fail

The Details

While standing at the Jarvis red line stop this morning, on my way to my place of employment, I noticed this ad:

Newspaper ad
Taken with a crappy iPhone camera...I should really start carrying a real camera with me.

This was an ad for The Courier Journal I believe, I don't remember; it was one of those big newspaper companies. At first, I liked the image. Using random, disjointed stock newsprint as a background texture is a style/technique that's always appealed to me; I've always like the gritty, chaotic mood it conveys. I liked the pop of the blue and how the message type is placed in varying sizes and angles, theoretically to match the style of the newsprint background. However, upon closer inspection, I couldn't help but notice this:

Newspaper ad fail

Although it's probably blatantly obvious what I'm referring to, I'll go ahead and spell it out: In the bottom right-hand corner of the gun handle, used twice, is a newspaper clipping with the headline, "It's official-'Octomom' now a legitimate word".

This is a problem for me.

Why the hell is there anything Octomom-related in an image focused on gun-related urban violence? Twice? And if the designer was so short on stock newsprint (which I doubt), why put both duplicates of the same clipping so close together? Yes, I understand that the clipping was simply used as a background texture and that if one were to peruse the rest of the image, they'd find that the rest of the newsprint wasn't necessarily related to the theme either, but it's still a problem.

The designer, whoever it was, had a vast supply of newsprint stock to work with, and not only did they use a clipping containing a giant-ass headline about bloody Octomom and how that...thing is now not only a pollutant to our culture, but our social lexicon, but they use it twice and place both duplicates right next to each other to make them stand out more. They could have just gone with a different clipping. Hell, they could have used the body of the Octomom piece with the headline removed. But they didn't.

Why didn't they? If I had to guess, I'd say it's because they assumed that since the newsprint was nothing more that a background texture, then the contents of the newsprint was irrelevant. Normally, they may be right, but since the Octomom headline is so prominent it becomes a problem.

Why is it a problem? Because now when I look at that ad, I'm not thinking about gun-violence, and I'm definitely not thinking about buying a paper from whatever company commissioned this ad. Instead, I'm thinking about Nadya Suleman, her mutant fallopian tubes, and her ever-growing army of neglected podspawn.

Then again, maybe the whole thing is intentional. Maybe there's some unconscious/subliminal juju going on. After all, the bit about Octomom is surprisingly close to "a cry for help".

/endrant

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It's not my fault this time.



Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
I swear I'm trying to get Wayward #2 in your Cheeto-smudged, clammy hands. If the world wasn't fucking stupid, you'd have it by now. And I'd be a robot, but that's another rant.

For those of you playing along at home, here's the story so far:
-I storyboarded and scripted Wayward #2.
-I drew it.
-I sent it off to the printer, ordering a small initial run and a proof. For those of you not in the miserable world of independent publishing, a proof is something of an insurance policy. Say I order a run of 50 books. If they print 50 copies, send them to me, and it turns out something is wrong - a typo or an issue with the illustrations or whatever - then I'm stuck with 50 defective books that I can't do anything with (see also: fucked). That's what the proof is for. Instead of printing out 50 books, they just print one and send it to me. That way I can review it and make any necessary edits before they go and print 50 fucked up books.
-They print the proof and send it to me.
-I received the proof, saw that the artwork was way too dark.
-I corrected the art, sent the revisions to the printer, and requested an updated proof. In fact, when I submitted the revisions, I emailed 3 separate divisions within the printing company informing them that I want an updated proof, NOT the final run. This is common sense, you want a finalized, perfect proof before you make the final purchase. Please note that I'm paying for each proof, so it's not like I'm screwing them or anything.
-They receive the revisions and apply them.
-They send me an invoice for the final run, NOT the updated proof. This, of course, would be the exact polar opposite of what I requested.
-I email them explaining again that I wanted a proof, NOT the final run as ordering a crate of books without knowing what they will look like is very stupid and I'd like to think of myself as not stupid.

This is where the process currently stands. I sent the email out today and - at the time of this posting - awaiting a response. This usually takes a day or so. I'm shitting myself in anticipation as to what wonderful thing can go wrong next.

