Just to clear up a few misconceptions about what I wrote yesterday:
-Anyone who took it to be another "buy what you like" rant greatly misunderstood me. I hate those rants, because they aim so, so low. I don't believe in reminding people not to waste money on comics they don't like. It's a problem, I'm sure, but who wants to try to reason with the people who suffer from it? It's just too depressing to contemplate.
-It was mostly aimed at people who write about comics, regardless of ambition or venue. Anyone who attempts to write a review of a comic amounting to more than a couple of lines complaining about continuity or giddily anticipating the return of a character (or a version of a character) previously thought to be rendered out-of-continuity. If you can't get past the idea that someone might not like your favorite superhero comics, this conversation isn't for you.
-Okay, I'll throw you folks a bone. Too many of you shut off part of your brain whenever you read anything which suggests that mediocrity/putridity dominates the comics industry. (And really, it's a little unseemly that so many of you immediately lapse into "but Mom, comics are serious!" mode whenever anyone questions the quality of popular comics.) This isn't "superhero hating snobs vs. regular folks." That's stupid. Anyone who reads Tucker's interview and comes away with that impression....
-But anyway, I was trying to aim a little higher than the Wednesday crowd, as Dirk Deppey calls them. Specifically, I meant the people who are aware of comics beyond the Image/Dark Horse/IDW level of ground-level indies, yet who continually reward mediocre comics with excessive praise. Which is not to say that these people aren't entitled to their own opinion--it's just that their opinion is, uh, questionable. And I think it's time we actually started questioning the value of these reviews.
-Look, it will all seem a lot clearer in a couple of months, when we start seeing best of 2008 lists with mediocrities sitting alongside genuinely worthwhile material. That's what really infuriates me--a list with Exit Wounds, Shortcomings, Aya, Y the Last Man, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You're obviously exposed to the good stuff--why fill out the list with middling junk? (Part of this is an issue of mainstream press writers only including books they receive as comps; those lists drove me crazy.) I'm considering including a special sub-list only including trusted/legitimate critics, but I don't want to be the one who has to pick them out. Maybe I'll poll some of the critics I respect to get a sense of whose lists should be included on such a list. Please note: this won't replace the regular meta-list, which I would certainly still consider the definitive word on which comics were the best-reviewed in 2008.
-And I guess that's as good an opening as any to remind everyone that it's getting to be meta-list season. If you're one of those people who likes to make these lists way, way too early, please send me a link so that I can include it in the final tally.