For a long time now I’ve wanted to do a comic book review. Nothing fancy. Just the odd blog post here and there. But I haven’t bothered, because I felt that the moment I said something negative about anything I would open atomic Robo up to unreasonable criticism simply because someone decided that they didn’t like what I said, and not because the work deserved it.
Not that our book doesn’t need constructive criticism. Brian and I find all sorts of things wrong with our book. So do a lot of reviewers. We take note. We strive to avoid the same mistakes. As a result Atomic Robo has gotten consistently better the more we work at it. At least, I think it has. But I digress.
When I quit comics cold turkey back around 1995 I wrote off the entire medium as a complete waste of time. In retrospect this seems a bit harsh, but you have to understand that at the time I felt that sifting through the great mountains of crap that came out, just to find a few comics worth reading, was just not worth the effort. And when did the books i liked come out? Well who the fuck knew? I wasn’t going to buy Preview, and the shop I was going to at the time was pretty terrible on the customer service front, (they are much better today I can report). It’s not like today where I can just set up a subscription with TFAW.com or Midtowncomics.com and the good shit would just arrive on my front door as if by magic. No, this was a time when the Internet was still like a teenager who’d just gotten it’s driver’s permit. It could barely get out of second gear, and there was a whole hell of a lot of gear grinding. Back then comics were even more of an impenetrable morass than they are today.
Since coming back to comics I have discovered two amazing things relevant to this post; First, that there has been an explosion of new, really good, material, and Second, it was almost too easy to get your hands on it thanks to the Internet 2.0.
The other day, as I so often do, I got into a conversation on Twitter about the comic book industry, and how it was dumb in the face. Strangely, for once, I was playing the part of the moderate devil’s advocate, but I was still the one who got the messages asking me to stop bitching. =) The comment wasn’t that direct, because Scottie Young is a classy guy, but that was basically what he was saying.
More to the point what he asked for was recommendations and thoughts on comics that I believed were good. I think his request was more to the general creator community, not me specifically, but it struck a chord and brought up the familiar urge to proselytize a little.
And then that same day Eric Powell and Robert Kirkman released this little video, entitled the Creators Front For Diversity In Comics. The video raises a lot of valid points. Everything it says is true. It was well shot and edited. Funny at points. The anal rape was off-putting.
One thing the video did help me figure out was how I could do this comic book review thing and not get buried in hate mail. I will not be negative. Which, of course, is my default setting but I think I can get around that if I only review comics that I really enjoy. I’ll tell you why I like them, and give my opinions on what I think the people making them are doing right. This is why it will only be an occasional thing for me, because to be honest, there aren’t all that many comics out there that I think are worth the cover price. So there will probably be a burst of reviews up front followed by a sharp drop-off, resulting in a slow trickle as time goes on.
But there you have it. Maybe this can count as my somewhat late 2011 New Years Resolution. Except I think New Years Resolutions are retarded. So forget that. Its just a thing I’m going to give a try and if I enjoy doing it I will keep doing it.