graphic novels or comic artists can claim to be truly innovative in that direction. Krazy Kat. Maus. I doubt that Cerebrus could hold its own in this company.

Jokeefe, you're wrong.

The man has warts, and has definitely suffered perhaps a bit too much for his art, but Dave's lettering is the best, most expressive, and most creative in the medium. Period.

He also experimented with page design in postmodern, provocative ways that no one else was doing at the time. And finally, his character drawings are hardly the work of a slouch.

Then there are Gerhard's backrounds; no-one comes close, and I've never heard anyone call them less than brilliant. For comparison, check out this and this. (Booth is the artist that Gerhard cites as his biggest influence, and while he'd deny it, some think his work rivals Booth's.)

The work deserves respect, even if Dave is arguably a loon.
posted by fnord23 at 3:42 PM on March 31, 2004


I don't see what's to monumental about it. The writers who Sims tries to claim some sort of affinity with-- Tolstoy, for example-- wrote much, much more than the amount of text contained in 300 comic books, and that goes for both quantity and quality. As far as visual art is concerned, very, very few graphic novels or comic artists can claim to be truly innovative in that direction. Krazy Kat. Maus. I doubt that Cerebrus could hold its own in this company.

Well, first, Cerebus isn't typical of comic books in its amount of text -- from Church & State on (that is, books 2-15 if I remember correctly), there is a tremendous amount of text on each page. Often one panel is about equal to one medium-sized paragraph. Sometimes, he just writes a page of text and puts it into the story, maybe with a border around it.

Nor is it typical in the visual complexit. Even with Gerhard doing the (exquisite) backgrounds, there is a lot to draw on each page. And he pulls a lot of interesting, experimental, occasionally annoying structural tricks.

If you're confused about it at all, then please just take my word for it: Sim's accomplishment, in terms of sheer magnitude, skill and endurance required, not to mention logistics, is immense. Jaw-dropping. Something, I will say with some cruelty, that only a person that is to a certain degree obsessed could sustain. Not to mince words -- I don't think a normal, well-adjusted person would have set out to create a 26-year story arc, and follow through on it.

You can enjoy the works of Pound despite his support for Mussolini.

I'm not too familiar with Pound, but in Sim's case, his personal philosophies and obvious manias intruded so much on the story that it made me stop reading. A friend of mine who was reading it with me stuck it out for a few more books, but eventually he stopped for the same reasons.
posted by Hildago at 3:48 PM on March 31, 2004


Cerebus resources:

CerebusFangirl - the best, most comprehensive Cerebus fansite on the net.

cerebus@yahoogroups.com - discussion list (wildy free-ranging - not for the sqeamish)

Dave himself avoids the internet as much as possible, hence the lack of an "official" website.
posted by fnord23 at 3:52 PM on March 31, 2004


I heard long ago that Sim's divorce was due to him diddling his (male) assistant. Who knows. *shrug*

(The above statement is mere conjecture, hearsay, flummery, idle talk, hot air, etc, and is not to be construed as an allegation of infidelity or homosexuality or anything else Dave Sim might be mad about and want to sue me for. I don't know the guy, haven't met him, don't even know anyone who knows anyone who knows the guy, and I'm sure he's just a prince of a fella.)

I've never really thought that much about Sim as a postfeminist cultural critic, but I've intermittently read Cerebus for...what?...almost 25 years now. As a whole, the work reminds me of the 17th-century Gothic bodice-ripper The Monk by Matthew G. Lewis: parts are great, others awful, and the whole thing is more important as a historical signpost pointing the way to a new style of storytelling than as art qua art. But when Cerebus is good (and the early stuff was really, really good) it's up there with the best the genre has to offer.

Perhaps spending one's entire adult life drawing a barbarian aardvark's rollicking adventures takes its toll on one's mental health.

