Monthly Archives: April 2015

Vet declaws kittens and cats before adoption.

We all know I like to shine the light on bad business practices and recently one was brought to my attention that makes me sick. I’m an animal lover, I rescue cats, I care for wild animals that I find, I care for animals PERIOD. So when stories like the “vet” in Texas hit the news it makes me sick. I hope they take away her license. But I digress, last night a dear friend of mine alerted me a situation in Livonia, MI. Let me hit you with the facts. Declawing is cruel treatment.

  1. Declawing is already banned in the following countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland,Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Denmark,Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand.

  2. Declawing is the removal of the first joint of a

    cats

    toes.  In very few cases does it do anything to benefit the cat. There are cases where a cat has allergies and instead of giving steroids that will shorten the

    cats

    life with each dose, a vet will recommend declawing to stop the cat from being able to scratch it’s skin off along with other

    non life

    ending methods of soothing the allergies.

  3. Declawing removes a

    cats

    natural defenses. Even if the cat is an “indoor only” cat, what happens if the cat manages to escape, it has no way to protect itself. It can’t even climb a tree to get away!

  4. Declawing is painful. Think about having ten amputations at the same time. Think you would like that? I think it would SUCK. And the phantom pain can last for weeks and months.
  5. Declawing can lead to biting problems. And the cat’s human may find themselves at the end of the bite.
  6. Declawing can lead to litter box issues too. A declawed cat can associate the pain from digging with the litter box itself and choose the nice soft carpet instead.
  7. Cats need their claws to help them exercise their muscles. Watch a cat stretch, whether horizontally on a carpet or vertically with a tall scratching post. He will grab the carpet or sisal with his claws, using the resistance to pull and stretch his muscles. Cats’ claws actually play a large and positive role in their amazing muscle tone and agility.
  8. Cats walk on their toes. If you cut off the first joint of their toes you are altering their gait. This can cause problems later in life in all the joints in their legs. It can result in arthritis in their hips and other joints.

So when it came to my attention that there was a litter of 7 kittens being offered on Petfinder that would be declawed before adoption I started checking into it.

This has been removed because of the number of emails they received about it.
This has been removed because of the number of emails they received about it.

 

So I started looking into it. The only information you can find on this “rescue” is a PO Box and two email addresses.  lesannpayne@yahoo.com and kmwrob@aol.com  The first email traces back to LesAnn Payne, a vet tech at Allen Animal Hospital in Livonia, MI.

Ms Payne's staff profile and picture from the animal hospital.
Ms Payne’s staff profile and picture from the animal hospital.

 

The second email address traces back to one of the co-owners of the vet clinic.  Karen Wroblewski.

Second offender
Second offender

 

So here we have two women, who are TRAINED and EDUCATED in animal science and should know that declawing a cat is cruel. Just because it’s not illegal doesn’t mean that it’s right. And on top of that, they are charging $195 per kitten to help cover vet fees. I bet they are doing the surgery themselves, they are getting everything at cost, so it’s not a rescue, it’s a money making business for them. It’s a scam! And it gives actual rescues a black eye. The AVMA has this to say on the subject: (find the information HERE )

