You can't spell 'Kadabra' without 'Dab'

And I'm still weir!.....d.

Just a quick notice that I’m still alive… we only just moved to our new house last Friday, and have been spending the last few days unpacking. But compounding matters is that we won’t have proper internet until December 11th, meaning updates may be sparingly posted until then. Just a fair warning!

In the mean time tho… I hope everyone in the US has a Happy Thanksgiving! As for everyone else… happy… uh… normal day??

And now, our featured presentation.
A Quick Diversion:

It looks like the whole PA! Facebook situation is going to be something that’s gonna take a while to resolve, so I’m prepping myself for a long haul. But, as I’ve said many times, I’m glad this is being sorted out right now instead of it happening at some later point where it affects a ton of members. Like, imagine if it got accidentally taken down while it had something like 40k members? That’ll be a ton of fun to deal with…

Anyways, in the mean time, feel free to check out some of PA!’s other social media accounts, like our Twitter and Discord server!

I also just discovered that my Custom Emoticons got reset… so oh joy, I gotta go fix that now.

Oh, and one last update of note: my move to Sacramento from San Francisco (technically Roseville from Daly City) is almost complete. So this is perhaps going to be the last week I’ll be living at this house, the one I’ve been living in since 1989 as well as host PA! from using my own web server (remember WebSTAR 4.0??)… lots of memories here, but I can’t wait for what the future holds!

The Actual News:

Ever since practically the beginning of Pokémon Aaah!, this site has been about making the best Pokémon TCG fake cards. Sure other sites have come and gone in our time, but that never changed our focus. That said, I’m eternally grateful that other people have been able to take up the mantle of providing the best faking tools for fans in my absence… but now that PA! is back and here to stay, I aim to make sure PA! is once again everyone’s number one source for Pokémon TCG faking guides, tools, tips and downloads. Huzzah!

So with that in mind, I’ve started work on creating a whole slew of new articles and pages concerning Pokémon TCG faking. In particular, the focus is partly to introduce people who don’t know anything about it, as well as getting people who used to fake right back into the game. Super cool idea, huh? Well, part of this was inspired by a quick chat with user bwhough over on our Discord server, who basically asked about where old-timer fakers could go to get back into the whole faking game… this inspired me to think: hey, why not write up an article which reintroduces all the new faking tips and tricks and materials to all of us old fogeys who remember the good ol’ days and want to maybe make some new good ol’ days?

And so, here we are! Or rather, here I am, telling you about all of the new articles which I have planned for the site. Namely, I have four new articles planned, plus a page for all the various downloads for fakers. The focus for these articles will be two-fold: half of it will be about going back to basics, covering everything about faking that hasn’t changed and are therefore pretty universal (eg designing using Photoshop, what fonts to use, etc), and the other half will be about covering everything that has changed in the [cough cough]-ty years since PA!’s golden years. So, stuff like using social media to share your fakes, how your fakes can actually generate income for you, and even what are some of the legal issues with faking to begin with; these are all things that were never part of the olden days of faking but are now very real issues for today.

Anyways, let’s cover what I have planned for these articles:

  • Beginner’s Guide to Faking
    • I’ve always intended for PA! to be a faker’s one-stop-shop for all things Pokémon TCG faking. This page is therefore simply the modern update to the classic “Make Your Own Fake Card” (MYOFC) section on the old site. Basically, if you’re starting fresh, check this article out!
    • This article will therefore focus on how cards are designed to begin with, what programs people use to make cards (real or fake), the differences between the fake cards we all make versus the cheap knock-off types you see at 99 cent stores, etc. Really just the core questions.
  • Advanced Faking Techniques
    • This article will focus more on what comes next. Like, I’m going to already assume you’ve made plenty of fake cards, and so you already know what’s what and you’re ready to take it to the next step.
    • Therefore I’ll focus more on the different kinds of programs you can use to make your cards, how to print them out as a physical fake, how to make your own foil fake card using actual Pokémon TCG cards, etc. All the secret techniques that the pros use will be found here! (Sorry pros…)
  • Getting Back Into Making Fake Cards
    • For any of you old skool PA! fans who remember all the fun you had as a kid making fake cards, only to be forced to grow up and get a job and a mortgage… well, you should really start here. This will have a more nostalgic tint, but will focus mostly on everything that has changed since the good ol’ days.
    • So my focus will be on stuff like using Patreon and Discord to generate a community for your work, making use of Instagram hashtags to target fans who otherwise wouldn’t see your work (eg. if your cart art is of a particular style, then tag that art style!) using YouTube to stream your card making, etc. Well… I mean, yeah yeah, it’s stuff that is pretty common knowledge in general… but it’s still information which is new relative to what we had at our disposal back in the pre-2004 days. And hey, maybe you’re something of a tech boomer like me and this really IS new stuff to you. That’s ok, we won’t judge here. Besides, you’re an old timer like me!…right?
    • Cuz y’know, in MY day, we didn’t have your fancy-pansy Photoshop on your flippy-do-dah iPads to make our fake cards, and we also didn’t have those Facetwitters and Instatumblrs to share them with! NOOOO, we made our fake cards using MS Paint in Windows 98, and then we posted them all on our Angelfire website! And those hosting websites don’t use any hoity-toity “targeting advertisement” algorithms… NAAAW, instead they advertised with the tact and subtely of a shotgun! BANG! Fifteen banners all over the place! That’s the way it was and we LIKED it!
  • What Can You Fake?
    • But perhaps one of the biggest changes that occurred between the pre-2004 days and now is the very fact that people are able to do a lot more with their fakes than ever before. Like, the very idea of selling your fake card was outright heretical to us fakers back in the day! In fact, the very idea of making money off PA! was something I struggled with, but ultimately felt that it would’ve been wrong to do so, as I wanted make sure people never felt like they had to spend money to enjoy the site. Fortunately today things are a lot more open and acceptable, but it also has allowed for a bit of nuance when it comes to the law and being able to generate money on your franchise-related artwork.
    • This page will therefore aim to clear the air about faking and “fan art”… like, what us fans can and can’t fake, what fakes we can or can’t make money off of, and other questions of a particularly legal sort from the POV of fans and artists. Basically, I want to make sure everyone has a better understanding of what they can do with their fan artwork and to ensure that they don’t run into any serious issues when it comes to selling their work… or at least nothing they can’t properly address when it happens.
    • That said, I’m not a lawyer, so please do not consider anything I will write in that article as actual, proper legal advice. Furthermore, I will mostly be covering how United State law applies in those circumstances, so it may be a different situation for anyone outside of the US. That said, I will attempt to provide links towards further information, ideally from a proper lawyer website (if not to the law itself), as well as try to provide a general overview of how the laws in other nations may apply.
  • Raw Downloads
    • This will, obviously, be the downloads page for all things faking.
    • More specifically, I intend to make my “Neo Beta/Redux” blanks available for download on that page, as well as “starter” files for fakers new and old classy. One of those “starter” files will in fact be for Adobe InDesign, a program I’ve since been using to make fakes with… and is one that I’m positive is used to make actual cards with. In that case, you can’t get more a more authentic fake card making experience than by using Adobe InDesign!

