Reveal Those Review Copies, Bloggers

If you’re in the U.S., as of December 1, the Federal Trade Commission has made it mandatory for bloggers to disclose any payment or free items they receive in return for reviews. If you don’t, “penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation.” No specifics were provided on how the items must be disclosed. (Update: The FTC has clarified through questions from the affected: the fine potential is for advertisers, not bloggers.) Last time the subject came up, at […]

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Why Posting Has Been Light Lately

KC and I just got home from the hospital, where he’s been since Wednesday. They think he had a mini-stroke, which would explain his vertigo and dizziness (even more than usual). Here he is getting his brain scanned, one of the many tests they ran. (The dots are electrodes.) He said it was like watching the best Pink Floyd laser light show. He’s fine now but still resting up. Just in time for me to feel like I’m coming down […]

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Reviewers Can’t Win

I know, reviewing’s not that hard. You read or watch something, and then you say what you thought, being careful to include the basics — the premise, the creators, any special features that set it apart, the context of its place in genre or history if relevant — as well as explaining your points with enough clarity and examples that someone can figure out A) whether or not they share your tastes and B) whether or not they’d like it […]

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Reviewing What’s Sold to Me

Valerie D’Orazio argues (link no longer available) that superhero comic stories should only be reviewed after they’re finished. Well, that might be a bit too strong. I don’t want to put words in her mouth. She asks, “Is it fair to review any story arc before it’s over?” and then lists reasons why it’s not. While that can be the safe approach — you have to make certain assumptions otherwise, and you risk guessing wrong, but that’s part of the […]

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Interview With David Gallaher

David Gallaher, writer of winning Zuda webcomic High Moon, was kind enough to answer my questions over the weekend. What does winning mean for you? Were you offered an online publishing deal? If so, what is DC paying? What are you giving them in return? Winning this competition means that Steve Ellis (artist), Scott O. Brown (letterer), and I can finish the first High Moon story on the Zuda site, which is really rather exciting. High Moon is a story […]

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Reviewing Serialized Chapters

A comment in response to my review of Mail Order Ninja brought up an interesting point I wanted to draw more attention to. MON Book 1 is only the beginning of a series, as I noted in the review. However, I reviewed it as a single element, because that was the package I was given. A reader responded “you seem to have an inability to recognize the inertia of character arcs”, telling me I should have more faith in the […]

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My Thoughts on Continuity

I’ve talked about this before online, but I thought I’d capture the core of my position in one location. Many continuing comic fans say, “Continuity is no barrier to readers to new readers. When I was a kid, I loved knowing that there was a bigger universe out there with more stories.” It’s a common thread among those who defend a tight continuity as an attractive element for a superhero comic universe. I’m not sure people realize a key factor […]

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Why I Review

Not to toot my own horn, but I’m feeling much better (after a week of having a cold for the second time in less than a month), and I had a realization that I’m going to share. I wish more of my reviewing experiences could go like it did for Solstice. Here’s many of the things that went right: I was sent the book unexpectedly, and it was already published (so no pressure about asking for it or feeling guilty […]

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