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  1.  (1698.1)
    What's out there now in the way of good comic book/graphic novel/picture-wordy criticism?

    CBR has resurrected their reviews section with very mixed results. Reviewing "Casanova" and "Scalped" is great, reviewing "Secret Invasion" in some kind of cutesy fanboy "let me tell you of the travails of buying a comic book" style is shit.

    Not just comic news, but where is the good comic criticism these days? Online, offline, where can it be found?

    To be frank, I've been scanning the "tell Ellis of your comics" threads of late for new ideas.
    •  
      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2008 edited
     (1698.2)
    Are you talking about reviewing or general criticism?

    The Comics Journal is the only publication that specialises in criticism.

    Sequential Tart and Fourth Rail used to.

    Check this out too:


    ImageText is an academic journal that focuses on comics.
    • CommentAuthorDracko
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2008 edited
     (1698.3)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    This is what blogs are for:

    http://notthebeastmaster.typepad.com/
    http://www.thoughtballoonists.com/
    http://joglikescomics.blogspot.com/
    http://doublearticulation.blogspot.com/

    are a few of the better ones.
  2.  (1698.4)
    What's out there now in the way of good comic book/graphic novel/picture-wordy criticism?

    Pretty much nothing. I haven't read TCJ in forever, so maybe it's there now.
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      CommentAuthorSt.Wanger
    • CommentTimeApr 7th 2008
     (1698.5)
    I discovered the ImageText website some time ago. It indeed has some very interesting works online.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDerleth
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2008
     (1698.6)
    @ orwellseyes

    In comparison to the utter shite of CBR's former review king, Hannibal Tabu, the new team of reviewers is a relief. Not only would HT compose single sentence reviews for the only review column CBR had, he would recycle the same sentence from week to week. "Here's a little story about Crazyman # 45... NO." I don't even think he took it half-seriously. At one point he admitted to simply flipping through books at his LCS, and not even taking them home, prior to writing the books' reviews that week. I have NO idea how he obtained that particular job. He now is simply the cut-and-paste boy for CBR's movie news link page, thank your god.

    Still though, all in all, I haven't found a review or critic's column worth my weekly inspection. This is why I kinda wish people would get more in-depth on Chapel's Tell Ellis of Your Comics thread... opinions I would value.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCCosker
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2008
     (1698.7)
    Honestly, I don't think there's much in the way of intelligent comic book criticism out there. I'll browse through forums and reviews at places like Newsarama and IGN to get a vague idea of what's good and what isn't, but in terms of people having something worth saying about a comic, there really isn't much. The new CBR reviews were, as orwelleyes says, mixed.

    Really, reviews should primarily be an assessment of quality, and when taken as a whole, the reviews on the 'net do that. But in terms of saying something intelligent or relevant about a particular work--as good film or literary critics will do--that hardly ever happens.
  3.  (1698.8)
    @CCosker: I think the problem is that most comic reviews tend to be the same: comment on the writing in terms of plot and how much 'sense' it makes internally as far as character or continuity is concerned, then a little bit about the art in terms of how pretty it is to the reviewer.

    As long as that's your expectation I think Hannibal Tatu on cbr and the Best Shots team on Newsarama are fine. Hell, Tatu is probably one of the better ones as at least he's so concise with it!

    But yes, more would be nice, but I think it goes back to the perennial problem about comics thinking and the language of reviewing comics that has been discussed before on WEF, The Engine etc.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDavid Bedard
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2008 edited
     (1698.9)
    I seem to agree with the guys at IGN the most.

    That, and Chris Sims. At least he's not pretentious.
  4.  (1698.10)
    @Derleth

    Have you checked out Jog, The Thought Balloonists (both previously linked), Matthew Brady, or Dick Hyacinth? Dick is more of a comics culture commenter, but he did write a post addressing the need for better art criticism in comic reviews. If you have read those guys, what did you think?
    • CommentAuthorSolario
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2008
     (1698.11)
    @David Bedard,

    I love Sims' reviews. I've found we share a remarkably similar taste, so his word is gold in my world.

    Despite Sims' appearance, his reviews are often fairly thought out and well-constructed. He's not the "fanboy" he makes himself out to be.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDerleth
    • CommentTimeApr 10th 2008
     (1698.12)
    @ Bradley S

    Hyacinth and Brady have some clear thoughts and relevant points, but, too often their comments are too short and stream of conciousness. In my perfect world, critics would cover plot, writing, sequential storytelling, quality of artwork, and subtextual relevance. Sadly, that perfect world does not exist.
  5.  (1698.13)
    These guys try picking up every comic in the week and review them well.
  6.  (1698.14)
    i can't stand magazines and webzines that decide they don't ever want to post a 'negative' review. these sites just seem like they are patting each other on the back and that's just bad for the whole medium.

    i'd also like to see more comic info sites that actually SEARCH for unknown titles and try to review them and provide them with exposure. I can only think of 2 or 3 that try to do this. it just seems like the main sites, newsarama, wizard, etc. etc., are all just following their own tails and reporting on the same ol' same ol'. it turns into an incestuous business and creates a bubble that talent means nothing, expensive marketing means everything.
  7.  (1698.15)
    @ alternapete

    as a comic book guy trying to promote my self-published title, i 2nd everything you just said. this cycle turns the comic world into a snake eating its own tail--a market completely satisfied with mostly mediocre results...it's often frustrating. CBR re-vamping the review part of the site is probably going to be mostly meaningless--they will review the same 8 books every week that get reviewed EVERYWHERE else.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRae Beta
    • CommentTimeApr 16th 2008
     (1698.16)
    Chiming in in favor of ImageText; it's an academic journal, but if that's your bent, it's marvelous. They put on a kickass annual conference, too.