Anyways, as the articles go up one-by-one, I’ll add their links to the sidebar; I currently have the “How To DIY Guides” section positioned between “Artsy Fartsy” and “Pokémon Research”, but I might put them above “Artsy Fartsy” instead. We’ll see.

And… that’s that! Excited?? I sure am! I can’t wait to get these articles up and online so you can start getting on track to making fakes again. I for one especially can’t wait to see the kind of fakes you’ll make too! Thanks again for your continued support and… Huzzah! Good times.

AI may be useful, but there's nothing like having a person behind every automated decision

AARGH, PA!’s Facebook page was unpublished AGAIN by Facebook’s automatic thingy. BUT, at least this time it’s slightly different. The thing is, Facebook clearly made an update to its system of how to appeal an unpublished page. Previously it was just “sorry” and that was it. At least now there is an “Appeal” button AND that button updates to state “you appealed this decision”. There is even a link to Facebook’s Page Guidelines and Community Standards.

Now in the hopes that an arbiter manages to visit this site to make sure everything is copacetic and above board, I want to go over, point-by-point, how PA! will adhere to Facebook’s standards. The actual break down will be posted after the cut below.

That said, why should I give a crap? Well first off it’s a matter of principle: I didn’t do anything wrong, and I want to make sure that it doesn’t affect my ability to do business on one of the largest advertising platforms on the internet. Secondly, if I don’t get this taken care of now… OK, say I start a new Facebook account, but one that slips under Facebook’s radar somehow, like calling it “The Aaah! of Pokémon” or something. If this issue isn’t resolved, then it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN, that new account will be taken down due to “evasion of decision” or some such. As long as Facebook’s automated system thinks I broke the rules, then I will never make any headway on Facebook, which—again—is a huge advertising platform and will therefore greatly affect my ability to do business for this site.

Anyways, here’s the breakdown…


Aw man this is getting annoying...

Third time’s the charm!

Facebook removed the Aaah! page…. AGAIN! But at least this time there is an actual “Appeal” button next to the “Publish Page” section, which didn’t exist before. That’s awfully nice of them! Still, I have zero hope that someone will actually get back to me to tell me what happened and how to reinstate my Page, so I made a third Facebook page for the site just the same. This time, however, I made sure to copy literally everything that other websites with Facebook pages did and said, and nothing more… because if they’re still up, then there’s no reason for MY Page to go down either. But if it’s taken down a THIRD time…. I dunno what to do. I guess “fourth time’s the charm”? ugggh….

To frustrate matters more, I guess because the other two are technically just unpublished and not outright “deleted”, the usernames I set for them are unavailable to use. So since I couldn’t use either PokemonAaah or PokemonAaah1, I decided to use AaahPokemon, like the Twitter account for the site. But hopefully maybe the appeals process actually works and I get both accounts back online. Maybe? Please??

I mean, I WANT to use Facebook as a platform to sell stuff on, I WANT to pay Facebook actual money in order to advertise on it… but it’s kinda hard to when they keep shutting down my Facebook Page for no apparent reason! I just wish there was a way for Facebook to let me know what exactly I did wrong the first two times just so I can be sure that this account isn’t taken down a third time. Because as far as I’m aware, I did everything correct! Or at least nothing I did was anything that couldn’t be easily corrected by a simple change in the settings. But because the Page was unpublished, there was no way for me to make those changes, and POOF! down it goes.

I’m still glad all of this is happening right now, instead of when the Facebook Page gets up to like 50k fans, only for Facebook’s algorithm to automatically shut the Page down with no way to appeal the process. I just hope that all of this preliminary work ensures the overall long-term safety and stability of the Page once the ball gets rolling again. …knock on wood.