Kickstarted rescue for the marionettes of Ralph Kipniss


I’m glad to see that Mary Robinette Kowal has gotten involved with the discussion on this subject on the Puptcrit email list. There was recent discussion there not long ago about Kipniss’s practices as an employer of young puppeteers and a representative of the puppetry community in Chicago, and it has been revisited in the last day or so with Mary’s participation.

When I first saw this item posted here yesterday I was considering commenting then, but I thought that Mary, being a member of both the puppetry world and the science fiction world - members of which are currently championing Kipness’s cause, would be able to make a better informed comment.

It look like she’s trying to get someone to state clearly what Kipness’s alleged transgressions are, though I don’t know if at this late date they’d be able to provide any kind of substantiating evidence. In any case he does not seem to be well-loved in the Chicago puppetry community, but I don’t know the man myself.

Reading further through today’s Puptcrit list emails I see that Joseph R. Lewis (one of the people leading the Kickstarter effort) has expressed to Alan Cook (a retired puppeteer and one of the leading puppetry historians in the US, who has expressed his personal doubts about Kipness) Lewis’s satisfaction that they are backing the right horse in this race in spite of many Chicago area puppeteers providing testimonials to the contrary - which he characterizes as having a “lack of vision and compassion.”

I don’t doubt that these Kickstarter people are well-intentioned but it seems like there are much better places for the money to go to support the art of puppetry, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Beware of this guy… I’ve heard and read only BAD THINGS about KIPNISS. Skeletons in the closet dancing and screaming to be released. Backing this guy will only prove one thing… Be careful of what you wish for…

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