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fund the second collection of the internet comic "pictures for sad children" the book will be titled "sad pictures for children"
fund the second collection of the internet comic "pictures for sad children" the book will be titled "sad pictures for children"
1,073 backers pledged $51,615 to help bring this project to life.

IT'S OVER

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127 emails about this book in 2014, music by actress

AFFLUENT PEOPLE: PLEASE DEFEND YOUR DESIRE FOR AFFLUENCE AND PARTICIPATION IN CAPITALISM

Not to me personally, in public. Please choose from one of the following titles for your publicly posted essay:

I work hard and I get to live in a nice house. Other people work hard and do not get to live in a nice house. I like this and I want this to continue.

The problems in the world sure are going to take a long time to fix for whoever’s in charge of fixing them to fix! Who wants to play an hilarious card game. Have you written a blog for your pet? Let’s discuss cartoons I deserve to live in Brooklyn everything’s fine everything’s fine everything’s fine

Listen up: let’s fix these problems, so long as we don’t have to modify our behavior or attitudes in any way. We could stop wars and change our relationship with the environment and all that but let’s be honest with ourselves here: no we can’t

Hello drug dealer in prison, I bought this weed I’m smoking from you, and my friend over there just started selling weed legally. Try to make the best of your time in there okay.

Look: I’m not affluent yet, but this is fine, you know? I might be, what if I could be! there’s not thing wrong with if with I was! Leave me aloen :c

I shipped about 75% of kickstarter rewards to backers. I will not be shipping any more. I will not be issuing any refunds. For every message I receive about this book through e-mail, social media or any other means, I will burn another book.

When I was a young teen, my best friend from my “homeschool co-op” in Dallas, Texas started attending a wealthy private school and made friends with a boy whose family lived on the same block as players for the Dallas Cowboys. This was in the nineties when the Cowboys won a lot of superbowls. This family’s house was the largest I had seen and is still probably the largest house I have ever seen in person. I remember a movie theater, a garage with a full-size basketball court and a backyard with a forest in it. I was young so I’m sure it seemed larger than it was, but there were rooms with furniture you couldn’t sit on. That was one of the first hints I got that being rich is a joke.

In the kitchen there was a wire cage with a rat in it. There were several family pets, I think, but the house was big enough that this was the only one I ever got a good look at. The rat had a large tumor on its neck. The cage was maybe a cubic foot or two, with wood chips for bedding. It was in view of the windows to the backyard, but I’m not sure it got to leave the cage.

The people who lived in that house had enormous wealth, and they could have used that wealth to make the rat they lived with the happiest rat in the world. No cage, dirt and grass under its feet, mental and physical challenges, a balance between new and familiar environments, relationships with other rats. There are a million little ways rich people have found to spoil their pets. They could have paid attention to its needs and learned to shape their environment to improve the quality of its life. Instead they chose to watch this rat die in a cage every day at every meal.

When we allow ourselves to believe that certain people/animals/things have value we simultaneously and necessarily believe that other people/animals/things do not.

I used the money from the sales of my first book to pay off my student loans in 2009. This might be the most mature thing I've done with money, and I would not do it again.

I was friends with a financial analyst who told me to set up a retirement account before I ran out of book money. He picked it out for me, it was through Vanguard. I put $3,000 in the account and in 6 months it had grown to $5,000. My friend told me it was a good time for me to have opened that account, because of "the market.”

It made me feel nauseous. I thought about the money I put into paying my student loans that could have grown by more than half instead. I thought about the people who did not have access to the information that made that kind of financial growth possible. I thought about how little I needed any of that money at all.

My friends at the time were looking out for me, convinced my webcomic money or emotional stability would run out completely, and I wouldn't have the money they will when they get older, which I guess I have to have, or uh I mean, I have to or you know uh

I do not need more wealth or property than what fulfills my needs. I do not need to increase my income as I age.

I pulled money from that retirement account a few times until finally taking all the money out and closing it at the end of 2011. I experienced an emotional “crash” that fall, like most falls, but this was worse than others, in part because I ran out of money and went off anti-depressant medication for the first time. I didn’t understand this then, but I could've gone online and asked people to pay for my meds and they would have.

This Christmas I refunded more books and orders than I have before. I got a lot of requests from backers to get books sent before Christmas, which I was able to do for some people. I could not do this for other people before leaving for the holidays, and many of them asked for refunds.

I refunded them with money I got from selling the original art I made for my webcomic from 2009-2012. This was money I planned to ship orders with. After this happened, I could have made another update explaining I had issued refunds and then tried to sell more things or asked for more shipping money. Instead I thought for a long time about what has been happening.

