Poll: tell me how you prefer your webcomic reviews
I’ve been reading John Teti’s excellent article over at Gameological about the nature of reviewing called “Chasing The Dragon.” The article calls out Warren Spector, who posits that video games won’t gain legitimacy unless there are noted reviewers like Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert on the movie side to filter the content through tastemaking outlets. Teti counters, though, that the internet has changed much of that dynamic:
It makes more sense for the shape of the discourse to shift over time, regardless of the supposed authorities in a given moment. As art evolves, criticism changes as well, not just in its content but also in its form. Criticism ought to be (and inevitably is) more responsive than any one-size-fits-all maturation process could accommodate.
Teti points out that TV criticism, for example, didn’t take off until it was implemented in an episodic format.
That has changed in recent years as the episodic review format has taken hold online. Newspaper and magazine critics tended to check in on programs sporadically—typically during premieres—and then the conversation would end. The space constraints of print made any more intensive converage impractical. On the web, though, writers like Alan Sepinwall and Stephanie Zacharek—not to mention the staff of Television Without Pity—discovered that they could comment on TV with a frequency and depth that did justice to the episodic form.
Naturally, this got me to thinking about this site. There really are two ways of doing webcomic reviews online. Websnark, perhaps the most well known webcomic review site, follows Teti’s recommendation of episodic reviews. This site — and most other sites I’m aware of — treat each webcomic as an individual entity, assessing the whole work in one post.
But … which is right? The episodic format often demands that you stay to the same ten or so webcomics. A one-review-per-webcomic format lets you cover more, but reviews tend to get obsolete quickly.
If you read a lot of webcomic reviews, which is the type of review that you prefer to read?
(Apologies for the self-serving nature of this post. I should have a proper review up by the end of this week, by the way.)