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#462836 - 04/15/01 04:15 AM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
Steve Lieber Offline

Registered: 03/02/00
Posts: 296
Loc: Portland, OR
In my experience, personal and business relationships going back a decade are all well and good, but if you really want to know a man, you have to chat with him at a comic book convention.
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#462837 - 04/15/01 06:53 AM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
jack Offline

Registered: 11/11/99
Posts: 12596
Loc: Just south of NYC
I guess Jason never had a drink at the bar with Kim.

#462838 - 04/15/01 08:21 AM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
Rick Veitch Administrator Offline

Registered: 11/23/98
Posts: 3531
Loc: Vermont, USA
Originally posted by jasontrimmer:
First, to the charges that Mr. Sim has written this essay as a PR stunt

Jason, in the back of CEREBUS #265, Dave prints a note waiving his copyright. He adds: "mindfull of the fact that issue 186 (despite being universally deplored by male and female feminists) is one of the few Cerebus back issues to sell out overnight." So, I think it is fair to explore the "pr stunt" aspect of "Tangents."

Second, I truly can't believe there is still the 'is Dave Sim a misogynist?' question around. How many times in this essay and countless others has he made the point that NOT being a feminist does not make one a MISOGYNIST.

Just because someone says they are not something doesn't mean they aren't. Many people say (and firmly believe) they are not rascist or homophobic or whatever, but regularly display behavior traits that do reflect these prejudices. Dave's essays (186 and 265) appear to me to display a deep-seated hatred of women on Dave's part. The fact that he has chosen to inject these attitudes into the public debate through his essays makes him fair game for criticism (or support) on this subject.

I have no idea what motivates your behavior, Ms. Thompson. I met Dave at the SPACE convention in Columbus (after having been an exhibitor on the Columbus, Austin, Pittsburgh, and APE stops of the Spirits of Independence tour of 1995) and found him as always to be gracious, warm and accomadating. We talked at length about self-publishing, formal aspects of comic art, and the Florida Recount and his opinions were always considered, pragmatic and humorous.

I've know Dave pretty well since the mid 1980's and I agree, he is a great conversationalist (as cartoonists of a certain age he and I intersect at a number of core points). But as anyone who knows him well will tell you, Dave Sim can turn vicious and cruel on a heartbeat (especially towards women). I've seen it enough times to have no doubt as to the accuracy of Steve and Colleen's description of the episode above.

What indeed are your rebuttals to Sim's arguments (note: calling him crazy or slandering him in any way is not a rebuttal)? Enlighten us.

My rebuttal to Dave's argument, (which I've gone round and round with him in person and published in various interviews) is that he is out of touch with his own feeling function to such a degree that he projects a deep paranoia towards anyone who is not. Reread the various essays and notice how many times the word "emotion" plays into his world view as a negative aspect of humanity. I personally believe the exact opposite; that our current scientism-based society is woefully locked onto the side of reason and out of touch with the heart. Not that reason is bad, its just we need to balance it with feeling function IMHO. Dave's approach is that feeling, or emotion, in a man is further proof of a "feminist" conspiracy. I don't accept his basic notion and I see his arguments as based on his own psychology rather than a real understanding of human nature.

As for the "crazy" charge, Dave has been publicly open about being institutionalized for a nervous breakdown 20 years ago. His current extreme behavior does seem to raise questions about his motives and balance. This is, after all, a guy who doesn't see or talk to other human beings, drives his employees to quit, and publishes diatribes blaming one half of humanity for brainwashing the other half (except for himself and a couple of his favorite authors). And of course CEREBUS himself exhibits a constant schizophrenic dialogue with voices in his head. While I stand in awe of Dave's achievement and goal of self publishing 300 issues of CEREBUS, I can only cringe at how he's wasted his life-long effort on furthering a crank philosophy.

Let me reiterate that I believe you, Ms. Thompson, have violated the terms of your agreement to post here and frankly, if he were so inclined, which I guarantee he is not, I believe that you and TCJ could be held guilty for libel. In a just world, your privelege to post would be revoked. Mr. Veitch, I met you in Austin, too, and we had an enjoyable lunch together at the hotel bar. I know I am only a first time poster here and am lower in the 'pecking order' than Ms. Thompson. Even so, I ask that you at least consider my formal request.