Before I sold my original art, I wrote a post to backers that mentioned my sexual identity. I felt that explaining part of my personal development over the previous year would help bring understanding and value to my absence from the internet and lack of production. I sold enough to ship the books I needed to ship, something like 50 pieces. When I posted links to my original art with the broader reach of my social media presences and other websites, I sold, I think, 3 pieces.

If I had explained some of my absence on my social media presences the way I had on my kickstarter, my original art would have increased in monetary value. If I had not explained myself to my backers in a way that satisfied them, they may not have asked to buy original art or helped with shipping at all. What if I had felt or expressed myself some different, less acceptable way? Several cartoonists e-mailed me to let me know I was “so brave” for mentioning my sexuality to my backers without understanding that if I hadn’t my work probably wouldn’t have had enough value to pay for shipping, or refunding as it turned out.

What if I don’t want to talk about my sexuality on the internet? What if I don’t want to draw again? Why should I prove to people on the internet I deserve to eat and sleep? I don’t deserve to eat and sleep. I don’t deserve anything good or bad. There isn’t “good” or “bad” and there isn’t an “I” to deserve them.

If you would like a refund, please contact a fan of my work directly for your money. This is where the money would come from anyway. I am cutting out the middle man.

I refunded some of the preorders I received through paypal in addition to the kickstarter orders, but I will not be refunding any more.

The backers who gave me the most money received the least "reward" from me. After shipping costs, I "lost money" on most of the books I sold at the $25 level so, backers at the higher levels, you could perceive of yourselves as having “paid for” the books that the “lower” backers currently have, and you could try to get those books that you “paid for" somehow.

You could try to obtain refunds through kickstarter or paypal, through your bank or credit card company. You could try to harass me or inconvenience me or tell other people negative things about me or this kickstarter in the hope that this will affect me negatively. Be aware that each attempt to contact me about this book will individually result in the burning of a book until the books are gone.

I am making the loudest sound I know how to make. I know that some people will be personally offended that I am doing this, but I am doing this in large part because our culture has developed in such a way that some of the intelligent, empathetic people who follow me will believe they feel more psychological pain because of books being burnt, their money and my attitude about them than because of the destruction of the natural world, the continuation of classist, racist, abusive patterns of behavior and representation, etc.

If you have negative feelings about the actions I am taking, that is part of what I am protesting against. I am protesting the values you use to determine how you feel about and interact with the world.

I will not be responsible for the manufacture of any more unnecessary physical objects. The natural world is being destroyed by unnecessary production.

You wouldn’t be reading this now if I hadn’t supported and participated in these values. Through acceptance of and integration into these systems of value I was given a broader voice. Usually when someone’s values change, or they choose to express values they have not expressed before, their voice is taken from them. But now there is the internet.

If I’d had a publisher or if the people who did my merchandise took care of this kickstarter for me, you would not be reading these words. They would consider this expression of values antithetical to theirs as “crazy” or “pointless” and they would not allow me to destroy my inventory. They would seek to maintain financial relationships with people whose values and lifestyles I think affect everyone negatively.

In 2009 I sold original comics for the first time, three comics over the course of three weeks. Each sold for between $200 and $400. This might've added $800-$1200 to my monthly revenue, but I did not want or need that much money. It made me uncomfortable. I stopped selling my originals and did not put more up for sale until this Christmas.

When I was young my parents did some screaming at each other. As I came into consciousness I learned that some of the screaming was about money. Once after a long period of debt, my family broke even, and then my mom ran up eleven hundred or eleven thousand dollars on credit cards until my dad noticed and got upset. I was young enough that I only remember the number “eleven” was involved. I didn’t understand then that debt is a kind of privilege, and that large parts of humanity aren’t allowed access to money they "don’t have."

My parents would have said they were arguing about money, but we knew other things were happening too. My dad was probably upset my mom didn’t show she cared about the value of his work in the ways he thought she should. He probably felt shame he couldn’t supply money she felt she needed. I think my mom hated the anxiety of thinking about the prices of things, and chose not to, or tried not to anyway. I can identify with wanting to avoid the start of negative thought patterns when you are prone to anxiety.

I never hoped I would grow up to have enough money that my kids wouldn’t see their parents screaming about money. It just seemed dumb, the whole thing. It helped that I grew up around extremely wealthy, unhappy families. I don’t want to make sure my friends and family have money. I don’t want to transplant the arguing family of my childhood into a wealthier context. I want the attitudes and social structures we are using to change.

