Chris and business
—An example of Chris's customer service skills
Chris launched an online business in June 2014, selling custom arts and crafts through eBay. A year later, he moved shop to Etsy, under a brand titled "Cwcville Shopping". He also began selling printed copies of Sonichu on Lulu. He held a steady stream of customers, despite issues with production and sending orders on time. For a while, he had achieved his dream of selling his own Sonichu merchandise, and was making plenty of money.
However, exactly two years and one week after the start of his business, on 8 June 2016, Chris's infamous laziness caught up to him, and he was banned from Etsy for ignoring orders over a span of months beginning from when he bought a PS4. He did not take responsibility for the self-inflicted failure of his business. Instead, he lied to save face and cast blame on Lulu.com's staff for having stressed him out by labeling Sonichu as fan fiction and banning his account half a year beforehand in December 2016 (even though he had actually ban-evaded by opening a private account and was back to offering books through Lulu's services only weeks later).
After the Etsy ban, Chris fell back on begging and Paid Video Requests to cover Barb's credit card bills and his expensive toy purchases. In May 2017, he felt like returning to work on the Sonichu comic and, throughout the next several months, began to rebuild his business, using Patreon, Lulu and Redbubble, and accepting interviews for money.
- 1 List of ventures
- 2 Financial enablers
- 3 Ad revenue
- 4 Schedule slip
- 5 Pipe dreams
- 6 See also
- 7 References
List of ventures
- Main article: eBay
On 1 June 2014, Chris began cashing in on his Internet infamy, by offering custom artwork for sale. He later expanded his sales to include autographed photos, medallions, custom Amiibos, and personal items related to Christory.
- Main article: Etsy
On 2 September 2015, Chris relocated his online business to Etsy. He continued the same offerings from eBay and added a donation listing for the continuation of the Sonichu series. Days later, on 5 September, a YouTuber named DStecks donated $1,000, thinking that Chris would deliver 100 pages of Sonichu. Instead, Chris completed 16 pages before dropping the project. This move remains controversial with Christorians, as while some believe that he honestly wanted Sonichu #11 to continue, others argue that this weenish move validated begging in Chris's eyes, as seen with the influx of begging videos in the Financhu Crisis. In addition to DStecks, dozens of fans had also donated. Chris simply claimed that he was too stressed to continue Sonichu #11.
However, Chris still had passion for making custom Amiibos for several months afterwards. He wasted hundreds of dollars buying up Amiibos on eBay, thinking that the market for his custom figures would sustain itself indefinitely. This was not the case. and Chris eventually grew apathetic and bored with earning his own money.
To complicate things, in March 2016, Chris purchased a PS4. The new life upgrade proved too distracting, and he ignored Etsy orders, often for months. Ultimately, Etsy took notice and banned his store from doing business.
- Main article: Lulu
Chris took over a decade to try any self-publishing channels. Clyde Cash beat him to the punch by posting Chris's comics on Lulu.com. Chris simply retorted by encouraging his fans not to buy them, and to simply wait for him to release the "real" versions later. According to emails from 2010, Chris claimed that he was working on fixing up his pages to be published on Lulu, taking an unreasonable amount of time to accomplish this amazingly simple task, and he eventually dropped the project.
In September 2015, Chris began selling printed copies of the Sonichu comic on Lulu.com, as well as offering autographed versions through Etsy (by ordering the comics from Lulu, signing them, then shipping to the buyers).
In December 2015, Chris was banned from Lulu for selling fan fiction. In true Chris fashion, he responded by threatening Lulu's executives with physical violence, despite the fact that he was on probation for an act of violence against a GameStop employee.
Chris was able to continue selling comics in January 2016. It's likely that he simply rejoined Lulu under an alternate account.
He has yet to finish opening a shop there.
It's unknown why Chris is dragging his feet on making a Zazzle store. All he would have to do is take some Sonichu drawings and upload them. There are no startup costs. Zazzle takes care of manufacturing and shipping.
In 2015 Chris was willing to drive hundreds of miles through Virginia just to buy parts for Amiibos to sell on Etsy. In 2016, he couldn't even be bothered to move the mouse on his computer a few times to earn some money from Sonichu.
