Yaoi Press Blog

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Docucopies Find Yaoi Coloring Book "Disturbing"

I put an article on Ehow a while ago about how you could 'Print a Comic Book or Doujinshi Cheap.' We'd used Docucopies for printing. They are a photocopy company, not a comic printer, but provided a very economic solution for us.

We were happy with the doujinshi we'd published with them, so we proceeded with our next small run project, a yaoi coloring book. This morning they sent this email:

"Because of the nudity of this file we are unable to print this for you. The order before this one should not have been printed but did slide by without us looking through the entire book."

It doesn't pay for us to throw tantrums over things like this. However, I feel they've made a mistake. The coloring book is 16+. There are side views of nude characters, but naughty bits are not visible. There are no sex scenes, but some images are suggestive that sex is coming. It didn't even cross my mind that a printer might not agree to print it. I called and told them that the characters are all male. I think they might think the characters are female and we're showing bare breasts.

At any rate, here are what I see as the most 'extreme' images of the coloring book we sent them:

Update: This is the email I sent Docucopies:

Hello Lynn,

"I just wanted to follow up on the phone call. As I said, we formatted the coloring book with margins, even on the cover, so it could be printed by Docucopies and we could save money on it. At this point it would cost more money than the book is worth to reformat it for another printer. The coloring book would of course look better with full bleeds. We formatted it without them specifically so they could be printed with you.

It doesn't matter which pictures are inside the coloring book. We have hundreds to choose from. If you tell me which pictures are going too far I can swap them out for new ones. Please remember that the characters depicted are all male. They look pretty because this is a genre from Japan that's targeting female readers.

If I had been put on notice with the last comic book I sent you guys I would have known better than to keep sending projects like this your way."

Their response:

"Hi Yamila -
There are a number of page that I find disturbing and do not want to put our employees in the same position printing this book for you. Some of the pages are 5, 6, 23, 24, 28, 29. I am sorry but we will not print this book.

I'm extremely annoyed now. They don't want to work with me, even when I explained what a bad position they're putting us in. There is nothing in their TOS that says they won't accept risque material.

But what really makes me angry is this:

This is page 23 one of the images they found "disturbing." If you were me, what would you think?

I'm disgusted with you Docucopies.


  • At May 27, 2009 1:51 PM , Blogger Viannah said...

    that's really... not cool. The TOS *does* say "We reserve the right to refuse to any customer" but it seems like they're stuck in the 1950s when it comes to the picture of the two guys/boys/men (whatever) kissing. I'm sad because I was really looking forward to a coloring book. I *love* coloring books and a yaoi one would be just awesome, but no luck with Docucopies, then, I guess.

    How many other pieces have you printed with them? Will you be using them again for less risque stuff? Why did they refuse to print it even after you offered to *change the pictures*, for heaven's sake? Seems a tad homophobic, if you ask me... which, of course, no one *has* asked me, but still...

    Is there anything I, as one of your customers, could do to help you out? Like, write a letter or something?

  • At May 27, 2009 1:57 PM , Blogger Zoey said...

    Maybe that one just became disturbing when you told them everyone was male. Either way, that's a crying shame and I hope you can find some sort of solution.

  • At May 27, 2009 1:58 PM , Blogger Zoey said...

    That's really lame of them. I can't believe they just refused to print the book even after you offered to swap out the "offensive" images.

  • At May 27, 2009 2:03 PM , Blogger Yaoi Press said...

    We've printed several things with them over the last year. We won't ever use them again after this.

    I doubt there's anything people can do that will help. Thanks for being supportive.

  • At May 28, 2009 6:15 AM , Blogger Yamneko said...

    I hope you guys find a new printer! If that turns out a bust, maybe offering it as a PDF download or something for a few bucks would be a possibility. Then who could stop you from putting what images you like in it? Buwahahhahah ( I really do like some of the ones you posted!)

  • At May 28, 2009 6:22 AM , Blogger mbeasi said...

    I would think they are a shop full of raving homophobes. That's what I'd be thinking.

  • At May 28, 2009 7:06 AM , Blogger Shelly said...

    It's probably because they look young, and after the Handley thing they don't want anything to do with under-18-looking images in sexual situations.

