The following letter (taken from Dave Sim's Collected Letters 2004) was written by Dave Sim in response to Chris Shulgan's article in the Saturday Night magazine in November 2003.
9 February 04
I'm finally getting around to answering my mail now that Cerebus is done, having plowed through 2001 and 2002, I’m now about halfway through 2003, and here's your fax making the original inquiry about doing an interview for the Saturday Night piece and reminding me that I intended to write to you when the piece came out, win, lose or draw.
It was interesting. I’m really starting to think that there would be some value in posting on the Internet the ass-kissing overture letters I get from journalists and contrasting them with the smear pieces that end up in print. I know I’m not alone in this and it isn’t just Canadian journalism that’s at fault. I think journalists have sort of moved their scales of justice away from their finished pieces and now weigh things from the initial overture (i.e. having kissed his ass shamelessly to get the interview, in order to be balanced, I now have to kick his ass as hard as I can). It was amazing to me that you never asked me about the Astoria-based-on-Deni hallucination, just as the fact-checker (make that fact "checker") never asked either. It would have been very simple to straighten out. Likewise when the fact checker mentioned that I had gotten a good deal from my dealer on the acid. And I said, No, I didn't have a dealer – the acid was a birthday present from my brother-in-law, Deni's brother, Michael. The article comes out and it's turned into "an acquaintance". My brother-in-law is an acquaintance? I already mentioned in 298 that Cerebus was never a recipient of the wide acclaim that you attached to the publication of High Society. Hardly. The publication of High Society, because I sold them direct to fans, made me the most hated person in comics at the time. The exact opposite of wide-acclaim.
The first time that I knew I was in trouble was when you were here doing your interview and I kept wondering when you were going to ask me anything about my faith. I mean, I understood the appeal – particularly to Canadian Marxists – of disparaging me as a drug-addled misogynist. I wouldn’t expect anything more from a Canadian journalist. But, the first question you had to ask in your fax was about the “phases” in my life and, as I told you, there are only two: pre-Bible and Koran and post-Bible and Koran. Anyway, at one point you asked me about praying five times a day and asked me about the prayer. Had I written it myself? I said, Yes, I had. Then I said, it runs about ten minutes, would you like to hear it? And you said, No. I really didn’t know whether to laugh or not, but I sure felt like laughing. Oh, this is going to be a really balanced article, I thought to myself. This is going to be a gem.
Well, as I say, you lived down to my worst impressions of my fellow citizens and, so far, your article stands as the last Canadian word on Cerebus. Certainly it is, as history will now record the only Canadian word on Cerebus in a major Canadian publication prior to the actual completion of the work.
I’ve also been typing letters in response to readers for the last two weeks. I think yours is only the second Canadian letter I’ve had to answer.
So, hey. Good for your team, eh?
No hard feelings.