Wow, did I underestimate the power of the Internet! Back in July, I reported that Dave McElfatrick, one-fourth of the creative team behind the webcomic Cyanide & Happiness, was having trouble getting a visa to come to the United States from his native Ireland to collaborate with the rest of the creators. McElfatrick had applied for an O-1 visa, which is reserved for “aliens of extraordinary ability” in their fields. Apparently he didn’t cut the mustard, as he was turned down. So he started an Internet petition to convince immigration officials that he really does have a following.
I scoffed, but perhaps I shouldn’t have. After all, if your chosen field is making comics on the Internet, it makes sense to demonstrate you’re at the top of it by getting a lot of Internet users to vouch for you, even if they do have nonstandard names — and 4,000 pages of signatures is a lot of users. Or maybe Dave’s visa request crossed the desk of someone who actually reads the comic. Either way, he’s in, and we can only assume the madness will now increase.