Declawing of Domestic Cats

The AVMA strongly encourages client education prior to consideration of onychectomy (declawing). It is the obligation of the veterinarian to provide cat owners with a complete education with regard to the normal scratching behavior of cats, the procedure itself, as well as potential risks to the patient. Onychectomy is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery. The decision to declaw a cat should be made by the owners in consultation with their veterinarian. Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents an above normal health risk for its owner(s).
  • The following points are the foundation for full understanding and disclosure regarding declawing:
  • Surgical declawing is not a medically necessary procedure for the cat in most cases. While rare in occurrence, there are inherent risks and complications with any surgical procedure including, but not limited to, anesthetic complications, hemorrhage, infection and pain. If surgical onychectomy is performed, appropriate use of safe and effective anesthetics and perioperative analgesics for an appropriate length of time are imperative. Pain management is necessary (not elective) and required for this procedure. Multimodal pain management is recommended, and there should be a written aftercare plan. The surgical alternative of tendonectomy is not recommended.
  • Scratching is a normal feline behavior, is a means for cats to mark their territory both visually and with scent, and is used for claw conditioning (“husk” removal) and stretching activity.
  • Owners should provide suitable implements for normal scratching behavior. Examples are scratching posts, cardboard boxes, lumber or logs, and carpet or fabric remnants affixed to stationary objects. Implements should be tall or long enough to allow full stretching, and be firmly anchored to provide necessary resistance to scratching. Cats should be positively reinforced in the use of these implements. 
  • Appropriate claw care (consisting of trimming the claws every 1 to 2 weeks) should be provided to prevent injury or damage to household items.
  • Temporary synthetic nail caps are available as an alternative to onychectomy to prevent human injury or damage to property. Plastic nail caps are usually applied every 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Declawed cats should be housed indoors and allowed outside only under direct supervision. 
  • Scientific data do indicate that cats that have destructive scratching behavior are more likely to be euthanatized, or more readily relinquished, released, or abandoned, thereby contributing to the homeless cat population. Where scratching behavior is an issue as to whether or not a particular cat can remain as an acceptable household pet in a particular home, surgical onychectomy may be considered.
  • There is no scientific evidence that declawing leads to behavioral abnormalities when the behavior of declawed cats is compared with that of cats in control groups.

 

While what this “rescue” (and I use that term very lightly here) is not illegal, it is unethical. To declaw a kitten before any attempts have been made to train it or before it has even shown any behavior problems is cruel.  They aren’t helping these cats, they are setting them up for a lifetime of pain.  The number one reason that a cat ends up in a shelter is litter box problems, declawing can cause litter box problems, they are setting these kittens up to end up in a shelter. Once in a shelter another rescue will come along, post and share their story, take up donations, rescue them and find good homes for them. Do we really want to spend resources rescuing cats that should not end up in shelters because of this type of behavior from vets running rescues? Do we really want to encourage ANYONE to declaw a cat?  Let LesAnn and Karen know how you feel. I did. Allen Animal Hospital Phone: (248) 476-0570

Their mission statement is crap.
Their mission statement is crap.

 

Refunds are rolling for people in #SomethingTerrible

If you are using my site to keep up with the “Something Terrible” nightmare on Kickstarter. I’m happy to report that more people are reporting that they are receiving refunds! It’s about time. It seems to be the most vocal that are getting the refunds. Those of us that have been hounding him via email. So if you are looking for a refund from him that seems to be the way to do it. Just keep emailing him and he gets the point.

But remember, he also needs to be held accountable for his actions. As it stands now, he held our money for over a year, interest free and all we got out of it was a hard time, publicly shamed for asking for updates and bullied. It will be interesting to see if any of his backers get their rewards at all. He keeps claiming it’s done but keeps pushing the date back further and further and keeps raising money on Ebay. Is he raising money for refunds or raising money for the project because he’s out of funds? Hmmm. Does make you think doesn’t it.

You can see his list of ebay actions if you click here.

Friendship…what does it mean to you?

Have you ever really sat down and thought about friendship and what it means, to you, to others, the the world? Websters dictionary defines friendship like this:

friendship

: the state of being friends : the relationship between friends

: a friendly feeling or attitude : kindness or help given to someone

Full Definition of FRIENDSHIP

1
:  the state of being friends
2
:  the quality or state of being friendly :  friendliness
3
obsolete :  aid

Hyrule Castle is gone!

The rest of the castle was dismantled today. So sad to see it gone. The walls have been patched and just waiting on them to dry so I can sand them down. Then I will finish painting them grey.

 

 

Patched and drying.
Patched and drying.

 

Of course, before I can do the floor, I have to get all the crap out of there. And ALL her crap is still in there.

 

All her crap.
All her crap. 

Some of the wood to make her beds is in there as well. I’m using the wood from the castle since it will be painted. I can’t even start building her beds until it stops raining here. And it’s been raining for a week! But I’m making a bed similar to an IKEA bed.