You are a damn idiot, what are you going to change Mr. Internet Man

First of all I’m not a "man” I think—

Oh my goddddd oh my goddd shutuuuuupppppp

All right: I want direct funding for my living necessities. I want to establish relationships with a group of people who can pay for my baseline needs like food and rent. I am looking for people who do not feel they need to see any “return” on their “investment.” I am looking for people who understand that money is a bad joke we use to hurt each other. I’m looking for people who like me were born with a lot of privileges but who have had the awareness and emotional stability to keep their bucket under the faucet when the money comes out.

I am not looking for the support of anyone who wants a book, or wants to see me put stick figure comics on the internet. I do not need the support of anyone who thinks that I will deserve to eat and sleep only after I have fulfilled some standard they’ve chosen to hold me to. I am looking for people who believe that if you spend your life in a small room thinking, you deserve to live and breathe the same amount as someone who spends their life doing intense physical or mental labor, or who has money that “makes money."

When I have established a means for a small group of people to directly meet my needs, and I know that the people involved understand the value of what they are doing and would continue without me, I will transfer these relationships to someone else. This will provide for the basic living necessities of a person who would not usually have the opportunity for their needs to be met by strangers on the internet. They will not be asked to do anything to keep these relationships going. They will simply have their needs met.

You can’t do this or it’s wrong or impossible or whatever blah blah blah blah you’re crazy I guess this is a Q&A now huh

Driving home late from the movie theater I worked at in high school, I saw a rabbit that had been hit by a car lying in the road. I pulled over and got out and I wrapped the rabbit in a towel that was in the trunk of my car. I carried the rabbit in a towel through a nearby field to a creek. I laid the rabbit next to the creek, unwrapped the towel and sat down next to the rabbit, who was conscious but very still. I cried a lot.

I felt strongly that how we live, how we got here and what we do to stay here, hasn’t been “worth it.” I did not feel like anyone I knew in suburban Texas could identify with this feeling. I still feel this strongly but now I believe there are other people who feel the same way.

This seems wrong to me, even if you think you’re doing something good somehow you lied to people and like stole from them? And how much of this is a lie anyway aren’t you a big liar?

The lies I’ve told have been lies like “I’m pretending to be something that’s impossible to pretend to be and that I never said I was” and “I’m being sponsored by Long John Silver’s and making comics no marketing department would approve.” If it is exhausting for you to individually evaluate each thing you read to see how it coincides with your experience and understanding of reality, you probably shouldn’t pay attention to me.

I’m through “making fun of” consumerism and other profoundly negative aspects of modern living while participating in and supporting those aspects of living. I’m not on the Daily Show making half-hearted jokes about corporate politics and media between commercials for Burger King while paying rent in Manhattan. I’m some other kind of thing that’s just starting.

I read Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” several dozen times in high school, please blame Herman Melville.

Over Christmas I went to a small Baptist church in Franklin, Tennessee with some of my immediate family. I visited family for the first time in a few years specifically so I would feel more comfortable if I chose not to see them again or made choices that would result in them not wanting to see me again.

I went to Sunday School with my older brother. He showed me the Bible app he uses on his ipad. At some point the person giving the lesson let everyone know that if you don't believe in Jesus you will burn in hell forever. This gives a certain kind of person relief to hear, because it means people at that church will “give it you straight.” That’s how you know they haven’t gone soft and liberal.

My brother and I had talked earlier about how he is a Calvinist. Calvinism in this context means you believe god picks a small number of people to go to heaven and the rest of humanity has been made by god specifically to burn in hell forever.

This is a story that is told, I think, to make sense of the tremendous pain in the universe, another way of saying “that’s just how it is.” And it’s true that things are just how they are. The mistake is believing “that’s just how things are, and that’s just how things will be.” Making these books just to burn them is my impression of Calvinism.

During Sunday School, my phone buzzed because someone e-mailed me asking for a refund. Later I realized I had another unfeeling patriarchal religion to reject from my life.

Over the years, I’ve been friends with the occasional wealthy person. People who own restaurants and theaters and businesses and homes, have offered to lend me money when things have gone badly for me. I could not believe it, every time, that these people who should be the ones who understand that money is a joke, these people who can forget about thousands of dollars they have just sitting around, their big empty houses, their equipment and tools and instruments and toys sitting around unused until they can no longer be used by anyone. They still think it’s real, it’s still their money, and it’s still my job to give them back their definitely real money. I managed not to borrow money from anyone until I needed oral surgery last year.

