- Posted by Johanna on October 16, 2006 at 8:37 am
- Category: LinkBlogging
David Hopkins (who wrote Emily Edison, among other comics) has surveyed a group of comic reviewers. He was spurred to do so by getting a terrible review from a critic who didn’t like graphic novels in general. (By “terrible”, I am thus referring to the quality of the review, not what it said about him.) As he says,
I decided to interview some comic book critics and reviewers to get their opinion. The people I chose are people I respect. I didn’t pick them because they gave me glowing reviews. Not so. In fact, Randy Lander, Ken Lowery, and especially Johanna Carlson have been rather critical of my work. I’m okay with that.
And he really does seem to be, which is great and refreshing. He also identifies a key problem many reviewers face:
The problem seems to be many of these online reviewers are pursuing quantity over quality. A lot of comics to read in a single week, do you have to review them all? A well-written review can be as entertaining as the comic itself. So I echo Terry Moore: Write something memorable. My added bit of advice would be to dig deep. Thoroughly analyze the comic before you. If your sole complaint about the art is that it’s “too cartoony,” I will track you down and kick your ass. Be specific. What’s wrong with cartoony? Is that even a word?
(Not according to my spell-check, it’s not, although I do like using it.) Aside from those already mentioned, he also includes Andrea Speed of Comixtreme and Eric Lindberg of Broken Frontier.
I don’t know that this is covering a lot of new ground, but it’s an important discussion, and one that is good to have every so often to remind people what they should be aiming for. As we know, there’s next to no barrier to entry to calling yourself a comic critic, which means that those of us who aspire to improve our craft need to think about these things.