Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dave Sim Ousider Artist/ What have Wikipedia wrought?

I do not think Dave Sim is a misogynist.
I read Cerebus by Dave Sim. How big a fan am I of that comic??? I am currently buying my way into having a complete (16 volumes) Cerebus Library.
In this economy.
Yeah I know call me crazy too.
I don't think they're gender wide conspiracies by mind reading women to take my and every other guy's God giving testicular fortitude away from us. If you've been burned more than twice by the opposite sex in a major way, I do understand being jaded and cynical as can be. The fact of the matter is a certain percentage of the human population is just born sorry as hell, and this crosses gender lines. If you've got hooked up (pun intended) with more than your fair share of lying bastards, or lying bitches -as the case may be, you have my sympathy. Turning a individual asshole (or three) into a universally representative stereotype isn't fair or right. Bitching, ranting, raving about it, or working your feelings into a story your writing is understandable. If the story in question happens to be a damn fine read, you can get some entertainment out of it, if not catharsis.
That's my view on the sexist issue in general, which leads into the religious issue when your taking about Sim's various comments.
Which also leads into a discussion of political views, one things just leads into another and then another... Do the never ending tangents (links) remind you of Wikipedia??? it's what got me started on this as a matter of fact.
Dave Sim's religious views are not anyone's traditional doctrine. That being said in the last volume of Cerebus Sim wrote this about a religious parody in the comic: "Only God knows who has sufficient faith and who hasn't and it could be that all, some, or most of the adherents of that church run rings around me in the faith department. We'll find out on Judgment Day." [The Last Day, page 255] I agree with Sim's view on this, no if, and, or but qualifiers needed. You believe what you believe, by the time you find out for sure it would be a moot point to say I told you so -if you could.

Now let's talk about Fletcher Hanks

I've read and enjoyed some of Fletcher Hanks stories collected in 'I shall destroy all the civilized planets' and a new collection coming out later on. Their is something impressive about the singular vision of a single creator. [Dave Sim had great help from Gerhard, but it was Dave's vision that got everything started.] Hanks had his own voice in stories he wanted to tell that is just as unique as Dave Sim. Unique being a code word for 'this shit is crazy' -but used in a complementary way.

I understand just because a creator puts a negative element in a story it doesn't mean the writer shares those views. If I enjoy a story well enough the personal history/views of the creator won't make me not read on, page after page. I wouldn't go as far as Norman Mailer did though.
The limits of reason, and having the good sense God gave a piss-ant is not a bad thing.

According to Fletcher Hanks Jr. he and his mother were abused brutally by his father. Others have already asked the question, but it bares repeating: "What would happen to Fletcher Hanks in a Fletcher Hanks story?" Could some of the quarters that give Sim hell, be giving Hanks more of a Pass? Ask yourself what's worst: a sexist pig who traces (the hater's view of Sim), or a rat bastard who abused his family? (my view of Hanks)
If your answer to that question was sexist pig who traces, you deserve to be dragged out into the street and shot BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Sin City style.
Everyone has opinions your not going to like, not everyone beats up their wife and children.
I still enjoy Hanks comics work, but it's in a the man was a S.O.B. perspective.

Outsider Artist

According to Wikipedia an outsider artist is/does:

art created outside the boundaries of official culture, think insane asylum inmates
self-taught or Naïve art makers
a successful art marketing category

That last one bears repeating don't you think:
a successful art marketing category

Reading about Hanks lead me to Wikipedia which led me to 'outsider art' which led me all over the place...
Labeling someone with the term outsider makes it okay to go fanboy with no grand questions given to if I like the work do I endorse by proxy the creators views/actions/ or treatment.
A writer could punch babies for kicks *ahem ;)*, just because you like their work doesn't mean you endorse that kind of behavior. You can and I do separate a creators work from their personal life. In some blog posts I've read people tie their conscience into knots , to get out of moral loop-holes, that don't even really exist.
Or to go all Matrix on your ass: Their is no spoon.

An outsider artist is self taught-
Dave Sim check.

An outsider artist has a idiosyncratic viewpoint in the extreme-
Dave Sim double check.

An outsider artist usually has a history of mental problems-
Dave Sim triple check.

An outsider artist also happens to be the toast of the town with certain critics.
If Dave Sim had wrapped himself in the cloak of Outsider Artist; instead of just an outsider, he could have had a ton of support, instead of just a ton of bad press.

1 comment:

  1. Updated by me to add some clarifying points.
    Not that he cares about the bad press.