No no no, it’s the OTHER rich white people. You know, the other ones!! They’ve got all the money and they’re doing you wrong!!

I want to try to “give up my privilege” to see what happens. It’s impossible for me to do this, since I carry my privilege around inside of me forever, but I can subvert it in ways I’ve never seen — like forfeiting my ability to manufacture objects and sell them for profit to a “fanbase” who I would also like to forfeit if they cannot handle what’s going on here.

If you have been skimming this to get the “gist” of it, it is not going to work in my opinion. If you are reading this to summarize it for someone else, please fuck yourself instead if possible.

The $75 backers for this project, the highest reward tier, I mean except for the higher reward tiers, so the highest reward tier except for the gap and then the highest reward tiers, well the $75 people are very, very insistent that I not ever forget that they are in the $75 reward tier. They bought the first-class ticket!

They are the ones whose tone has gotten the most stern and legal, and they are the ones who consistently mention what reward tier they are in. I can’t help but feel if I had charged other people more money, they would believe, for some reason, that I owed them less. If the tiers had started at $50 and ended at $125, those same people who spent the same amount of money would feel differently about what was happening. Messages from them would be calmer and friendlier, and the stern legality would come from the $125 backers. From my perspective money seems like a messy joke and who is taking this shit seriously get me away from them.

So I’d like for the people I eventually find, who will pay for my bare necessities and then pay for the bare necessities of another person, to understand and feel that money is a joke and let’s see what we can do with it. I do not want to interact with anyone for whom money is a sacrifice or for whom money’s value relates directly with suffering. I am looking for people who think money is hilarious and weird and messed up if you think about it, and people who would like to watch something different happen.

You can’t get people to pay for your life and not expect something back, it’s so expensive to be alive just so much money I never have enough money, no money all the time the car and the kids and the dog and the house and the tv and the second car and the second house just never enough money

I’ve known people who paid 4-5x in rent what I live off each month, but who probably thought we were in the same “income bracket." If you meet us at a party, we walk and talk and look the same, you can’t see it, unless you see me again the next week and I am wearing the same clothes. Some people have insurances and medical bills and things that I have been able to live without through privilege or luck or ignorance or whatever you like.

I am confident that I can find a handful of people who will help meet my needs, and then someone else’s needs. Because the truth is, that is not very much money, for a lot of people. We don’t need much. The truth is there’s more than enough money and resources for everyone to have their needs met, without worry, every day. I want to use this understanding of the world to help make this happen for someone else. I don’t know what I will do after that. My interests have been moving toward “extreme political action” (or "inaction”) with "unrealistic goals" like the abolition of debt and prison.

I don’t mean to sound dramatic he said, lighting himself on fire, but if I can’t find people who want to make this happen, why would I continue to interact with the internet? I put stick figure comics on the internet for about a decade, and now I won't. If I make stick figure comics, then I should….live? If I ship your book, then I deserve to eat and sleep? If I don’t interact in a particular way with the post office, that makes me immoral? A lot of you think religious people are superstitious but you think numbers in a bank account are important and keep you alive?

I have stopped paying rent. I have stopped paying most things. I am keeping my phone plan for now which is $50/month. I cook all my meals at home and spend very little money.

The space I live in is falling apart, did not cost much to rent anyway, and is run by a landlord who chose not to help in any way when a roommate who refused to move out threatened me repeatedly with violence. In part because that roommate followed through with his threats, and because I have spent sleepless nights managing the leaking roof he refuses to repair, I don’t mind taking this time to show my landlord that money is not a discrete, discernible object but an expression of the values present in human relationships. I am interested to see how my life progresses in the next few months.

But that white man with multiple pieces of property and multiple streams of revenue is expecting your money! You can’t just not give rich people money they’re expecting!

Oh, you can’t, why didn’t you tell me. He might get frustrated. He might make a noise with his mouth that sounds like “debt." He might be forced to change his life a little, make some sacrifices, he might have to do the thing that he asks me to do when he asks me to pay the rent. It helps that the building is not a legal place of residence and I have never signed a lease, so he will have a hard time getting the law involved.

I have $750 in my only bank account.

75!! What a huge number!!!

I have $0 in my paypal account.

What a huge number!!!

I do not feel a pressing need to establish a form of income right now, but I would be interested in reading ideas about money and I’d love to hear that there are people interested in meeting another person’s needs directly with no hope for reward of any kind. I’d love to read intelligent thoughts about any of these things posted publicly. It’s okay if that’s not how things go. I am trying to figure out what kind of world I live in and what is possible within it, whatever happens I will try to learn from it.

