19 thoughts on “ATTACK of the SPAMBOTS (Blog or Die! Entry #17)

  1. Tried my best to keep this reader-friendly, but there’s a few bits that might be harder to make out. Here are the zoomable versions on Flickr:

    ATTACK of the SPAMBOTS: Page 1

    ATTACK of the SPAMBOTS: Page 2

    ATTACK of the SPAMBOTS: Page 3

    ATTACK of the SPAMBOTS: Page 4

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  2. This for the win. This was great. I kind of miss my morning hottie now that most Flickr groups have wised up to the act. I got a good chuckle out of this one. Excellent work.

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    1. First it’s the “Forbidden Cove”, now it’s spambots… how many more of these convenient excuses are you expecting your wife to believe?

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  3. Yeah, very applicable and recent. I never got dozens of them, thank goodness the spam ended within a couple of weeks, but you totally hit the bulls-eye on Flickr and all the other websites that have gone to trash for this or other reasons.

    Thank heavens my parents didn’t name me or anyone I know “love sex”. Learn how to speak English, and maybe you’d earn one point of respect from me, spambots. DX Kidding. You’ll never earn my respect. RIP Flickr, some year in the future.

    You know, it’s not like our hobby is particularly unique to the problem. The biggest issue is probably the young average age, thanks to all the incomers, and Lego being primarily marketed as a *whispers* toy… And of course, they’re the ones who cry the loudest when they feel threatened by what they refuse to take proactive measures against. The world isn’t perfect, and surprisingly, the internet isn’t a daycare.

    … This gives me ideas for another article…

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  4. I only got tagged in one… and it wasn’t even that good. 😦 I guess they specifically selected people that don’t appreciate it. That’s proper spamworkmanship, all right.

    As far as the comic goes, I’d totally buy that and throw it on my shelf. ’nuff said.

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  5. All the builds here are brilliant! The comic itself is hilarious and topical as of late. The final act is just pure gold. Everything here shows an amazing level of quality and attention to moving the story along quickly with angle shots and blurred backgrounds straight outta any comic book. Just damn outstanding!

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  6. Official Contest Review
    Entry # 17
    Title: Attack of the SPAMBOTS
    Author: Aaron Van Cleave
    Views: 123 Comments: 8

    Favorite Quote: “Hi, I’m love sex.”

    Favorite Comment inspired by the entry: “The biggest issue is probably the young average age, thanks to all the incomers, and Lego being primarily marketed as a *whispers* toy… And of course, they’re the ones who cry the loudest when they feel threatened by what they refuse to take proactive measures against. The world isn’t perfect, and surprisingly, the internet isn’t a daycare. – VAkkron

    Single Sentence Summary: A humorous look at the recent infestation of naked lady spambots on FLickr, as seen through the lens of history.

    The Good:

    1. Page 2/4 is pure, uncut mainline action! The entire sequence involving the chainsaw rocket launcher is just poetry in motion, as seen through the lens of Lego. There is nothing that would improve that panel. The progression of cells that show depict the glass shattering on the case looks like it was taken from a professionally produced graphic novel. I just can’t say enough good things about everything on that page, I’m very tempted to have it printed out for my Legoratory wall and send it to you for a signature. I don’t want to make the other comic builders feel bad so I’ll stop gushing now, but I’ve never seen a better action sequence…the blurring, the shot composition, the onomatopoeia, the explosion…I’m all in!

    2. By far you had the most creative and effective use of text, the wide variety of fonts, colors, sizes, styles and placement was second to none, and I loved how it was not defined by the cells but sort of had free reign of the entire page. You went right up to the edge of overdoing it where it might have easily become distracting or egregious, it is clear you have a very critical eye for every detail in the presentation, I like to imagine this took you quite a while to pull off. Please tell me that it did or you’re going to make everyone feel bad (see a trend yet?). This entry literally bludgeoned me with it’s greatness and although I have yet to make a formal decision (I really like one of the other entries quite a bit) it’s gonna be hard to deny you just based on the sheer ambition you not only displayed but executed to perfection.

    3. The comic works on every level, to include your choice of topic. I too was inundated by Sexy Spambots calling my name every day for a week, they came out of nowhere and were suddenly everywhere, so you get points for timeliness where current events are concerned. You also deftly used the subject as an opportunity for both humor and a little bit of history with jabs at MOCpages and Brickshelf. You didn’t rely on the culture of the Manifesto itself or my dumb ass to try and gain impact, you went for something more universal and ultimately unexpected.

