Comics: Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad

Critics can be valuable. When you’re talking about something that you might pay for (like a book, movie, or CD), critics can warn you away from something that looks great in the advertisements, but pretty much sucks in reality.

They can also be valuable to the artist if the critic points out real flaws in the work.

On the other hand there are also critics whose stuff I read and think, “This is criticism for the sake of criticism.” I’m talking here about criticism that is over the top negative and (for example) calls the author a pedophile and suggests that he “die in a fire.” To me, it feels like the critic is going nasty because people find nasty reviews entertaining–not because the object of criticism is as bad as they say.

That’s not to say that that sort of thing can’t be funny. It can even still be valuable stuff despite the tone.

Bearing that in mind, I’d just like to point out that people doing exactly those sort of reviews have come to web comics. I give you:
Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad

So far as I can tell, it gives no good reviews and specializes in demolishing comics. I find it amusing that someone would bother to review web comics in this way in that
1) The critic is not saving anyone any money since most web comics are free.
2) Despite the fact that most web comic authors will actually read a review, the critic is giving up any chance of influencing them by writing as if they were the source of unrelenting evil instead of writing a lousy comic.

I agree with the author’s criticisms about some comics, but I’ve got to admit that he goes considerably farther than I would. Am I planning on reading it further? No. Not when stuff like Websnark exists.

There’s no denying that bad web comics are out there, but I don’t feel compelled to wallow in them.

2 thoughts on “Comics: Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad”

  1. At the end of Ratatouille, there is an amazing speech by a renowned food critic about the nature of criticism. It begins (thank you Google…):

    “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.”

  2. I’ve read harsh review sites before. I’ve seen reviews that tear stuff apart and reveal the flaws, reviews that warn people away because there is nothing of merit in the product to read. However, if there’s one thing common about them, it’s that these sites don’t attack the artist/director/cartoonist/writer, but instead attack the work.

    Solomon attacks the artist and then the work as something else to go after.

    He’s no critic, and pretty much the only reason to go to his site is to see which site is the latest victim and ignore everything that comes after it.

    Now, if you want a decent reviewer who gives his honest opinion and doesn’t pull his punches while keeping it clean, I recommend Brett Hainley of Casual Notice – there are reviews on his site as well as his comic (and some amusing rants as well). Considering Burns is moving away from webcomic reviews lately… well, Hainley’s a good choice to read.

    Rob H.

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