I stopped reading my kickstarter messages in January. I may not log into kickstarter again, I don’t know if I’ll read the comments on this post. If I get a lot of emails I will delete my email address. I’m not sure where I’ll post next or when or what I’ll say or what will have happened, but I look forward to it.

Ethan Ace, d1000, and 74 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Daniel Jo on March 19, 2014

      Hey man, don't burn the books... Share your wonderful work by donating to various libraries, or to just strangers on the street.

      I don't know if I will ever get mine, but I'd rather have more people read your fine work than have you burning them.

    2. Creator Dolvin on March 13, 2014

      Hi Jacob, I sent you an email. Thanks for organizing this and attempting to help everyone.

    3. Creator Nick Lamb on March 6, 2014

      I'm super interested in getting a copy of the book still. If anyone has one they'd like to sell/offload/other, please let me know at morph@mac.com.

      Going to email Jacob for the SCBC. Thanks for that!

    4. Creator Jacob Weiss on March 1, 2014

      hey so we really did set up a Sad Children Book Club.

      if you want to either share a physical copy of Sad Pictures of Children, donate your copy of the book to the book club, or receive a .pdf scan of the book, email me at: thedsfp@gmail.com

      we already have 11 members in the book club and only 1 book, so extra copies of the book would be nice to have. if you want to pass it along, I can give you the address of a sad child who did not get a book.

    5. Creator C Andrews on March 1, 2014

      If anyone is distributing PDFs of the books they received, I'd really appreciate a copy now that the site itself is gone. Please e-mail me at c.alexis.andrews at gmail.com. Thanks so much.

    6. Creator Jenny on March 1, 2014

      Well, I certainly feel like a chump now.

    7. Creator Laurence Barber on March 1, 2014

      if there is any book-sharing going on specifically for those in australia email me, laurencebarber [at] outlook [dot] com

    8. Creator Andrew Polk on February 28, 2014

      Jacob, I sent you an email.

    9. Creator Jacob Weiss on February 28, 2014

      john, I love your comics. you were always my favorite webcomic artist, and helped me feel less bad for a long time in my life, when very few other people did.

      please continue to make art, because it is great. best of luck. if you ever read this, I hope it makes you feel less bad.

      I also have a copy of Sad Pictures for Children. if anybody would like me to mail it to you, I would be more than happy to.

      I will also include another mailer and $10 to whoever receives the book. once you read it, feel free to find another person who could read the book and feel less bad.

      you can also keep the $10, the mailer, and the book. we can call it the "Don't Pay it Forward" Reward Tier. both options are okay.

      I am 100% serious. feel free to PM me, respond in this comments thread, or email me at thedsfp@gmail.com

    10. Creator Michael Patrick Cutillo on February 28, 2014

      Funeral pyre for X amount of dead wasps and pulped trees.

    11. Creator C Andrews on February 28, 2014

      To thank you somehow for helping me laugh through those bad times.

      is this really the sort of thing you're protesting? Would you call my behavior part of the problem?

      I'm really struggling to understand here how you feel that deliberately breaking promises you've made is somehow taking a grand stand for something positice.

    12. Creator C Andrews on February 28, 2014

      I just wanted physical copies of something that helped me see the humor in the darkest moments of my life. I wanted a physical reminder to search for the moments of mirth hidden within the deepest of depressions. And I chose to back at a much higher rank than one that would just get me the physical items I wanted to purchase, as I just wanted to thabk

    13. Creator Michael Vatner on February 28, 2014

      i want to help john live and i also want to look at a book. if anyone wants to share (???) with me their copy: mtvatner at hotmail dot com. thank you

    14. Creator Jonathan McGaha on February 28, 2014

      The only question in my mind is, as I've watched john grow as an artist and as a person, I've watched him admit to old lies while telling new ones, wondering how many lies were told here and how many new truths were learned in the telling.

    15. Creator Francis on February 28, 2014

      Sooo...you guys gushing about this whole thing being some kinda 'experience' are essentially thanking this person for entertaining you with their embarassing public meltdown, right?

    16. Creator Chris on February 28, 2014

      These updates have been more rewarding than the actual "reward". I paid $25 to support an artist (or someone who was at one point) and it looks like that has happened.

      Regarding money: Begging is considered a noble existence to Buddhists. Maybe it will work for you too, John. I share many of these thoughts.

    17. Creator Tomer Chachamu on February 28, 2014

      If anybody has the DMT book PDF which I read once and never saved, could they email it to me at tomer dot chachamu at gmail.

