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  1.  (10813.1)
    Never happy to see a creator that has been around for so long struggling on the market, but Dave put a note in the back of the last Glamour Puss stating that he has been struggling as of late to get people to notice his work.

    Say what you will about the man, but for someone that has given his life to the medium if saddens me to see him struggling for an audience. Is there life after Cerebus?

    And what does this say about the comic book community?
  2.  (10813.2)
    In all fairness, Glamourpuss was never going to rake in a giant readership. It was a really fun experiment, but I just don't see how it could have expected much in the way of a life. I bought it mostly for the art, but there were several bits in there that came off as 50s White Guy Trying to Be Cool. The comics art history stuff was great, though.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2012
     (10813.3)
    Dave Sim marginalized himself with his misogyny. It is irrelevant how much he has given to the medium. He deliberately and with dedication made himself a public spectacle of the dehumanization of women and has been pretty much universally reviled throughout the industry for that.

    I couldn't give two shits about his other contributions. There is lots of great art in the world.

    No one deserves an audience. It's a thing you build through trust. Dave Sim spit in his audience's face. So he lost it. End of story.

    What does that say about the comic book community? It says they know how much attention he deserves.
    • CommentAuthorWood
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2012
     (10813.4)
    I bought every Cerebus books, even though reading them became more and more painful as the author's insanity made its way more and more into the story. I still thought it was the work of a genius, albeit a mad genius and possibly an evil genius, I'm not sure, he just seems so out of touch with reality sometimes... But yeah, the whole misoginy (with an occasional side of homophobia) made me cringe pretty hard, and all in all, I was kinda glad when I finished the last book, like "the beast is dead, at last".

    So when I saw what his new comic looked like, just by looking at the cover, my first thought was "Yup, he still has problems with women", and I just could not bring myself to buy it.

    You ever had a friend who got into a weird cult or an extremist political fraction ? You used to be good friends, but now every time you meet all he does is rave about how we are now living in a feminist totalitarian dicatorship, and it's just so painful even though you can still catch glimpses of the guy he used to be, so you hang out with him less and less often until you stop seeing him at all. And now he's complaining about how he's all alone and nobody likes him anymore...
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2012
     (10813.5)
    Yeah, on the one hand I wanted to read Cerebus because I've heard good things about it, and because I've been told about the weird shift it gradually makes as he gets a bit crazier, and also because I know how much he's done to push creator owned comics and whatnot, which I'm all for supporting. That being said, I just can NOT support someone who believes that if my male partner sees any good qualities in me, that it's because I am a dark void who sucked all that is good out of my partner just because I happen to be female, and that at the end of it all I just am simply not to be trusted and am undeserving of respect for someone I did not choose for myself. I'm not going to show respect for a creator just because he dedicated his life to the industry if he has no respect for me as a result of plain old sexism.
  3.  (10813.6)
    Even if Sims didn't alienate his audience with his misogyny, I think Glamourpuss would still have a hard time getting an audience. To me, it's a blog on paper. The material might be interesting to more people than its reaching, but it's in the wrong medium/format.
  4.  (10813.7)
    There is so much of the Dave Sim misogyny talk, and I admit I know nothing about it having only read the first half of Cerebus (maybe only the first quarter). It must have gotten really quite bad to have alienated so many people. I will read further into it one day.

    And I agree about Glamourpuss, it isn't for everyone, but I sometimes think that the titles on the fringe, the titles that are made with greater chance for the creators involved are the ones that deserve the attention, because they are trying to push the envelope, and as such should be met with a certain level of interest. Anyone know of any titles that deserve recognition and don't seem to get them??

    Or creators?
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2012
     (10813.8)
    No titles or creators deserve recognition. You produce work and try to build an audience. If things work, wonderful. If they don't, oh well. There are billions of people in the world, and millions of good, solid works of art created every day. Most of it will never be seen. It is impossible. Like what you like, make what you make, abandon the futile pursuit of "deserving" work. There is always something better you don't know about.
    • CommentAuthorsteevo
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2012
     (10813.9)
    @oddbill - What? "...abandon the futile pursuit of "deserving" work."? So...stop looking for things that are good because you can't ever find all of them? Stop asking people to suggest things to you? Or just stop using the word deserve, when you should say something else?

