I remember what breathing feel like.

So some of you may have noticed that I’ve gone missing the last couple of weeks, or perhaps some of you are saying “who are you again”.  Either way let me explain what happen.

The first reason I have disappearing is my job.  Things have been crazy I have been working double shift to reach a deadline.  But that is over for now and I have one blissful week of normal 10 hour work days before things get deadline crazy again.

Anyone know the way to the hard liquor and suicide pistol shop?

The other reason I have been out of contact was the complete failure of the payment system on Exiern.   Let me explain;

It all started with a troll.  Someone reported Exiern to paypal.  I am not exactly sure who that was as paypal has a policy of not telling you squat when they decide to ban you for life.  You know they are just destroying your livelihood for completely arbitrary why should they treat you like a person.  I do have some suspicions as to who it was.  There was one person who donated $50 and then immediately lodged a complaint with paypal to get their money back.  But I don’t know for sure so I’m not going to say more.

Whoever this troll was they are clear for runner for glorious bastard of the century with that move because it has caused untold problems.  Really it was a brilliant strategy and my hats off to them.  The troll reports the comic at the same moment I put Dungeons of Distraction on the public side of the site.  (See really well timed and everything, brilliant move)  Given the proof that I am preforming the horrendous crime of showing the female nipple Paypal hits me with a life time ban.

Now I was left with only CCBill to collect donation but the problem there was that I never set up CCBill to accept Visa credit card.  The reason for this is to accept credit cards using CCBill I have to pay Visa a $750 set up fee and a $500 yearly fee.  Yes the Visa Credit Card Company is a bastard, not the glorious type just the run of the mill kind of bastard.  But now that I have been stripped of my paypal it makes sense to pay Visa it’s blood money.

This triggered a review of the site by CCBill to see if the site fit with the Visa standards.  See on top of being bastards Visa is a bit squeamish particularly when it comes to blood.  According to the rules you can’t have blood and “adult content” on the same site, any blood for any reason.  You can have women kidnaped by pirates strip in public and then raped by robots but no blood.  (Only the pirates was an exaggeration in that example when you look at some of the site that use CCBIll)

The reason for this is Visa does not want to support Snuff content.  You know porn about killing people.  Which on a whole I support but for the love of god context guys!  You can have violence in one scene and then something a little sexy in another without it sexualizing violence.

And the response of Visa was of course “we are a large multinational cooperation.  We don’t make decisions based on rational judgments and context.  To do something that we would have to trust our employees. Which we don’t, because we treat them like tinny meaningless cogs. Instead we make overzealous rules that insure we are never embarrassed.  Furthermore you need us we don’t need you so fall in to lock step or get out.”

So for the second time a company kicks me in the shins because it would be too expensive to treat me like a person.  But wait there’s more.  The review of the site found that Exiern had not only blood but “graphic violence”.  You know like people dyeing or getting their hand cut off.  And Master Card being the easy laid back company it is, is ok with blood but not with the pairing of graphic violence and sex.  Yet again context doesn’t matter just that they are on the same site.

So I found myself without any way to accept any online payment.  All because one troll made one complaint to paypal.  Again really well play you bastard.

Now this is the point in the story where I should have said “Oh well I had a good run.  Time to move on”  And frankly if I didn’t imagine that troll out there, on the net hearing about the death of exiern, just for a moment getting a little smile of satisfaction on his face, I probably would have.  But no, I was not going to hand him a victory that easily.  If he want to take me down he’s going to have to put some real effort into this.  One move, no matter how clever is going to win the war.

Fortunately even though the major credit card companies and paypal are officious jerks, the payment gateway CCBill is actually a pleasure to work with.  I called them up and they helped me walk through this problem.  Not that the solution was the best but it was a solution.

See I could not have blood and nudity on the same site but since in the comic they were never on the same page I could separate the content into to two domains. for the story and a new site for the extra content.  If they were on different domains it would comply with the rules and as we said these companies are about rules not context.

So the Exiern members area is dead and a new site is up in its place.  It won’t have the full story but it will have the key parts of Exiern that you may want to see.  And furthermore since Exiern will now be nipple free there is a chance we can get the paypal account back again by using the silly and arbitrary rules in our favor.

It was a lot of work but we got through it.  And there is something more.  The ESCarchive will be open for writer submission.  Paid writers submission.    Comic writers can earn money for their scripts and have it illustrated by professional artists.  Pretty much the only place on the web where you can do that as far as I know.   From the ashes something new and better will grow.  Or as that’s what I hope.

Well I got a lots more futzing bout to set up the new system.  I’ll try to stay in better contact but I have another job deadline looming on the horizon so I promise nothing.

This has been drowemos trying to learn how to fly because falling is for quitters.