This is what her floor will look like, only more black.  Photo borrowed from The Beginning of Wisdom.  https://thebeginningofwisdom.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/my-paper-bag-floors/
This is what her floor will look like, only more black.
Photo borrowed from The Beginning of Wisdom.
https://thebeginningofwisdom.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/my-paper-bag-floors/
IKEA bed. I'll be building her two beds similar to this.
IKEA bed. I’ll be building her two beds similar to this.

 

And that’s where we stand today. Hopefully next week I’ll get more work done.

 

 

OMG Hell froze over! Something Terrible ends! @DeanTrippe

This will be my final post about “Something Terrible” but I wanted to let everyone know that he sent me my refund. It took sending him three emails on Kickstarter and three through Gmail, but he finally broke down. When I checked my email this morning, I had a notice from PayPal that it was there! I was so excited! Was I being a pain in his ass, yes, but after his behavior, he deserved it.

So here’s what we have learned in the past week. If he owes you a refund, public shaming does not work with him. He doesn’t care. However, if you harass him daily via email, you will get your refund. It’s happened twice now. For the first person it took two emails, for me it took three. I think my sister was secretly hoping it would go on forever so that I would keep writing snarky emails.

I think his “apology” is the best that he can give due to his personality. Some people can say the worlds but they are never heartfelt. This happens a lot with people with mental issues, PTSD, depression, autism, personality disorders. And of course, people who believe they have done nothing wrong can say the words but not really mean them. Children who have been forced to say they are sorry when growing up *Tell your sister you’re sorry!* without having it explained to them why they are apologizing have this problem too.  *Bat, you shouldn’t hit your sister, it can hurt her. You really didn’t mean to hurt your sister did you? No, I didn’t think so. Why don’t you apologize to her?* Of course it took me raising a child to adult before learning this lesson. When the second batch came around I understood it. 🙂 But I digress.

Here are the emails I sent him and his reply.

My first email to him.
My first email to him.

 

My 2nd email to him
My 2nd email to him

 

My 3rd email to him.
My 3rd email to him.

 

His "apology".
His “apology”.

 

In closing, do I wish him ill will or harm? No, I hope he does right by everyone he has wronged. And I hope that he gets therapy. This has proved he needs it.

 

 

Open Letter to @DeanTrippe

You might read this, but then again, you might not. But at the very least I thought I would take a few minutes and let you (and the rest of the world) know why the whole “Something Terrible on Kickstarter” bothers me so much.

Here’s the reason.
You act like you were the only person in the world that was mistreated as a child. News flash Dean, you aren’t alone. Your real father walked out and left, think you are the only one that’s ever happened to, big clue, at least you still had your Mom. Some of us didn’t have that. Think you were the only one that had someone molest them, guess again. Yes, what happened to you was HORRIBLE and no child should have to go through that, but that doesn’t mean you get to use that story over and over to get sympathy. Maybe instead of taking that $48k and running around to conventions promoting your story, you should have spent some on therapy. You talk about how children who were abused don’t became abusers, but you have. You may not be abusing children, but you have abused the trust of adults who believed in you. You abused our feelings. We cared for you, we had empathy for you, we wanted to see you heal. Now, I just want my money returned and I want you to get help. If not for your sake, than for the sake of those around you that deal with you daily.

You took $48,269 from 1,768 people and promised them a reward in a given amount of time. Then you didn’t feel that they were worthy of your time to update them on your progress. And you promised in your campaign that and I quote “If there are any unforeseen obstacles, I will alert all donors to them as they arise, but again, as the story is already completed, it really is just a matter of funding the print run. ” Finally when you were six months late and people were pissed because you could run around to conventions, sell your artwork everywhere, tell us that the book was done and you just had to make final decisions and we started asking questions, YOU BLAMED US. You told US we had no value to you. Did we have no value when you played on our sympathies with your story of how you were molested and how your comic was healing? Did we have no value when you asked us for money to make your comic a physical book and we lavished you with money? Or did we stop having value when we stopped giving you money and started holding YOU accountable? When your “pity me, I’m a victim” card no longer worked with those of us paying attention to you using the money to go to this convention or that convention and basking in the glory of telling your story to the world and being praised by Kevin Smith for having the balls to tell your story. Is that when we no longer had value to you? And you blamed us for slowing your progress, just how did answering the questions of “Can we get an update” slow your process? Your process wasn’t slowed when you wrote, lettered and did the art for a five page story in the Chakra the Invincible for the Free Comic Book Day and it wasn’t slowed when you did the cover art for the CBLDF book. So when did we “slow your process”?