Formal requests usually should be e-mailed to me, Jason, but I can tell you here that Kim hasn't violated any rules of this message board. His opinions, just like yours and Dave's and everyone else's, are his own and welcome in this public discourse. I know Dave well enough to surmise that he wants his views to be the subject of debate. I don't believe he's on the Internet (my last communication from him was a five page fax telling me I was "doing the work of the devil" by running a web site), but I'm sure he would be tickled pink to know that such a monster thread as this was generated by Tangents.

Final note: I still haven't been able to make it though "Tangents". My favorite part, though, was right at the beginning, where he says it will be his last word on gender.

Rick Veitch
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[This message has been edited by Rick Veitch (edited 04-15-2001).]
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#462839 - 04/15/01 09:27 AM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
Andrew Debly Offline

Registered: 12/15/98
Posts: 244
Loc: Calgary, AB Canada
One of the odd things that I remember about Sim's behaviour is that during his "Mama's Boy" period, he wrote an essay essentially venerating his mother (calling her a "perfect" human being). This made me think that Dave really didn't believe in his Victor Davis rantings. Now it appears to be yet another example of Dave contradicting himself. I wonder if any of his peers had ever challenged him on that.

#462840 - 04/15/01 09:46 AM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
Stephen R Bissette Offline

Registered: 11/27/98
Posts: 939
Loc: wilmington, VT USA

Where and when did I slander Dave? As someone who's been talked about in and out of class by damn near every comic pro in the 20+ years I worked in comics, I would hope I at no time slandered Dave, just as I trust I've never slandered anyone else, whether I've just cause or not.

Slander and/or insult was never my intent. However, I have discussed my own perceptions of and occasional participation with Dave in the past, including the cons you mention ... while noting, at least once on any thread I've posted on relevant to the topic at hand, my debt to and respect for Dave.

I haven't posted or said anything I haven't, or wouldn't, say to Dave directly, either. In the seventeen years I've known him, we had MANY heated conversations, debates, and arguments... and remained friends.

That said, we have our differences. Since I'm a proud father (with a son and a daughter) and ex-husband who remains good friends with his ex, how could it be otherwise? Dave is FULLY aware of our differences, which we've discussed to death in the past. I'm never going to "come around" to his view (in which my current partner, my ex, and my daughter are somehow threats to my existence and well-being), and he's never going to "come around" to mine, Jason. So be it.

I've not spoken with Dave (or MANY of my comics friends and associates) for many years now, as my own distance from the industry and cons determined. In Dave's case (and I'll be the first to tell him so once I see him again), I'm just as glad this period of non-contact included my seperation-to-divorce phase of life, which will no doubt spark much conversation. At this point, I could manage a lengthy conversation about it with the man; during the event, though, I had enough trouble without Dave's volatile views adding grief upon misery.

I've compared him with artists whose work I treasure -- Peckinpah among them, though I could mention Lars Von Triers, just to get Kim going -- whose views on life and reported behaviors I neither share nor condone. I think CEREBUS is a tremendous work, and am forever in Dave's debt for the support (including, yes, emotional support) he extended to me over the years.

That said, "Tangents" was, as ever, fascinating reading... but like my ongoing reading of extreme feminists, it's a worldview I certainly don't share. (Hell, I just read a confessional by a necrophile... great read, but I'm not out digging up stiffs tonight.) I'll fight for Dave's right to write and print it, but I certainly don't AGREE with Dave on most things, and rarely have.

Save, of course, for the validity of self-publishing (which, though it no longer works for me in comics, has led to my current employ building bridges between indy filmmakers who are, essentially, "self-publishing" their work, and the indy video shops hungry for new video product), and the imperative of free and open artistic expression.

If that's slander, Jason, or if anything else I've posted here or elsewhere about Dave consitutes slander, I'll eat my TYRANT backstock.

I appreciate your passion, Jason, but don't misinterpret my motives or words, please.

Finally, amigo, there's no little irony in the fact that I've often defended my own friends and those I've much respect and affection for -- including Diana, Jeff Smith, Colleen, Rick, and others -- from Dave's sometimes venomous comments.

Nothing I can do when he indulges such behavior in print (remember, Jason, I know those two women Dave dismisses in "Tangents," and have great affection for both of them), but in person, to Dave himself, I've done my utmost to defend many associates and friends from -- ahem -- slander. My reference to "mad, sad" in my prior post reflects my anger and sorrow at how Dave's views have hurt himself (though he did and no doubt still does deny there's any 'hurt' involved for him) and others (oh, he has caused much grief, Jason) in respect to the very relationships he is writing about.