Paid Video Requests
- Main article: Paid Video Requests
In December 2015, the singularity happened. On Etsy, Chris offered to create a personalized video message for anyone who paid $50. Many of his fans took him up on the offer, thinking they could become a part of Christory by simply handing their money over to him. He received four sales within the first three days, although those customers opted for their videos to be unlisted. A few people also chose public videos for their birthday shoutouts.
After losing his Etsy shop, Chris continued offering video requests through text messages.
The videos Chris delivers are characterized by:
- Laziness. He has often been late on delivering, missing deadlines for birthday greetings, despite having an abundance of free time.
- Sloppiness. Chris chooses not to edit his takes or look presentable. He has delivered a video featuring an upskirt shot of his maxipad.
- Explicitly stating that the content is boring. In many videos, Chris has mentioned his low opinion of his customers, saying things like "Eh, whatever" and "Wow, that's crazy, that's jus'... I feel like... it's weird. Whatever", while rolling his eyes.
- Filling up paid content time with drivel or off-topic rambling, despite the fact that his videos are advertised as "around a minute in length, on average, but can be longer in time length".
In spite of these issues, he has a continuing stream of customers. One, a Kiwi Farms user named Vanillacone, summed up the mindset of the lot with his review of the $50 paid video he ordered from Chris (which consisted of him being late, babbling to fill up time, failing to spell the recipient's name correctly and delivering a video 39 seconds long out of the minimum one minute):
|To be honest, I got what I expected out of the video, and money well spent in my opinion.|
Sonichu Entertainment of America
- Main article: Sonichu Entertainment of America
In May 2016, Chris displayed a level of financial ignorance that shatters any hope of him ever becoming competent with money. Days after begging for donations to assist his ailing household, he announced that he would be starting his own business, with the declaration that each employee's salary would be 25% of the profit. Naturally, Chris completely fails to realize that under these conditions, he would have no money at all if he had four or more employees. However, that's just the tip of the iceberg; days later, he uploaded a video attempting to go into business with Sega to create official Sonichu products. In the video, he demands a six-figure salary, along with full insurance benefits and maternity leave. These incidents seem to indicate Chris's belief that money comes out of nowhere and is unlimited in value.
Skylanders custom merchandise
On 24 November 2016, Chris asked his audience to watch a clip of him playing Skylanders, by uploading CWC vs Koas, in order to promote the idea of selling his in-game figure to them using the game's Skylanders Creation app.
He would charge "$20 extra" for his autograph. He also said "I am not sharing my creation app chirp", since this would allow people to order directly from Skylanders and cut off Chris's goal of profiting from his self-image.
On 12 January 2017, Chris uploaded Skylanders Imaginators Leader Christine W Chandler: random Review N' Stuff as a half-hour advertisement video. He showed off multiple Skylanders products he had ordered, a $15 card, a $30 T-shirt and a $50 3D-doll, all emblazoned with his avatar image, totaling at least $90.
Chris's largest business failure to date.
Various Skylanders avatar products and a Son-Chu figure were announced as prizes for a raffle Chris conceived to push sales of his stamps, slated to run from 27 March through 31 April 2017. Cost of entry was buying one of Bob's stamps or Chris's stamp album on eBay, with a limit of one entry per buyer.
Initially, Chris announced that the winner would receive a Son-Chu figure and a Skylanders figure, and 15 runners-up would each receive a Skylanders card. A week later, he added more prizes to the mix: Skylanders T-shirts. Chris seemed to be banking on the $1,000 album selling, as it was the only scenario in which he could have shown a profit from the raffle – he promised an automatic win of a set of all three prizes.
His expenditure for the raffle prizes: $840.
No one bought the album, and less than 15 people participated in the raffle (although a mass buyer had purchased 18 stamps). He was left with a negative profit of $674.24.
- Main article: Patreon
Chris joined on 30 November 2016 as a response to pressure from the Financhu Crisis. He initially set it up to beg for money, claiming that he would produce more Sonichu comics if his fans paid off his mortgage and bills – he was met with low support levels, generally below $40 per month.
This suddenly changed around June 2017. Picking up momentum from resuming the Sonichu comic of his own volition in May, he revamped his Patreon to offer more reasonable support tiers for fans. He has enjoyed a significant uptick in support due to his continued work on the comic – earning around $500-600 per month.
