It’s that time again when I haven’t updated long enough to finally get an email asking if I’m still doing the site and/or selling Jesus Dressup magnets. The answer’s yes. Plus I’m also selling Trumps & Mohammeds as well. Can you think of anywhere else that combo of themes is available??
At the moment I believe I’ve posted the last Amazing Strangers video for a while. You can see all of the latest ones there in the right sidebar. There comes a time when I just can’t seem to find anything worthwhile enough to edit. But that could change at any point because I am indeed working through all those folders preparing a paperback book which’ll be stories & art, but mostly photos of Union Square Amazing Strangers.
My local bookstore/coffee shop Book Nook has offered to print it up for me through their publishing company, West Vine Press here in Whitehall. Then later this winter I’m planning to host video presentations here at the shop. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll be sure to make the book available for purchase here on the site.
I’ve yet to get any offers on a place to stay in NYC to encourage more frequent visits. But I do have a friend willing to rent me a room for a month in May. If it’s still available to me by then I’ll be taking her up on the offer. That’s when you can expect brand new, current footage added to youtube.com/normalbobnyc.
In other interesting Amazing Strangers news, my friend Nick (New York Nico) back in 2014 purchased one of Roman’s signs for a dollar, and has since had it framed! It’s now hanging in his hallway, and I thought you all might like to let your envious eyes lay upon this lovely piece of art.
I have zero reservations about creating these. It’s my art. It’s my favorite Batman characters from each era brought together in one zone for the Caped Crusaviour. It’s hard for me to express how satisfying it is to have it in hand like this. It’s my baby.
Hell. I’m happy with everything I’ve got for Jesus to be dressed up in. The BDSM version is still my #1 best seller. And the Final Justice has found its stores where they’re flying off the shelves into the hands of people as twisted as I. Also I’m pleased to say that the Lady Gaga version’s popularity moves according to her own as well. And the Star Wars & Halloween too.
That’s 6! And you know what that means? That means you can get all 6 for $66 while supplies last. I just love it when things work out so poetically like that. Sooooo satisfying just on its own. No sales even necessary. Which is a major flaw in my thought process I suppose. But there you have it. Just in time for Easter. And if you are a store, or know of a store which would carry any or all of these, please don’t keep it to yourself. Contact me and I’ll be delighted to send you some! Because next week I begin the process of mailing out samples to stores, making phone calls and fulfilling dreams.
It’s here at last! The Jesus Dressapp for Android. But not without it’s share of drama… Already! This is actually the 2nd version of this particular design posted within the last 48 hours. The first one removed for being too sexy explicit with the BDSM clothes. Those have now been removed. (btw, if you downloaded that first version you can still download the new one without disrupting the one you have. You’ll just have 2 versions on your phone.)
Anyone who’s followed the Jesus Dressup app story for the last 6+ years has witnessed the constant struggle to get it & keep it available to the public. And there’s a story to go with each desperate attempt made.
Jesus Dressapp Attempt #1
The first big attempt was in 2010. A fan of the site from Scotland came to visit at Union Square. He offered to make the app for iPhone. He’d mentioned it when we met, hung out a few days without talking much more about it. Then I happened to be walking by him on Astor Place the day he was flying back home and he shouted from the distance, “Do you still want me to make that iPhone app for you?”
“Sure! Go for it! Just put a link to the fridge magnets on it and it’ll be worth it to me!” I shouted back.
Knowing it was a lot of work to make, in haste I said, “If you can put a link to my store on it it’s yours to do whatever you want with!” Or something of that nature.
Many months passed and I had already forgotten about it. Then low and behold he messages telling me it’s done and ready to go. I was impressed.
The next step was getting it approved by Apple itself, which much to my surprise they did! We were both visibly shocked and excited. Unfortunately, the other thing I was quick to find out was he’d made the Apple account entirely under his name, and all purchases of the app were going to him. I’d been shut out of it completely. And there wasn’t even a link on it to promote the magnets I sell.
I called him and explained how this wasn’t an acceptable setup. He immediately got defensive, saying “You said I could have it if I made it!” After several more minutes of angry words I told him if he doesn’t change the situation fast I would contact Apple and tell them he’d stolen my product and have them take it down. He yelled back at me “Fine! I’m taking it down myself!” And hung up on me. It was removed seconds later.
Then this guy from Krapps emailed me wanting the full story…
Jesus Dressapp Attempt #2
Attempt #2 happened about a year later (2011). Inspired by the acceptance by Apple from the previous attempt I started asking around for possible programmers. Having an iPhone App appeared to be a venture that could be quite lucrative. This time I’d pay someone to make it again, and I could have full control, beginning to end.
