Writer and vlogger Kiala Kazebee is set to appear at a San Diego Comic-Con panel on women in comics, but she's come under fire for using crowdfunding to pay for her trip.
Kazebee explains on her GoFundMe page, which launched Tuesday, that she was laid off and lost her home due to a break-up. She has plans to move to Los Angeles, but that move is where her savings have all been allocated, so she sought support from her fans to enable her to attend Comic-Con.
In addition to the panel she's appearing on, she's also set to meet with fans of her online video show Vaginal Fantasy Book Club, which also stars actress Felicia Day, and she also wanted to socialize with friends and fans. The effort was fully funded in one day.
Kazebee expressed her own reservations about using crowdfunding.
"I recognize there are more important causes out there and I feel a little trepidation about doing this but I'm doing it anyway because even if I don't believe in me — you guys always have," Kazebee wrote on her GoFundMe page.
Various Internet personalities spoke out on the fundraiser on both sides, arguing over whether this was an appropriate use of crowdfunding. One of her strongest critics was Badass Digest writer Devin Faraci.
Former DC Comics and Disney comic book editor Jannelle Asselin suggested that fans should support the struggling Slave Labor Graphics indie comic book company rather than fund something like Kazebee's trip.
Kazebee defended herself against the implication that she wasn't involved in the community, noting that she had written for a comic book anthology and was part of Day's Geek & Sundry online video venture.
Comic book news site Comics Alliance's senior editor Andy Khouri also questioned both Kazebee's efforts and similar crowfunding campaigns, questioning the decorum of these efforts and what they mean in the changing social norms brought about by crowdfunding and social media.
Kazebee's GoFundMe remains open after hitting her goal; she noted that she'd use the extra funds to help support her move and indicated interest in giving some of the excess to help animals, as well as possibly organizing a future animal fundraiser. Kazebee wasn't immediately available for comment.
Do you think this is what crowdfunding was set up for, allowing people to support the people and causes they believe in, or do you agree with Kazebee's critics? Let us know in the comments.
Watch a previous Comic-Con panel Kazebee spoke on below, discussing gender issues in the comic book community: