I've also received some very nice responses about my printed book and I greatly appreciate that, especially since I'm not a writer (and I'm a terrible editor). I have mailed out approximately 70 books for free to those who sent me a polite email asking about them. I've also sent out many to friends and family. I'm just about all out of my promotional copies. To all of you who have written me with encouragement, I appreciate your sentiments very much and I'd much rather pay postage on the books than give money to lawyers. That said, I'd like to bring some of the worst offenders to justice, but that may take a while still.
I will definitely get the book uploaded to Amazon sometime next week. It will be a lot cheaper than the printed book, and it will also contain updates and more cartoons. I'm sorry to say I won't be able to autograph any of those copies.
The book was cathartic and it marks a turning point in my attitude. I no longer worry about the attacks and I've become so calloused that sometimes I even find myself laughing. The entire 'Zyklon Ben' meme has officially jumped the shark and now the trolls are starting to realize I'm 'untouchable.' In fact, I got a chuckle out of seeing this peculiar painting--done by a young artist who is also using my name on Google:
He actually took the time and energy to paint my portrait. Sure, I don't like the swastika and it's silly, but I smiled regardless. This only illustrates just how far and ridiculous the entire meme has gotten and now that it's impossible for me to be angry about it...well, it surely signals an end point to the trolling.
I like how the artist captured my expression here. People have remarked that my expression is always the same. They may have a point!
It's been quite a journey and I've learned a lot about trolls, memes and even a little about anime. Someone sent me a very interesting explanation about Bitcoin and I confess I've never been able to figure out exactly how that works. He explained it clearly and succinctly. I now wish I had mentioned it in my book. Five years ago I was naive and ignorant about the chan boards and those who posted on them, but I've discovered that there are many good people there. (Of course, many are very obnoxious, too). My ebook alludes to this in the epilogue.
Writing is very difficult. Writers hone their craft by daily practice and through years of learning and dedication. To become a good writer, one most possess a complete and resolute devotion--similar to musicians who spend a lifetime improving their skill. I don't have that kind of time and I'd rather produce art with what time remains. My attempt at writing a book instilled within me renewed admiration for good writers. It's very hard work. It's more difficult than I had ever imagined, but at least I can say I did it and now I can move on.
Thanks to everyone who bought the funny coffee mugs recently, and when I get the time I plan on doing a few more. The operator of 8chan is a tough guy who can take the flak and if he can, then so can I. I especially want to thank Tina who has been helping me monitor things while I've been busy cranking out the commercial art.
More soon! --Ben Garrison