Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
BTW, I haven't heard from Lauren. I figure if she doesn't respond in another week or so that that's a dead-end, too.
Screw it, I just filed a complaint with the Florida AG. I stressed that, while I was only personally out for $57, in reality Andrew made off with over $50,000 of backer funds. Hopefully, that'll turn some heads.
It looks like Andrew last logged into Kickstarter on February 18 of this year, so he should definitely know we're onto him.
J L Rico Thanks for the link. Now only if we could get the book we where promised over two years ago.....
As usual Fred the perseverance you show is amazing. Thanks man. Hopefully someone out there with some pull can help us get some answers.
I just emailed Lauren. Hopefully, she'll pick this up and run with it.
In a way, I wish I had pledged a lot more, as I would then have more leverage and justification for opening a case with the Florida AG. I'm still thinking about doing so, but all I could claim would be $57, which I'm sure would get thrown into the "petty complaints" folder and subsequently forgotten.
Vincent, I'll be more than happy to discuss any aspect of this campaign with anyone, along with detailing my trials and tribulations with Kickstarter, so I'll see if Lauren is interested. I'm fairly certain Scott Green writes (or used to write) anime news pieces for AICN, so he might be reachable there.
@Vincent I sent an email to the editorial staff at AnimeNewsNetwork who had originally published an article on this campaign. They never contacted me back or did an article about this mess of a campaign.
@Fred that's it man. I posted on another Kickstarter that hasn't been fulfilled from 2013 and not even an hr later they sent a campaign update. That's how it should be handled. Not radio slice while Andrew scrooge McDucks in a pool of our money.
I feel like most people have forgotten about this project. Do you think trying to get some sort of media attention would help? I first found out about the campaign initially through io9.com (http://io9.com/crowdfund-a-collection-of-osamu-tezukas-short-manga-and-508392044…) who was referencing a story on the Crunchyroll news site (http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2013/05/17-1/kickstarter-for-osamu-tezukas-the-crater-launches). It might help to contact them since they helped promote this campaign and the writers may have a personal stake in this. Maybe reminding them would help sway them to write about it. Especially you Fred, since you actually had your account suspended trying to bring this issue to light. It might be an interesting enough story for them.
The author at io9 that promoted this campaign is Luaren Davis (https://twitter.com/LaurenDavis)
The author at Crunchyroll is Scott Green (can't find a personal contact).
Accountability is the key to crowdfunding's long-term survival. Without accountability, this entire site is nothing more than a gambling den. Unfortunately, I think it'll be a long time before Kickstarter implements anything that could be regarded as "backer support", as they seem hellbent on being as hands-off as possible.
Another key element that needs to change is the seriousness that project creators exhibit with respect to their promises to their supporters. I'm convinced that many have a "who cares?" sort of lackadaisical attitude regarding fulfilling their obligations and shipping campaign rewards. Too many fall back on the tiresome and error-ridden "your pledge doesn't constitute a preorder" mantra as a method to escape both their ethical and legal responsibilities. And, incredibly, a sizable amount of backers don't seem to care if project creators follow-through with their deliverables, perhaps surreptitiously thinking of the day when they, too, can start a project and amass a bunch of pledge funds without offering anything in return.
We all know and accept that Kickstarter is not a store, but it shouldn't be a casino.
I just saw the same court decision and came straight here to post about it, I am glad someone else did too. We need to figure out how to now take this to court against Andrew since there is now a precediance for this type of situation. I hope he has seen this and will be shitting in his pants because from all the unhappy backers on this project I know we will not stand down.
Did you guys see this?
James, this is what happens when corporate, profit-driven culture complete subsumes itself into the minds of the higher-ups. It then becomes all about image and less about ethics, much less simple morality. Kickstarter has had opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to make this site less risky for backers, but just continues to turn a blind eye in their rabid chase for pledge money.
I wrote an actual, angry hardcopy letter to Kickstarter where I included a printout of this campaign and circled the total money with which Andrew/KCP absconded. I know they received it, as I paid for registered mail with signature. I've heard nothing since then and my account is, apparently, now unfrozen, otherwise I couldn't post this.
