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.