Or maybe he's just a douchebag.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:01 PM on March 31, 2004


Yeah, Cerebus is a much more visually and formally groundbreaking book than Maus is. Which isn't really a knock on Speigelman, because Speigelman's visual and formal innovations occur in his previous work. Maus is more like Speigelman really sitting down to just tell a story; it's not very experimental in that sense.
posted by furiousthought at 4:13 PM on March 31, 2004


fnord23, hildago, furiousthought: I'm open to taking a second look at Sim's work in terms of its graphic qualities, though I remain unconvinced of the monumentality of the work and unimpressed by the fact of a 25 year story arc (the British soap opera Coronation Street has a longer story arc than that, and there are longer, or just as long, literary narratives in terms of sheer verbiage-- every plowed your way through the collected works of De Sade?)

But the length isn't really the important thing: there are six page short stories in this world that hold more wit and depth than anything Sims has done with Cerebrus, either taken in part or as a whole. That said, I'll look again at it as visual art, though I should probably say that I may be unconvertible: there are very few graphic novels or comics that I have ever seen that I've found engaging for more than a minute or two: Dirty Plotte (for visual style) and Naughty Bits (for narrative). And of course Speigelman's early work (for both).

Thanks for the links and info.
posted by jokeefe at 4:36 PM on March 31, 2004


It's not so much the visual style as the comics vocabulary: the usage of panels and words and images in an Understanding Comics sense - that's where Cerebus broke a lot of ground. Now, if you're coming from Dirty Plotte and Naughty Bits and the like, Cerebus probably won't appeal to you much. How much of it did you read, anyway?
posted by furiousthought at 5:11 PM on March 31, 2004


I used to love Cerebus. I owned the trade issues of the series up to wherever it was at three or four years ago. (lost 'em all in a flood). Stopped reading not because of his blatent misogyny but because the series got so slow. An entire book was devoted to Cerebus sitting in a bar. I read slightly farther than that before giving up. Is it over yet? Anyone want to e-mail me with a summary of the last 3 years? Thanks.
posted by Grod at 5:14 PM on March 31, 2004


I wonder : Has Dave Sim ever been tested for Syphilis ?

Left untreated for a few decades, Syphilis can produce dementia like this.
posted by troutfishing at 8:02 PM on March 31, 2004


Cerebus really is pretty astonishing--even the long slow (slooow, SLOOOOOW) passages end up having a real significance and resonance in the context of the whole work. (I've heard the comparison to Darger a couple of times, which is just plain wrong: Sim is a phenomenal storyteller when he's on point, and he clearly had a master plan for the whole thing--he sets up chains of ideas and events and images that pay off thousands of pages later.)

Just in terms of sheer visual razzle-dazzle, there's some incredible stuff there--for instance, in the fourth book, there's an 80-page scene of two people in a room having a political argument that's totally visually compelling--it feels fast-paced and urgent. Anyone who's ever tried to draw more than a page of talking-heads conversation knows that that's almost impossible to pull off.

Yes, Sim's politics are repugnant--but I'd rather read first-rate art with a world-view that repels me than dull, well-intentioned art any time.
posted by 88robots at 8:25 PM on March 31, 2004


the gal who wrote this interview has a livejournal. herewith, her dave sim experience.

gem from the onion:
Are there parts of your story that you would still like to address, or perspectives that you feel you haven't yet had the chance to get across?

DS: Ever the oblique leftist. I don't "feel." If I "felt," I would never have gotten the book done. ... What you want to know is if I'm going to continue to attack feminism, and what sort of artillery I have left. ...

[snip]

O: Again, I wasn't referring specifically to your writings on feminism. ... Did you ever reach a point where 300 issues didn't seem like enough space?

DS: Oh, no. Sorry, I misunderstood.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:12 PM on March 31, 2004


I had dinner once with Dave at a convergence of a bunch of Comic Book Legal Defense Fund people. He seemed like a nice enough person. The woman he was dating at the time was an astoundingly brilliant and wonderful person, and I doubt if he'd been a total dick that she would have tolerated it. But this was almost a decade ago. Hey....come to think of it...the timing is about right...maybe he was a dick to her, she dumped him and he's been bitter ever since...