A friend of mine from Union Square, one of the skateboard kids I’d known since he was 15, was now going to school for programming. He was happy to figure out how to make an iPhone app while getting paid. It took the better part of winter 2010/11 and a lot of headaches, but after several months we had our iPhone App ready to go. We submitted it to Apple, and about a week later they rejected it. I tried to appeal the rejection but they didn’t care. I belly ached to them how they approved it a year earlier when it wasn’t me who submitted it, but they stood firm. “Too controversial.”
It was spirit-breaking.
In an amusing side note, below is the image they sent us with the rejection letter. And yes, someone on their end had to dress him up like that before concluding it was too offensive for Apple.
Anyhow, this particular rejection really took the wind out of my sails for a Jesus Dressup app any time in the near future. Having it approved for the guy who stole it, and rejected after putting so much time and money into it was the deathblow. Tom and I parted ways, and I didn’t feel like getting into app making ever again.
Jesus Dressapp Attempt #3
Then in 2013 I was contacted by a Facebook friend who said he wanted to make the Jesus Dressup app for Android. Let me say that he was making a very generous offer of doing it for no charge for the experience, and credit on the app itself. I warned him of the troubles in the past, the difficulty & time involved in making it, and the very real fact that it’s probably not worth it financially for either party involved. Still, he offered to do it while in school, for no pay.
A year later the progress had been minimal and I realized again, it was way too big a job to be worth doing at all. I seriously don’t know how making these free apps is worth it for anyone.
Jesus Dressapp Attempt #4
Finally earlier this year, around March, I was contacted by another Jesus Dressup fan, Mirko Bonasorta from Italy, offering to make the app for Droid as long as he could get named credit. I did the usual “It’s a bigger job than you think, and afterwards it’ll be rejected for being offensive” speech. But as long as his name could be credited for making it he was willing to give it a shot, no charge. He sent me video of how it’d play, and several months later it was done. That was last week.
Playthrough of the 2016 Jesus Dressapp for Android
It has almost every version of Jesus Dressup I’ve ever made included, it’s FREE, and it even has a link to my fridge magnets in it!
I have an iPhone so I haven’t played it yet, but after watching the play-through (above) I really wish I had a Droid instead. And the reviews it’s getting are astounding!
“Even more fun in app form!”
“I have the magnet set, but now it’s on my PHONE! No more carrying my refrigerator around wherever I go”
“Even more fun on app form. I love the magnets so the app is even better! I love the villains option, it’s my favorite! Easy to use and fun.”
July 22, 2016
Once, a few years ago, when I was younger and not nearly as clever as I thought I was, I stumbled across your Jesus Dress Up site and was outraged. I sent you an email and told you that I was not a Christian (which was a lie) but that you shouldn't mock or belittle the beliefs of someone else. You drew a sketch of Hitler thanking me for not judging him.
I didn't find it amusing, at the time. I was even more deeply scandalised, and troubled, but after growing and learning and getting a few life experiences under my belt, I remembered this just the other day, and was wondering if you could send me a copy?
I now run events which are designed to help people unpick their belief systems and discard what doesn't make sense (which, when it comes to religion, usually means all of it); I'd love to show them this sometime and use it to provoke some discussion.
If memory serves, I even made a typo, which I was perhaps more upset about being published publicly than the fact that I'd been so quickly and blatantly shown to be illogical.
Hope you're well,
Luke’s email to me from 10 years ago…
How small minded and retarded do you need to be to create a site mocking someone elses religion. I am not personally a Christian, but I would never go as far as to openly scron and poke fun at something other people strongly believe in and hold dear.
Get a fucking life
I always love it when I get to hear back from "Hate Mailers" years later no matter if they changed or not. I'm always a little happier to hear there's been a change of heart however. I rarely get appreciation for the sarcasm I once responded with. Here's the page it appeared on then, and remains to this day.
I'll be sure to update it with these emails. I hope you don't mind. I'm sure others will find it just as fascinating as I do.
How old were you when you sent that?
What lead you to change your beliefs?
Do you remember how you stumbled across my site in the first place?
Thanks for the email! I'm happy there weren't any long lasting hurt feelings.
July 26, 2016
Oh wow. That message was worse than I remember. I must have thought that swearing would increase my chances of being taken seriously. Ha.
I was seventeen when I send that email. I was what you might call 'on fire for Jesus' at that time, and I literally would have just been Googling 'Jesus' and noticed the website. I still remember how incensed I felt about it.
Broadly speaking, I guess my beliefs shifted due to a gradual conflict between what science had to say about the world and what was being sold to me on Sunday; though, that probably wouldn't have been enough without a host of other personal relationship factors in that environment taking some pretty bizarre turns.
If it ever looks like I'll make it to NYC, I'll be sure to send you a message and we can have a drink and I'll tell you the whole story; even as 'deconversion' stories go, it's a doozy. If you ever find yourself in Australia, let me know. There are certainly no hurt feelings here.