I’m going to have more to say about this whole matter after I’ve solved comics’ marketing and distribution problems. In the meantime, Friends of Lulu president Shannon Crane has sent out the following statement:

Official Press Release about the status of the Friends of Lulu Empowerment Fund project.

Last year, we at Friends of Lulu were presented by a fellow director of the board (Ronee Bourgeois) with an idea for a project. She proposed that we create a fund to distribute grants to women, who worked in the comic book industry, and sought legal assistance in the event of claims of sexual harassment. The rest of the board agreed that yes, this was a worthwhile project to think about, but unfortunately, before the board as a unit could prepare the full purpose and guidelines of the project, Ms. Bourgeois announced it.

We did the best we could do to make it work, and we received much support from people at various levels of the industry.

When the board of directors of Friends of Lulu realized that this project was out of our league for the time being, we offered a refund to those who wished. However, we have had a difficult time tracking down where Ronee announced this. So, to be fair, we have implemented a full refund of donated monies to all contributors. According to the PayPal customer service representative we spoke with, these refunds should go through over the next couple of days. If you contributed to the fund, and you do not receive your refund after about a week, please contact the board at board [AT] friends-lulu [DOT] org.

To clear up any misunderstandings, only a portion of the funds have been dispersed and were used for the sole purpose in which they were collected. They went to Ms.Taki Soma, our first (and now only) recipient of the program, to defray costs of pursuing her case. There is no evidence that Ronee Bourgeois misappropriated any funds, and she actually donated money to the cause.

Thank you for your time and your continued support of Friends of Lulu.