    18. Creator justin boden on February 28, 2014

      John, please don't burn my book. Sell it on if you can. I would have liked to have seen it but I have faced bigger disappointments and your self-care is more important than my desire to possess your art.

    19. Creator Clayton @ Laboratory on February 28, 2014

      Also, if anyone doesn't want theirs please consider me: clayton period t period grey. That's a gmail address.

    20. Creator Clayton @ Laboratory on February 28, 2014

      I haven't been following what John has been writing on tumblr. This makes more sense in that context. I still don't know how I feel about this...

      ...but it unsettles me enough to want to know why it unsettles me.

    21. Creator Doug Duquette on February 28, 2014

      Hi John,

      I have a private message for you, but you have deleted your email address. In the unlikely event that you do read this, consider sending me a message. It has nothing to do with either receiving or not receiving a book.

      Thanks.

    22. Creator ethereal on February 28, 2014

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    23. Creator David Grinton on February 28, 2014

      Wait wait, so he said he'd burn the books, but did he actually say he wouldn't send them? Should I expect a small envelope of ashes? That'd be neat.

    24. Creator Andrew Vallejo on February 28, 2014

      Seek help, dude. You're having a goddamn nervous breakdown. You've got to realize that on some level.

    25. Creator Andrew Polk on February 28, 2014

      I am glad that I was a part of this. If you are ever in the Atlanta area, let me know. We have shared e-mail correspondence. You have not responded to my last couple messages though e-mail or kickstarter and this post leads me to believe that you never will, but that doesn't particularly bother me. Good luck!

    26. Creator Mark Spano on February 27, 2014

      Someone who has the book, please scan it and post a PDF to a dropbox link so the backers (like me) who did not get it can actually read it. I never asked for any refund, in hopes that some day some way I would get to read the book. At this point, I don't care about the physical book, but I do care about John's art, and what he has to say. I want to read it. There's a lot of honest truth in what he's saying. But if one really cares about de-commercializing art, then one doesn't make a Kickstarter. You enter this site, and pose as a creator with a monetary goal, then use the money earned to finance your life = fine, as long as it goes to the process, which it seems to have. However, there's a contract of good will involved, and backing out without the good will exchange coming back to the backers feels wrong. Feels like a swindle of my good cheer and trust. Don't care about the money, just care about the good will and effort to be decent in this world.

    27. Creator Ellen Yu on February 27, 2014

      I love your work, but they way your handling this is really harsh. I'm probably one of the 127 messages who just saw their book catch on fire.

      My exact message:

      "I hope you are doing well. I think my book got lost in the mail from moving. I'm willing to pay an additional $25 to have it shipped again at my new address.

      Please reply back. The book looks fantastic! Sorry for the trouble."

      I know you are having a hard time, so I understand the wait. But this is just mean...
      It would have been better if you ran away to be a mountain man and left the books abandoned in some storage unit. But instead, you take the books and burn them for us to see. It really breaks my heart.

    28. Creator Jordan Bradbury on February 27, 2014

      Everything about this seems scary and confusing to me, like a drama carved into a wall in a solitary confinement cell.

      I hold no grudges and have no regrets, I wish you the best of luck with your life John. I have enjoyed your art and your works.

    29. Creator Kenny Camacho on February 27, 2014

      You say that nothing has value... yet place enough value on your life to ask others to support you, ascribe value to the ideas and the project you are currently promoting, see value in Herman Melville’s book, and give value to the natural world we are destroying. There is value in this world John, and I think you are lying to yourself when you say there is not. But I see it. I see value in your work and ideas and supporting those that can change my worldview in some way. I do not agree with the system I must use to access what I value, but I am fighting back in my own ways. One of those ways is to financially support artists, writers, musicians, and others who add beauty and meaning to the world where I once did not see it. Does some of that money get into the wrong hands? Yes, of course. And I am working to change that as well.

      I am upset, John. I placed value in your book. It meant a lot to me that I could hold something created by one of my favorite artists. But I am more upset for another reason - that someone I once respected could not keep his word. If there's anything I value in this world, it is people who live up to the person they say they will be. You are not that type of person John, and I am upset that I had to find this out through the childish way you have handled the project you created.

