Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Who do you think you are?"

What's up guys, it's your 'ol buddy Mr.Morbid here with another exciting blog to tantalize you all. Well, it probably won't. Most likely won't, but you get the idea.
I figured I'd talk briefly about what I think is a major problem facing comics and their creators nowadays. No it's not just slumping sales, the current bad economy, or even Anthony Weiner. Well definitely not the last one, but I digress. Nope, one of, if not a major problem comics and creators face right now is the internet, or rather the section of internet viewers that constantly criticize, but almost never offer viable solutions.

Now, I like to read reviews of comics, especially by credible comic news sites like or, and even those on They tend to offer a generally good review or overview of whatever comic is chosen for review. They usually offer insightful criticism on what the issue should do story-telling wise, but didn't for whatever reason, or how the writer and/or artist got off track or did well in what they set out to do. I enjoy these reviews, and generally feel they have actual merit.

Now I do have to keep in mind, that while these people are being paid to write these reviews, they are mostly their opinions, and that at the end of the day, its the readers that determine whether or not a certain comic or graphic novel, or even a TPB is worth buying. These reviewers can only help, or attempt to help inform/persuade you on what's worth spending your hard-earned money on, and what should be skipped. And that's basically the kind of thing that's used for any medium or product.

My main problem, is the increasing number and over abundance in straight-out negative responses or criticism to a creator/creators' work. Sure everybody has a right to voice their opinion on whatever they feel works/doesn't work for them; that's why we as Americans are privileged to have the right of free speech. My issue is with those that choose to just spew hate and basic negative criticism at certain works without either offering credible and helpful solutions or not giving the creator time to let the story unfold in an organic manner. It's everywhere folks! Just visit any message board and you find these types of people. People who love to complain or rip on a piece of work just to do it. Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with criticizing someone's work. I think it's needed, especially if it can convince the creator or the creator's boss, that they might have gotten off track with what they were attempting to do. But you can do so with positive constructive criticism, instead of just being an ass and saying "oh this guy sucks!" or "Worst issue ever! what the hell's this guys' problem?" Can we get back to being adults when it comes to dolling out criticism or that too much?

Hey, there's nothing wrong with a healthy debate about a comic. That's the sort of thing that makes reading and discussing comics fun. But can we get back doing this sort of thing responsibly please? I myself have leveled criticism myself at certain individuals or story-lines, but I'll at least try to so with frame of mind that it took the person/persons that come up with that idea time and effort. True that can't always be said about some works sometimes, but usually the rule is a lot of time and thought went into making those comics.

I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I have difficult time being too hard on writers and artists, even if the work doesn't come off too well. No, I don't have a hard time in criticizing work that looks and reads real sloppy and insults the reader's intelligence, but to me that's in rare and extreme cases. I don't most writers and artists set off to make horrible and unreadable works of fiction. I highly respect these creators, because they're doing not only what I wish I could do, but also because they're living their dream. And they have to have some talent to do this for a living right or else how are they even getting hired? I feel for alot of these creators because I'd hate to read the things that get said about them if they were said about me. You really have to love your work and believe enough in your abilities to even consider putting yourself out there to be so scrutinized. And trust me it's not easy. To even those that are considered "bad" or the "worst", they all have my respect and admiration for having the balls to put yourself out there to be judged. I think all of those internet "trolls" out there need to be reminded of that. It's easier to judge someone else's work when your own work or abilities aren't also being judged. Yes Bendis or Johns might not always hit it out the park, or they even might fall prey to stretching themselves too thin or falling into the same repetitive traps story-wise, but at least they're putting themselves out there and you're not. You can think they're hacks, but still try to show them some respect huh? They're regular people just like you and me, except they're living our dream. Don't hate, just appreciate!

Now of course that doesn't mean editors or higher-ups shouldn't be chastised for not doing their jobs, or if so, doing them poorly(I'm looking at you Dan Dido)but it should be done intelligently and with solid facts, not just loosely-based opinions. Let's all critique more responsibly okay?


Martin Gray said...

A lovely, well-reasoned post, Dale. But I'm sure Dan Didio's doing his best too!

Dale Bagwell said...

I can't be too sure of that when there's too much evidence provided by too many people that proves otherwise. Countless editorial mistakes, the bad-mouthing or out-right ignoring of the work of his fellow employees(ex:Mark Waid and co's work on 52, Grant Morrison's Final Crisis, The unnecessary ending of Lois and Clark's marriage, The constant bungling of Wonder Woman, screwing over Greg Rucka and Chuck Dixon that caused them to leave, The mistreatment of Keith Giffen), and yes I'll dare say it; DC's current direction.

Sure in the beginning Didio was the man of ideas that helped DC compete against Marvel's revolutionary days, but I feel it's time he either leaves for awhile to creatively re-charge, or simply leave altogether. I know it seems like I'm contradicting myself by laying into Didio, but from what I've read by both creators and fellow industry insiders with certain insight inside the comings and goings inside DC, it really makes the mind boggle.

In interviews, he seems like a friendly and knowledgeable man, but his recent editorial decisions paint a different picture.

Dale Bagwell said...

Thanks for the comment though.

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