    I guess my real question is -- Does this boil down to a semantics thing? Or are you telling people not to pursue their interests because there is too much good work out there and they can't ever see it all?
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2012 edited
     (10813.10)
    No, It's more a semantics thing I guess. I was in a bad mood last night so it looks like I phrased that in a perhaps not-very-helpful aggressive way.

    I think approaching things with the frame of mind of "does this deserve more attention than it is getting" is bad. It sets you up for resentment when you could just be enjoying it without feeling somehow it is being cheated. It makes you think other more popular things are less deserving. Just look at he way things like Twilight are reviled. I doubt I would enjoy those books, but lots of people do, for reasons no different than the ones I like many comics or science fiction stories. John Ford's Growing Up Weightless, about role-playing gamers in a moon colony, is never going to have the audience of Twilight, through I think it is a better book. Does it deserve that audience? No. It's just one book in millions, about what it is about. I just like it.

    The whole framing of his thread just sets me off. The naive question of "why can't Dave Sim" find an audience which turns out to be genuine naïveté as the first poster has apparently barely read Sim and knows nothing about the hatred of women, gays and feminists he so carefully and explicitly argued in his comics. Then turning this into "who deserves more attention?"

    It's just a way to add a dash of bitterness to what could otherwise have been simply, "what non-mainstream comics do you like?" And that question should go into a thread that hasn't already been poisoned with Sim's name in he title.
    • CommentAuthorsteevo
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2012
     (10813.11)
    Fair enough. It probably would be a question better asked in another thread. Especially since I would imagine there are several people staying away from this thread specifically because Dave Sim's name is in the title. Though I think there is another argument to be had in terms of how much separation artist and art should get.

    I've not read any of Sim's work and I really don't have any interest in it, though I've heard good things about the art portion of it and bad things about the personal politics involved regarding his take on women being...you know...black holes or whatever the fuck he gets on about.

    But I digress...

    Just wanted to jump in and make sure we weren't starting to shout people down for expressing interest in things around here. If that happened I would be ever so sad.
  5.  (10813.12)
    Speaking as a person who bought almost every issue (I missed one or two thanks to spotty comic store supply) I agree that it didn't have any hope of finding a large audience. I was calling it a blog on paper back at issue 2 or 3. I enjoyed reading it, sure, but the question of "Who is this for?" wasn't a question I could answer.
  6.  (10813.13)
    to answer mjmartinejohn's second question, I think comics/creators that I'd wish more people would be more aware of are mostly doing webcomics. Tim Hamilton is awesome and I think he should be huge:

    http://activatecomix.com/23.comic

    Cameron Stewart is a little bigger name since he's done more mainstream work than Tim Hamilton, but his webcomic "Sin Titulo" is great too:

    http://www.sintitulocomic.com/2007/06/17/page-01/
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2012
     (10813.14)
    Little known fact - Dave Sim once micturated in Bill's breakfast.

    Dave Sim ... jeez. Barely HALF of Cerebus is readable. A tenth of it is GREAT (like Frosted Flakes but better.) The rest is a bowl of soggy cereal floating in hateful luke-warm piss.

    (At one point, it was almost all text, various bizarre essays & exegesis that'd make a normal reader's eyeballs bleed and even someone TRULY insane like, say, Philip K. Dick go "whoa".)

    Dave Sim DID spit in the face of the audience. So did any number of musicians (Iggy Pop, for one) and yet they don't inspire the hatred and vitriol that Sim does. (His very name "poisoned" this thread, according to bill.) Hey, here's a fun question - how many fourteen year old girls do you think Mick Jagger has slept with over the years? And yet you love the Rolling Stones. Huh. Wow.

    Dave Sim, love him or hate him (and I am definitely both), has done more for comics than anyone at Marvel or DC. He SAID he'd do 300 issues of Cerebus - and did. He said it'd end - it did. (He never said it'd all be worth reading. It wasn't ALL worth reading.) Without Sim, I doubt you'd see the creator-owned market as it exists now.

    As to his views on women (which actually are abhorrent) - I'll paraphrase Jack Kirby - (some dude wrote some long letter, explaining to Jack why so-and-so could not POSSIBLY have taken place and how DARE he try to pass this off. Kirby's response?)

