120 Days of Simon

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43 Responses to “120 Days of Simon”

  1. snakedart says:

    You don’t have to like the guy to be interested in his story

    No, but it might help. Paint me “turned off by underage-girl-banging-vagrants”. I’m strange that way.

  2. Bevatron Repairman says:

    I was going to make some rude comment about the age of consent in Sweden being appallingly low — 15 — but not so low as to allow sex with junior high school students. But in consulting the oracle of wikipedia, I learned the the age of consent in the Vatican is 12. 12. If I weren’t raised a Catholic, I never would sign up with that screwed up outfit.

  3. Humbert says:

    Not pedophilia, 14 year old girls have breasts.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As an online discussion about sex grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Polanski approaches 1?

  5. johnofjack says:

    Maybe he’ll get that untreatable form of gonorrhea. I hear it’s surprisingly comfortable compared to condoms.

  6. insatiableatheist says:

    The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers were often looking for teeny boppers to ‘ball’ with.

  7. Antinous / Moderator says:

    The age of consent is 14 or 15 in most countries in Europe. The thing about a 28 year-old having sex with a 14 year-old is that the 14 year-old ends up seeming like the more adult of the two. If the cover illustration is any indication, he seems to view himself as a child.

    • Jack says:

      Good point. But also, so much of literature is just about male sexual conquests, this story is not unique.

      But the “comix” angle. Welp, you know. I would have more respect for this guy if he just wrote the experiences rather than infantilize them in comic form.

      I don’t find this guy charming or interesting. Just self-aware and exploitive for personal gain.

      • Niklas says:

        Why so negative about someone who uses both a visual and a text based medium to communicate her/his story? In what way is using only text better? Is it because the way the story is told can trace itself to ages before letters were born? People of all cultures have been using pictures to communicate for millennia and you have to face that fact someday and in no way is image based communication any worse (or better) than text based.

        • Jack says:

          Why so negative about someone who uses both a visual and a text based medium to communicate her/his story?
          Because despite what most people proselytize, unless wielded by someone who truly has command of the medium, most comics (comix as well?) are really not that great and really childish.

          In this specific case, the guy is drawing himself as a really stylized and infantiized version of himself and his experiences. Which some see as a nice contrast to the quite extreme adult (yet childish?) actions, but to me I read as an ironic distancing that almost reads as an excuse towards the actions documented.

          Meaning, this guy is creepy and you’re ignoring that because of how cute the pictures look.

          That’s why I don’t like this.

          • Niklas says:

            (Accidentally submitted when trying to log in which is why I replied twice.)

            Well… Despite what most people proselytize, unless wielded by someone who truly has command of the medium, most texts (novels as well?) are really not that great and really childish. I have not read this book and have no idea how “childish” or “mature” or whatever it is, I was just calling you out on your idea that all image based communication is worse than that which is using only the latin the alphabet. You gave no example in your comment: “But the “comix” angle. Welp, you know. I would have more respect for this guy if he just wrote the experiences rather than infantilize them in comic form.” You only said that it would have been better if he used the latin alphabet rather than include it in imagery. I suppose you took that back in your last comment though.

  8. strumpet windsock says:

    Jacob Holdt used the same technique for a much higher purpose back in the 70s. He travelled for five years to produce “American Pictures”:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Holdt

    For the record, I don’t like the some of the things he has done – particularly writing about people when they have declined permission. It’s not likely to be on my reading list anytime soon.

    That said, the notion that the media should not write about these sorts of books, or that we should not look at art based on the morals of the people who produced them is just ridiculous prudery.

    Do you regularly track down biographies and police records of musicians, actors, writers and directors before you go to the movies or put a record on the turntable? There are plenty who have done worse than this fellow.
    Would you refuse to go into the Louvre because it contains works by a propagandist for mass-murderers (Jacques Louis David)? I doubt it.

    If you think he’s a creep, good. I agree, But to make absolutist statements of outrage over something as small as this is annoying, IMO.
    I am sure Simon expected no less when he included some of these details (though if I really wanted to get evidence to support that conclusion I suppose I would have to read the book first, no?).

    • loonquawl says:

      ” [...] the notion that the media should not write about these sorts of books, or that we should not look at art based on the morals of the people who produced them is just ridiculous prudery. ” —
      i agree.

      “Do you regularly track down biographies and police records of musicians, actors, writers and directors before you go to the movies or put a record on the turntable?” —
      Yes. I do not pay for Polanski’s works, nor for Travolta’s, nor Mel Gibson’s.

      “There are plenty who have done worse than this fellow.” —
      S’True. So? Should we direct our dislike only to the one person who has done worst at any point in time?

      “Would you refuse to go into the Louvre because it contains works by a propagandist for mass-murderers (Jacques Louis David)? I doubt it.” — Reductio ad absurdum. This artist is dead, my paying for viewing of his works does nothing for him.

      Not paying for works whose originators one considers unsavoury is a soft form and level of boycott, nothing absolutist by far. The only true form of absolutist disgrace is damnatio memoriae, the effects of which i cannot attest to, because no successful case is documented (sic).

  9. strumpet windsock says:

    There are a couple of good warnings in this piece about this fellow’s bad behaviour.
    I think that is quite enough for me to make up my own mind.

    I don’t need nannies telling me what I should and should not be allowed to read.
    (And I notice the comment which spurred my response has been removed or retracted).

  10. Anonymous says:

    From what I’ve read in swedish papers the girl in question was 19.

  11. acb says:

    Maybe he’ll get that untreatable form of gonorrhea. I hear it’s surprisingly comfortable compared to condoms.

