Friday, February 2, 2007


If 95% of all comics suck, the same is true of blogs about comics. Or traditional websites or message boards or podcasts or what have you. It's shocking how bad they are, really. On one extreme, you have smug middlebrow hipsters whose idea of criticism is to berate the reader for buying Civil War instead of Mouse Guard (or Scott Pilgrim, or Street Angel, or whatever happens to be this year's darling). On the other are the myopic slaves to continuity, who judge the quality of a book solely by how closely it adheres to the characterizations, styles, and tropes of their youth. And then there are the humor blogs, their lifeblood scanned images of poorly-drawn comics with hints of homoeroticism. Batman is totally gay! Vince Coletta sucked!

Message boards are filled with variations of all these folks, plus a more pitiful breed of DC/Marvel addicts. Some are eager to inspect Dan DiDio's latest spoonful of hype, offering various theories on its origins and meanings. Others just shoot it under their tongue without complaint. Nearly all draw battle lines--DC vs. Marvel, "mainstream" vs. "indie," Silver Age vs. Bronze Age, western comics vs. manga, internet favorites vs. the stuff that actually sells. You cannot simply share your thoughts on the comics you read; you have to pick sides and get to work gathering ammunition. Memorize the memes and cite them liberally. Rape! Snobbery! Tentacle porn! Adolescent power fantasy! Bad dialogue! Poor sales!

The online comics discourse is as sophomoric as anything that Brad Meltzer has ever written and as soul-crushingly depressing as the complete oeuvre of Chris Ware. There are certainly a few commendable blogs out there, but they're drowned out by a symphony of inanity, self-satisfaction, cliche, and sheer stupidity. I will document and ridicule this cacophany of the grotesque, fighting the blogosphere with its own weapon. I have no dog in this fight--I read the most ludicrous of superhero comics, the most portentous of art comix, the most disposable of manga, the most arcane of comic strips, and everything else I can get my hands on. I love it and hate it all equally. And, like comics blogs, I think 95% of it is crap.

1 comment:

Stephan Schroeder said...

This blog has a built in defense system against criticism. Anyone who leaves comments on it is highly likely (95% by your estimation) to provide fodder for future blog savaging on your part.

Of course, there is a loop hole. Some people have no readers as it is. They might be crazy enough to post anyway. ;)