Totally Messed Up

TMU_01

This was a project to fund the printing of a graphic novel. That’s pretty straight forward. Lot’s of those on Kickstarter.

As is pretty common, this project suffered some serious delays. They were supposed to finish shipping in February 2013, but so far as I can tell they haven’t done it yet.

Pretty soon, a backer started asking the obvious question :
Is shipping almost completed?

Unfortunately, it looks like creator Haru Ruben made the elementary mistake of telling backers what they wanted to hear, instead of the truth.

Whenever someone would ask about the ship date, Haru would say, or at least strongly imply, that it’d be shipping out this week.

TMU_03a
TMU_03b

This is a trick that only works once, and Haru Ruben used it constantly.

Backer Brett Trout kept asking, not unreasonably, where the books were and how soon until they were shipped. And pointing out, again not unreasonably, that all of Haru’s statements about release dates were … questionable, at best.

(I want to stress, that backer Brett Trout’s posts were persistent, but polite throughout this entire deal.)

So what does the project creator do?

Banned!
Haha! That’s right he “bans” him from the project. Telling him that instead of a book, he’ll simply get a refund.

So, of course, Brett Trout asks the obvious question :

Where's my money.

And how did the project creator react?

TMU_06

Like a dick.

Fun With Lawsuits

The comment page is very long, and reads like a journal documenting the artist’s descent into incoherent paranoia.

Eventually, Even though Brett Trout does not appear to have done anything more threatening than ask for either the book he was promised or his money back, artist Haru Ruben decides that Trout is “dangerous” and “mentally ill”.

Why did Haru think Trout was mentally ill?

Because He dressed as Arthur Dent for Halloween.
I’m not even kidding.
8
(That link goes here.)

Then, because Trout is a lawyer, Ruben actually files a complaint with the Bar Association!

Lawsuit #1

Since filing a false complaint with the Bar Association is a serious form of Libel, Trout does exactly what you would expect a lawyer to do. He sues.

When you sue someone, it’s normal to hire a “process server”. That’s a person that will find the defendant’s home, and personally deliver the paperwork to them. This prevents them from claiming the papers were “lost in the mail”.

Here’s the hilarious part : Apparently Haru Ruben mistook the process server for some sort of contract killer.
7a

Lawsuit #2

Believing that he was being pursued by contract killers under the employ of a crazy person with a towel, Haru Ruben decided to take action!
tmu_09

This move apparently cost him $80,000 and, of course, delayed the project even longer. (But hey, they waited over a year, they can keep waiting!)

So what did Haru Ruben do? He sued back! To the tune of $83,000 of “real damages” plus legal expenses!

One of the pieces of evidence he claims he’s going to present is that he’s found the blogs 100 lawyers who did not dress as Arthur Dent for Halloween! I’m still not joking about that!

Haru is also going to present evidence that Trout’s own book on “Cyber Law” used “disturbing images of sexualized violence.”. By which he means, the cover was a picture of Lady Justice, dressed like Trinity from The Matrix. (It’s actually pretty tame. Lady Justice is often portrayed as having one of her breasts exposed. Justice is sexy.)

Predictably, he’s also going to present evidence that he’s found 100 lawyers who have not published a book on cyber justice featuring Lady Justice dressed as Trinity.

So where are we now?

The last blog update on the project was a year ago. Predictably, backers have been asking for an update.

Don’t worry. He’s promised to post one after the second of October.

TMU_11
True to form, I’m writing this on the 11th, and still no blog post.

Update : It’s now the 21st. Still no blog post.

Update : It’s now the 28th. Still no blog post.

Update : It’s now November. Still no blog post.

Update : It’s now December. Still no blog post.

Update : It’s now 2015. Still no blog post.

Update : It’s now 2016. Still no blog post.

Update! Chrono Mechanic

The plot thickens! It’s come to my attention that this is not the only Kickstarter that artist Haru Ruben was involved in.
He was also hired to do some of the custom books for the Chrono Mechanics kickstarter.
I am sorry to have to relate that the Chrono Mechanics 3D covers by Haru Ruben will not be made.  I hired Haru after seeing his work on his KS campaign - Totally Messed Up.  I sent him the start up money and the books.  He has not delivered on even one book.  I have tried time and time again to get him to complete the contract.  All I've gotten in return are lies on top of lies.  I thought he was honorable and had integrity when I hired him to take on this commission.

Update! Trout Wins Settlement!

Looks like Trout’s case against Haru Ruben went well.
 Brett Trout on April 28, 2015  Fred is correct. I sued Heru. We settled the case. Heru wrote me checks and agreed to not make any further statements about me. I paid him nothing and am under no obligation regarding making further statements about him.  I have the transcript of a very lengthy deposition I took of Heru that I believe would be of substantial value in any subsequent case against him in this matter. In the event anyone does file a lawsuit against Heru, I would be happy to provide your attorney with a copy of the transcript free of charge.

Cat Erotica. Catrotica.

  I want to Create a 2015 calendar of Cat Erotica.

This man wants to make calendar of “cat erotica” and he didn’t once use the pun “Kitty Porn”. According to his facebook, he’s doing this because a gypsy fortune teller told him to. I guess they have gypsies in Montana?