    The problem is, statistically, he’ll infect on average half of the schoolgirls he preys on. Someone as irresponsible as that should be removed from society until they can be assured to no longer pose a threat.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t read that book, and probably will not since the drawing style looks lame, but as far as Swedish autobio comic goes let me recommend Martin Kellerman’s “Rocky”, published by Fantagraphics.

    It’s a riot !

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_%28comic_strip%29

    zlr

  13. Halloween Jack says:

    The part that really disturbs me is where he puts people in his comic without their consent. If he’d done that to me, I’d be one of the people lining up to punch him in the face.

  14. Ernunnos says:

    When a priest takes advantage of an innocent youth, he’s a predator. When an artist takes advantage of an innocent youth, he’s a plucky rogue.

    • Anonymous says:

      No. He’s still an ass.

    • zio_donnie says:

      Cornering a child in a no exit situation and exploiting your status is not the same as putting an ad clearly stating that you are up for anything.

      You may not like the guy but he did not force anyone by any means.

      Believe it or not many 17 year old girls are pretty willing and capable of being sexual predators without coercion of any kind.

  15. Rev. Benjamin says:

    I can’t find an adult having sex with a junior high student “incredibly entertaining”.

  16. sparkdale says:

    No one has the right to not be offended. The guy may be a creep, but that doesn’t mean the book isn’t worth a read.

  17. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    I reread the part with the junior high school student. They didn’t have sex, but they were in bed together and engaged in sexual activity. It doesn’t let him off the hook in my mind though. It’s still really creepy.

  18. Leigh Walton says:

    A note from the publisher, Top Shelf: Thanks, Mark!

    Interest from Happy Mutants has snapped up all the copies that Amazon had in stock — which is both exciting and frustrating. If anybody’s unhappy at now having to wait several days for Amazon to get more in stock, it is possible to order directly from us here — or to pick it up at your local comic shop!

    Hope everybody enjoys the book (and making up their own minds about it!).

  19. Anonymous says:

    It’s also a play on Sade’s “120 Days of Sodom”.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’ve actually met this guy a number of times through mutual friends, and he does sort of come across as an asshole. As art I think this can be interesting, but that doesn’t mean he’s a nice guy by any stretch.

  21. iamcantaloupe says:

    This guy just kind of sounds like Tucker Max for Boingers.

  22. loonquawl says:

    “but the fact that there is something a little likable about the jerk makes his story all the more compelling” — the story may be compelling, yet i’ll buy it only if it is told by a non-jerk (likeable or not).

  23. Anonymous says:

    “a high school student who took him to a kindergarten were she worked” — initially I thought it said “a kindergarten student” and was mildly shocked

  24. Anonymous says:

    and he also refuses to use condoms. If he has an infection, like AIDS, now a good proportion of his comic’s characters might have catched it, too.

    What an asshole… this piece of information alone can block my ability to see that book as cute and entertaining.

  25. sparkdale says:

    Ugh, adding to the creep factor is this little promo blurb from the Top Shelf website: “First up, a scandalous excerpt from The 120 Days of Simon by Swedish cartoonist/rapper Simon Gärdenfors! The scene begins on Day 2 of the trip, with Simon meeting his second volunteer host. But she’s awfully young… And you won’t believe what they get up to in the day care center where she works! CLICK HERE to find out!”

    This actually makes me less inclined to check the book out.

  26. boxbrown says:

    Love 120 Days of Simon! His simple adorable drawings punctuate the wildness of his adventure! Good Stuff!

  27. 5ynic says:

    @Hools Verne #17
    Joe Matt’s was more a “failing to have sex with young girls” kinda biostrip.
    I’m in my mid 30s, and when women young enough to be my daughter walk past in a tight top, it sometimes makes me want to touch their boobs.
    This book sounds sleazy as hell (and kinda boring too TBH) but I’m not gonna deny there’s a fascination to the “one jerk fulfills his ephebophile fantasies” schlock content.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Please spare me your sexual morality idiocy, especially when you haven’t read the book in question. Simon was 28 and had sex with a 19 year old girl. He made out with a 16 year old. I’ll agree that last thing makes him a bit of a dirty old man (which I’m sure Simon would agree with), but it’s not illegal or anything in Sweden EVEN if he had had sex with her: the age of consent is 15, but of course age differences are often frowned upon here as well.
    Comparing him to Polanski is just plain libel: Polanski drugged and raped a 13 yo non-consenting child anally, orally and vaginally.

  29. Hools Verne says:

    Didn’t Joe Matt do this back in 1992?

  30. RuthlessRuben says:

    A word of caution about age of consent in Europe, in case anybody wants to emulate this guy: It’s more complicated than it seems.

    Example: The Austrian age of consent might be 14 on paper, but only if you get explicit permission of the guardians of the 14 year old, otherwise its 16-18 depending on several other factors, like the age of the older of the two.

    But if you have the balls/ovaries to walk up to the parents of your underage girlfriend/boyfriend and basically ask them “Yo, can I get busy with your daughter/son?” and actually get their agreement, then my hat is off to you, though my head is shaking hard.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Would the sexual activity stuff be considered obscene in the US? I mean, can I get busted or is the local comic book guy gonna go to jail for carrying it?

  32. Pipenta says:

    Pushing thirty and having sex with a junior high school student. Ew.

  33. Niklas says:

    Well… Despite what most people proselytize, unless wielded by someone who truly has command of the medium, most texts (novels as well?) are really not that great and really childish.

  34. Anonymous says:

    christ, what an asshole.

  35. acb says:

    Simon Gärdenfors should die in prison like Polanski.

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