BTW, since Kickstarter doesn't have a phone line in which to voice complaints, I called Amazon. Turns out Kickstarter is no longer a subsidiary or affiliate of Amazon. Interesting, eh?
Damn @Fred... I can't believe that Kickstarter would be so rash and disrespectful. They should know Andrew RAN OFF with our money. They got their cut of the pot. So where's our jusitce? That's a terrible way to treat us, the loyal backers who got screwed by someone so you tried to ensure that Andrew wouldn't try this again. Ridiculous!
I wanted to warn everyone about just how scummy Kickstarter has become in regards to backer support against deadbeat project creators.
A few days after I left my comment about the Kickscammed entry, I received a pretty nasty email from Kickstarter itself saying that I had violated "community guidelines". As a result, my account was effectively frozen for a week. No evidence was offered that I had run afoul of these nebulous CGs, nor were they enumerated to prove that I had done anything of the sort. My activity in other parts of Kickstarter could not've possibly gone against ANY of Kickstarter's policies, so it had to be the Kickscammed announcement, as the timing and context was just too coincidental.
Because of this and because of Kickstarter's absolute and total disregard for backers who've been screwed over by projects like this one, I am done with this site. Kickstarter is one of the most customer hostile companies with which I've ever had the displeasure of engaging. I've backed over 80 projects over the years, many of which I've been proud to contribute towards, but no more.
The current diseased crop of Kickstarter directors and managers are digging their own graves. I can only hope karma is a real and potent thing.
Goodbye and good riddance.
@aziesel did you not read any of the comments below? He took our money and ran. That's it no book, no refund... Nothing. He spent our money and partied or bought a car or whatever. Andrew is a scammer and a fraud.
You last announcement was from June 2014. Any more recent update?
Thanks Fred once again for all you are doing. It's sad because I've had 4 other backed projects show up this month and this will always linger in my mind...
Not that it'll do a whole lot of good, but I just made a Kickscammed entry:
Yeha a scumbag like this you are only gonna get in contact with in you're life once.
I actually had a little debate with Kickstarter regarding him well they where searching for a way out but i got them trapped when i said what if i also gonna make a kickstarter and steal 52,000 dollars well i got no reply back after that figures ...
@Fred, Thank you for all your effort in finding out what options were left.
Ya @Fred my credit card company said I'm SOL. So that's a dead end. I know @Mark the only one I have had this happen either.
Such a waste! I've backed over a hundred projects and this is the only time I've ever been burned!
Fred, thanks for fighting the good fight. Looks like it's time to pack in the towel...
James, you can try, but, typically, credit card companies consider charges done and settled after a set amount of time (might be 180 days, but could be shorter). Since you can't pick and choose which charges you want to pay off with any credit card, companies consider this debt resolved and closed. Reopening a case this old with your charging company would probably be nigh impossible for the average citizen, particularly given the relatively small amount involved.
thegbf, Kickstarter doesn't care. That's the bottom line. They may reply with some pablum about trying to contact the project creator, but it's just smoke. They've collected their commission, so the campaign is over and done with as far as they're concerned. If you hear otherwise, I'll be beyond shocked.
What about going to our credit card companies and claiming fraud? Do you think it's too late to do so?
Even in Europe after 180 days of the payment there's very little you can do hiring a Attorney would almost cost as much and since kickstarter and amazon don't care and Andrew seems to have distenced himself from it ... what would you even want to do at this point .... altough i'm still gonna contact kickstarter myself to see what kind of reply thay woulf even give.
Carlos, unfortunately, we are all pretty-much FUBAR. Apart from filing cases with our respective Attorney Generals, there's not much else that can be done (at least, not legally). Kickstarter won't help and doesn't care. And I seriously doubt any private attorney will take the case since KCP has long been dissolved.
I'm still considering making a complaint with the Florida AG, but there's so much other crap going on in this state that's of higher priority and visibility that I just can't see it getting any traction.
