Saturday, October 20, 2012

Too Hot For Zine Fair

Ok, so I just got back from selling my wares at the Zine Fair.  Ideally, I should have been there from noon until 5pm.  But, I was told to leave at about 1:30.  "Why?" you may ask.  Well, it seems that more than one person found the content of my work offensive.  I guess that's enough to get a booth shut down.  The "more than 1 complaint" card definitely has that power.

Now now!  There's no need to light any torches or gather any dusty old pitch forks.  There's no frankenstein monster to chase down here.  The people running the Zine Fair have every right to refuse service to anyone they so desire.  Likewise, the people who launched their complaints had every right to state their case as well.  I heard two complaints in the short time I was there.  I'll go over what they were.

The first was a complaint about my mini comic The Hap-Hap-Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti.  It was even from an employee of a comic book store here in Halifax (I won't say the name of the person or the store to protect their sanity).  He felt that little Fanny did not need to die at the end.  She should have learned her lesson and lived on to reap the rewards of that lesson.  I'm sure MacBeth would have been a much happier story if he had seen the error of his ways before he was beheaded, but that really would have ruined the tragic moral of the entire piece.  Such is the same with the moral tale of young Fanny.  This fictitious little girl had to die so that you, the real life person, may see the grievous misjudgement she makes along with the harsh consequences of that misjudgement and thus avoid such an error in your own life.
Once he had left, the man at the table next to mine commented that his objection resembled that of the Victorian Monkey.  I found that a little uncalled for but not entirely inaccurate.

I will also conceal the identity of the other complainant, mostly because I don't know it.  I think she may have heeded the lesson of Fanny Punongtiti because she came to my table and read my book Jesus Needs Help from cover to cover before telling me everything she disliked about it.  I must say, that was very decent of her.  The things she seemed to object to the most were the Feminist Monkey, the Black Panther Monkey, and the Not Muhammed Monkey.  I couldn't quite hear everything she said because station CKDU was broadcasting their music and my table was very near to it.  That certainly made lengthy conversations rather difficult.  I do think I caught most of what she was saying through the din though.  She found the Black Panther Monkey to be racist (not really seeing the circular irony that if you find that monkey racist then you ARE that monkey.  But I didn't tell her that.)  Another big objection she had was of the Not Muhammed Monkey speaking in broken English.

All I can say here is when has satire ever been polite?  If the small handful of militant defenders of Islam who over react to any perceived "threat" with violence and intimidation don't want to be portrayed as idiots then, hey, they should stop acting like idiots like Captain Ass-hat above.  I do remember hearing a plea from peace-loving Muslims living in France for these people to stop getting so violent over every little offence.  That is good advice that every one of the Censor Monkeys I have in the pantheon should learn.

Those were the only complaints I personally heard.  There may have been more that didn't get around to me.  That's fine because I also got some positive feedback too.  One guy who sat one table down from me absolutely loved the Censor Monkeys.  He kept walking over and giggling.  Finally he broke down a bit and bought three pictures.
I also got me a protest purchase.  As I was packing up, a nice lady stopped by my table and looked interested.  I then told her that I had been kicked out because my work was deemed too offensive.  Her exact words were, "I'm protesting your being kicked out by buying some of your shit."  (I'm hoping she didn't mean shit literally).  I didn't catch that lady's name.  So, whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you.

 All of this is of course a precursor to my booth at Hal Con 2012 starting next week.  I can't wait to get lectured by a 500 pound guy in a Sailor Jupiter costume.

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