People who say that Dave Sim paved the path for alternative comics are dead on. I didn't like Cerebus, so I didn't/don't read it...so can't speak to it's relative merits or lack thereof, but Dave was instrumental in teaching a generation of comic people how to market, get to press, and get distributed. His work for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has been amazing, both as a member and as a fundraiser.

People are entitled to their opinions, no matter how bizarre, stupid, or bigoted I think they are. That said, I wouldn't want to have to deal with him.
posted by dejah420 at 9:21 PM on March 31, 2004


People are not entitled to opinions. They are entitled to preferences, as in "I like green." But comparing Feminism to Marxism... At some point rationality ends and madness begins. Coherent argument becomes irrational rant. No one ever says, "hey, so and so is entitled to that coherent argument." People hear an irrational rant and say, "hey, that's their opinion." Do your ideas make you miserable and crazy? Seems like a good place to start...

This guy is a nut. But nuts aren't necessarily reliable philosophers. Nietzsche, on the other hand, is one of my favorite nut philosophers. Sim is an artist. Like the Dixie Chicks.
posted by ewkpates at 11:06 AM on April 1, 2004


People are not entitled to opinions. They are entitled to preferences, as in "I like green."

Or "I hate women."
posted by kindall at 1:10 PM on April 1, 2004


I agree about being able to like an artist even if (s)he is a shit. Picasso beat his wife, after all. If I was there when he did it, I'd crack his skull open. I still like his paintings.

The problem with Sim is that his work got more and more about hating women. I finally gave up on it after a while because I didn't want to pay 40 dollars for a phone book full of screeds about the 'gaping void'. Jesus, he sounds like one of those Freud era loonies who were afraid their mothers vag was going to bite their head off.

I genuinely think he's pretty much gone out of his mind. He wrote often about how being in his profession made him have to use quotes around the work 'reality'. I don't think he can distinguish anything in the world from his delusional system. Thus he doesn't need to do any more research for fearing women than talking to a couple and obsessing over Oscar Wilde.

I kind of feel like he's an extreme example of the Woody Allen syndrome. We're all like 'yeah, you broke new ground, great. Go back to the dick jokes. They were funny.'

I miss Wolverroach.
posted by lumpenprole at 1:50 PM on April 1, 2004


SecretSacredWars Roach was my personal favorite. I think the series didn't really get off it's hinges until after Melmoth and even then it was a slow disintegration. Men had some great moments and even Going Home was ..... well drawn.

she was a tad disturbed that the rape victim astoria was drawn to look just like her (ex-wife Deni)

First of all Astoria was much more than a rape victim, she was a major character, so your implication that he drew a character to look like someone and then had her raped is way off. Astoria was born a decade before she was raped.

More importantly, Astoria was based on Mary Astor an actor from the Golden Age of film. Jaka was created for Deni as a birthday present (although she was drawn to look like an old girlfriend).

At least that how he remembers it now.
posted by Bonzai at 3:37 PM on April 1, 2004


I imagine many artists who create and maintain an internally consistent alternate reality over such great spans of time and attention must inevitably sacrifice some of their grip on, as Sim would punctuate it, "reality".

Poor, crazy Earth-pig.
posted by obloquy at 6:02 PM on April 1, 2004


First of all Astoria was much more than a rape victim, she was a major character, so your implication that he drew a character to look like someone and then had her raped is way off. Astoria was born a decade before she was raped.

i'm not intentionally implying anything at all. deni said she stopped reading cerebus after astoria, a character that was drawn to look like her, was raped.

I agree about being able to like an artist even if (s)he is a shit. Picasso beat his wife, after all. If I was there when he did it, I'd crack his skull open. I still like his paintings.

was it oscar wilde who said we shouldn't confuse the artist with the art, or something similar...? i've been trying to make the right attribution for a few weeks, and google ain't helping. i try to keep the 2 entities separate myself, but it's hard sometimes when you know someone is so completely odious outside of their work.
posted by t r a c y at 6:43 PM on April 1, 2004


t r a c y : there was a quote from proust's biographer that said one's art rarely corresponds with one's life. is that the quote you were looking for?
posted by pxe2000 at 10:55 AM on April 2, 2004


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