The mail and JUDENHASS...
Also, Dave Sim mailed me a copy of his graphic novel, JUDENHASS. Below is Dave’s letter that was included with my copy of JUDENHASS. Dave talks about (and, hopefully, this is the final word on the subject) the Platinum Studios/DJ Coffman feud, and the distribution of JUDENHASS. Following Dave’s letter is my response to Dave that I snail-mailed to him today.
July 22, 2008
Thank you so much for sending the signed copy of JUDENHASS! That was so kind of you. I very much enjoyed the book. JUDENHASS is beautifully illustrated, and the writing is quite moving. If a graphic novel can make Neil Gaiman cry, then you know that it’s good. And JUDENHASS is good…. very good! Thanks for reminding us the great potential of comics.
I still don’t understand how anti-Semitism can exist in people’s hearts. As the Bible tells us, God has, and continues still, to refer to the Jewish people as His people and Israel as His land. God doesn’t change, and His view of the Jewish people hasn’t changed. We owe a great deal to them. All but one hand (Mark’s) that wrote the Bible was Jewish. Our Savior was born Jewish. It baffles me how anyone in the world could still harbor any hatred toward the Jewish people.
The world hasn’t learned the lesson of the Holocaust. We have world leaders saying that the Holocaust never happened. We have world leaders wanting to "wipe Israel off the map." And it doesn’t look good for future generations when schools in the West eliminate the subject of the Holocaust from its curriculum because the topic offends a small group of people. Unbelievable!
And we have Israel… seemingly all alone to defend herself against her enemies. Israel… who hopes to gain "peace" by giving her land to an enemy that only seeks her destruction. If you read Ezekiel (chapters 38 and 39), you can see where this all leads.
In your previous letter, you mentioned: "Ask Bissette about the mainstream bookstore racket."
So, I did. Here’s what Steve Bissette had to say: "Bookstore market = returnable. Dave would lose his shirt. The bookstore scene makes the direct sales market we HAD a comparative paradise -- something Dave and Will Eisner (who appealed, personally, in rooms full of distributors and retailers in the early 1990s, that they NOT BLOW IT -- and they did) knew well. Without the direct sales market, there would be no CEREBUS, and Dave Sim wouldn't be anyone we'd know. This is the core tragedy of the whole debacle: now, the bookstore market is the Green Pastures to a new generation of cartoonists (like you), when we HAD something better. Really."
To be honest, the returnability factor of bookstores didn’t even occur to me. I suppose with the current state of the Direct Market and seeing the many, larger, bookstores (which would imply a potentially larger reading audience) made me think that bookstores could be a good alternative for JUDENHASS.
Thanks again for such a wonderful book. Hopefully, JUDENHASS can get folks to start using their brains.
Holy is the Lord!
Update: At his blog, my pal DJ Coffman has more to say about some of these issues specifically on the topics of Creator’s Rights, Dave Sim, and "the DJ Coffmans of the world."