Why?

Comicdom’s continuing enabling of Dave Sim astounds me, not necessarily because his beliefs are crazy and evil but because those crazy and evil beliefs so directly inform all his work. Actually, it’s more than that: His work is about his crazy and evil beliefs. I’m not sure why otherwise bright people would “look forward” to a comic about women by a man who espouses any number of noxious, vile, misogynist, almost paranoid-schizophrenic beliefs about women. I wouldn’t look forward to listening to an opera about the Jews by Wagner, either.

And that’s without getting into the fact that his idea of fashion-based illustration apparently begins and ends with Patrick Nagel and the design of the book’s promo piece looks like something from an RPG fanzine circa 1991.

13 Responses to Why?

  1. Ken Lowery says:

    I’ve had people try to convince me that Sim discusses great and interesting philosophy in between the bits of toxic misogyny, but for me you just can’t have one without the other. Whatever philosophies he espouses however lucidly, I cannot escape the fact it all comes from a seriously, terminally fucked mind.

  2. Sean says:

    Yep. And the art is ugly, for crying out loud! Look at it!

  3. Gabe Roth says:

    Well, Douglas Wolk has written at length about the experience of reading Sim’s work while finding the opinions that inform that work loathsome. You may or may not share Wolk’s enjoyment, but if you really “don’t understand why [Wolk] would look forward to” Glamorpuss, well, it’s not because he hasn’t explained it.

  4. Sean says:

    I know that it works for Doug; I still don’t get it.

  5. Bruce Baugh says:

    I don’t get it either, and I’m glad to see I’m not alone. The art really does look like something out of a fanzine circa 1985, and “Sim has nothing of value to say about women or their place in society” is one of the safest bets going at the moment. Reading time is finite; I feel I owe it to my friends who already have enough load from socially condoned misogyny not to add to the pile even a little bit.

  6. Leigh Walton says:

    Are you kidding? A new Wagner opera?! If they found one in a drawer somewhere it would be the biggest opera news in decades. Even if the whole libretto were just lists of ethnic slurs.

    I’m not sure it’s fair to attack “otherwise bright people” for their formalist appreciation of ideologically misguided work.

  7. Greg Shantz says:

    “…a man who espouses any number of noxious, vile, misogynist, almost paranoid-schizophrenic beliefs about women.”

    Which misogynist beliefs are those?

  8. Greg Shantz says:

    Ken Lowery wrote:

    “…the bits of toxic misogyny…”

    Which toxic misogyny is that?

  9. Leigh Walton says:

    You’re right that the ads are bafflingly terrible, though.

  10. Sean says:

    Leigh:

    “I’m not sure it’s fair to attack “otherwise bright people” for their formalist appreciation of ideologically misguided work.”

    Sure it is, if you feel as I do that the work is sufficiently ideologically misguided to completely overwhelm what meager formalist appeal it might have.

  11. Leigh Walton says:

    Fair enough. I think that further work from Sim has the potential to add more tools to the collective Giant Bag of Sequential-Art Techniques, with the only risk being further damage to his already-broken reputation.

    Every composer since Wagner has been able to draw upon his innovations in composition without being obligated to support his opinions, so it strikes me as an apt comparison. There’s always the risk that (as with Wagner and Hitler) some nutjob will seize upon Sim’s theories to justify his own lunacy and then go do something terrible, but honestly he just doesn’t have that many readers.

  12. Carnival of souls

    * Appy polly lodgies for the blog outage for the last few days. Fortunately my MT software soldiered on in secrecy, which is why you can now find reviews of Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting’s Captain America and Eleanor Davis’s…

  13. [...] ways than one) independent comic Cerebus from The Comics Journal #301. (I made this exact point, complete with the Wagner example, a few years back.) It’s one thing to be an artist with odious ideas unrelated or tangential [...]

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