First things first: the 2022 National Park Monsters calendar is sold out. IF YOU BUY IT ANYWHERE, EVEN AMAZON, EBAY, OR ETSY, IT IS NOT AUTHORIZED AND IS A SCAM. There is one store that has copies and is opening soon; once they're open, I'll let you know:
Okay. Now that's out of the way, let me explain what's going on.
Starting around November 18, the images and text for my Alternate Histories 2022 National Park Calendar were stolen by fraudulent scam artists working out of another country. Initially there were dozens if not hundreds of posts on Facebook advertising suspicious-looking e-commerce websites selling my calendar alongside dozens of other stolen items. On November 23rd, I noticed that the scammers had jumped to Amazon.
Over the past week this has consumed my life. I've felt violated, furious, depressed, a whole range of complicated emotions, stemming not just from this theft of my work, but from the inability of the various corporations involved to take any significant action. This would be a much longer piece (which I hope to write or take action on at some point), but suffice it to say: Amazon, Facebook, etc require me to do all the work. They have no apparatus for banning the actual people doing the scamming,. It's like playing whack-a-mole or trying to bail out the Titanic with a thimble. Even if you manage to go through the long, convoluted process and they take down an ad or a listing, twenty more appear.
This was a special calendar to me, a tribute to my recently deceased parents who took me on trips to many of the National Parks featured here, and inspired by going through old family photos. To see it used like this has been really trying for me, and I've been struggling with anger & depression at the same time.
The only good thing that has happened is that these ads are so transparently fake that a lot of people have googled and found my work and bought the calendar from me, so I've sold out of even my second printing of the calendar. But honestly, it's not worth it to me. I'd much rather this never happened.
But it did, and I am trying to move on from it, and move on from spending my every free second reporting and arguing with electronic ghosts.
I know a lot of you were disappointed that you couldn't get the calendar this year. For that I'm very sorry. But I will be reprinting this calendar next year for 2023, along with a few new things. You can click here to sign up to be notified when the 2023 calendar goes on sale.
Thanks for reading and for supporting a small, independent business. It's literally just me, Matt Buchholz, trying to deal with this, and your support means a lot.
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