  • At May 28, 2009 9:15 AM , OpenID blimibash said...

    I think if it actually was women (x men of course) they wouldn't have had a problem with it. Obviously they are against yaoi. I think the best thing you and everyone else can do is let as many people as possible know how homophobic and against freedom of speech Docucopies is.

  • At May 28, 2009 9:52 AM , Blogger Truth said...

    In all honesty I think they were in the right for rejecting this. All businesses have a right for rejecting material they don't find comfortable within their workplace. For most companies this could be an internal HR issue that you do not know about, and since they have stated they will not publish it for various reasons (and that the first publication slipped under their radar -- or they would have not published it as well) I don't see why this is being so negatively frowned upon other than you need to find a new printer that works with and allows adult material. I'm sorry but I read this and feel you're turning it into something more than it needs to be for the sake of drawing attention to yourself and negative attention to the printer for merely stating their rights against printing this material (they do have the right to refuse anyone and it seems they have invoked that right). It's sad that businesses can't reject things without others lumping them into categories that do not fit them (i.e. calling them bigots or homophobes is mob mentality -- you have no idea who works those presses or who checks the final images -- gay or straight it is not something you know), they are a business and the business need plus the employees come first.

    Oh and yes, I do understand the time it takes to reset pages, and put them within printing standards, but then again you could have emailed them first with the proposition of another project and sent along test pages before you went through all the trouble of setting up the next round. Assumptions in the printing industry (and many others) lead to situations just like this.

    I understand that this comment will most likely be censored or deleted but I find this only shows the true colors of your own 'company' which seems to promote slander against a printing company who has clearly stated their position towards the situation. Less drama more yaoi!

  • At May 28, 2009 10:53 AM , Blogger Todd said...

    Somehow I don't think that saying "those aren't topless girls, they're boys who want to be buggered" is going to make the printer more comfortable.

  • At May 28, 2009 12:22 PM , Blogger Seth said...

    So, Docucopies is...homophobic & scared of drawings of romance? Romance novel covers are more risqué. I'm not sure why employees would have to stare at the materials being printed, anyway. How bizarre and unprofessional of Docucopies.

  • At May 28, 2009 12:38 PM , Blogger APPLE said...

    They are located in Wisconsin. There is your answer XD

    After your first post about printing doujin, I had considered using them for fan doujinshi myself (and using comiXpress for other doujin) but after this I will not.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It sheds light on who they really are and I do not want to do business with a homophobic company.

  • At May 28, 2009 4:05 PM , Blogger Yaoi Press said...

    Truth: I'm being very careful not to say anything that would be slander. I am stating the facts here and allowing people to come to their own conclusions.

    I offered to change images on the coloring book and they refused to work with me. They go so far as to state which images they find disturbing but then say flat out that they won't print it. I would have changed those pictures! They never gave me a chance.

    How did they clearly state their position on the situation?! Obviously I'm going to assume they didn't have a problem with our material when they printed our doujinshi. They didn't put me on notice. They don't say anything about what content they'll publish in their TOS. THEY NEED TO FIX THAT!

    I don't assume all printers will be cool with porn. Absolutely not. When we print our hentai books this conversation is had way in advance. THIS ISN'T PORN! This is the same level of content you can see on network television. Many of the illustrations they find disturbing are from book covers seen on Amazon.com and are openly displayed on the shelves of Borders books.

    Docucopies are more sensitive than other printers I've worked with regarding content. They should say this in the TOS! Saying they have a right to refuse service is fine if people know what sort of stuff they'll likely refuse to service!

    I am not a malcontent making trouble because I enjoy it. I would NEVER have said anything if they had emailed me after the doujinshi and said some of there workers were uncomfortable with it and to please not send more projects like this. I would have respected them for that. They made a bad decision by not speaking up at that point. I don't have a crystal ball. I can't read people's minds. When they don't put me on notice I assume they don't have a problem with this level of content. They could have prevented this entire situation.

    I don't think you understand what it takes to reformat this entire book. It takes hours. Hours cost money. Then we send it to a more expensive printing house. That costs more money. It is a big deal to us. We don't like to light fire to hundred dollar bills in this economy. We don't like that we have to add a $1 to the cover price to deal with these costs. Our customers are price sensitive too. This increase will likely affect sales. It's not cool.

