I just read a stirring and heart-felt post by Heidi MacDonald on Dave Sim, and it occured to me that I never really touched upon his views on this forum.
I wrote a comment to Heidi's post, and I thought I would share it here. I hope it explains in full why I have never posted about Dave Sim.
To be honest, while I have heard of the controversy surrounding Sim, and I am familiar with Cerebus, I have not sat down and read either his philosophy on women or his work. I know, with the stuff I write about on my blog, it's a little shocking that I never touched on the topic before.
But I will say this:
There has been a great deal of coddling, protecting, and willful blind eyes turned away from rampant misogynists in sectors of this industry. It has disgusted me deeply.
If Gaiman is guilty for supporting Sim, there are a lot of people out there who are just as guilty.
Sim, by virtue of his apparent outspokenness, just seems to have the biggest spotlight shined on him. He's just not "cuddly" (sorry, Dave). He solidifies his views within quotable words, instead of committing a series of actions that friends can explain away and cover up.
But I would argue that it is exactly those men who actually act upon their misogynist thoughts, unconsciously, destructively, impacting other women's lives, impacting the lives of women within the comic book community -- those men who have long histories of such behavior, yet whose actions are only spoken of in whispers -- who are far more a danger to females than Sim's comments.
And until I see those persons brought into the spotlight and talked about and chastised for their actions, I just don't have the heart nor the energy to get too upset or even delve in the Sim situation. Not because what Heidi wrote about her concerns are not justified -- because they are! -- but because I, by virtue of my own experiences, have my attention directed elsewhere.
That said, I realize that Sim's Cerebus has come highly recommended, and plan to read them at some point. By necessity of being a blogger covering current comics culture, I have had to not only read but purchase with my own money books connected with people I despise. I am all "toughened up." I can handle Cerebus. My only question is, what collected volume shall I start with; would it make more sense to just start from the beginning, or is there a particularly good arc I should try first?