    30. Creator Joey Robinson on February 27, 2014

      haha, holy shit, john. this is insane; you are a crazy person. however, you've put words to many passing thoughts i've had before in this post. i'm not sure where to go from here.

      i want to take action because i have a little too much money some months. but other months are a struggle.

      i was really looking forward to that book by the way. i like the shit you do. i hope you continue publishing work somewhere.

      i gave a taquito to a homeless man last week. i think i'm still a good person. i probably am.

      i have an essay i recently wrote about depression on this desk. maybe i should publish it. do these things help people?

      i feel like they do.

      what the fuck am i even doing haha

    31. Creator Therese McCormick on February 27, 2014

      Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.

    32. Creator relaxing on February 27, 2014

      What I want to know is, did any of the $10 backers actually get the disparaging email?

    33. Creator Tomer Chachamu on February 27, 2014

      Also, I coincidentally put on one of the shirts you designed for Topatoco this morning. Weird. Please don't burn it, I still find it useful.

    34. Creator William Richards on February 27, 2014

      To John and my fellow backers:
      I really love what you have written and the ideas that you are expressing, and I agree with you about almost all of it. If I had any money to do so, I would like to help support someone as you said, but I don't have any money to do so at this time, as I have quit my job months ago and am running out of other money.

      I do believe everyone should be entitled to eat and live with some small comfort, without having to work to 'justify' their existence. There is an essay I have always loved by Bertrand Russell here: http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html , which I always thought expressed well the way I feel about the idea. I am also interested in the idea of self-sufficient housing lately, like 'earthships.' I hope that the two ideas are combined to support as many people as possible.

      I never got my book, but when I donated I did it because I thought you were amazing and wanted to help support you. I thought the book was a cool idea, and did attach value to it, but mostly I just liked the things you were saying, and wanted to throw whatever small money I could at you. I feel very privileged to have been able to read your updates here, and I have found much inspiration and comfort from following in some small way your experiences and your expression of them.

      Although I do dislike capitalism and the various systems of exploitation which it depends upon, I don't feel that all value is arbitrary or that there is anything wrong with believing that some things have value and others do not. I do think it is wrong to allow those expressions of value to contribute to harming in any way the devalued animals / people, but I do not think that is necessary. I place value on the book you created, but I place much more value on the ideas you have expressed in this and your previous updates.

      I do not understand what you have been doing with twitter lately, making posts and deleting them or posting links to empty posts. I think that whatever you were trying to say with each post, would have had more value and purpose, and made more of a difference in how people think and act, if you had left the posts to persist.

      I hope that you don't stop creating things, because I believe that through your creations, you can best express and dissemate the ideas that you want to, and it can help others of us move toward a more compassionate and reasonable society. Even if your creations are not sold or do not help make any money or physical products, please don't stop!

      Thank you John! Good luck with everything you are dealing with and with your future plans! I hope the project of supporting someone works out and becomes a wider movement!

    35. Creator Tomer Chachamu on February 27, 2014

      I have so many contradictory responses I want to give, but I'll stick with one. As one of the unlucky 25%, all I can say is it hurts. The world may be shit, but that doesn't mean you have to shit on it too.

      If anybody has a book with a wasp in the UK and would be interested in selling it for P&P + a token non-monetary gift, please email me at tomer dot chachamu at gmail.

    36. Creator K Stone on February 27, 2014

      hi i had a couple things to say before you throw the book that may have been a "thing" that would have "belonged" to me in the fire

      1) i am sure you are aware of this, but this action comes from a position of great privilege. the truly poor people i have been acquainted with in my life--including my current "partner"--have been aware of these systemic issues you discuss, but options like "opting out of the system" are not available to them because choosing such an option would (literally) kill not only them but also all of the people who depend on and care about them, making such an option untenable. i am not saying you are wrong to "opt out" when you belong to a group w/in the system that may do so without hurting others who rely on you, but i do want to point out that this option is not available to the most vulnerable group w/in the system. this group is, incidentally, the most "productive" part of the system -- the part that would enable you to "opt out." while your "opting out" will be funded by those at the top of the system -- those in a position to recognize the "joke" that is money -- this funding is merely "symbolic" or metaphorical. those doing the true, material work (as opposed to this "symbolic work") that enables you to "opt out" will in fact be the very poor for whom "opting out" is not an option.

