Jeff Hicks of World Class Bullshitters, a YouTube channel and proud member of the Fandom Menace, announced on Twitter that he will be reprinting Stealing Solo: A Captain’s Parody and backers of his IndieGoGo campaign will receive a new book. Sort of.
I love the way this tweet was crafted. It says a lot, yet says very little. Hicks says he has “taken care of the issue at hand.” What does that mean exactly? The problem is he chose a company that specializes in printing and distributing junk mail to both print and distribute his IndieGoGo comic. He did not sign any of the comics as he promised to on IndieGoGo. He also didn’t pay to have the books sent in comic friendly mailers. Instead, he paid his distributor to print each backer’s name and address directly on the back of the book and send them without even a plastic bag protecting them.
For that, he charged $10 for shipping.
Remember, crowdfunding is not shopping
Even though IndieGoGo, the Comicsgate favorite for crowdfunding, warns people crowdfunding is not shopping, most people do not understand this fact. They choose to donate to these campaigns and then consider themselves to be customers. They are not. They are backers.
Can you imagine buying a comic on eBay for $20 and $10 shipping, only to have the eBay seller send it to you with a mailing label attached to the back of the book? That wouldn’t happen. If it did, the eBay seller would get kicked off the platform for all the negative feedback they would receive. The number of PayPal disputes they would earn would endure they get kicked off that platform too.
What holiday was Jeff Hicks referring to?
Why is Mr. Hicks waiting so long to place a new order? Why does he have to wait till after “the holiday”? Does he mean Christmas? New Years? Chanukah? Martin Luther King Day? National Demolition Derby Day?
By stating it the way he did, he couldn’t be more unclear.
If Mr. Hicks really wanted to fix his reputation that has been sullied by his own hands, he would have published an image of the signed contract with a reputable company that is known for doing good work. For example, the company that did Doug TenNapels IndieGoGo book.
I’m a man with more than a few regrets in life. One of them was not backing Mr. TenNaples’ Earthworm Jim book.
Is Jeff Hicks a grifter?
I cannot tell of Mr. Hicks is a grifter or just someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. I almost wish he was a grifter pulling a world-class grift on his fans. Charging someone $20 for a poorly made comic where you are the main character takes a lot of moxie. Charging your fans another $10 for shipping and then sending your poorly made comic out the same way Jiffy Lube mails coupons is a work of grifter art.
If it’s not a giant grift perpetrated against members of Comicsgate and people who believe Kathleen Kennedy has cooties, it’s almost worse. It would mean he’s a world-class bone head. Nobody wants to think that about him, right?
Whatever his motives, I think if humanity is still around in twenty years, people will look back at Stealing Solo: A Captain’s Parody that same way we now look at The Room.
Like Tommy Wiseau, Jeff Hicks made himself the main character in his project. It seems to me Mr. Wiseau made a good life for himself thanks to his “flop” of a movie. Maybe Mr. Hicks can do the same for himself in twenty years with his flop of a comic.
I wish him the best of luck in that regard.