But again, Dave and I rarely agreed or, it would seem, agree on such matters. Much as this may boggle some minds, this did not make us bitter enemies, nor does it make me a turncoat to occasionally weigh in on threads such as these with my perceptions.

Point is, Jason, don't boycott my work on Dave's behalf. I suspect he'd laugh at such a notion, particularly since there's no work to boycott any longer.

Anyhoot, I've done nothing to earn such ire. Do what you will towards me or my work, Jason, but don't do so in the belief that I've slandered Dave or anyone else.

PS to Rick's post above: As refered to earlier in this thread, I sat in on at least one lengthy conversation between Dave and Rick about "emotion." Rick makes his point succinctly herein, though rest assured he's made it to Dave in person, too.

Finally, best of luck with your own work, Jason. You're not "low in any pecking order here" (to paraphrase your post) here.

[This message has been edited by Stephen R Bissette (edited 04-15-2001).]

#462841 - 04/15/01 11:23 AM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
PatrickB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/15/01
Posts: 3
Loc: Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Originally posted by jasontrimmer:
Second, I truly can't believe there is still the 'is Dave Sim a misogynist?' question around. How many times in this essay and countless others has he made the point that NOT being a feminist does not make one a MISOGYNIST.

No it doesn't, not necessarily anyway. But what would you call someone who is bitterly hostile to women as a class, claims they are incapable of reason, are of less worth than men and deserve fewer rights?

Have you read Tangents?


#462842 - 04/15/01 01:06 PM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
ChrisW Offline

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
On page 1 of the Sim vs. Smith thread, ChrisW asked

"Would the Journal have printed [Dave Sim's 2 page letter inviting Jeff Smith to a fight]?"

Let's see what answers might there be to such a question:
a: "Yes, the Journal would have printed that letter."
b: "No, the Journal would not have printed that letter."
c: "I don't think I need to respond any further to ChrisW."
Which one did Kim Thompson pick?

I would have called it the Fantagraphics Sneer, but I might have trademark problems, and "hissy fit" just seemed a more appropriate term.
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#462843 - 04/15/01 01:41 PM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
jasontrimmer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/14/01
Posts: 2
Well, reponses came very quickly on this. Again, I am new to this bulletin board game, so it caught me by surprise (I just posted my response at 11 oclock last night and it is now a quarter after one. happy easter.).

First and foremost, I had a nagging in the back of my head that Kim Thompson was a man. I apologize for the error, as taken within the context of the debate it could be seen as deliberate. Just a product of being 'online' I guess.

Second, yes I read Tangents (online, not in the issue) and I believe that many of the responses to it and to my post miss the point. In print anyway, and I have no idea what Dave is like as a personal friend, I do not think he exhibits hatred for women. Arguments to the contrary (again based on his printed views) strike me as par for the course in this age. How many times in magazines and on news shows on TV do we here people accuse politicians of hatred (esp. George W. Bush and other Republicans) when there are profound ideological differences. Dave's views are conservative. Many people on-line and on college campuses (I attend Ohio University) are liberal in bent. Great. I don't accuse liberals of hatred, but they sure as hell accuse Dave, George, myself, or ANYONE with a differing view of hatred. Specifically, no one has discussed Dave's views on say taxation and the welfare state or alimony. Or abortion. According to some statistics, 47% of this country supports the other 53%. Bush's tax cut plan initially was reviled because it would 'hurt' working class mothers, etc.

These are hard questions, as he said. But they can't even be discussed rationally with out someone using rhetoric and slander to dismiss the point. I agree with Dave on those POLITICAL grounds. There should be such a thing as personal responsibility and our current political climate is not conducive to that. As an example, I was very interested (though, sadly, not surprised) about the statistic listed in Tangent, concerning the 35% rise in youth crimes, when other crimes are falling. How can this be attributed to anything other than children being out of control for lack of parental guidance? The mother wants a job and shuffles Junior off to a day care center or (if they are older) leaves them alone for two to three hours before they get back from work. This happens in all walks of life. The Columbine tragedy wouldnt have happened if those parents gave a damn about their children. Mr. Bissette (and any other parents), when your children are in their teens, don't you think you would notice a sawed off shotgun on their dresser, as these 'parents' apparantly did not?