    "Oh. So?"
  7.  (10813.15)
    Dave Sim's problem can be summed up by this old joke: "so I went to my psychiatrist and said: hey doc, I have hard time making friends you fucking cock sucker!"
  8.  (10813.16)
    @William Joseph Dunn:

    I suspect maybe the tendency of Sin Titulo to go on year long hiatuses might be what's holding it back from wider recognition. Thanks for bringing it up, though, I had no idea it started updating again! It's dense stuff, but it's fascinating stuff all the same, and it does deserve a wider readership. ...Er, rather... it could stand to see a wider readership?

    Hm. Maybe the reason "deserve" is a word we use in this context is because the alternatives are kind of awkward.
    •  
      CommentAuthorscs
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2012
     (10813.17)
    These days Sim is at his best when doing basic exposition and history such as Judenhaas and the historical sections of Glamourpuss. When he brings in analysis, it both pollutes the history and detracts from the story. I've been reading Glamourpuss irregularly, but mostly for the art (which is great) and the history of photorealism in comics. In Glamourpuss? plot and story are concerned are almost non-existant, and as parody of the fashion industry it's pretty weak. If I had to sum up the problems the series has in a word, it would be "unfocused."

    That's the same comment I'd make of almost everything he's done since Rick's Story (Judenhass is a notable exception, but it breaks no ground in any area except in the photorealistic presentation). This isn't to say that Cerebus was ever fully focused. It was all over the map depending on Sims obsession du jour. But at least until the last 60-70 issues, things at moved along. The first early part of Going Home had some moments, but from then on it was weak satire and Sim soapbox to the end. That weak focus and mediocre satire carry forward into Glamourpuss.

    Someone (Sim?) said that Cerebus' story was over at issue 200. I somewhat agree. Guys (201-219) and Rick's Story (220-231) were usually entertaining and sometimes compelling, even when Sim was being self-indulgent. But they were mostly stories where Cerebus happened to be a participant, they weren't Cerebus stories except that they relied on the first 200 issues to provide setting and situation. Starting with Going Home, Cerebus was mostly a systematic shedding of what had gone before, a series of meandering and ill-conceived artistic analyses, and a lot of poorly thought-out axe grinding. Sad, sad, sad.

    Having said that, let's get back to the topic. Sim is having trouble getting people to pay attention for two reasons.

    First, his current work (Glamourpuss) is rarely interesting in and of itself. Nothing grabs you unless you're interested in history of comics, and even that is kind of obliquely approached. This was been a problem with Cerebus since 1998 started Going Home. From there forward, there are only two moments that really stick in my head - Cerebus and Jaka walking through the array of Cirinists, and when Cerebus realizes that his father is dead. That's not much for five years of work. Second, since 1998 he's consistently produced stories that do not reward deeper reading - in fact, deeper reading and independent research into the topics he covers (Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, religion, etc) reveals how flawed his analyses are.

    Taken together, it's a fourteen-year record of work that is uninteresting on the surface and a failure at deeper levels. IMHO it's no surprise that interest in his newer work keeps dropping.

    There's no question that Sim is one of the giants of the field, both as artist and as a mover and shaker. But unless he comes out of the intellectual black hole he's built, his career is largely over. I'll keep buying occasionally in hopes that he levels up, but I'm not holding my breath.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2012
     (10813.18)
    @mister hex - He didn't micturate he expectorated. And it wasn't my breakfast it was a late brunch. Facts matter!
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2012
     (10813.19)
    @ scs - Thank you for reading Cerebus. Sorry you had to read Cerebus. (I gave up. I love comics but it's a commitment. To someone who oughtta be commited.) The dizzying highs, the tedious lows, I think that was almost part of its "appeal", if that's the correct word.

    I enjoyed Glamorpuss but I'm not surprised the market didn't support it. I'm glad he did something after Cerebus that wasn't Cerebus.

    @oddbill - I knew that but I needed it to be pee and breakfast to make my soggy cereal analogy work. You're right, of course, facts matter.
    • CommentAuthorandycon
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2012
     (10813.20)
    *has read the entirety of Cerebus multiple times, possibly more than Sim himself*

    I think I might be one of a handful.

    I guess what really surprised me from the glamourpuss letter was the fact that up until the last few years Sim had been able to live off of the sales of High Society-Church And State II.