It Never Rains, by Kari Maaren
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Friday, June 16, 2017
It Never Rains 564
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Wacom update: Wacom has now been ignoring me for a week. In completely unrelated news, I picked up my new Microsoft Surface Pro on Thursday. Unfortunately, the pen won't be released until July 20th, so I'm still stuck editing with the mouse.

I would just like to note again that I've been loyal to Wacom for ten years, despite the intense frustration it has caused me. I'm not sure how the company plans to survive. It essentially produces slight variations on one specialised product. It's theoretically a great product--or it would be if it worked properly--because it does a single thing very well (when it's not malfunctioning). This single thing is something that other products can do, but less efficiently, mostly because they tend to be focused on more than one thing. But now those other products have improved to the point where they've become competitive with Wacom re. the one thing, plus they can also do lots of other things. The price point of such products is still high, but it's comparable to the Wacom Cintiq's price point, and the Cintiq is basically a glorified extra monitor. So yeah...if someone who bought your product less than two months ago contacts you to tell you that product has completely failed, and it takes you two weeks to communicate "Have you tried turning it off and on agan?" and a list of "solutions" that don't work, maybe you should make some damn changes.

In other equally frustrating news, CafePress is having a go at me this week. Some context:

I've had a store on CafePress for close to a decade now. I do not make any money from it, nor do I expect to. All my products feature reasonably ancient designs based on West of Bathurst characters. CafePress keeps raising the prices of these products, which are now mostly ridiculously expensive for cheaply made shirts and coffee mugs. I'm not actually convinced it's possible even to find my store any more.

At any rate. CafePress has sent me a series of "blocked image" reports. It claims there's something about two of my images that violate its policies (which I have read without finding any implication that anything in my images is problematic). This is the first blocked image:

West of Bathurst 1012
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This is the second:

WoB merch sample
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So yeah...the first image mentions Harry Potter and Twilight, whereas the second parodies one of the most recognisable Star Wars quotations ever. Meanwhile, CafePress is full of products that quote blatantly from Star Wars, portray Star Wars and Harry Potter characters, and so on.

It's not as if the first image there is even on any products. I uploaded it to the site some time ago but haven't tried to sell anything featuring it.

Wacom is ignoring me. CafePress is ignoring me. This week, basically, I've been fighting the Man and losing.

Friday, June 16, 2017
Panel 1: Rose and Farah have risen from their seats at the table. Ellen lurks behind Farah.

Farah: Why don't you start by making a list of stories you might like to cover next fall?

Rose: Okay.

Panel 2: 

Ellen: I thought we were going to have her write on disability.

Farah: You said that. She never did.

Panel 3:

Ellen: Well, doesn't it make sense? Write what you know.

Panel 4:

Rose: I actually know a lot of things.

Ellen [walks away]: About disability. Duh.

Go to commentary

Image #1 From Commentary (West of Bathurst Comic #1012):

Panel 1: Rose's Aunt Barbara is a university instructor. She is standing in front of a class full of students, in the middle of an argument about the merits of the novel Twilight.

Unseen Student: I think you just hate Twilight because it's popular.

Barbara: Only partly true, spiky-haired girl.

Panel 2: Barbara has an image up on the screen at the front of the classroom. We can only see part of it, but it appears to be an illustration of Harry Potter (from the Harry Potter series), a "greater than" sign, and an illustration of Bella Swan (from the Twilight series).

Barbara: I enjoy the Harry Potter series, which is arguably more popular than the Twilight series.

Panel 3:

Barbara: Of course, Harry Potter informs young readers that magic is alive in the world, whereas Twilight encourages little girls to fall obsessively in love with abusive stalkers.

Panel 4:

Unseen Student: ...Harsh, dude.

Barbara: I lost a preteen cousin to the scourge that is Twilight. Don't let it happen to you.

Return to commentary

Image #2 From Commentary (Single-Panel Image Involving West of Bathurst Character)

Panel 1:  Barbara is pondering.

Barbara [thinks]: I sense a great hypocrisy in the Force.

Return to commentary

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Content copyright Kari Maaren 2014-2017
Images copyright Kari Maaren 2014-2017