Thought that with my time here on Analog Addiction as a Comic Editor, I’d take a bit of time to speak about what it means to me writing editorials and reviews. Just what comics mean to me.
When I think of finding your voice in comic editorials and reviews, I think about sharing the joy of why we all read comics. Positive, negative, everything sparks discussion and that is the driving force of both the comic community and the comic industry. We all follow what each other say because we all have one common goal, we like superheroes. No matter the opinion, that is the one thing that we can agree on. When I write reviews, news stories, or just give my opinion on something, I’m also giving that extension of myself and showing that same passion. That is what separates every journalist or reviewer out there. They put their personality into what they write, they give you a reason to listen to them, love them or hate them. It’s all opinion in the end, but if we all agreed, then what would we really have to talk about after praise?
It really didn’t hit me as to how what I say affects those who write these books till I read a tweet from Robert Liefeld, who seemed pretty pissed about a reviewer or just someone’s opinion in general. I should also point out before I continue that this is no attack on him and neither do I have a problem with him. It’s just what this train of thought stems from.
Sorry I did not make myself clear, I do not read most, if any comic reviews. Stopped long ago, for reasons already mentioned.
— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) August 6, 2013
Now of course I realize it’s my opinion which is why I’m not upset at the general statement, but it does make you question the state of the comic community when people take things so personally. Even if upset, he spent a lot of time breaking down his opinion of what he thought comic reviewers do and basically what those “reasons mentioned” were as to why he doesn’t read many reviews. Basically regurgitate the story plot, bash blindly, or just have opinions that you all shouldn’t care for. Again I’m not hurt, but then you also have him say that most “comic critics” are homers, that did sting a bit. Not because it’s true or untrue, but because he is someone in the industry who said something like this.
I mean from the start I have found that I do have a voice. I show that I have one through what I write here. I have had both writers and artists either thank or like what I’ve written on their works. No matter how little the recognition, just being noticed means something. It’s all for fun, and when that stops being the case it shows in what you write. At a point as well you do realize you can’t satisfy everyone because not every book is perfect.
Now why would something like this get me thinking? It’s simple, it allowed me to reflect on how I represent myself rather than his views are of reviewers. Reviewing comics is something different from movies or games. We are given anything between 20 to 30 pages on average to cover. While some may have a lot to cover, some may not, and that’s where I think I see the different approach to reviewing. It’s not all about bashing, or doing a “panel2panel” recap. It’s about showing your passion for what you read. Add some personality, speak what’s on your mind about the book, because the truth is much better than praise. An editor or reviewer is no different from your average reader. They have opinions and they are vocal enough that people want to know what’s on their mind.
Now in no way does that mean me or anyone else has a higher opinion. You also have the choice not to read or care because if we all agreed then there would be no diversity in the comic community. We thrive off of diversity, that’s what allows us to explore the many books that these writers and artists provide us. And it is through reviews and opinions that allow readers to have an idea as to which path they want to take, knowing there is no wrong choice. Neither do you have to follow exactly what we say either. You use the opinions you read as points of reference knowing that what that person may like or dislike is different to your preference.
Overall, everything is supposed to spark discussion, bonds, arguments, debates. That is what it means to be a comic reader. Take everything you read with a grain of salt and remember that everyone’s voice matters in the grand scheme. We are an industry and a community. Just a little food for thought for those out there who take the time to comment on articles, read reviews, write editorials, and write reviews. You all matter, everything matters.