Who doesn't love a cat photo?   Now add the excitement of a tastefully placed cat teat in that photo and you got yourself some Cat Erotica.

How titillating.

A copy of this sexy calendar will set you back $25, but if that’s too rich for your blood, you can get your named tattooed on the photographer for only $10.

I’m not sure what that has to do with the project, or why you would want that, but hey, ten dollars is a bargain!

kittyporn_05kittyporn_03

Fun fact : , To get 10,000 names tattooed on your flesh between September 19th, and the end of December, you’d need to get 625 names per week.

kittyporn_04
He’s off to a great start!

Lil’ bit stupider

lilbit_01
lilbit_02

Ok. Painted (or sparkly) wine glasses and thermos bottles, cheaper than Etsy, and faster than I could do myself. Sounds reasonable.

Let’s take a look at the only reward level offered by this project :
lilbit_reward

Huh. Wait a moment. I need to work this out on my calculator.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 11.30.48 PM

Hmm… I feel like this is going to make it difficult to reach the $5,000 goal.

I wonder if there are other … “number problems”.

This lady clearly has some issues with basic math. Better double-check her other number-related claims.

Is this truly cheaper than what I could get on Etsy?
lilbit_etsy

Is it at least quicker than I could do myself?

lilbit_delivery


Thanks to reader Henry S. for pointing this out to me!

Mullis Matter Meter Madness

Matter_Meter_01

I’m having a hard time understanding what this one even is. (Because I’m a sane person, and things like this can’t be understood by the sane.)

Matter_Meter_02

I think this means that it’s a robot that has a microphone shaped like a human ear, and if you point it at something that makes noise, the robot moths in the robot’s clear head will start to spin around in a circle.

This seems like exactly the sort of useful invention I need.

Matter_Meter_03

Of course, if funded, the original goes to an art gallery. (What kind of gallery displays moth-headed robots with human ears?)

But if you need one for your kitchen, a $40 pledge would have gotten you the plans, and the ear.

Matter_Meter_04

Jars of Air (Really!)

Iowa Air in a Jar - Collecting Iowa Air in jars and shipping it around the world. Reaching all 99 counties and documenting the journey.

This man wants to sell you a jar of air.

99 jars of air one from each of Iowa’s counties. I know he’s got some kind of artistic statement he’s supposedly making, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is trying to sell jars of air!

air_02
A hundred and fifty dollars!! Don’t worry though, he gives you a discount if you supply your own jar :
air_03

He was also going to make an “Ultimate” jar of air by opening the jar in each county. Personally, I don’t think he’s thought that through. Doesn’t it just become the jar for whatever county he visits last? It’s not like these jars didn’t all have air in them before he opened them. How is opening it in 99 different places any different than opening it once at the last place?

Maybe it’s a mistake to try applying rational thought to this project.

air_04

Haven’t we seen this before?


Mel Brooks is a prophet.

Is Kickstarter trolling me?

I'm making a photography book of my kittens sleeping. Help me!
I must be dreaming.
 After a long day of work, what is more rewarding than coming home to adorable cats who are fast asleep and snuggly? I'd like to pull together a book of photos and share them with you!

This woman wants $300 to take a bunch of photographs of her cats! Photographs of her cats!

Is she so out of her mind that she honestly thinks that we will pay money for pictures of her cats? Maybe she thinks we don’t know where to find cat photos? Could she possibly be so mind-boggling out of touch with reality that she thinks amateur cat photos are a rare and valuable item? Could she possibly be so vapid that when she looks at her cats she thinks “My cats are cute! That’s so original!”

Is she harboring a secret hope that these photos will become so popular that she’ll forever be known as “The Artist Who Takes Photos of Cats”?

kittiesGalore_03

It’s made all the more mystifying by the one and only example photo included in the project page. It’s not a good photo, and it’s not particularly cute by cat standards. When she was posting this project did she believe that this photo was so spectacular that it would speak for itself and we’d just start throwing money at her?

No, I have to assume that this project is a cover for some mafia money-laundering scheme. At the last moment it’ll be funded with a million dollars of stolen drug money, and then she’ll withdraw the money into a numbered account in a Swiss bank.

That’s the only explanation that doesn’t make my head hurt.

Was the old one too dark?

The New Black :  An effort to create a new, worldwide, custom black color.

This fool needs $15,000 to “crowd-source” a new shade of the color black.

. The New Black. is a campaign to make a new, worldwide, custom black color that everyone and anyone can identify with, and play a part in its creation. It’ll embody everything black stands for, but at the same time make it new again.

The gimick here is that Pantone, globally-recognized authority in matching colors, have more than one color in their catalog with “Black” in the name.

Pantone "Black" swatches

So this guy plans on paying Pantone to add one more shade of “black” to their catalog.

I don’t know how he plans on “Crowd-sourcing” the “color-creation-process”, But I imagine it’ll look something like this :

       VOTE!  (Choose only one)
     [ ] Black with a little red in it.
     [ ] Black with a little blue in it.
     [X] Black with a little green in it.
     [ ] Black with a little brown in it.

Who wouldn’t pay to be part of that process?

$225 One authentic The New Black. color swatch. And one .5 L can of The New Black. custom black paint. Signed and numbered.

What a great scam. I wish I’d thought of it.