“Bags, bags, bags…”

Dawn likes to watch various shows while drawing. As she was putting the finishing touches on the Issue 10 cover, she had chosen to binge watch Broad City. It is a funny show. But I’m not writing about the show, except for the fact that I looked over and saw that two characters had gone to Chinatown and were being muttered at by a Chinese woman selling handbags, apparently illegally obtained discount handbags. Bags, bags, bags…

This was a rather coincidental occurrence considering something I’d recently posted on my Twitter account:

Going through old spam, I’m becoming convinced the greatest black market on the planet is for illicit handbags.

Seriously. Our filters catch most spam before it pollutes our comments section, but we still get the messages and in the last few days I must have cleaned out over a hundred instances offering Louis Vuitton purses, each containing many, many lines of repeated keywords. Bags, bags, bags… after hours spent on inbox purging, hearing that repeated on our television was downright surreal.

Actually the whole experience was a bit on the surreal side, as I combed back through all the email I’d ever received for Zombie Ranch over the years looking for contacts to hit up when the Kickstarter launches. More than one interview exchange would end with the interviewer asking us to please keep them updated with any news. Rightly or wrongly I hadn’t really considered us doing anything particularly newsworthy since, but finally getting the Kickstarter going? That seemed downright newsworthy.

So I’m making a list, checking it twice… and, alas, finding a lot of those sites and projects are either no longer active or are outright gone. That’s a weird feeling, to still be around. I won’t go so far as to call it survivor’s guilt, because the web is the web and sites and comics that stay active for more than a few years are more the exception than the rule, but still, going sequentially through messages like I did sometimes gave the sense of a site flaring up and then flaring out in a time-lapsed fashion, from initial exuberance to abandonment, or even the black hole of a 404 Not Found. One site domain had reverted to a page full of Chinese characters and product images. I think handbags might have been among them.

But yeah, I guess it’s kind of like looking at old photographs or a high school yearbook. Where are they now? What are they up to? Some folks I’ve kept up on through Facebook or still chime in on here from time to time so I know they’re still about even if their webcomic or news blog isn’t. Others, well, I had some great conversations back in the day, but I wonder if the email address I have still works. I guess I’ll find out soon enough when I try to spread the word of the Kickstarter, although madman that I am I’m also planning to try to personalize each of those emails so that it doesn’t seem like I’m only getting in touch again for commercial purposes. I mean, technically, I guess I am, but I’ve been saving up a lot of shamelessness since 2009. Soon I’ll cash it in, assuming I don’t go insane first from sorting out the wheat from many moons of accumulated chaff.

Bags, bags, bags…