5.05.2008

Dave Sim is Not a Misogynist

by Bill Ritter

I’ve started a few letters to Dave Sim over the years, and when Cerebus issue 300 came out actually made it through about half a letter before it drifted away into a folder of “finish someday” projects I keep on the hard drive. Email I have no problem writing (and sending) but there’s something about printing the page and enveloping and stamping and post box and all that which has always seemed too much work. A terribly negative disposition, and there is a question the recipient of letter would derive any enjoyment for which I am never too certain would be the case.

Ultimately, this establishes I’m a poor excuse of a letterhack. I’ve tried to be a more rounded fanboy, but lose interest pretty quickly in the letter concept. I’ve written about a dozen letters (and made it to print). There was the 1 to Conan way back in the early 1980s, 1 to Time Magazine, 2 to Comics Buyers Guide, 1 to The Comics Journal, and 4 to Cerebus among those I recall. 3 of the 4 to Cerebus made print, and when that 4th did not reach publication I mostly withdrew from the letter writing. But this entry is not to reminisce on my letter days.

I believe Dave Sim to be one of the pioneers of the industry. That he is as much a craftsman, author, storyteller, and artistic genius as are Kirby, Lee, Eisner, Steranko, Miller and more among so few others. For years I’ve read the proclamations that “Dave Sim is a misogynist” and barely whispered a “No, that is not correct”, opting to let the slight slide. In my non-involvement, I failed to consider the effect of the constant drone of the claim would have on Dave or the imposition on his life responding (because really, such a claim is not something one could ignore when it comes up in every interview, discussion or interaction).

In recent days, Dave’s had enough. He’s established a Petition to which fans and supporters are “By "signing" below I confirm that I don't believe that Dave Sim is a misogynist.” I’m #25. I’m kind of grumpy at missing out on being #26 since I was first exposed to Cerebus with issue #26. But #25 will work. I’m hoping for being in the lower numbers of hundreds of signatures of support, because aside from my respect for Dave and admiration of his work, I do not believe he is anything of the sort a misogynist.

If you agree, I encourage you to make the clicky clicky above and sign. If you’re uncertain, drop me a line at wtritter@gmail.com and I’ll try to convince you. If you’re positive, well, I can only hope you keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself (as you’re wrong and I’d hate for you to come across ignorant or stupid in social functions expressing such idiocy).

So this is my belated, long-overdue official cessation of my non-involvement on the matter. I’m standing up and saying that Dave Sim is not a misogynist; that he is not the lowest, subhuman form of life in our society. I hope others join me.

In case you blinked and missed the link above: Petition

5 comments:

Vocal Minority said...

I know far more of the Dave-Sim-is-a-misogynist arguement than I do the converse.

If you care to write a post on your counter-opinion (which is what I thought this was!) I'd love to read it Bill.

Brandon said...

What has he said that has irked the millions? I must admit that I am unfortunately pretty much unfamiliar with the guy and his work. I've held volume 1 of Cerebus in my grubby hands before, but never had the balls to follow through with a purchase. it just seems so voluminous and I have enough voluminous geek baggage tying me down (I'm looking at you, George Lucas).

Convince me.

The General said...

I can't say whether or not Sims is a mysogynist, namely because I'm never read anything of his that has been overtly mysogynist (I've only read High Society). I've read arguments that he is a mysogynist, but not actually read the offending work. Bill, if you'd like to forward me an entire run of Cerebus, I will read it, and (if not convinced of his mysogynism) I will sign the petition. :)

But, until them, I will remain neutral on the matter.

I actually sort of hope his is a mysogynist though. If only because I once read an excellent article in the Believer that, not only maintained he was, but also then went on to argue that Cerebus was a better and more important work because of that fact. If you haven't read the article, Mr. Ritter, you should track it down. It was interesting, whether or not you agree with it.

Bill Ritter said...

I believe (my opinion here) that there is a coalition of perspectives of (1) Dave's views on relationships as have been portrayed in essay and creative works, (2) responses to comments and attacks of others, and (3) outsiders efforts to box in their interpretation of the coalition in an easy to swallow sound bite. Dave's not proclaimed a hatred for, dislike of, or mistrust of women. He's commented relationships, and certainly his gender places a bias on that commentary that as he is male it must surely mean he hates women. But so far as Dave being a misogynist -- I've seen no substance to support that claim.

Stuff Daddy said...

I also took the opinion that Mr Sim was unfairly put upon. Until I did some digging.. It's all out there.

Check out his own words here


And here's my Blog on the subject