Note From The President, Cerebus 144, March 1991Copyright 1991 Dave Sim
A few loose ends.
I am still receiving (and printing) a number of letters from male and female feminists. I print them in the interest of fairness, but they do not follow any pattern of logic which I am able to discern. For one thing they won't let go of this national day care issue. As it stands now and has stood for centuries, babies are financed by men, whether those men are boy-friends, live-in boyfriends, husbands, ex- husbands, combinations of current and ex-husbands or grandfathers (in the case of women who return home alter a divorce). If you make child-raising (five days a week, eight hours a day) a government responsibility you are relying on taxes to raise your child. Who pays most of the taxes? That's right. Men. Feminists are (to use an illustration from nature) attempting to sit on the nest to keep the hatchlings warm while, simultaneously, foraging for food. It is not possible to do both at the same time and, in their singular thought processes, this is the fault of men. It seems logical to me that you have to find a nest-sitting substitute (ie. Jane Pauley and Garry Trudeau) who can work at home, or you have to be willing to stay home and raise the children while the male goes out and forages on your behalf and on behalf of your off-spring (the traditional marriage). As soon as you drag the government into it, you are advocating making it the inalienable right of r a parent to have his or her children raised by strangers at taxpayers' expense.
Almost every feminist correspondent misunderstood my waitress example. If it costs the taxpayer $1 0,000 ayearto provide national day care for each child and, on average, those needing the program are paying 4,000 a year in taxes, each day care "slot" is going to be a net loss of $6,000. Multiplied by millions cf participants, the first five years of any such program is going to make the S & L crisis look like asmall bookkeeping error. You could literally save billions of dollars by paying mothers $1,000 a week to stay home and take care of their own children. In a grossly over-populated world, that makes no sense to me.
I use the word "cunt" nowadays because women have become proud of the term "bitch". Believe me any woman who says "Oh, I'm such a bitch-giggle giggle" is beyond bitch.
And there is only one thing beyond bitch.
On the subject of Bill Loebs picking up Journeyand taking it to Fantagraphics.
In the case of an artist getting a cash advance to produce, say, a filty-page comic story; well, if you're stupid enough to take money in advance for creative work, you should produce that work. That was not the case with Bill. We solicited orders for Journey, printed the books, shipped them, got paid by the distributors, deducted the printing costs and an office fee from revenues and split the remaining profits seventy-five per cent for the artist and twenty-five per cent for A-V. At one point Bill and I met for several hours at a convention and he expressed a number of reservations about the way things were going. He wanted more advertising and promotion among other things. I pointed out that we published all the books on the same basis we did Cerebus; bare bones. Solicit the book, print the book, ship the book, bill the distributors. I pointed out that he had more than twice the circulation Cerebus had at the equivalent issue (number eighteen or nineteen, I think). Bill acknowledged my views in his very gentlemanly way, but remained obviously unconvinced and very, very worried. A couple of weeks later, we got a phone call from Kim Preney (Hi, Kim) saying Bill had walked in and taken back the original art for the issue currently in production. It seemed pointless to force some kind of confrontation or another round of negotiation. On the issue of advertising and promotion, alone, we had an unresolvable conflict. I knew that any publisher he took Journey to would do more advertising than we had done.
Obviously, in the course of doing Journey for Fantagraphics, Bill discovered that he could not make enough money doing Journey, period, and that a lack of advertising and promotion was not the problem. Now he works just about full-time for DC/Piranha and I would assume he parted company with Fantagraphics with no hard feelings on either side.
To me, that confirms that free movement works. Bill wasn't satisfied at A-V; went to Fantagraphics and wasn't satisfied there and went to DC and was satisfied. No lawyers, no lawsuits, no heated confrontations.
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