The webcomics blog about webcomics

One Last Thing For You To Do

Good news, everybody! There’s a happy resolution to the Jess Fink/Hot Topic saga; from the LiveJournal of El Finkensteino:

I FINALLY got an email from Hot Topic.

The person who wrote me back was the lady who originally bought the shirts from the rip off artist/designer “NewBreedGirl” she had some very nice, apologetic words to say and she told me Hot Topic would like to make amends by removing the shirt from their website, and no longer selling it in their stores.

She said:

“I would like to first and foremost, appologize for this situation. It is very important to us to support artists and their ventures and it just makes my stomach turn when something like this happens. We in NO way would have written this artwork if we had known it was someone else’s design. We work with many vendors that sell us “generic” artwork and we put our faith in those vendors to not sell us stolen or immulated artwork.”

On top of this she offered that they would like to buy some of my designs.

I don’t know if I will in fact do the designs for Hot Topic or not yet, but all I really wanted in the first place was for the shirt to not be sold and so I think I am satisfied with how this all turned out, and that I didn’t have to take it to court.

MAINLY I just have to say that my frosty fart-filled heart has been warmed by the response from people about it and I don’t think it would have worked out at all if I didn’t have you guys on my side.

Well done, internet! Now, one more thing for you to do. Remember the phone number I posted a while back for the Hot Topic buyers? Here’s where the second part of corporate customer satisfaction ninjitsu comes in: if you called the number before — and even if you didn’t — I want you to call Hot Topic again and thank them. We complained, they did the right thing, and that should be acknowledged.

Believe me, corporations hear honest appreciations so rarely, this positive reinforcement will be as important — maybe more so — for keeping them from buying suspect designs in the future as all the complaining was. So one more call and you can rest … and y’all done good.


I can’t decide whether she means “emulated” or “immolated”. I’m hoping that it’s a portmanteau word combining both of them.

Done, got her voice, she’s on vacation, she’ll be able to parley the message I left into a promotion. But my anti-buyer messages might have sent her on vacation, so it balances.

[…] (Above, left: Fink’s original design. Above, right: the Hot Topic version. Link via Gary Tyrrell.) […]

[…] internet wins again, Hot Topic does the right thing for the most part.  They should have made some sort of remuneration for their error, but all […]

Congrats are in order to Hot Topic and Jess, but also to Gary, without whose efforts many people– perhaps too many– would not have discovered this issue.

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