You call us bullies because we openly asked for updates and failed to believe every excuse that came from your mouth. “Oh I have pain and can’t draw” Two days later “Oh look what I got to draw for Stan Lee!” “Oh all this conflict is making my depression and PTSD so bad I can barely get out of bed!” Two paragraphs later “I’m working 60 – 80 hours a week on top of being a single dad and drawing all the time!” And then there’s that one time when I personally didn’t believe you and you blocked me from defending myself and slandered me on your facebook page and allowed your fans to slander me as well. Tell me Dean, did you feel like a big man? Did you feel like a hero? Because you sure weren’t acting like a hero. “Oh how dare she ask for an update and then not believe me, I’ll teach her!” Really”.

I don’t hate you, I pity you. I pity you for allowing your past to control you. I pity you because you have become what you did not want to become, an abuser. Yes, you still have a fan club and people that only see the good in you. But word is getting out, people are learning that you can’t be trusted.

And do you know what is really sad? Every single person that I’ve talked with that is angry has said the same exact thing. “I could handle the delays, I didn’t care how he used the money, it was the lack of communication that was upsetting. And then the hostile attitude when asked for updates.”

Maybe one day I’ll get my refund. More than likely all I will get is more hassle.

Part 2 of Something Terrible on Kickstarter

In his last update on the project, Mr Trippe has changed the dates of the books to match Hero Con in June. So he went from June of 2014, to April of 2015 to now June of 2015. His reasons? Oh they are precious! So are his reasons for lack of updates. He’s a pro at deflecting and victim blaming.

I’m also sorry about the lack of updates. As a depression-battling dude with PTSD, I gotta say, I have a hard time processing the level of stress that comes with seeing the disingenuous, bullying messages coming from the small, extremely vocal minority in the comments here, so it’s hard for me to deal with everything going on with me medically, psychologically, and professionally, AND keep track of the latest bizarre accusations below, brought on with renewed vigor whenever I update. That kinda stress is paralyzing and leaves me in my head trying to figure out responses for days. Conversely, I thrive on good stress. I’ve been working 60-80 hours a week at the shop, helping my family through a series of unfortunate events, and getting 4-6 hours of sleep a night, so all my projects are running long, including this most important one. I’ve recently convinced the shop’s owners to hire my two top candidates, so I’ll be able to cut back on my time at the shop by half in the coming weeks. Between the new hires and the help of my intern, productivity is getting back on track. I’ve also been taking a lot of quick-deadline drawing gigs to keep the bills paid, which isn’t easy, but again, it’s good stress. (In romantic news: I’ve almost got my family under one roof, so that should cut down on my travel time and scheduling stress, which is super exciting!)

So there you have it, he’s battling depression and PTSD, and those of us who want updates and the product that we paid him are bullying HIM. He took OUR MONEY, but we aren’t allowed to ask him about it when he’s almost a year late. Because then we are bullies. And let’s recap, the book was DONE according to him.

Risks and Challenges from Kickstarter Campaign. See, it's "basically done"
Risks and Challenges from Kickstarter Campaign. See, it’s “basically done”

 

Now in all fairness, as a “Stretch Goal” he added something “new” to the book. BUT he also HIRED someone to help.

Stretch Goals.
Stretch Goals Jan 13 2014

Notice he’s already been working on the new epilogue.  That was in January of 2014. According to his updates in June 2014, he was struggling with the last page of the epilogue. In July, wrap up was still continuing but delayed because of the traveling he was doing for conventions. And that was when we got our first “physical pain” excuse as well. In August 2014, everything was done and pre-orders were going out so that he would know how many books to order. BUT IT WAS DONE.

Then came October. Still no books shipped. He updated and said “I can’t read any more stories! Listening to them all has taken an emotional toll on me! ” And the reason the book had not shipped? It was waiting on him to make decisions. And he was going to get back to that.

