Pop culture and other perspectives with an artistic P.O.V. By Mike Pascale.
All contents ©2012 Mike Pascale. Visual content ©2012 their respective owner(s).
For reasons too weird to explain, I recently came across some email exchanges from the mid ’00s that are both cautionary and hilarious.
You’ve no doubt heard of the ubiquitous “Nigerian prince” Internet scam, right? Where some guy from a foreign land promises you a fortune for any number of bizarre and nonsensical reasons in exchange for wiring him your “banking information” for various fees or taxes, right?
Well, apparently it also applies to comics publishers—even small ones. At first I thought (okay, hoped) there was a smidgen of a chance it might be legit…which immediately dissipated for obvious reasons. This nonsense took place over the course of three days, under the initial subject line, “COST OF ITEMS URGENTLY NEEDED.”
The following are copied and pasted verbatim (after the first one, for some reason, THE REST OF HIS EMAILS ARE IN ALL CAPS). Read and learn–and laugh:
“kelvin matt” <firstname.lastname@example.org
i will like to make an international order from your store to be
resold in my store,please calculate the total amount of the goods
including the fedex shipping fees to LAGOS NIGERIA: so that i can
give you payment through my credit card. your quick response will be highly appreciated
NOTE:PLEASE SEND YOUR WEB PAGE.
> Thank you for your email request and your interest in Schism Comics. Unfortunately, you did > not specify exactly WHAT you would like to order.
> Please let me know.
> Thank you,
> Mike Pascale
> Schism Comics
THANKS FOR THE MAIL HERE ARE THE LIST OF ITEMS I NEED FROM YOU SO GET BACKI TO ME WITH THE TOTAL COST AND SHIPPING COST TO THIS ADDRESS BELOW FOR PAYMENT.
1,NASTI: MONSTER HUNTERTM qty 30
2,BRU-HED, AMERICA’S FAVORITE BLOCKHEAD qty 50
[The above email was sent to me three times in one minute! The one below, twice.]
I WILL LIKE TO KNOW THE STATUS OF THE ORDER I ORDER FROM YOU , AFTER I SENT YOU THE ORDER, I NEED TO KNOW THE COST FOR PAYMENT PLEASE DO THIS ASAP.
Thank you for your replies. Is there a reason you emailed them two and four times? (Perhaps you may want to check with your ISP).
You did not specify WHICH issue of each book you would like. Please let me know.
For the quantities you are ordering, the cost is 50 percent off cover price (of 2.50), which would be US$1.25 each copy. For shipping costs, let me know if you prefer surface or air mail.
And I need your mailing address. Payment is by PayPal or international money order.
THANKS FOR THE MAIL, I WILL LIKE YOU TO MAKE THE BOOKS ISSUE THIS AND FOR THE PAYMENT I CAN,T HAVE ACCESS TO PAYPAL SO I WILL LIKE TO SEND THE PAYMENT TO YOU VIA MAIL YOU CAN CHARGE IT FOR THE ORDER
This is well-written fun . . . and Pascale is a writer worth following.”
–Maggie Thompson, editor, Comics Buyer’s Guide
[For some unfathomable reason, he pasted in a quote from my site at the time from a review of NASTI: MONSTER HUNTER; but never mentioned the title of the book!]
Are you at all familiar with these comics? I asked you WHICH ISSUE of each title you are interested in. Each title is a four-issue mini-series.
Please let me know.
THANKS FOR YOUR RESPONSE,PLEASE COULD YOU LIST THOSE TITLES TO ME AGAIN, SO I CAN TELL YOU THE ONES I NEED.AWAIT YOUR SOONEST RESPONSE FOR THE COST.
Bru-Hed, America’s Favorite Blockhead
and Nasti: Monster Hunter.
Do you own a store in Nigeria or do you only sell by mail? Do you have a web site?
After that one, I never heard back. I suppose most people wouldn’t have pursued it after the first or second wacky email, but my natural curiosity often makes me pursue such comedy as far as possible. Notice that he never gave an address! (Makes it a bit difficult to ship anything.)
Funniest part? I was actually still flattered he chose my little company to scam…especially since I hadn’t published any comics in five years!
See you next week,
P.S.: If you have an address and are not a Nigerian prince, I’d be thrilled to do a commission for you. As mentioned last week, all commissions from me receive FREE SHIPPING till December 31st! Just ask Craig here. (He’s not a Nigerian prince either, but he plays one on TV.)
P.P.S.: Speaking of comics, if you’d like to see what all the funny fuss was about, you can order your own copy of The Collected Bru-Hed trade (containing the full four-issue series and Test-Market Edition) from Craig as well! Just $6 postpaid (more than half off cover price!). I also have some (signed) copies of the Nasti: Monster Hunter four-issue series–same price for the set.