Superheroes Reviewed By Snoots

By | Wednesday, December 19, 2007 Leave a Comment
This is my final post in responding to Dick Hyacinth's uncannily insightful, but potentially flame-inducing, claims. This time, I'm tackling his final point: "Every snooty 'art comix' critic should be forced to review a stack of superhero comics every year to prove that they really like comics."

In this case, I don't know that it's actually that bad of an idea. I mean, if you claim to be a lover of comics/sequential art, then you should be able to look at and study it in all its forms. Some of Dick's finer points here, I disagree with but the general concept makes sense to me.

First off, "forced" is a bit strong. I don't think anybody should be "forced" to do anything. But I think that if a "snooty art comix critic" did review superhero books from time to time, it would certainly help their credibility. The problem with snoots, often, is that they stick their noses up at whatever they're being snooty about without actually having sampled it. If a "snooty art comix critic" can say, "You know, I read Amazing Spider-Man and just didn't like it" they've got some justification behind that.

The other thing that I disagree with is that Dick seems to imply that these "snooty art comix critics" need to actually like some of the superhero comics they review. This is, naturally, absurd as any given sampling of comics (whatever the genre) is going to contain some poorly executed works. Given the large number of superhero comics on the market, and following the rule of thumb that 90% of everything is lousy, there's more than a fair chance that whatever superhero titles the reviewer samples aren't very good. If, for example, there are 100 superhero comics to choose from, there's only a 10% chance that a reviewer will randomly select a good one. By contrast, if there are only 10 non-superhero comics to choose from, there's a 100% chance that one of them will be good. The odds are stacked against the reviewer if we demand them to enjoy a superhero title.

There's nothing inherently wrong with any genre of fiction. Some genres speak better to certain ideas and themes than others, and naturally those differences are why some people prefer certain genres over others. But a person who claims to love a medium should be able to speak to all aspects of that medium regardless of the genre, whether that's slice-of-life, superheroes, Westerns, romance, whatever... I think a person who reviews comic books should review all manner of comics, if for no other reason than to keep themselves abreast of what all is being published.

Personally, I'm pretty pleased with the variety of material I've reviewed on this blog. I like to think I cover a pretty wide range of material, and I try to be fair to all of it. But, hey, I've answered to worse things than "snooty art comix critic" so Dick's free to call me whatever he likes.
Newer Post Older Post Home