I understand there's ups and downs and mix-ups in communication and whatnot, but the exact same thing happened when I was printing Wayward #1. I was under the impression that the logical printing process was proof, "review, revise, reproof, repeat as necessary". But the printer seems to forget that "repeat as necessary" bit.

If this is the signs of a pattern forming, then I can expect the same mix-up to occur when I submit Wayward #3. To avoid this, I guess I'm going to have to get everything perfect the first time so no revisions will have to be made. Go ahead and take a minute to laugh hysterically; I'll wait.

You done? Okay. I want to take a moment to stress that I am in no way trying to slag on the printer, you may have noticed that I've avoided referring to the printer by name; this is why. I don't want to give the impression that they suck because that couldn't be further from the truth. These cats are great and provide an amazing service. I've been working with them for a while now, and they've always been kind and understanding. When we're emailing back and forth, which is pretty much all the time, they talk to me like I'm a person instead of CUSTOMER ID #CX-W22700008. I would recommend them to anyone foolish enough to come to me for guidance. What I guess I'm slagging on is the situation; the communication mix-up that adds another unnecessary step in the process and keeps the comic out of the hands of the three or four people kind enough to buy it.

Enough whining, the good news is Wayward #3 is coming along smoothly. It's a bit longer than the previous installments, so it's still gonna be awhile getting all the artwork done. But I'm currently in "progress mode" so that helps. I guess.

Achieving Success with Lowered Expectations

So the other day, the powers-that-be at my job (or "that place I go to to read webcomics and write SPACEDOOM") told me that, because of the wonderous failure that is our current economy, they had to lay me off along with a veritable fuckload of my fellow coworkers that also got laid off that day. Getting fired simply because of company downsizing is annoying for the simple reason that I did absolutely nothing wrong. Had I got fired because they caught me fucking the fax machine (not that I'd do that, probably) I could understand, but this...this is different. "Show up everyday - do a good job - get fired anyway" is kinda the exact opposite of that "if you work hard you can achieve anything" creed your grandpappy always told you as a child. The good news is my last day isn't until December 19th, and while being unemployed for Christmas isn't my idea of spreading the holiday cheer, it does afford me a month to find another gig.


I'm not worried because I've always got unemployment and/or male prostitution to fall back on, but it is something of an inconvienence and another smudge on the Great and Wonderous Failure that is Jayesbee. I have to admit that I toyed with the idea of just saying fuck it and throwing myself off the roof of my apartment complex - a suicide not of depression, but of laziness and apathy - but it's just too fucking cold outside.

Fucking winter.

That, and Left 4 Dead just came out and I finally got my shitty Xbox Live connection fixed. I am not exaggerating when I say that L4D is one of the best games I ever played. The actual gameplay aside for a moment; every level loading screen shows said level as a generic zombie movie poster with awesomely (and intentionally) bad tag lines like "No hope. No cure. No problem." and "Curing the infection, one bullet at a time." That alone would be enough to sell me on a game. As for gameplay, there's nothing quite like running down a deserted city street, bumping into a car, setting off said car's alarm, and watching helplessly as the entire block gets swarmed by countless undead. Not slow, old-skool undead either. I'm talking fucking 28 Days Later undead.

Wayward 3 is coming along as nicely as it can when the creator is prepetually distracted with this month's barrage of awesome video games. I think I'm done with the editing on Wayward 2, but I'm waiting for Nicole to go over it with a fresh set of eyes before I resubmit it. Nicole, unfortunately, has been distracted with college and things that are equally as important to her success, but not nearly as awesome as video games and comic books.

And on a final and compeletly unrelated note, I finally saw The Orphanage and I think I'm the only person in the world who thinks it sucked.

Speaking of things that I think suck and are terrible, the Twilight movie comes out soon I think, and since 1 - Nicole likes the books, 2 - I try to be a somewhat decent husband, and 3 - I couldn't convince David and Shorty to make the 6-hour drive to Chicago and bail me out; I have to go and see it. If it makes Nicole happy, then I'm happy. But once I manage to find a copy of Bimbo Movie Bash* on dvd, revenge SHALL BE MINE!

*Bimbo Movie Bash is not only a real movie, but it is also one of the greatest films ever made. If you manage to find a copy; watch it immediately. And then give it to me.