- Main article: Redbubble
Redbubble is an online shopping company where users can sell custom-printed items based on images of the sellers' choice. Chris opened a Redbubble shop on 3 October 2017, selling pictures of himself pre-Tomgirl and drawings of himself on framed pictures, pillows, and miniskirts, among others.
In October 2017, amid being the subject of interviews by Merryweathery, Sachumo and CopperCab, Chris announced that he was open to being a guest on more interviews for payment. Although he didn't specify his going rate, Merryweathery mentioned that Chris had asked him for $200.
- Main article: List of Chris's financial enablers
When he was uploading his Sonichu comic pages to the CWCipedia in 2009, the thought of monetizing his web comic didn't cross his mind. People had been annoying – nay, harassing him with advertising he didn't approve of, yet when he attempted to replace these offensive ads with ads of his own, he simply put some random advertisements on his webpage without actually signing any sort of advertisement contract — the ads didn't make him any money. There are several advertising programs that allow individual people to put ads on their personal pages and make money out of them; some of these programs are even specifically geared toward webcomic artists. Many web comics have a donation box where readers can donate money to the artist via PayPal or similar services.
In 2016, Chris monetized his YouTube channel and added a Support button (ostensibly to accept donations for Sonichu projects, even though he didn't want to work on that, and for a year, YouTube simply became another place from which he could beg for money).
It took a while for Chris to try drawing on-camera in Live Drawing Streams, and even then, he hasn't demonstrated it too often and has done an extremely poor job of it. He simply sits in front of his PS4 camera, which is hard-coded to only record in flipped mirror mode, and is positioned so that viewers see an upside-down video set at a dizzying angle.
Most webcomics have a set schedule: some update weekly, some many times a week, some daily. Some webcomics update whenever the hell the artists get inspired enough to draw a comic, and probably reserve a whole forum for people who whine about lack of updates. Most webcomic artists that update the comic three times a week consider that schedule very demanding, and webcomics that update daily usually generate revenue of some sort (ads, donations, print versions, merchandise, what-have-you), allowing the artists treat their comics like a full-day job. These are called self-sufficient webcomics. (Examples: Penny Arcade, xkcd, Questionable Content.)
Chris has thoroughly embraced the point of view that the comic shouldn't have a set schedule and inspiration doesn't have a deadline... while also promising us that the comic would be updated daily. On 14 November 2009, Chris promised that the comic would be updated daily, and he managed to fulfill this promise for a while. By the end of Sonichu #10, Chris was already placing author-substitutes in the story telling people to quit whining about the lack of updates. This is obviously not a question of punctuality, but hypocrisy; Chris would avoid a lot of drama if he just admitted that there's no set schedule whatsoever after all. If one does consider this a question of punctuality, it doesn't look too good.
Chris also tends to update in spurts in an attempt to make up for missed days; this can range anywhere from three to twenty pages at a time. Most professional web cartoonists have a buffer of guest comics so that they can avoid this sort of thing, but the thought of doing so has apparently never entered Chris's autistic mind.
The same mindset also pervades every other aspect of his business, namely that Chris will procrastinate on shipping orders. A key example is how he almost fucked up the Sonic Totem sale - he received $1,500 for it, immediately wasted much of his profit on bling and failed to ship it to the buyer on time, saying that he had run out of money to pay for mailing it, and only got around to having his mother scrounge up the cash to do so after the buyer filed a Paypal dispute. He also lost his Etsy shop as a direct result of his poor work ethic.
Chris has had numerous aspirations to work in creative industries. So far, he has expressed his desire to make several official Sonichu video games, and work on a real Sonichu comic for a real comic publisher. However, for reasons best known to himself, he elects not to find out how these industries actually work, which is quite strange; one would assume that a person seeking a career in the industries would at least take some effort to find out how the said industries work.
In The Sonichu Chronicles and Chris's résumé, it's revealed that Chris is under the impression that his art isn't just good, but professional quality, and that he aspires to get into the comics and video game business. The résumé reveals his widely varied skills with both pens and crayons and his desire to work as an artist for a professional comic company such as Archie Comics or Marvel, creating his Sonichu comics. There is no word on whether or not he actually submitted anything to these companies, or if they replied.