    The Bad:

    1. Ok, so I’m not the biggest fan of MOCpages bot, I suspect you kept it underwhelming on purpose to reflect the quality of the site, but I also think you could have done that with a better design. Perhaps it should have incorporated some kind of Christian iconography or some fire department trappings to further reinforce the identity of the bot. It wasn’t terrible, or a deal breaker by any means but it did look a little lazy. By way of comparison I thought that your take on Brickshelf bot was marginally better (I liked the beard) and flickr bot was pretty entertaining.

    2. Although I understand why you did it, I don’t think the warning was really necessary or all that well executed. It didn’t add anything to the narrative and the humor was flat in comparison to the rest of the story that made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Although your tongue was placed clearly in your cheek with the text, I couldn’t decide if it was an earnest attempt at a warning or not.

    3. The red brick basement/dungeon was a little underwhelming. The cobwebs were a nice touch but the junk was more confusing than enhancing of the scene. I kept trying to figure out if it was broken robots, and why a fish? I know your chosen style isn’t hyper-detailed but I think you could have squeezed a little more value out of that final environment, it didn’t look like it was part of the same building as the upper floors.

    The Whatever:
    In the introductory warning you include “Making a phone call” on your list of things that sensitive readers might potentially find offensive or lead to depressing situations. I’ve seen this fear/depression in action with young people, and without turning this into generation bashing I must cop to a sincere and ongoing intellectual curiosity about the topic. Why are today’s youths so scared of using the phone as a tool of verbal communication and follow up question: why is the mere notion of voicemail even more terrifying. I don’t want to turn this into youth-bashing, in many ways I think young people today have it tougher than I did (the whole internet thing and all). I may be old, but I’m also not afraid or depressed by telegraphs and radios, in fact I find them quaint and romantic. Please break it down for me, oh wise one.

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    1. As a phone-skittish youth, I think it’s because text messaging exploded in popularity and by the time we became adults everything had already gone to full video. We never used phones that much so communicating solely through audio feels stilted and unnatural, full of awkward pauses and anxiety over a lack of facial cues and other visual feedback. On the phone I always feel an awkward pressure to say something to fill the air, but with Skype it’s like the other person is just hanging there in the same room as you so those moments of silence aren’t as suffocating. I remember some people my parents’ age at one point saying that their grandparents had the same issue with talking on the phone because they weren’t used to it, while their grandkids were using them as a vital tool for socialization with classmates after school. Look at a film from before texting blew up and the stereotypical teenage girls are always on the family landline instead of their cell phone.

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  7. Way to control the action!… The angled firing of the rocket down the hall is pure win. Once I finally read the cells in order, it was a great flowing story you put together…

    However, I will say that I found the basement scene a little clunky. It took quite a few re-reads to figure out what was going on with that phone call. I wish you would have led the call with a “Welcome to Verizon”, or “Welcome to Yahoo!” or something instead of “hello? who is this?” Still not exactly sure who Flickr was talking to… I guess the text running out the bottom of MOCpages’ chat bubble also bothered me too. It seemed like bad formatting that you were too lazy to fix (… and before you say “I was being meta about MOCpage admins not fixing anything”, there could have been better ways to illustrate that)…

    Anyway, great job. Glad you put together this follow-up. Very entertaining.

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    1. Funny, that part was my favorite bit of the comic. I’d find Welcome to Verizon or something like that out of place, because I’m picturing him calling some big shot (maybe the verizon bot himself in this context?), not the PR; that’s what makes it so funny and makes the tone and dismissal work.

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    2. Maybe if he split the panels in 2 and showed the guy on the line in a decadent office or something it would have been more effective.

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    3. That phone call bit bugged me too and from the context I assume it was supposed to by Yahoo on the other line. Again, he could have made that clearer with a, “Hello, Yahoo? It’s Flickr!”

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  8. But he did specify who he’s calling, he’s talking to verizon, it says on the phone if you look closely (calling verizon…) and at the end, veizon has ended the call. You’re probably missing on the idea here, verizon recently purchased yahoo (and with that flickr).

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    1. Ah, I wasn’t aware of the recent purchase. And honestly I couldn’t make out who the call was going out to even in full resolution. I thought the “Verizon has ended the call” was just one of those generic messages you sometimes get from your service provider.

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    2. Wow. Good catch. I totally missed that. I think Lego part biases made me assume it was the standard printed tile, so why look any closer?… Then I wish he would done something to draw more attention to it. Perhaps one cell with only that phone (no chat bubbles), so you know to scrutinize it, or do the blue bubble thing he did for the hang-up. Would have helped eliminate any doubts (maybe that was a phone usage bias working in the other direction – expecting a corporate audio greeting)

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