      2) i consented to fund you with the "joke" that is money partly because i believe it is in fact possible that "art" can be more than a "thing" that is part of the "system." "art" can often participate in the whole apparatus of capitalism as a commodity fetish. however, i do truly believe that platforms like kickstarter enable (though not necessarily require) the possibility that "art objects" may belong to something other than the "capitalist system." though funding a kickstarter project like yours may look a lot like participating in the capitalist apparatus to which most art objects belong, there is nevertheless a possibility that "art objects" may escape this apparatus through platforms like kickstarter by foregoing traditional frameworks of production and distribution. i understand that you believe your own project fell into this framework but i wonder whether your attempt to "opt out" really escaped this system or rather was subsumed back into it. consider that you were required to announce your decision "opt out" using the very platform you repudiate. cannot your "opting out" through kickstarter be recovered as a "performance art" that pays back the very "debts" your kickstarter funders were demanding? that is, have you truly escaped, or does this action merely pay back your "debtors" by supplying them with an "action" rather than an "object" that nevertheless--by being captured on a kickstarter page, in a discrete video, as a particular point of digital data--can be reduced to an "object" itself? rather than taking this cynical view--to avoid participating in commodity fetishism one must "opt out" rather than create "objects" (an "action" that the "system" can always recover as an "object")--isn't it possible that "art objects" really can undermine the system from within? that they can function as something other than mere "commodity fetish"? that they can perhaps, working from within the "system," help us reconsider our relationship to other objects?

      anyway these are just some thoughts that i hope you do consider a little, even if they do not free either you or me from the whole capitalist apparatus from which you seek liberation. i will be a little disappointed if you burn the book that i may have received but i understand what you are trying to achieve and just hope to help you clarify your thoughts whether or not this results in the burning of an "art object" i admittedly "desired to possess."

    37. Creator James on February 27, 2014

      Well, I guess that's it. I'm also trying to process this at the moment.

      There were unplanned circumstances, and it didn't work out. I don't hold any ill will towards John for that. I wish it could have ended better, without the need for burning bridges. I can't tell if John's anger is directed at all of the high level backers or not, but I get the sense that whatever the reason, it's not possible to reach a place of understanding right now.
      Thank you John Campbell for the art you've made. It has helped me in my own life, and I'm sure that it has helped others. I hope you find something that brings you happiness and peace, while also bringing you financial support.

    38. Creator Mathias Alexandersson on February 27, 2014

      This exchange reminds me of a poem by Alice Notley called "The Obnoxious Truth" in Mysteries of Small Houses (1998):

      "Can you be how you want despite others, I hope to (still)
      I’ll always be this adolescent — I’m right that I won’t change
      I may seem insufferable to you, I want to live in true thoughts
      this desert with nothing between me and it never trembles
      such clarity obviates the heart
      the kind that smothers the world in productions
      but not the heart that thinks and not only in words"

    39. Creator DEREK (deleted) on February 27, 2014

      We should all send him boat loads of emails so he will spend the rest of his money on lighter fluid and matches!!

    40. Creator Clayton @ Laboratory on February 27, 2014

      This isn't intended as a snarky retort, I'm still processing this.

      I do have a question though: If he's not selling them, not sending them, and he's hypothetically got a pile left to burn when people email him, what does he do with them if we don't email him?

    41. Creator Ian Linkletter on February 27, 2014

      callie come down from there

    42. Creator Brian Baillie on February 27, 2014

      For those who are interested in pdf copies of the book/experience I will scan my copy at high dpi and attempt to generate a passable three dimensional computer model of the dead wasp. If you contact me on kickstarter about it I will copy the files onto whatever form of portable media is convenient and then physically destroy said media. Hopefully this will deliver an authentic experience to those who feel they did not receive the return value they were entitled to from this project.

    43. Creator Travis Raines on February 27, 2014

      Welp, anyone not want their copy and want to sell it? lastname dot firstname at gmail dot com

    44. Creator Grant on February 27, 2014

      Do you even comprehend the nature of the website upon which you are posting?

    45. Creator Grant on February 27, 2014

      No, I could have paid $25 for a book, I paid $75 to support an artist financially who I (once) respected. Any other winning burns you got there you precious art school petal?

    46. Creator ohhelloghost on February 27, 2014

      So, you gladly paid $75 to receive a small item with no practical purpose, but would MOST DEFINITELY NOT have paid $75 to help keep a fellow human alive and housed a little longer as they go through some difficult times, had you known at the start this is what it would be spent on?

      If you can afford to speculate money on cartoon books, you can afford not to be annoyed when it doesn't go the way you wanted.

    47. Creator Matt on February 27, 2014

      $50 is a lot of money to me. That's a real number. That buys cat food. That keeps my heat on.

      To see you mockingly post an account balance larger than mine and then ask people to give you money for necessities in exchange for nothing is frustrating beyond words.

    48. Creator David Grinton on February 27, 2014

      Every time someone asks me to contribute to charity I burn a $100 bill.