So, seeing the slapfight between the YouTube Comic Critics and Arkhaven Comics has reminded me of something that I’ve been meaning to talk about. The critics are a human centipede of incest at times. Not that they make bad reviews a lot of the times, but they’re also showing why they shouldn’t be your primary source of opinion. Yes, they can help shape an opinion. The main footwork in whether a comic is good or bad is on you.
As I’ve said, I think Vox Day is an asshole. Then so is: Mark Waid, Nick Spencer, Dan Slott, Tom Breevort, Ta-Nehisi Coates, etc. People can and should separate the art from the person, but when someone who is considered an Alt-Right figure steps into the sand box… It seems to be all out attack on the newbie. I soundly disagree with Vox’s politics, as does David. However, if I’m judging his work? Then, I’m judging on the factors that everyone else should judge.
You judge on readability, first and foremost. If the comic is sparse in story, you grade on that. Then, you judge on the artwork. If the artwork isn’t your personal style, state that to begin with. If you think the book itself needs work, state where it needs work. Dismissing the book without actually reading the content is a fool’s folly. It also kills any credibility you have to your work.
Mind you, half reading a book only applies when you go to places like Bleeding Cool and CBR, who haven’t been doing their job accurately for a long time. To be blunt, virtue signaling is not writing. It’s bloviating on a topic that everyone is sick of hearing. If I go to a site to read comics, keep your fucking political views out of my review, shithead.
Of course, not every comic site is about reviewing anymore. The aforementioned BC is currently kicking the disabled body of Stan Lee, who is accused of groping nurses. But take into account, Jude Terror, that he’s 95. If your dad got accused of groping, you would probably deflect and project like the social justice twat you are. And yet, here you are kicking the old man.
Comic critics have become nasty and politicized over the years. They have missed the goal of what they need to be doing. Instead, they soapbox and rant about unimportant things. They snap their fingers like hipsters at a coffee poetry slam over trans-gendered characters. Or, signal out for writers to be diverse, even if said writers are woefully under-qualified for the job.
This is what critiquing has become in the last decade. And I’m not going to blame Obama and his administration, either. They didn’t help, but it’s a bullshit argument. And it’s disingenuous to the real issue. Critics are using their audiences and their views to push an agenda. Some claim they want good comics out. That’s great. But quit shooting the messengers you don’t like.
You want to bring audiences back to your proposed medium? Then, quit acting like children about your medium. Being crybullies doesn’t do anything to help the medium get back to the days when a six figure sale was on par for Marvel and DC Comics. The only company doing six figures is DC Comics, and that’s with a crossover event with The Watchmen. And that’s sad.
The comic medium was meant to be an escape for people to sit back and invest themselves into an unreal world. It’s not meant to reflect your politics or your views. People wanted to be Captain America, who punched the fucking Nazi. People wanted to be Spider Man, who was the brave wall crawler. People wanted to be Iron Man, the smartest fucking drunk in the universe.
This is the world we once had, ruined by false dichotomies like intersectionality, race quotas and gender fluidity. You want your world back? Then, sit back. Shut the fuck up. Strap in. If it’s something you don’t like and can’t review in good faith, don’t bother. If it’s something people need to hear about and you don’t like it, provide a concise review without acting like a toddler.
Reviews are meant to be critical, but make it the kind of critical that causes authors to actually improve. Yes, I know I have some harsh reviews on Aubrey Sitterson, Gabby Rivera and Magdalene Vissagio. I’ve also acknowledged that they have their heads so far up their ass, that I could post a glowing review… You’d still get the same shit every time.
Why did I give Vox an okay review? Because it’s an okay book. It’s not mind blowing or world changing. Yet, there were elements I liked. Again, I don’t think he’s changing the world right now. But, the jury is still out. And I read the book before I gave my opinion.
Maybe the rest of you critics should learn to do the same.