Mail Call
(hennhaus: Hard Baud)

Originally published 10/17/96
Mail Call
It’s not that I’m particularly popular; I’ve no idea how many ‘hits’ my Web page gets, f’rinstance, nor am I curious enough to set up a counter. The ‘Necropolis Bodybag & Smoke Shoppe’ exists primarily as a place to give my Messenger cartoons — and a few more peculiar drawings — a bit of exposure. It’s served that purpose for well over a year, but it’s had an unexpected bonus: unsoliticed email.

Consider, if you will, a gentleman from Buffalo. My page, he stated, is a “[v]ery interesting practice.” The purpose of his email, however, was not to praise Caesar, but bury him in metaphysical obfuscation.

“I have recently completed a book based on my own spiritual journey from being the worst of humanity,” he writes, “and then returned to life spiritually enlightened, and given a message to deliver to the people of the world.”

Perhaps he was given the Colonel’s Secret Recipe for ‘extra crispy’. I chose not to answer, though I was invited to critique the online version of his book, and offer my august advice in “how best to promote it.”

Promotion? Another email, this time from somewhere in the bowels of Kansas. “Is your web site the best kept secret on the Internet?” asks a Ms Smith. “We’ll promote it to 50 search engines/indexes for $85 and complete the job in two business days.”

This may explain why search engines these days are pushing sites at best vaguely relevant to the search criteria given. As the ‘Shoppe generates no income, and cost me only a few hours of keyboard-pounding to set up, Ms Smith is clearly barking up the wrong cartoonist.

She’s not alone. A Mr Joseph gleefully stated he “noticed that you have placed your animation and resume on-line” and “wanted to inform you about how our company can greatly increase your exposure. For FREE!!!!!!” Hm. The only time my drawing moves is on deadline, when I hurl sketchbook and self to the Messenger.

Not all the email is unrelated to what I do; heck, some tickles the ego. “. . . I checked out your cartoons,” writes a Mr Littleton from ‘way down under, “and, lo and behold, liked what I saw. Particularly liked the “Generation X Board Game” – things aren’t so different down here in the backwoods of Tasmania.”

Tasmania . . . Japan . . . email rolls in from all over. Unexpectedly, a classmate from OCA — with whom I used to sightsee along Yonge Street — re-established contact with me after 16 years when he chanced upon my page. He’s in Newfoundland, now, drawing a graphic novel about World War I.

Setting up a home page isn’t particularly difficult, and — virtually unbidden — people from hither and yon will actually drop by to see and read what’s important to you.

Given the nature of the beast, you’ll certainly get some exposure . . . but prepare yourself for some whacked-out mail.

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Copyright © 1996, 2006 by John Rudzinski. Note the date the
column was originally published; any links contained therein are probably outdated.
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