Then of course the shit hit the fan in December.

His next update came THREE MONTHS LATER in March.

Reason for not sending refunds. Kickstarter won't remove the people as backers. It's not his fault, it's Kickstarters!
Reason for not sending refunds. Kickstarter won’t remove the people as backers. It’s not his fault, it’s Kickstarters!

 

So, after seeing that he did indeed refund someone else. After they emailed him, I’ve decided to email him. I’ve messaged him on Kickstarter and I’ve sent an email to his personal email which he has listed ALL over the web.

Here you see he has refunded someone. There might be hope!!!
Here you see he has refunded someone. There might be hope!!!
My email to him.
My email to him.

 

And here’s the message from Kickstarter. I’ve also included my message from October 2014 where you can see I was still supportive. And wanted to give my copy to someone else. I did black out their story. And I’ve blacked out my personal email address. Hope you understand. If you look hard enough you can find me online.

Messages from Kickstarter.
Messages from Kickstarter.

So everyone cross your fingers that I’ll get my $55 back. It’s a matter of principal now. I hate being the victim to someone like him. As someone who truly lived through hell, I don’t use my story to victimize others. Yes, I wrote a book. I wrote two of them. And yes, you can buy them, however, I’ve given away more than I have sold. And the money from them? It goes to help homeless animals and to a shelter for women and children, I don’t keep any of it. So when I throw rocks, I’m not in danger of breaking any glass walls.

 

 

Destroying Hyrule Castle

Today  I started destroying Hyrule. Princess Zelda has grown up. Link has requested that the castle walls be reconstructed around his tree house in  Kokiri Forest. I will honor this request.

I know, you are asking yourself what on earth I’m talking about right? The kids have themed bedrooms that I designed for them. Anna’s was Hyrule and the castle (which was actually bunk beds) and Zach’s room was Kokiri Forest.

 

Link's rooms
Link’s rooms

 

Princess Zelda
Princess Zelda

 

 

Her kingdom, Hyrule
Her kingdom, Hyrule

 

She’s growing up now and needs a teenager’s room. So we are going with an Anime theme. Kinda

But the destruction has started.

Goodbye Hyrule
Goodbye Hyrule
Hello mature, grey, and who knows what else.
Hello mature, grey, and who knows what else.

 

It’s sad for me her personal designer to see one of my favorite designs go away, but I think we will both love the new improved grown up room.

An open letter to GoDaddy

Dear GoDaddy,

Not that you will ever read this blog entry and not that you care, but hopefully someone out there will read it and it will spare them some heartbreak. Fourteen years ago on a warm March night, I became a customer of yours. I was tired of my current hosting company, there were problems and you had great prices on domains. Plus you were still a small company and you cared about how you treated you customers. I’m not the kind of customer that needs hand holding or a lot of cheering. At one point, we had such a great relationship that you asked me to try new products and gave me things to try them.

And then things started changing. Prices started going up and up and up. In the beginning, you would email me codes to get a little something off. And then I needed hosting again, my brother-in-law was getting out of the business and I had to pay for hosting again. Most of the time I keep hosting just to keep my skills up to date, not for anyone to really see the websites, not that I even care if they do. And my domains, I have them because they are special to me, you know, like the ones with my name. That’s helpful since I’m an author. But princessgeek.com, I’ve had that since 1999.  PrincessGeek is my nickname. So yes it’s special to me. So I get that I’m not an important customer. I get that I’m not a high dollar customer. But that doesn’t mean you can treat me like crap.

Last year (2014) I made a mistake and cancelled a domain. It cost me dearly to get it back. And then there was the issue of Moodle. I needed a new hosting plan because the one I was on couldn’t handle the latest version of Moodle which I needed for my client, a teacher. Or at least that’s what I was told on the phone. Twitter support told me something different. The end result of that mess? All my websites were lost and I was charged twice for hosting. It was a lot of complaining before I managed to get a refund. And then it was even more of a fight before they agreed to refund it back to my card instead of store credit.

