For those who think Ayn Rand was just crazily overwrought in the
“unrealistic” characters she created to dramatize the
anti-capitalist mentality, you might want to see
this addendum to the Kickstarter page of comic artist John
Campbell, who raised over $50,000 on Kickstarter to publish a book
of his comics Sad Pictures for Children.
He got tired of having to mail the books he promised, apparently
(believe me, I know that’s a drag) and so decided to burn a copy
for every person who asked about where the book they’d been
The page has a video of him doing the burning.
He has elevated the annoyance of mailing 127 packages to an
anti-market rant of marvelous proportion. Excerpts, though whole
thing is worth reading, after he talks about how rich people he
knew as a kid mistreated a pet rat:
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…
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
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…..
Why? Society is fucked up, man, and someone owes me a
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
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
Mr. Campbell seems distressed about things above and beyond that
some people like to trade value for value, to be sure, with
intimations of trouble with medication and gender identity (I
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….
….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?
To give Campbell his due, he is not calling for a forced state
solution to his problem of wanting other people to take care of
him, merely that he hopes to find them somewhere out there. Best of
I wrote in 2012 on people who hated Kickstarter for
lacking enough central cultural control.