Calling Dave 'crazy','mad', or misguided because he expresses these views about women and where he thinks feminism went wrong politically is akin to blaming Marilyn Manson for Columbine. Talk about no logic.

Relative to the Rev. King portion, I cannot claim extensive knowledge of that era and the speific players involved. I believe Dave made very interesting points about how the civil rights movement was coopted by secular feminists (a point he made extensively) and drew a fantastic parallel concerning King's final days relative to the gradual chipping away of the Christian from the Christian Leadership Conference. Neither commie or faggot was stated or implied.

Interestingly, today's Columbus Dispatch has a review in the Arts section of 'Subject to Debate' by Katha Pollitt (a former writer for the Nation magazine). Here is an interesting quote (from her book):"Women whose subject is women are allowed to be flamboyant, egocentric, even rude, because they are safely ensconced in a gender-based category, in which they compete with one another and not with men." Well, we've seen what happens when a man speaks his piece here, haven't we? The article also notes how she goes on at length arguing for an INCREASE in the welfare state, lambasting Clinton for streamlining it. Again, Dave made his points clearly concerning taxation and the spending of money on people who do not contribute back equally. And besides, since it is tax season, does any out there REALLY and TRULY believe the government bueracracy (epitomized in the IRS) could really use tax payer money effectively to reach out to those who need it? I doubt it very strongly.

BTW, MR. Thompson, you do not need to go easy on me. I am a man, and can take it. I will reiterate that calling me a crazy, evil Republican Cerebus-lover does not constitute a rebuttal.

Jason Trimmer

PS. okay, with regards to my formal request that Kim Thompson have his priviledges taken away, I noted very quickly when signing up that the rules state that slander, insults, etc. are expressly forbidden. I maintain that Mr. Thompson's posts have been little other than that. Who wants to be labeled crazy, mean, stupid, etc.? At the very least, those kinds of phrases are adolescent rhetoric.

#462844 - 04/15/01 02:42 PM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
Kim Thompson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 0
Originally posted by jasontrimmer:
BTW, MR. Thompson, you do not need to go easy on me. I am a man, and can take it.

I like it when they do all your work for you themselves. What a surprise to find this guy in Sim's side!

Anyone interested can go back and check that earlier thread whether ChrisW's description of our altercation resembles his boiled-down summary. In fact, his question was snide and belligerent (although I'd already answered a previous querulous query of his on a related subject), and he was answered thoroughly by a series of respondents who happened to get to him before I did.

The truth is, I don't edit the JOURNAL so it would be presumptuous of me to answer whether or not Gary Groth, the executive editor, or anyone of the current editorial staff would want to print it. (My educated guess: Yes, they would.) So I guess ChrisW will just have to wait until one of them answers it.

I apologize for saying misogyny is a bad thing. I apologize for saying that someone who would write a 20-page essay on gender roles that affixes all blame for all current social problems on the "feminist/homosexualist axis" (replete with the kind of lunatic leaps of logic that better men and women than I have already pointed out) is in any way losing it. I applaud Jason Trimmer for attempting to bring a level of civility to this sewer of a board, and scold Rick Veitch for his refusal to help out by banning me. (That libelous bastard Steve Bissette should join me in purgatory, of course.) Have you no decency, sir?

#462845 - 04/15/01 02:45 PM Re: Dave Sim Tangents
Chris Ekman Offline

Registered: 03/07/00
Posts: 266
Loc: Barre, MA, US
Specifically, no one has discussed Dave's views on say taxation and the welfare state or alimony. Or abortion.

I did, for one, you stuffed shirt. Go back and read again.

I sort of regret it, though. Engaging with Sim's logic does tend to legitimize him. And the extremity of Sim's views on women- that women read, rape and devour men's minds; that women do not deserve the vote; that women need to be disciplined by spanking, ad nauseum - have demolished whatever obligation we might have had to take him seriously.

(I can't quite stop myself- here's a point I forgot. Sim says women should not be given a wage comparable to men, should not be supported by men either during or after marriage, and should not be given welfare. He also says most women are incapable of supporting themselves. How does he think women ought to survive, then? Or doesn't he think they should?)

Oh, by the way, if you are "a man, and can take" criticism, then why are you pre-emptively calling for Kim Thompson's banning? And why are you whining so much about how those nasty old liberals attack Dave and George W. and you? Sheesh, grow a skin. As Christopher Hitchens says, "There's nothing more dangerous than a self-pitying majority."

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