And then you didn’t hear from me until this year. A whole year went by and you never heard from me. I didn’t complain on Twitter, I didn’t call, I didn’t email. We were good. I did what I needed to do online and I was okay. And then I knew that my hosting was coming due again. I kept waiting to see if I would get a “renew and safe” code. Nothing came. And then on the 6th, I got the email that my hosting was due that day. Still no “save money” code, so I called. I got some guy on the phone and he said he could save me 15% but I had to renew for 10 years. There was no way I was ready, willing or able to do that. And even if I did have that kind of money laying around, I don’t know what the next 10 years is going to hold so why would I want to lock in hosting for 10 years? That’s just insane. We went back and forth for a while and he said that he could save me 44% but ONLY if I changed hosting plans. Well come to find out it wasn’t really changing hosting plans because it was the same plan, it was just moving everything to a new server. So $150 later, I had 2 years of hosting, renewed 2 domains and renewed the current hosting for 1 month to give me time to get all my files off the server and moved. I was okay with that, I wasn’t thrilled. But I didn’t have to deal with anything for 2 years so I could deal.

The next morning, I get up and I have an email from GoDaddy, “Save 50%”. Not 44%, but 50%. Now we aren’t talking a large amount of money, we are only talking about $9. But it was the principal of the matter. I qualified for the 50% because I got new hosting, that’s how he was able to give me the 44% off. So I called. I got some female on the phone and I was explaining that I was a long-term customer, that I stuck around during the elephant disaster and all the feminist issues. Well before I could finish the sentence about how the negative attention affects their clients too, she cut me off with “Yeah, I get that you’re upset but what’s your problem?” I was FLOORED.  So I told her that I was angry that yesterday the best customer service could do is give me 44% off but today I got an email offering me 50% off. Things went from bad to worse. While she didn’t say I was a liar, she implied it. She said “He didn’t give you 44% off, I’ve never heard of that.” and then she started looking at my account. She also wanted me to read her the “fine print” of the email. I did. And of course, she was bitchy enough to explain to me (since I had no clue, I’m just a lying stupid customer who’s angry) that the longer you renew something for the bigger the discount that’s why he was mentioning the 10 years.

Then she realized that he indeed give me 44% off and told me that she was going to make me “very happy”. She told me to log into my account, I already was. Then she told me to cancel the hosting, she said “the first one”. And this is where ALL THE PROBLEMS COME IN. If you were looking at the list of items that I could cancel the first thing was “GoDaddy Auction” from where I messed up and canceled the wrong domain the previous year, the second item I could cancel was my domains that I had renewed the day before, the third item was the first one that said hosting, so I clicked it and hit cancel. Oh wait, that was the wrong one. All my websites were GONE. She put me on hold, came back asked me if I had backed them up, couldn’t even get to the part where I had tried the night before and couldn’t get it to download before she hit me with the “Oh you can have a back up for $150 but otherwise, they are gone because you canceled the wrong one.” I was LIVID.  We argued back and forth and finally I told her that was it, I was done, I was moving all my stuff.

She realized I was serious, asked to call me back later that day and see how I felt. Knowing I would not change my mind, I said sure and we hung up. I vented on Twitter, got a lead on a new host, started moving domains to Google Domains. She called back and I told her there was nothing she could do.

But over on Twitter I found out that I was not the only one that had the problem of lost files. There was a lot of bitching, moaning and arguing back and forth on Twitter between @GoDaddyHelp and I but the outcome was summed up in two tweet conversations:

They clearly do not care about the customer.
They clearly do not care about the customer.

 

And this one:

I'm done.
I’m done.

 

As you can see, GoDaddy is done with me and I am done with them. I was with GoDaddy longer than I was with either set of my parents but now we have parted ways. All my domains have been moved. I have nothing left there but a customer number.

 

The moral of this post, if you need a domain or hosting and want decent customer service, pretend that you are a race car driver and race away from GoDaddy. You may get a decent price to begin with but in the end, you’ll just get screwed and you won’t even get a kiss, candies or an “I love you”.

 

Something Terrible happened on Kickstarter

One of the most important blog posts that I have to recreate concerns a certain comic book artist, his personal attack on me and his treatment of of his backers on Kickstarter.

