I got a random email from a potential client who wanted help with a website and branding for… some kind of company. The subject line was “Big White Bitch” (I’ve changed this slightly, but I’m not exaggerating. I wish I was).
Client: I would like for you to come up with our designs and make comics for the mascot, please! I need it right away!
This message did not include any info about their business, what they were looking for specifically. All I got was a (bad) drawing of the mascot, i.e. the “Big White Bitch.”
Me: Okay. Can you tell me what you would like specifically?
At this point, the client didn’t respond for three weeks. Finally:
Client: Oh thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I would like a comic for our shirts, but have them all tell a story! Like Sunday morning comics.
This was basically what they’d just said in their previous email. I thought I wasn’t being specific enough and that it was my bad, so I tried to be a little more clear.
Me: Okay—can you tell me what kind of comic you would like? Do you want this to be in color, or in black and white? Are these just gag strips or more like a long-form comic?
They still did not answer my questions. While waiting for a response I checked out their existing website to find out more about the business. I THOUGHT that maybe it was a fashion site, but what stood out is that the word “bitch” was in everything.
Eventually, this client did send me some drafts of the comic. They were crass, unfunny, and “bitch” was the punchline to every “joke.”
I wasn’t sure what to do until I talked to some friends, who reminded me that I might not want my name attached to this project.
They were right. I turned down the job.