$1.25 per click, that is.

When you order a comic print from the HijiNKS Ensue store I take the original artwork, bring it into a new Photoshop template, add the title, date and copyright, convert to CMYK PDF, transfer the file to USB drive then take them down to FedEx Kinkos to have them printed on 100lb card stock by a $200,000 laser printer. Finally, I sign the print and ship them off for you to enjoy. I’ve always been pleased with the process and the result… until yesterday.

I walked in and gave my USB drive to the clerk. Instead of asking me what weight of paper I needed or what printing process, she asked me how many files I had. I said I didn’t know but they were all in a folder labeled “Kinkos.” She persisted that I tell her how many files. I was already getting a weird vibe and I knew something was off. I guess about 7 and she said, “OK, we can open the first one for free then the rest are $2.50 each for “Digital Rendering.” I asked if she was printing the first one for free and she explained that “Digital Rendering” was the charge to open the file in their software. I reassured her that my PDF’s were perfectly formatted, sized and ready to print. There was no need to convert them to another format or so any prep work. She reiterated that “Digital Rendering” was the charge to OPEN THE FILE.

At this point I think my brain made an audible “doink-snap” sound. I realized that they were actually trying to use “fancy tech jargon” to CHARGE ME for DOUBLECLICKING the files and hoping that I would be dazzled and confused and acquiesce. I could see from the look in her eyes that she knew that what she was saying didn’t make any sense.

I told her very plainly that I’ve done this exact same process a half dozen times and that I have only been asked to pay for the paper and the printing, and that under no circumstances would I EVER be paying them anything additional to open the files. I also wouldnt be reimbursing her for mileage to walk from the desk to the printer, or for the wear and tear on her uniform suffered while filling my order.

I was completely stunned. The fact that they were trying to foist a bogus fee on me just because it “sounded real” made me absolutely livid. Who do they think they are? The phone company? TicketMaster? Is this their version of a convenience charge? And “Digital Rendering”? Give me a fucking break. Why not call it “Binary Computationalization” or “Pixel Displayification Fee” or “Digital Give Us More Money Just Because Fee”?

how about i thow the clerk down a flight of stairs and call it a “gravity assisted rapid altitude reduction?”

I basically yelled panel 3 (up there) as loud as I could hoping to make a scene that would at least alert the higher ups to the fact that someone was on to their bullshit. I ripped my thumb drive out of their PC (crossing my fingers for an “improper unmount BSOD”), and left.

I will never have prints made at FedEx/Kinkos ever again. Those pigfuckers tried to sell me imaginary services; undercoating for comic prints, if you will, with a straight face. Unconscionable and unforgivable.

(actually if anyone orders a print of THIS comic, I WILL have it printed at FedEx/Kinkos)

UPDATE:

FB, Josh Smith (blog/twitter) is a contributor to WalletPop.com and did a nice write up, inspired by this comic, on the subject of FedEx/Kinko’s “Digital Rendering” charge.

Check it out HERE. Josh’s readers got into some lively discourse of their own which seems to have spilled over into the HE comments. Welcome to HE, WalletPop readers!