So. Yeah. This John Campbell (Sad Pictures for Children author) is a book-burner.

This guy has apparently decided to do something rather extravagantly contraindicated.

In 2012, a Chicago man named John Campbell created a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a book he wrote and illustrated called “Sad Pictures for Children.”

He hoped to raise $8,000, but quickly raised $51,615.

In a strange turn of events, Campbell took to Kickstarter and told his fans “It’s Over” and published a video of himself burning 127 copies of his book in a dumpster behind his apartment, “Sad Pictures for Children” because, he says, he ran out of money to ship the books (via DNAinfo).

It’s not every day that a guy films the evidence that will be used against him in small-claims court.  I don’t mean to be mean about this, but let me be blunt: Kickstarter is turning out to be the way that some of my favorite roleplaying game companies can provide me with new material for my enjoyment.  Histrionics that might hurt other people using KS are thus not appreciated.

Moe Lane

PS: “For every message I receive about this book through e-mail, social media or any other means, I will burn another book.” That threat is why I put the guy’s name in the title. I don’t respond well to passive-aggressive hostage taking: eat your own sins.


  • Spegen says:

    You should read the rest of story. The following link, where I heard the story a couple days ago, Cambell stated he just wants people to give him money not have to give anything in return. It was all sad and pathetic and becoming too common in this age.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      Well, *I’d* like people to give me money for no reason, too. Heck, you could even argue that I even ask them to. I just don’t get upset when people say ‘no.’ 😉

      • Spegen says:

        We give you money and get the snark we seek in return.

      • Finrod says:

        When people ask me a generic ‘do you want/need anything?’ question, I tend to default to “I’d like $37 million in small unmarked bills”. Who knows, someone might actually do it.

  • Jeffstag says:

    I’ve never actually tipped, so I avert my eyes if I sense he’s about to say something witty.

  • Cameron says:

    John, a free hint if I may: When you are an artist, you are not just competing against artists who are better than you. You are competing with artists who know how to meet their obligations.
    I’ll send your information to my aunt who is a professional artist. She’ll explain the concept to you with a sweet smile on her face and a sock full of quarters in her hand.

    • Moe_Lane says:

      I’ve always thought that one major reason why Howard Tayler does so well for himself is that he’s so utterly reliable. He says something happens, it happens. If circumstances arise, he’s planned for them arising already.

  • Erin Palette says:

    I don’t know the legalities of Kickstarter, but didn’t this asshat just deliberately, and with photographic evidence, break a contract, and therefore open himself up for litigation from his backers as well as Kickstarter itself?

    (Kickstarter had damn well BETTER get on this guy’s case. If they don’t, he makes them look ineffectual, which means people are less likely to use Kickstarter if they think other people can get away with doing this, and then the entire enterprise could conceivably go out of business altogether.)

    • Cameron says:

      I have a feeling that the reason the people who run Kickstarter haven’t said anything is because their attorney has already told them to be quiet.

    • Luke says:

      Kickstarter cannot be held liable. Their business model depends on this being the case, and they spent enough on lawyers to ensure their contracts/terms of service are airtight.
      On the flipside, the contract also explicitly assigns liability to the company/person raising the money. Of course, proving financial malfeasance/negligence is generally pretty hard. Most people who run a Kickstarter and fail to deliver weren’t able to complete the product. Since we’re crowdsourcing venture capital, that’s going to happen sometimes. And the people who failed to meet their goal nearly always spent all the money they raised, plus a great deal more, trying to reach it.
      Someone who completes the product, fails to deliver it to backers, but instead destroys it, posting evidence of this on-line…
      Yeah, this asshat is a special kind of stupid.

      • Cameron says:

        Maybe they can’t be held liable but we do live in the age of lawsuits. Thus the reason I’m thinking that Kickstarter is not saying anything about this.

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