Sometime in 2013, I ran across a comic titled “Something Terrible”. It is about a little boy who’s father walked out on the family and because of this him and his sister were sexually abused by a male babysitter. Because both of our stories have childhood sexual abuse in them, I reached out to him and told him how proud I was of him for being brave enough to tell his story. There were several emails back and forth, a casual friendship formed and we even discussed getting our kids together sometime for a movie since he lives one county over. I also found out that a friend of mine attends the same church that him and family attend. We discussed his comic and my book. I only had the one at the time. And I invited him to my book signing. He said he couldn’t make it because he would be out of town. Told me that he split his time between Jefferson, GA and Alabama where his girlfriend lives.

Then he announced that he was considering doing his comic as a hardbound book. I thought that was a great idea. I wanted a signed copy. I really didn’t care for the rest of his work, but I thought the comic was something special. He said he wanted to do a Kickstarter campaign. I messaged him and told him that I thought that was a bad idea and that he should look at other options. I sent him the names of several self publishing companies, including the one I use. This way he wasn’t limiting himself to a small run, the comic could actually be sold in book stores everywhere and even overseas. As well as Amazon. He never answered that email. The next thing I know he started the Kickstarter campaign. I joined. I pledged $55, for that I was supposed to get “A signed, physical copy of the revised, 36 page edition of Something Terrible, including bonus materials, a digital copy, a postcard print of the “You’ll Be Safe Here” page, a Something Terrible bookmark, and your name on the thank you page inside the book”. The campaign started January 2014 and was completely funded February, 2014. 1,768 backers pledged $48,269.  The first rewards that were supposed to go out were digital and they were supposed to go to backers in April 2014. Physical rewards were supposed to be shipped June 2014. I had no concerns about this because of his statement in “Risks and Challenges”

Risks and challenges

As the work is already completed, and requires only minor layout work in order to add the new materials, I don’t foresee too many obstacles beyond reaching the goal. I have a very capable partner in bringing this digital comic into the physical world in Print Ninja (Shout out to my bat-ally, Ashley!), and I’ve been ordering shipping materials via Uline.com (which I also recommend wholeheartedly).

I had advice on how to plan this Kickstarter from several of my friends who have done successful campaigns, so I think I’ve got it structured just right. If there are any unforeseen obstacles, I will alert all donors to them as they arise, but again, as the story is already completed, it really is just a matter of funding the print run.

So unless I die, I think we’re on track. (Hey, Jason and Scott, if I die, can you get this stuff done for me?) I’ll try extra hard not to die, everybody.

 

So if you take him at his word, everything should be okay. Well I stayed away from the campaign and him for a while, wrote another book, lost a beloved cat, dealt with some real life issues and stuff. I didn’t think much about it until I was getting ready to publish my second book and I popped over to his Facebook page to message him and share the good news about my book. He didn’t answer. I messaged him on Kickstarter, he didn’t answer. I sent him a message on Twitter, he didn’t answer. Then it dawned on me that it was October and I was supposed to have had all of my rewards from the campaign by June. I checked for updates on Kickstarter. In June, he said that he would be ordering the books sometime that month, that he only had one page left of a 4 page epilogue left to do. In July, his update was come see him at ComicCon. Oh and the epilogue was wrapping up. And hey, he’s been drawing so much that he’s having problems with his arm.

Now to be clear, when I took notice of not having the book and stuff was in October. His August update was “Hey the book is done but I’m doing pre-sales to see how many I need to order”. At the end of October (and Con season) the update was “It’s all down to decisions now, but I’m the one who’s been flaking on making them.” His “reason” he had heard to many survivor stories and it had taken a toll on him so he needed to rest and get his head together.

Prior to me seeing that. I messaged him on Twitter asking for an update. No response.

I let things slide until December. By now I was angry. I had wanted the poster for my daughter classroom, I was going to give it to her for her birthday. I didn’t get it in June for her birthday and now Christmas was coming and I wasn’t going to have it to give it to her by then either. So I contacted him on Twitter. And all hell broke loose.

