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Webcomics reviews-- huh! What are they good for?
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A.G. Hopkins



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A.G. Hopkins wrote:
As I said above, interviews, IMO, are all well and good, but I believe it takes both reviews and interviews to fully explore certain works, and that interviews alone do not necessarily provide a good frame of reference for deciding whether or not to invest time in a strip.



Gah. Just to clarify, I do NOT believe that people are incapable of fully exploring a comic on their own, and that they MUST read my essay in order to fully grasp the intricacies of any given work. I hope I'm never that arrogant.

Reviews may provide the opportunity for other viewpoints, which can lead to discussions or personal insights which can lead to fuller understanding of a work. In those cases where the work has not been read yet, this provides a good snapshot of the depth a comic can offer, which is usually a good indicator of quality.
That snapshot, in conjunction with an interview, can provide a stronger foundation for someone experiencing the work for the first time. This can, hopefully, make life easier for those who like additonal insights into art.

Hope that's a little clearer. Very Happy

A.G.
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Joe Zabel at work
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the problems is that the best cartoonists are not necessarily the best interview subjects. Many of the greatest artists are inarticulate types who channel their need for self-expression into their work. And the really successful artists are too busy to be bothered with interviews. On the other hand, there are artists who are popular because they have a gift for gab, but as artists they're mediocre.
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Ghastly



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Zabel at work wrote:
On the other hand, there are artists who are popular because they have a gift for gab, but as artists they're mediocre.


My ears are burning. Laughing


A.G. Hopkins wrote:
Ghastly, since I must needs ask a question for a decent answer, and you've already stipulated that you do, in fact, read us;
What's your opinion so far? What would you like to see more of? Less of? Other things we don't currently provide that you'd like to see? Where do we shine? Where don't we?
No guarantees of course, that we'll be able to make any changes you suggest, but we'd at least know, eh?


Webcomic Examiner is doing alright so far. Comes off a little pretentious at times but I think that's impossible to avoid when talking about art anyways so that doesn't matter. It's by no means in the black turtleneck, wine sniffing, beret wearing, cheese-eater territory so I wouldn't worry about that too much.

What would I like to see? Well no reviews of Penny Arcade for one thing. More articles dealing with issues and topics and how they are represented in different ways by different artists would be refreshing and interesting. Seek out the vibrant, interesting people in the community and hit them with some challenging and creative questions. Glimpses behind the scenes at what makes the webcomics tick would be nice. Examinations of the strengths and weaknesses of webcomics over traditional comic mediums would be interesting. Examinations of different technique and style, examinations of genre stuff like that. I also like articles that don't focus on one particular webcomic but are a comparative approach to a larger issue. More articles focusing on ideas and concepts.

Just make sure that whatever the articles are about that the writing is vibrant, engaging, and above all else interesting. Be wary of becoming too dry and academic in your approach.

Also, would someone please tell me who the fuck Pat O'Neal is?
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A.G. Hopkins



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ghastly wrote:


Also, would someone please tell me who fucked Pat O'Neal?


I'm sorry. I'm not privy to that information. If you want more fodder for your tentacoo wape, you'll have to dredge it up yourself.

Maybe it was this guy?

Ghastly wrote:

It's by no means in the black turtleneck, wine sniffing, beret wearing, cheese-eater territory so I wouldn't worry about that too much.


I've never been a big fan of cheese. Peasant. *sniff*

And it's a fine line between vibrant, engaging, interesting writing, and simple op-ed stuff. I try to be as objective as possible, while still getting across what excites me about a comic. Mayhaps I am a tad dry, but I'm more wary of coming across like a fawning fan-child. (Hmm, I've defended this before. I think perhaps I can afford a bit more fanfawning. )
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damonk13



Joined: 22 Jun 2002
Posts: 138

PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Zabel at work wrote:
On the other hand, there are artists who are popular because they have a gift for gab, but as artists they're mediocre.


I pride myself on my artistic mediocrity. It's the only 'normal' thing about my life!
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joezabel
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Joined: 28 May 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat O'Neil was the editor of a defunct comics magazine (Comics Scene I think) and I believe he was an editor at Wizard Magazine for a short time. But he became the stuff of legend among comics fans (but apparently not webcomics fans) as a frequent critic of The Comics Journal. Unlike other critics of TCJ, O'Neil made it a point of pride that he did not read the magazine and had no need to in order to criticize it. This of course made it pointless, but amusing, to debate with him about it. Also, as I said, he never responds to any questions, at least not directly. He apparently thinks that answering a question weakens his debating position.

Actually he generally won the debates, because he brought out the worst in the TCJ staff and reminded people of how creepy they can be. For example, TCJ once ran a 'separated at birth' graphic in the print magazine showing O'Neil and Dan Pussey; there is some resemblance, but it was a pretty nasty piece of business, especially when aimed at a private citizen whose only crime is participating in message boards.

I thought I could provide a link to one of the huge message threads at Comicon.com that centers around people arguing with him. But they don't have a search capability, and I don't think he's been active recently (I myself pretty much dropped out of Comicon.com a year ago.)

Ghastly, I'm afraid you fall short of Pat O'Neil. You're too reasonable. But since nobody here seems to have heard of him, that shows how fleeting fame is!
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