This (my) opinion is only worth reading if you have been following this incident and what took place. To catch up, an unbiased article of what occurred can be found over on the wonderful BLEEDINGCOOL website, courtesy of Rich Johnson. I hope his unbiased reporting is reflected in my personal review of the this incident. The comments section after the Bleeding Cool article however is another thing altogether...
Declarations - I thought I would declare my relationship with each party in the need for transparency.
Comics and Cola - I have followed Comics and Cola's reporting since around 2013-2014. I am a qualified educator and
part-time librarian and have experience running school libraries and school reading programs. Zainab's blog initially interested me as Zainab was covering comics and also she also comes from a librarianship background.I still read Zainab's blog and have maintained a sidebar link to it from this site for about 4 years as I feel its content is important to the comic community. My last correspondence/talk with Zainab was in 2015 I think.
Lakes International Comic Festival - I have known Julie since 2014 and was part of a group (read James Harvey and the then BHP crew) that exhibited BARTKIRA at LAKES in 2015. I also helped her with some (Japanese) contacts for LAKES 2016. LAKES will also attend CAT (Comic Art Tokyo) in November.
Although the initial tweet from Zainab doesn't include the words diversity or inclusion I agree wholeheartedly in the inference that the festival (LAKES) needs to be diverse and inclusive.
Unfortunately it looks from the response that LAKES (Julie) gave that they didn't read in the inference and therefore responded very emotionally to a friend. I actually think the word 'slime' is a typographical error and should read 'some' but that's just my opinion.
After this there were further emails and exchanges and blocking and unblocking and nice tweets and bad tweets and support tweets and passive aggressive tweets and solidarity tweets and likes and good quotes and bad quotes and comments and links and signings and everything else that leads to fragmented discussions and stormy opinions and truths and untruths. The whole whirlwind that twitter and social media can become and did become on this ocassion.
Last night I saw an enlightening and well written post written by Karrie Fransman on Facebook about the mess and also about some background details and below is my response (edited for understanding) that I wrote on Facebook. As my Facebook post really sums up my feeling best I will end my article with it.
"This is the second time this year i've seen how important it is when being challenged to step back , take a breath, and not reply until you've had enough time , and discussion with friends, to give your best answer. I feel for Zainab and what she believes in, i feel for julie and what she is trying achieve, i believe that your suggestion of a round table and action is good, its hard for some but its good for all.Fragmented online social media discussions is not the way to truly make positive changes."
THE LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL IS THIS WEEKEND IN KENDAL.
>>>>CHECK IT OUT HERE<<<<
ZAINAB AKHTAR'S EISNER NOMINATED WEBSITE IS WELL WORTH A LOOK
>>>>CHECK IT OUT HERE<<<<