- Posted by Johanna on August 21, 2008 at 8:56 pm
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
I’m sure everyone’s tired of the whole Scott Kurtz/webcomic book review/”are critics ever useful” debate by now (although I love that people are getting practical advice on fonts in that thread at this point). But here’s a new entry in the debate. If you really want to understand what Kurtz was trying to say, I recommend listening to his podcast on the subject, because he comes off much better when he’s talking than when he’s writing.
I’m only about a third of the way into it (it’s an hour and a half), but the presentation, Kurtz talking with two other creators, allows for elaboration on what he really means. I do wish Dave Kellett, the contributor who actually wrote the chapter of the book under discussion, had been able to join them, because in all this, he hasn’t said anything. (Maybe that’s in keeping with his philosophy, staying out of it.)
I now think I have a much better idea of Kurtz’s position, which in its more nuanced form makes a lot more sense. (I might try to restate it as “criticism is ok but only from fellow artists whom you think are great and if you invite them to give it”, if I didn’t fear kicking off another go-round if I got it wrong.) I don’t believe him, though, when he says that he wouldn’t have had a problem if I’d hated the book. (That’s a joke, son.)
The podcast is also in direct opposition to his latest screed (link no longer available), where he goes off on how there is no craft in reviewing and I’m only a blogger, not a real, professional critic. (My tax returns beg to differ.) As I said there, I’m a critic and proud of my craft, regardless of what anyone says about it.