Letter to the Editor — “Uncalled for and Just Plain Rude”

This week we received a letter to the editor from G. Moore who took issue with our “Caped Crusading For Clicks” article.

In the recent Kootenay Mountain Culture Fringe Issue, managing editor Vince Hempsall wrote about Blair Altman and his awesome Batman and Frank Instagram account. Called “Caped Crusading For Clicks” the article describes how Altman creates his unique images and why he chose to feature a toy dinosaur named Frank and a 30-centimetre-tall action figure of the 1960s version of Batman played by Adam West. However, a reader took issue with the way Altman was portrayed.

G. Moore writes:

I’ve often read your magazine and have found it to be a really great read, except for one article in the last issue Winter 2017/18. In it Vince Hempsall interviews Blair Altman and discusses his hobby of doing photo shoots with a Batman figurine. I am well acquainted with Blair and was excited to read it but I (and many others) were sorely disappointed in the way Vince chose to present Blair. In particular his opening line of “Normally, there’s something disconcerting about a grown man playing with dolls”. He does go on to explain the hobby and there are some great photos featured. I felt Vince was inappropriately poking fun at Blair and demeaning his hard work. This feeling was reinforced with the final line, “Okay, maybe there is something a tiny bit disconcerting about a grown man with dolls after all.” In my opinion that is out of line, uncalled for and just plain rude. Blair is a rare person who takes his hobbies seriously and is extremely talented at what he does. Referring to him in such a demeaning way, and calling his figurine “doll” is unprofessional and straight up false. I am sorely disappointed in the distasteful manner in which it was presented to the public.

Vince Hempsall responds:

Firstly I want to say I have the utmost respect for Blair. He and I have worked on other projects together and he’s not only a really talented photographer but also an excellent videographer. I absolutely love his @batmanandfrank Instagram account, but, yeah, I have to admit I find it a bit weird too. I wanted the piece to convey a sense of respect and of levity. However, when I read your letter and contacted Blair he agreed it made him sound like “a guy in a windowless van hanging out at school yards.” Ugh. Evidently the humour missed the mark and for that I apologize. I can only say that Blair is a great guy, a talented photographer and I hope he continues making batmanandfrank for years to come.

Do you have your own letter to the editor you’d like to send in? We’ve made it super easy for you with a handy form you can find on our “Letters to the Editor” page.

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