User blog:ZeroTigress/Black and Blue
So Inkr is finally a thing now since it was announced in 2013 in the wake of Anipan and MangaBullet's shut down. For those who are curious about this, here's the low-down on the story between these sites:
In 2008, a DA user name Eddz got together with a friend to create MangaBullet, a site that combines the comic-support of SmackJeeves with deviantART's art gallery feature. With the addition of an art trade feature and a commission feature, MangaBullet was well on its way to being a formidable competitor to art site giant deviantART.
For 2 years, the site thrived and grew little by little. Around the time I joined in 2010, the site was starting to fall in activity and usage due to Eddz rarely—if ever—addressing the growing number of bugs, glitches, and errors that the site gradually coughed up. MB was LONG overdue for another major site update, but it was an update that was to never come.
Because in 2011, Eddz announced the creation of another art site known as Anipan, which was basically an English version of Pixiv (a Japanese art site) with Tumblr mechanics. Many MB users foresaw this announcement as the beginning of the end for MB, despite Eddz's reassurances that MB will coexist alongside Anipan (rather than the more practical choice of implementing Anipan's features into MB).
Finally, on the last week of December 2012, MangaBullet went down and never came back up. Users were informed via a deviantART club that Eddz was trying to move MB onto the same server as Anipan to help save hosting costs, but something went wrong and caused MB to not go back online. A month passed, then 2 months... 2 months became 3... 3 became 4... and finally in April of 2013, it was made official that MB was dead for good.
It would've been the end of that, if not for the fact that users were then promised that they would be able to retrieve any and all art they posted on MB via a site archive. MB users were pleased until a month passed from the announcement... and then another... and then another... until it became evident that the promise of an archive was a false one.
Like many other MB users, I was pissed. We've felt lied to, toyed with as if we were mere pawns in someone's sick game. We had high hopes for MB and they all came crashing down because one person (Eddz) was either too ambitious for his own good or was truly a scammer behind his friendly facade. We were told to move on to Anipan, but that site never is and never will be a proper replacement for the good that was MB.
And then history repeated itself as Anipan went down quietly in 2013 similarly to what happened to MB. What's worse is that Eddz made an IndieGoGo to collect funds to kickstart Anipan and now the people who actually invested money into Anipan's launch are seeing little to nothing in return for their financial support. Eddz abandoned Anipan just like he has with MB, but this time he took money from investors and ran off with it.
As if to add salt to the wound, there are rumors that Eddz is continuing his scam by starting up yet another art site (reported to be called Inkr). Wow, really? Is this guy for real? All evidence points to yes thus far. I feel so sorry for his colleague tarahm, since she seems to have had the most faith in Eddz only to be left behind in the dust.
While trying to look up more information on Inkr, I came across this interesting profile. This certainly explains his absence on MangaBullet during its last years. But what I find interesting is that he's listed as director for MangaBullet and Anipan, but CEO for Inkr.
I can't help but wonder, is he creating and closing all these websites as a way to fatten his resume? Surely any respectable employer would think to check out these websites he's supposedly in charge of and see that there's really nothing to be seen. I dunno, if you were a hiring manager, would you put much credence towards someone who put on their resume that they were in lead positions for companies/websites that don't even exist anymore?
For those who are curious, here's the Twitter for his newest project: https://twitter.com/inkr
Why am I spending so much time investigating this guy and his projects? Simple, I am upset. I am upset that MangaBullet was killed off instead of being passed on to someone else to run and develop; I'm upset that the art I posted on there is gone; I'm upset that promises are being made and broken; I'm upset that he's abandoned the one friend that still had faith in him; I'm upset that he basically cheated his Anipan investors out of their money; I am upset that many up and coming comic artists are now devastated because their work is gone; I... am... upset.
If this guy is going to continue doing this, then I'm going to document his every move. People have a right to know what kind of guy Eddz really is and to be more aware of any project he puts out there. And it seems that there are others doing similar investigations on Eddz as well. This one piqued my interest since it says that Eddz is not alone in this.
At long last, after months of searching and people posting criticisms over the whole thing, the beans have been spilled. It looks like the ripple effect people started finally got Eddz out of the woodwork. Still don't forgive him for leaving all of us in the dark about MangaBullet and Anipan until it was too late. A lot of people expressed sadness over all of it, but there was plenty of disappointment all around and a few gave succinct criticisms regarding how poorly it was all handled:
"This is literally all you had to do and people would have been more understanding. 8( Like just going months w/o saying anything is ridiculous." Tumblr
"Although I’m glad some public exposure on tumblr got Eddz to explain what happened, the fact is, he avoided the subject for so long. There were so many opportunities for when anipan actually closed he could have written something and explained. His twitter account has been open and never answered anyone. The crowdfunding page and the tumblr page for anipan as well." Tumblr
"I’m still angry none the less, it took him this long to admit he was failing. I’m sure we all wouldn’t be so angry if he had mentioned the struggle." Tumblr
"It shouldn’t have taken this long to give somebody a response, I still would not give them a dime." Tumblr
"This needed to come like months ago. You even promised updates during this troublesome period you describe." Tumblr
"I wish you had cleared this out sooner- even before Inkr came out. It’s hard to leave your users hanging and without information. It took me quite awhile and a lot of reloading before I realized that anipan may have been shut down but it still wasn’t clear to me why or what was really happening. You know what happens when people are left in the dark.. they get angry, confused and straight-up lose all trust in the developers especially with the sudden info that a new site will be coming out." Tumblr
"Truthfully I couldn’t read every word of this all the way though, I have problems reading lengthy posts (dyslexia) , but from what I could gather:
- Anipan was never going to be stable because it was just a “fun project” Eddz had when he had the time for it. (But lets not tell our backers about this before they give us their hard earned money).
- Instead of working on Anipan, Eddz seemed to had already abandoned it to work on other projects.
- Eddz knew the site had failed before December when it was shut down and removed from the internet but decided “naaaaaaaa” they don’t need to know this yet.
And now with the soon to be release of Inkr, Eddz decides to suddenly have time to tell us his life story for whatever reason, what happened to Anipan while quickly promoting his new project, because nobody’s going to touch a site with his new title “Eddz the scam artist” on it.
But again, that’s what i got of it."
"Wow… So without as much as a heads up or warning, all our comments, faves, etc. forever lost from this site? I would not touch inkr. with a ten foot pole after this experience. Transparency is key when running a website. More people should take a page from weasyl’s book." Tumblr
"so this guy doesn’t elaborate on Anipan’s broken/dead state for YEARS, complete silence at all questions he receives from the people who helped crowdfund the site, but when somebody’s trying to give him and this NEW art site he’s working on some flack, then suddenly we get the whole sob story, along with him trying to plug the new website?
Transitioning MangaBullet to Anipan because Japanese users can't pronounce MangaBullet? Well, you know what, they're free to continue using Pixiv since that site's mainly in Japanese. MangaBullet was created for the English-speaking sector of the anime and manga community and I happen to prefer the name of MangaBullet over Anipan. After all, the site did have manga-support, something that not even deviantART has.
Yeah, so MangaBullet was born as a hobby project but became something bigger. Ads would've still helped keep the site afloat. I can't help but call BS on his claim that MB had ads. When I joined the site in 2010, there was barely any ads at all and those disappeared some time after I joined. So I don't believe he and the others truly did all they could to keep MB alive. If a site like Fanart Central is able to stay alive (for 14 years and counting!), I find it hard to believe that the same can't be for MB.
I could forgive that they really did run out of money and financially could not keep the site running at all. But what I cannot forgive was that with all the communication portals (Twitter, Facebook, deviantART), he did not give one, NOT ONE, update on MB or Anipan's progressing failure. No, he tried to keep as quiet about everything as possible until angry users tracked him down and spread all the slander (which I believe is well-deserved for all the agonizing silence he put everyone through). There have been plenty of sites that were transparent on financial hardships to their users and even allowed the community to contribute towards keeping the site alive. So no, I don't believe that they've done all they could to keep MB or Anipan alive because they purposefully chose to keep that information secret so the users wouldn't even have the chance to help out. That's just shady all around.
That said, I wonder how long it'll be before Inkr falls through just like what happened with MangaBullet and Anipan.
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