Unfortunately for Chris, the publishing industry doesn't work this way, especially not in case of "original" creations. In the case of an original work, the publishers expect complete works to be submitted to them, usually through an agent. An agent's job is to separate the wheat from the chaff and find the correct publisher for the work, taking a small percentage of the eventual profit for their reward. If the publishers take unsolicited submissions, they have to sift through a gigantic backlog (often called "slushpile") of submissions of highly varying quality, most of which end up rejected multiple times before there will be a publisher with right market in mind and the right publication schedule to allow the publication deal to go forward. The whole process can take years in case of a single work.
If comic book publishers have salaried artists, they usually need to have a portfolio of previous work, usually work that has already been published commercially, or (if the comic house is particularly lenient, and most big names aren't) there has to be evidence of a successfully self-published, high-quality comic. And even in this case, these artists usually only work on characters and plotlines that come from inside the house; it can take time before the artist is in any position to present their own ideas for comics, or use their own original characters. Even if he were able to stick in a company for a long time, he'd still need to improve his communication skills a lot. If the Sonichu Chronicles PowerPoint and various phone conversations are of any indication, he's unable to persuade his superiors that his ideas are worth working on.
In short, Chris is deluded if he thinks that any company will just pick him up and tell him to work on Sonichu comics.
Even if Chris does get in, there's also the problem with scheduling. Most comics are worked on far in advance, thus allowing for any changes concerning a book, such as plot problems, character availability changes or even cancellations. Even so, many of them maintain a certain schedule, either monthly or bi-monthly (sometimes quarterly). Very rarely do comics go bi-weekly (one every two weeks), though weekly series have been more common, though infrequent. (DC Comics, for example, experimented with the weekly format in the 1980s with Action Comics Weekly, an anthology which bombed and put the title on hiatus for a few months, returning it to its normal Action Comics title and monthly format. Twenty years later, DC has churned out a number of weekly series, including 52, Countdown, Trinity and more recently The New 52: Future's End.)
Chris, however, has no schedule. His schedule consists of "whenever he has the inspiration" to work. That doesn't cut it. If Chris went with that alone, he would have a release schedule that would rival Rob Liefeld and Valve. And where Liefeld, for the most part, could get away with it because he owned his own company at one point (and people have gotten him to actually do the work), if Chris pulled this kind of stunt, he'd be out on the street so fast, his head would spin.
Chris's understanding of copyright is a chapter in itself. Publishers want primarily original works, because securing the necessary rights to publish derivative works is often difficult or impossible. Chris has even resisted attempts to educate him in this regard.
In 14 August, 2017, Chris uploaded a video where he updated the True and Loyal Fanbase on his progress on Sonichu #13, which he has re-numbered as Sonichu #12-9. He states that he decided to change the focus of the comic. Instead of being a crossover between the Sonichu gang and the Planet Dolan crew, it would instead be a fanfiction devoted to his pony avatar, Night Star. Throughout the video, he mentions how he not only wants the comic to be a piece of fanfiction, but how he also wants it to be canon to My Little Pony, where he himself would voice Night Star. Of course, Chris doesn't seem to realize that the creators of the show can't just simply pick up his idea because, as stated earlier, it may lead to an accusation of idea theft.
Games and merchandise
Chris could approach Sega and Nintendo and ask them to make Sonichu games, comics and merchandise. This plan would also be doomed to failure, because no media companies want unsolicited ideas from the public. There are several reasons for this.
First, it takes effort to sift through idea piles and they can't give equal amount of thought on the countless ideas fans send them. While game companies may listen to their fans, they usually just want to know if the time is ripe for something they've been planning to do. (For example, no doubt a big part of the reason why the newer Fire Emblem games got worldwide release was because the fans of Marth and Roy from Super Smash Bros. Melee were wondering aloud "why the hell isn't Nintendo releasing these games outside of Japan?") They most certainly don't have the capability of starting a whole new game project just because someone asks. If the game companies respond by saying Chris had, as he himself so eloquently put, "rocks in his head", then you probably don't get a slice of their precious time for making a second impression. Simply put, Chris thinks that even when the companies aren't busy with other projects, they still have time to think of his grandiose ideas and those things only.
