Bobble Rep Misconceptions

November 18th, 2009 | Posted in General

Its amazing how quickly the cynics come out when something like what happened with the “Bobble Rep” app last week takes place. While the vast majority of people I have heard and read comments from are supportive of the app and our trouble with Apple, a few have come out of the woodwork to malign and cast stones at myself and app developer Ray Griggs. Most of these people are woefully uniformed and guilty of the usual crime of the internet serial commenter… that being not bothering to read the entire story but casting judgment based on a headline.

So, here are some of the misconceptions and downright totally wrong conclusions drawn by a few ignorant folks:

1. You should have contacted Apple directly to resolve this issue and get your app reviewed. It’s obvious you were waiting for the rejection to launch a massive publicity stunt.

Apple does not have a review process for an app rejection. There is no one to call, write to or inquire for further details or to “argue” your case. You are simply told you are “rejected” with an e-mail citing one of the rules (which you might very well not think applies at all to you) and are told to change whatever YOU think is the problem and then resubmit the app again fresh. That is one of the most frustrating things about the App Store’s approval process.

There was no calculation or plan on our part for any publicity. We were truly shocked at the app’s rejection. Ray wrote me saying he had no recourse. I wrote this innocent little rant on my insignificant personal blog, and posted a few links to it on some cartoonist’s forums I frequent. That’s it. I did not send it out to dozens of media outlets or promote the story any further. The rest happened on it’s own.

2. This whole thing was done as a stunt to make more money with the app. Your motivations are pure greed.

Again, see above as to the facts concerning the spread of this story and why it clearly was not a calculated publicity stunt.

I have no financial stake in this app at all. I was paid up front for my artwork. It does not matter to my bank account one bit if this app sells one or one million copies. I was simply enraged that the app itself was rejected based on some idea my artwork was “ridiculing” the public figures it depicted. Also after doing 540 caricatures I wanted to see the app in action. That simple.

3. Apple rejected the app because of the caricature of Nancy Pelosi, and her husband owns a lot of Apple stock… plus Apple is a flamingly liberal company and is biased against conservatives such as yourself.

Although I have no proof the Nancy Pelosi caricature was not part of Apple’s problem with the app, there is ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF or even any suggestion that it is. The Pelosi image was one of several images sent to Apple, as was the one of John McCain and several others. The one image Apple cited in the letter as being representational of the “issue” is this one:

As you can see, no Pelosi. Apple has given zero indications that Pelosi had anything to do with it. Personally I think its a major stretch to attach the name of any single politician or party as being a cause in the original decision… after all Apple has shown they stay away from basically ANY politically charged app, be it a left or right wing vehicle.

The caricatures of the dems and the reps are even handed and no party is given better or worse treatment, nor is there any editorial commentary (although I was tempted a few times). The entire app is completely non-partisan.

Finally, while Ray Griggs is a conservative and his upcoming documentary “I Want Your Money” is decidedly right wing, the app in no way publicizes that fact. Also for the record politically I am a liberal in general.

4. Your caricatures suck.

No argument there.

Those are the major points I’ve seen addressed on various comment boards. These are the facts. By the way Bobble Rep has been as high at 37th highest ranked paid app on the App Store list, currently at #52. Ray thanks you for that, as he DOES have a decidedly financial stake in the app.


  1. Doug says:

    I’m not an AT&T customer as their cell service is weak where I am but I wish I was for this ap alone. The only thing I wish it would do (it may I just haven’t read about it) is allow people to click on their rep’s head and email them comments directly. Talk about a straight light to the politicians! Great work by the way. I’m glad that it was approved.

  2. Jeff says:

    Your caricatures rock!!!

    Bought the app and it’s awesome. Congress should be thanking you and Ray for putting this together and making the American people more interested in their own representatives!

  3. Mike Curry says:

    Downloaded the app. It’s useful and funny. I live in Delaware and I gonna start letting them bastids know what I think.

  4. Bret says:

    I purchased the app as soon as it was released (it’s only $.99). The caricatures are GREAT, and if it riles somebody up too bad. I’m a Conservative and have no issues with the artwork. I thought it was excellent and I doubt anyone on the left side of the political spectrum would have any issue with it either.

    It’s just a fun app for contacting state congressmen and congresswomen and very accurately displays them as the toons they are.

    Keep up the outstanding illustrations Tom!

  5. Rich says:

    You demonstrate far more patience and restraint that were necessary for some of the low-life trollers looking to spread their miserable experiences in life . Your work is top-notch and you shouldn’t be wasting time on these people. Your app is awesome and your work along with your blog are a constant source of inspiration for a ton of people. The people who don’t take the time to scream “thank you’s” and “great job!” enough. Well, here’s my effort to attempt to drown out the seeming constant moan of negative, miserable trolls haunting the interwebs. Hopefully this might encourage others to share their thanks for your work as well.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks, Rich. 🙂 I also feel that much of the negativity you see on the internet is a product of either the projection of the commenter’s miserable life, a direct result of the ‘anonymity’ of the web (most of those kinds of comments are followed by an “anon” or fictitious name) or a combination of both. They don’t bother me at all, but the inaccuracies and untruths they sometimes spread do. Thus my post. Again, thanks and I truly mean that.

  6. bishopslikepawn says:

    I would never believe your rant was some sort of a brilliant conspiracy to increase sales. How could someone who can’t pick up a lobster pull that off? 😉

  7. Artisticulated says:

    What are Ray’s plans for upgrading this app after each election cycle?

    • Tom says:

      I know we are issuing a free upgrade next week to include two seats that were temporarily vacant that are now filled, and some bug fixes.

      I think Ray will likely issue free updates up until a major election year, then MAYBE require a paid upgrade, but we have not discussed that yet. Maybe when the names changes to the 112th congress we’ll see a .99 updated version.

      • Artisticulated says:

        Sounds good. Let’s hope this app hangs around long enough to need lots and lots of updates!

  8. Mugshotz says:

    99 cents! Still cheap!!

  9. Lash LeRoux says:

    Hi, Tom! Congratulations on your “win” and I just want to echo Rich’s great post — “hear, hear”. I tried to purchase the app myself, but apparently I’ll have to purchase an upgrade for my i-touch first.

    As for your blog, I can’t thank you enough for all that you share and I don’t even let the fact that: “Also for the record politically I am a liberal in general” bother me at all! ;o)

  10. Warren says:

    #5. I started reading your blog entirely because of the crossposts at other sites about your problems.

    That’s not really a complaint or kneejerk reaction, I know. Just sayin’.

  11. Bearman says:

    Congrats on getting the app out there. I say you are due for a sales bonus.

    “It‚Äö√Ñ√¥s obvious you were waiting for the rejection to launch a massive publicity stunt” Yes because we all work countless hours in hopes that someone will reject our stuff merely for publicity.

  12. Hi Tom,

    I just saw this on my new apps list and immediately bought it! I’m glad that Apple got their heads out of their butts on this one. What a goofy policy they have with all the offensive stuff out there that they DO allow.

    P.S. Your caricatures don’t suck 😉


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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