    They blindsided me. They are in the wrong. They have hurt my business. They deserve the negative attention for not handling this the right way.

  • At May 28, 2009 5:56 PM , Blogger Vie said...

    Well, good thing this came up before I ever got a chance to use them. Not good for you but...

    Not sure if this would really help you or not, but I found a POD publisher that specializes in comics called Ka-Blam. I'm waiting to see what their sampler looks like before I personally use them, but their prices seem reasonable. I would've compared them to Docucopies prices, but that article seems to have somehow disappeared... But most importantly, they clearly state on the site "We'll print 'R', but not 'X' and certainly not 'XXX'."

    Also, I'm disappointed to not to be able to see a Yaoi coloring book. It would've been so fun and cute... Maybe you could just print out pages that would've been in it as extras with other purchases, like maybe at conventions?

  • At May 28, 2009 6:17 PM , Blogger Todd said...

    RE: "They are located in Wisconsin."

    For the record, 27 years ago Wisconsin became the first US state (and for many years the only state) to prohibit employment discrimination against gay and lesbian people. Be careful of your stereotyping of the Midwest.

  • At May 29, 2009 7:19 AM , OpenID snt2k said...

    I just hate it when the TOS has a blanket statement like "We reserve the right to refuse to any customer" and, even worse, didn't give any information on their rejection protocols (as in, not what are rejected, but how the rejection goes)

    And while other pages are bordering sexual scenes... I share your sentiments on page 23. I think it opens a possibility that they're (as a company, not the individual employees) indeed homophobic.

  • At May 29, 2009 9:18 AM , Blogger Ashlee LeMarc said...

    Do not stereotype the midwest as homophobes. Remember, it was Iowa that just legalized gay marriage, and high-and-mighty, holier-than-thou California seems to keep running into problems.

    Furthermore, jumping to the conclusion that they are homophobes seems like a stupid gap in logic, since it sounds like they refused the job BEFORE the customer clarified that all characters were male.

  • At May 30, 2009 12:45 PM , Blogger Marie said...

    That sucks! You've been wronged in several ways because no spoke up when they should have and refused to even try to compromise. Here's what I would do.

    First, bring it to the attention of an attorney. I'm not saying this because I think they need to pay or be punished. It just isn't right that they can get away with treating their customers so poorly. If they can get away with it legally, then new laws need to be put in place to stop it from happening in the future.

    Second, spread the word. Again not to get back at the company, but to help others avoid being put in the same position. A lot of the comments have been that people are glad they know so they won't try to use Docucopies. Let others in the yaoi community know that they are not the printing company to go to.

    Last, those drawings are beautiful. A lot of us would love to have one of those and we all appreciate you trying to keep the customer cost down. Thank you! But we also understand the position you're in now. I think a lot of us would be willing to help you by giving time or money to help put you coloring book on the market.

    Good luck.

  • At June 4, 2009 4:04 PM , Blogger Ashlee LeMarc said...

    "If they can get away with it legally, then new laws need to be put in place to stop it from happening in the future."

    What's wrong with your mind? Apparently you never took a constitutional law class. You're talking about a direct assault on the First Amendment, among other laws pertaining to freedoms of individuals and businesses. This kind of attitude belongs in the USSR, not the USA.

  • At June 12, 2009 6:51 PM , OpenID thevixenne said...

    Here's the problem that I don't think people are getting:

    I am more than certain Docucopies was more than aware of the kind of business Yaoi Press is in. If they had any issues with nudity or homosexual content, they should have said so up front. They did not.

    Instead they printed several books for Yaoi Press with nary a complaint or a whimper UNTIL NOW. That smacks of hypocrisy to me. Some employee probably had kittens and decided that it was against their religion to copy the coloring book, even though I am sure someone else could have done it.

    Yes, businesses DO have a right to refuse service to customers, but they should have been honest from the outset. If the content was offensive to them, they should have never taken ANY jobs from Yaoi Press at all.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Previous Strip ~ First Strip ~ Next Strip ~ Most Recent

Yaoi Manga Yaoi Video Games
All content is copyright 2007 Yaoi Press LLC unless otherwise stated. Visit Everythingyaoi.com to purchase Yaoi Press Books.