European-based backers might have more recourse since their laws are far more consumer-friendly, but I wouldn't even get their hopes up at this point.
So, are we ever going to get this? Is there a way to complain directly at Kickstarter, or ask for my money back? Thanks!
This is exactly why crowdfunding desperately needs some level of accountability installed into the system and why idiotic terms like "donation" should be abandoned when discussing the nature of pledges.
Keep in mind that, not only has Andrew tarnished his own reputation, but he's also sullied KCP's name, too. Anyone with any knowledge of how this campaign soured will steer well clear of Andrew and anyone associated with KCP. This might also appear in Andrew's credit history should this incident hit the right reporting companies.
And there's still the possibility of some sort of legal pressure that might be applied. I'm still considering opening a filing with the Florida AG, even though I'm only personally out $57.
These "steal a little from a lot" sort of scams are difficult to pursue, particularly when potential claimants are from all over the world. It is a crime, though, as evidenced by the WA state case. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Xminus1 @ not gonna happen anymore ... i hope Andrew BURNS IN HELL i mean seriously !!! i could also use 50,000 dollars to fund my anime collection or to pay off part of a house !!! seems i also gotta make a kickstarter just make a stupid video and show nothing later on and then get away with it how nice that is !!!
Tim I feel the same way I either want the book drooped off by my door by the author himself or I want my money back !
This has left a crater in my wallet...and my heart. I was very excited for this. D:
In retrospect, $50,000 was probably well short of what was needed for a Graphitti Kingdom Come-like book to be produced, particularly for a 2,000 unit run, and particularly when the swag is included. The financing would probably need to be closer to $100,000. This was the first red flag.
I don't know what to say about the cels. It would seem a little strange to me for one non-rich person to've amassed such a collection just to give them away as part of a KS campaign. Probably another red flag.
The third red flag would undoubtedly be that piss poor pitch video. Smacks of someone looking to make a quick buck by spending next to nothing on a poorly lit talking head video.
I'd reckon the fourth red flag would've been the utter lack of spreads or mock-ups. Andrew didn't even provide a render of what the final book would look like, despite numerous requests for just one "proof of life" pic.
It's a shame backers have to become amateur detectives in order to steer clear of dubious campaigns. I'm a little surprised a company hasn't appeared to try to vet these projects before they go live. An "Approved By ..." seal would help weed out these shysters.
Yeah, the Channel 9 pass is definitely disappointing. I don't quite understand why they seemingly dropped the segment, though, as they said they had received other complaints, too, along with mine. Who knows?, though. Maybe I'll be watching the TV one random night and my ugly mug will appear onscreen in terrifying HD. Of course, that might be enough to give me an on-the-spot coronary.
Well, maybe I should start a kickstarter of my own. I could need 50,000$ and apparently there are no consequences. If you go into a bank and steal that ammount you could get shot on the spot but here no one even cares :D perfect crime
Haven't even checked here for some time, just now read that it all did not work out ... it is still to grazy to believe that they just ignored it after taking you seriously Fred ...
At this point i already had my head turned towards DMP the only thing remains we aren't going to be compesated when DMP is actually going to get to the Crater they are small company not like VIZ can't give away a 1000 copies or what not.
They told me they are already working on getting it even when it might take another year for that title to come up ... and Andrew promised us gold but a softcover release as plan B might have actually worked out with the kind of money that he got someone could have done it for him without actually doing much himself, but then again those animation cells that where never actually shown makes it even more shady.
@Fred Thank you so much for doing all that. To all of us that means the world man. You tried and that is huge.
As I said I'm in Canada so the FTC is something I cannot contact. Hopefully someone has or is in the process of doing so. Andrew needs to be held responsible for what he has done. He is scum.
@Fred Man, that is really too bad the story was not completed. Many local news organizations try to do consumer pieces, but typically they only air the pieces that get actual results and or effect the most local consumers. It's really nice to hear that someone listened and tried to help, but I am sure the story was pushed aside and they are now working on something else. It's too bad the reporter did not just admit they could not sell the story to their boss or that Andrew just ignored them, which kills any type of on-air solution to this problem.
