I started doing Comic Comments just to share my thoughts about a comic with other comic readers. Kinda like chatting about a movie at a fast food joint after seeing it. Not a true review of the comic but more just commenting on it from my reading. If it’s working or not is hard to tell because I don’t get many comments back (apparently I’m sitting alone at a table chatting about the comic I just read) and very few e-mails. However it’s new and my inner voice says, keep your head down keep doing the column for a year THEN start to evaluate it.
Like all writing it’s developing organically, creating its own form just like characters and stories do as you work on them. The number of scanned pages has dropped. The legal statement has to be done. The shape has taken on a formula for now of intro, legal, creative team, discussion, few scans with comments. Seems to work for me right now but I’m running into some trouble defining just what I want the discussion to be.
I’m leaning more toward a review. I’ve been looking about at comic reviews and find there are basically three types – summary, cheerleader, critic.
The summary one retells the story of what happened in the comic. This is an easy one to fall into for me. It’s the sharing of my love for this style of storytelling that inspired the whole column to begin with. I want to share what’s going on with the title! However, a commentary or review isn’t about retelling the story. It’s to discuss the story with those who have read it or inspire someone to read it and then discuss.
The cheerleader one goes against my basic kvetching nature. Also if every comic book you read is yippeee-skipee wonderful great. I have to wonder about you more than the books. Trust me, comic book fans love to complain. If you are all rainbows, sparkles, and unicorns something’s up. I’ve come to the conclusion they are brownnosers. Why? maybe freebies from the big publishers, maybe promoting a friend’s indy, maybe just too Mary Sue to say what they really think, maybe secretly it’s the creative team doing the review (has happened in novels). I don’t know, but if all your articles on comics are rosy then I’m suspicious.
There there’s the critic or overly critical or a troll or just plain bitchy. This is the flip side of the cheerleader. Doesn’t matter what the title does it stinks. Sure there are occasional books that just plain stink even more rarely a whole title that stinks. These are few and far between. Publishers don’t invest money in actually printing if it is crap. Usually the art or the story will be a bright point in a book, sometimes it’s a matter of taste of if it went well. I can appreciate something that’s not my taste but well done for the genre it is. For example I’m not into Anime but I can tell great Anime when I see it – it’s just not my bag.
I try to strike a balance in my comments not reveal too much, not be overly approving or overly critical. I know I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I do. I’m not sure where the column is going, more toward review, summary, critique, or fangurling. I think it’ll waffle for a while longer while I find my Comic Comments voice. The one thing I do know is I’ll keep doing it. I enjoy it. It’s a labor of love. I don’t have anyone here in real life to share this interest with so I reach out here and occasionally get nods and emails from other comic book readers. Maybe I might even interest someone in picking up a comic now and again to look at it with a different eye than before. Heck if I can do that I think it makes it all worth while.
Next time I promise I’ll be back with a comic in tow to share. However if you can offer any input on how you see this thing going and what you as a reader want to see it do I’d love to hear it. Like Logan says your choice! Until next time peeps.