Totally Messed Up


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 (who seems to also spell his name “Heru 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.


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?

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?


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.
(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.

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!

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.

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 : It’s now 2017. 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.


Comic book rip-offs.

This man wants to publish a comic book.

That image in the project lead looks pretty good.

Too bad he didn’t create that image. It appears on virtually every “Desktop wallpaper” collection on the web!


So, how far did this blatant plagiarism get him?


Haha! Three dollars from three backers! Total failure.

Realizing that his biggest problem was that he didn’t plagiarize good enough source material, he tried again.


This time he’s ripped off the “Time Traveler Essentials” poster (and t-shirt) by Ryan North (@ryanqnorth).

Challenges: I have to find a publisher, I have to get an illustrator or more likely 4 or 5, i have to get an editor and a dame[sic] good one. oh and I have to make sure the book don't suck.

Of Course! He’s plagiarizing his title images because he can’t draw. He’s just the writer. We’ve seen this before, but maybe this guy is a phenomenal writer.
I AM THE GALACTIC INQUISITOR, YOU SHALL BE JUDGED ON A CRITERIA FOR WHICH YOU SHALL NOT KNOW."  I awoke to the sound of a booming, grainy voice and the brightest white i've ever seen. "Its so fucking bright, can we tune that down a little please?" A painful shock ran down my spine as the voice rang out again. "YOU WILL NOT ASK QUESTIONS YOU ARE HERE TO BE JUDGED FOR A TERM NO LONGER THAN TWO THOUSAND EARTH YEARS." "Two thousand? What the crap are you." whoosh is all I hear as the floor falls out from under me. The brightness is replaced with darkness and falling. All I can hear is the sound of my screams sounding distant and muffled. The sting of cold as I wrap my arms around me and feel that I'm naked, thinking of frostbite I try to warm my nose. My hand passes right thru my head.

Wow, he does need a dame good copy editor.

See Also :


Queen of Who?

Queen of Hearts - by Jeff Donovan Wade

  Want to know about Queen of Hearts character? Support her #0 comic book. If goal is reached, supporters will be given LIMITED rewards!
Not really. Who the hell is she?

You mean the playing card? The villain from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland“? Any one of a dozen songs, poems, and TV shows?

Nope. This “Queen of Hearts” is an original comic book by Jeff Donovan Wade. (Never heard of him either!) And when I say “original”, I mean it doesn’t exist yet, and furthermore Jeff Donovan Wade has never created a comic in his life.

Which character is talking first in this poorly framed panel full of strange poses and boring dialog?
Which character is talking first in this poorly framed panel full of strange poses and boring dialog?


(Updated June 4th, 2013)
The creator of this project has contacted me to complain that, while discussing his professional credentials, I didn’t include his X-Men fanfic.

He seems to believe that if you know about this fanfic, which he created by copy/pasting art together, then you would take him seriously as an artist.

So, you can read the comic if you dare, and see if it improves your opinion of Jeff Donovan Wade as an artist.

Mr. Wade is begging for $2,200 so he can hire someone to pencil, ink, and color (Oh, didn’t I mention? This guy is just the writer.) a comic book, without giving us so much as a sample page!

Sounds risky, doesn’t it?

It must be! This project has the longest “Risks and Challenges” section I’ve ever seen. Not only that, it’s the most emo “Risks and Challenges” section I’ve ever seen!

 Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter  Since this is my first Kickstarter project, I don't really expect to make my money targeted goal. Why? Well I have been writing for ten years now, and I still haven't seen profit nor support from most of my friends and family. I must admit poor progress is partly my fault, but family priorities as well as time and energy issues also have their part.
Are you kidding? Then what the hell are you wasting our time for?

(Also, “money targeted goal”? Are you sure you’re a writer?)
Working two jobs, three if you count chores, takes attention and time away from my dream.
Four if you count watching TV!

However, reality demands a writer to have another "paying" job until a marketable literary product is completed. Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way.
Really? Sucks to be you! I learned it the easy way. By reading literally any book, magazine, or blog about being a writer or an artist. They always, always say to keep your day job because it takes a long time to make money on writing or art.

Literary agents or companies will not even take my passion seriously unless I finish the literature that I hype.

… and he goes on like this, for paragraphs and paragraphs of angry, ranting, embarrasing text. (Remember : This guy’s a writer!)

Finally he ends by telling us his SECRET PLAN!
 I am very close to completing a ten year novel, scheduled to pitch it at the in Hollywood June 2, 2013. This kickstarter project, if nearly funded, will also be pitched as my "second project". Hopefully, this tactic will put the fear into the Hollywood agents, possibly forcing them to deal.
Yea, buddy. You’re a genius. I hear Hollywood agents are desperate to buy the movie rights to indie comics that haven’t even penciled their first page.

Not looking good

Here’s an exerpt from his first “update” to the project :

“I was hoping that this project would boost my morale, but it is actually having the opposite affect. Therefore, since no one seems to believe in me or my abilities, despite all that I have done: comic book, scripts, animation, edited videos and music […] it will fail.”

Oh, Why must life torture this artistic soul so? Has he not proven his worth with his Loony Tunes fanfic scripts? Has he not shown himself to be worthy by using to make Star Trek animations from the built-in clipart? And who can say he has not made a comic? Has he not copy-pasted some X-men art and put his own words in the text bubbles?


He’s not giving up!

That’s right! He’s going to get page one drawn (Remember, he has to hire an artist) then he’s going to Kickstart page two!

Haha! I suppose if that succeeds he’ll Kickstart page three?

(What if it fails? Will he Kickstart things a panel-at-a-time? A word-at-a-time?)

(The project was recomended by reader Lee R.)