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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
@deantrippe @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.
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.
Or maybe this is the definition?
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.