Second, there is an age-old problem in a litigious society: A fan writes to the company and says "I have this cool idea", the company says "thanks, but no thanks", one of the in-house writers comes up with exactly the same idea by accident, and boom, you have a fan who's suing you for idea theft, and even if that lawsuit will usually go nowhere, it wastes perfectly usable time, energy and most of all money that could be used for more fruitful ventures. A famous example is British novelist Terry Pratchett, who used to post in his Usenet fan group until one of the fans was convinced Terry had stolen his ideas.
Therefore, most media houses will just say they will not take any ideas from the public. The game industry is not an exception. This fact has been pointed out to Chris numerous times (and at least twice by real Nintendo representatives, as evidenced by the letters he has read in the Captain's Logs). Unfortunately, Chris misinterpreted all this.
Another thing that Chris disregards is the fact that writing games takes a lot of effort. In Thomas Edison's words, getting things done is "1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." Many good ideas don't get implemented. No one is going to invest energy in developing an idea alone if they don't know if the idea can be implemented. Game companies may be willing to negotiate a deal to use their properties (such as characters) in games developed by third parties, but those proposals are usually backed up by real companies, actual creative teams of developers, and serious, complete plans for games, if not outright working prototypes already. Even in the case the properties are tacked on the prototype later on, the prototypes are usually fully developed so that they can be used without those properties if the plans fall through. (Example: Star Fox Adventures began as a game that was completely unrelated to Star Fox universe, but Nintendo felt the game was better with SF characters.)
Theoretically, it would be possible, though extraordinarily unlikely, for Sega and Nintendo to cooperate enough to make a game featuring a Sonic/Pikachu hybrid named Sonichu. They would not, however, need any input from Chris, or even his permission, to combine characters that they own. Think about it. Of course, the idea of releasing it cross-platform for Sony consoles remains yet another absurd and fevered dream on the part of Chris.
In the Sonichu Chronicles he gives Shigeru Miyamoto "permission" to use the cover to his hand-drawn Nintendo Power magazine as the inevitable cover for when his game is created, even though it's several years old (and, in fact, even worse than Chris's current skill at art).
- Chris and copyright
- Chris's resume
- DStecks, a person who gave Chris $1,000 for more Sonichu pages.
- An Important Update
- The Sonichu Chronicles, Chris's not-very-creative-pitch-like PowerPoint presentation
- CWC Personal Sonichu Presentation, in which Chris likewise fails to sell a project idea
- Sonichu (game)
- February 2016 Facebook Posts#Bleeding Autism
- September 2015 Facebook Posts#Now Chris is on Lulu
- December 2015 Facebook Posts#Lulu Account Suspended
- December 2015 Facebook Posts#Threatening Lulu's Executives
- Thank You, Jeff, and I accept your apology.
- Cwcville Shopping is on Vacation
- Group Embargo on GameStop, Best Buy, and Simon Shopping Centers
- File:Etsy unlisted videos.jpg
- Happy Birthday Tom
- Happy Birthday, Martin.
- Happy Birthday, Jonathan
- Update 20160718
- Happy Birthday, Martin.
- Happy Birthday Tom
- Paid Video Requests#Singing "Yellow Submarine"
- Paid Video Requests#Copypasta: Sexual Helicopter
- Paid Video Requests#Copypasta: Gorilla Warfare
- September 2016 Paid Video Requests#Paid Message to the Trolls
- Happy Birthday Tom
- Etsy#Custom, Birthday, Holiday, or General, Greeting Video featuring Christine Weston Chandler
- March 2017 Facebook Posts#Raffle for new merch
- April 2017 Facebook posts#Another gimmick for stamp sales
- He confirmed ordering $750 of Skylanders cards/T-shirts in Live Game Stream - C-Log 04142017. He mentioned in a video after the raffle that he still needed to order the Skylanders figure and parts to make Son-Chu (estimated at $40).
- Chris and money#YouTube monetization
- Chris and money#YouTube Support button
- Mailbag 29
- Captain's Log, Stardate August 15th, 2008
- Captain's Log, Stardate February 10th, 2009