This is the beginning of our conversation on Twitter. As you can see,  I was upset but still somewhat supportive.
This is the beginning of our conversation on Twitter. As you can see, I was upset but still somewhat supportive. 

 

I’ll admit to being snarky with him. However, what can anyone expect after I had attempted contact with him several times and received no reply. At this point, people had already started asking for refunds in the comment section on Kickstarter.

dean919

At this point, the project is six months late and he’s saying that he’s only letting people down “temporarily”. However, he can’t be reached on Facebook and the only way to get his attention at this time on Twitter was to be snarky.

But he promises a big update before Christmas. There was some discussion on Kickstarter about the conversation so I posted on Kickstarter.

My KS update

 

During the month of December, other people started reaching out to me and sharing their experiences with me. Several people had commissioned him to do artwork from “DeanCon2013” and “DeanCon2014” and they never got them. And he wouldn’t respond to those people when they asked for the drawings. It was really becoming clear what kind of person we were dealing with and I was finding out that he was known for coming up with reasons for needing money, like needing a computer or his car breaking down, having a fundraiser and over extending himself. However instead of taking responsibility for his actions, he made excuses.

I waited until Christmas Day and there was still no update on Kickstarter. I had seen that he was active on Twitter already so I took my concerns about the lack of update to Twitter. Here’s the conversation on twitter.

(click here to read on twitter if you aren’t blocked by him)

Just another writer on Twitter: “@deantrippe @kidrelentless For the simple reason you have cut off communication, you don’t keep your word and you are deleting proof.”

Dean Trippe@deantrippe Dec 25@wxbunny I cannot wrap my head around why you two would think I’m not putting out the book. It’s late.

Now the let’s define ” harassing me constantly”. I sent him supportive emails in October and asked for an update, then on December 19th we had a conversation, then this conversation on the 25th. So three interactions in the period of 11 1/2 months is ” harassing him constantly”. Hate to tell him this but that’s just him playing the victim card. He’s good at it. Very good at it.

And then there is my personal favorite statement from him: “it SLOWS my process. You have no value in my work or sanity.” This is in reference to the above statement of my constant harassment. My handful of attempts at contact slowed his process. Not the pain in his arm from drawing, not traveling across the country to San Diego to appear at Comic Con and not any of the other conventions he was at, like DragonCon, TimeGate or the countless other ones. Me, it was my fault for asking him for an update. I was driving him crazy. Not hearing the stories of survivors like he said on Kickstarter, but me. For someone who he claimed had no value, he sure the hell gave me a LOT of value in those two statements.

You can find his Kickstarter campiagn “Something Terrible” here. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/298122902/something-terrible-by-dean-trippe/description

Make sure you check out the comments. And yes, a lot of mine have been deleted because well, according to Kickstarter, a campaign owner can say anything they want about a backer however a backer cannot defend themselves at all.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, after our precious little comic book author and I had our lovers fight on twitter, he blocked me from his Facebook page and decided to slander me there.

You can find that post here.

https://www.facebook.com/ilikedeantrippe/posts/10152947008191649 

My favorite line in that slanderous post? “Having checked in on this person’s own self-aggrandizing, typo-laden website, I can only assume she values speed above all other considerations.”

Take note all professionals….according to a certain comic book author….you cannot have a website, if you do, you bragging on yourself. So, all you doctors, lawyers, authors, comic book authors, etc, better take down those websites right now. The end all be all of knowing how to be an upstanding human being has spoken.

 

I'm surprised he doesn't think this is the definition of  self-aggrandizing.
I’m surprised he doesn’t think this is the definition of self-aggrandizing.

 

Or maybe this is the definition?

 

haha2

 

 

And that Kickstarter? Oh he says he’ll send it out about the time he goes to HeroCon, in June. A year late.

And while he’s refusing to give people refunds because Kickstarter won’t remove them from the backers list, there’s always this jewel that he tweeted.

Seems like public shaming is fine as long as he's not the one being shamed. And refunds are great as long as he's getting them not giving them.

 

Seems like public shaming is fine as long as he’s not the one being shamed. And refunds are great as long as he’s getting them not giving them.