DMP is continuing their successful Tezuka kickstarters, to which if "Clockwork Apple" and "Storm Fairy" are successful with non kickstarter supporters, ie DMP sells out of each print run, I believe we may see DMP trying to release Crater.
Well, guys and gals, I think my efforts have been for naught. I was holding off on letting this particular cat out of the bag, but I don't think it'll make much difference at this point.
Several months ago, I completed an online complaint form with Channel 9, which is our local ABC affiliate (WFTV). To my shock and delight, I was actually contacted by station staff. I was interviewed on camera at my house about this campaign and another Kickstarter drive whose project creator just vanished without fulfilling his obligations, though the primary focus was on Andrew/KCP. I was very animated and talked on camera for probably a good half-hour. We then discussed things further off-camera for another half-hour. I showed the guy that interviewed me the campaign page along with the pitch video, which was also filmed.
I was told that this story was being developed and would definitely run during an Action 9 segment. The person who interviewed me estimated it would take around three weeks before the segment was completed and ready for prime time.
Unfortunately, like I wrote, this was several months ago.
I did pass on Andrew's home address and telephone number, but I don't know if Channel 9 staff was able to make contact.
I've only had sporadic contact with the interviewer since then. My last email to the guy was about a week ago, but I've yet to see a response. I can only guess that the segment is either on indefinite hiatus or has been canceled altogether.
Sorry I don't have more positive news. I agree that the FTC and the Florida Attorney General should be contacted and reports filed, especially if there's evidence Andrew is using the money for non-Kickstarter activities.
@BSL I can't do anything with the FTC I live in Canada. I have contacted whoever I could but being in Canada there's nothing that can be done. The only thing I can think of is that he did say he was using a Canadian printing company if we could find old documentation on who he was going to go with I could try to get a hold of the printer to see if he even contacted them or had made any business arrangements?
Lots of good links in this story about that board game on their official site.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
More information is on the site.
@James - "But I agree I really hope the FTC goes after Andrew for his wrongdoing."
Someone needs to bring it to their attention, otherwise nothing will be done about it.
@ Andrew - Reading some of the older posts they mention he posted on Facebook vacations, and other such things (allegedly) using the money we paid him. So how much more evidence would we need for some one to look into it, let alone just doing screen caps of those things documenting what has happened and what he is posting publicly.
All depends if Fred or some of the other dedicated folks here gathered any of that up so it could be forwarded to the FTC to investigate and then move forward with charges. Stealing $50,000 is still a felony as far as I know.
The issue is that we'd need some kind of evidence that Andrew swindled the money, and unfortunately, a lack of product seemingly isn't enough. In the case they went after, there was more than enough probable cause to see that he was mishandling the funds. We'd need to find something similar here.
Mark I was literally going to post that, Lol. But I agree I really hope the FTC goes after Andrew for his wrongdoing.
Hopefully some legal action is possible for this nightmare of a Kickstarter project too!
I hate how this all turned out. Such a horrible person using our love of Tezuka to rob us. Anyway, kudos to those still fighting. Good luck.
I wish I could say more at this point, but I don't want to jinx anything.
How often does he update his FB page? It's rather stupefying that he keeps posting there despite his "wanted" status.
That would be amazing. Thank you Fred. IDK how you do it man but I can't thank you enough. I don't know why Andrew is such a puss he can't do an update himself and tell us what happened or what's going on? On his FB it clearly looks like he's enjoying himself and having fun with our money.
I'm still on the case, everyone. Sometimes, the gears turn slowly, but they are turning (at least, from what I understand).
I am pretty certain, though, that there is no possibility of refunds at this point. I just want everyone to be aware of that. I'm also doubtful that any sort of court action could be mounted by now.
Still, I DO have a glimmer of hope that, based on what I've been trying to do, we'll get some sort of public statement from Andrew or another KCP member about what happened with the book and funds raised via this campaign. Keep your fingers crossed!