Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Japan relief effort

(Of course, I'm referring to the March 11 earthquake.)
On Wednesday, March 16, I heard an announcement that went something like this: "Tokyo has confirmed that the communities that haven’t called for aid is because their town hall has been completely wiped out." I don't remember if I heard it on TV or what, but I do remember that it got me thinking: "Whoah, the earthquake deal really *is* that bad! Maybe I shouldn’t collect the money from my ads… Maybe I should sent that money to them… after all it’s already on the internet … sending it should be easy…" But when I got to my computer, and checked my Google AdSense account, I got the following depressing stats: "Total all-time earnings: 64 cents. Total all-time clicks: 1. Estimated monthly earnings: 0 dollars and 0 cents." "Well," I thought, "I *guess* I could go through all the trouble of putting some money on the internet and donating it…" But my bank account looks something like this: Photoshopped screenshot of a Chrome browser window shows the following information from "Le Bank du Ville", a fictional bank whose logo consists of several contoured skyscrapers. "Total funds: 2 dollars and 47 cents. Last deposit: Over a month ago. Last withdrawal: 1 week ago." I froze, then got up from my computer thinking, "Meh, whatever."

Artist's note

I did a bit of character re-designing for these panels. Why? Mainly because I noticed that my humans were in a slightly different style than my mice; and therefore when displayed together (or simply when bringing a prop from one into the other) the styles could clash. Also, the vectors for the nose had been set to “automatic” and gave me an India-ish look, which bugged me each time I looked at my human character. Unfortunately, because of this re-designing, posting this took way longer than it should have, finally being posted when the news item that inspired it was no longer relevant. (You do remember the second earthquake, don't you?).

Also, Panel 8 is possibly the most feather-brained thing I’ve ever done.

The numbers, however, are entirely true. The one person that clicked the ads got here by Googling “Zelda 25”. I haven’t been able to find out anything else about him.

Jane appears, startling me, looking at me scornfully from within her formal dress. "Uh, not that I've tried!" I tell her quickly.

What’s really sad is that between the time that news bite came out, and the time I wrote this, those numbers didn’t change. Yes, I'm poor. And I don't mean can't afford cable kind of poor (not that I can). I don't really mean "still using Cathode-ray tube TV set" poor either (that set literally burned out in 2005, and I just wasn't in the mood to draw a new TV set when I could simply color the last one I drew). I'm really not sure what kind of "poor" I mean.

Though if anybody reading this is not in my kind of situation, by all means, lend a hand to our kin across the Pacific.

My attention then turned back to Jane. "By the way," I ask her, "what are you doing here?" Unblinkingly, she flashes a sheet of paper at me. "Oh," I say.

She turns to the audience, and reads, in a rather upset tone, "DISCLAIMER:
The Google AdSense logo is used for identification purposes only. It is intended to provide a literary "setting" to what would otherwise be an image devoid of context; nothing more. Google does not endorse this blog and the author does not claim any special rights on Google’s logos other than the Fair Use rights allowed by copyright laws and other intellectual property right laws."
"Le Bank du Ville" is a fictional corporate entity created for use as part of this joke. Any similarity to any real entities, past or present, is purely coincidental."


  1. Making money with Google Ads is a lot harder than most people think, unless your site gets a lot of traffic, or unless you focus on a profitable niche.

  2. I later found hidden in the depths of the AdSense documentation that it's really only worth it if you have over 500 visitors per day. I'm lucky to get that many in a month!

    Of course, to remedy that, I'd have to get the site more widely known, and update on a consistent schedule – which basically means dropping out of college, and I'm not up for that.