About Blog

Q: Why review webcomics? Are they really worth your time?

I’m doing this mainly because, while I know a lot about comic books and comic strips, I know absolutely nothing about webcomics. Oddly enough, this puts me on par with the Eisner Awards committee, which, this year, awarded their Digital Comic prize to the small 12-page Sam & Max comic. I feel that this relative innocence gives me an advantage … a sexy advantage. In that basically I harbor no favorites nor vendettas. Webcomics will be evaluated as I first see them.

Q: And who made you an authority on webcomics. Be it God or Caesar?

Well… I’m not an authority. However, I have taken classes in cartooning and figure painting (the one where you paint nekkid people), so I at least have some artistic background.

Q: You have never drawn a webcomic! How can you possibly know the rigours of webcomics when you haven’t webcomicked a webcomic?

That’s true. I’ve never done a webcomic. However, in college, I drew a comic the old fashioned way: getting it published in the local school paper with hopes of something greater. So yes, once upon a time I did publish a comic. However, it was terrible and you will never ever ever ever ever ever EVER see it EVER again for the life of God because it was that bad. Also, I have no idea where I kept the originals. They’re around … somewhere in my trunk I think. But I’m not taking the time to dig them out. Because they were BAD.

Q: A-ha! You admit it! You’re no good at comics, thus your claim is invalid! I am the God!

Hold it there, buddy … who happens to be an alter ego of me. I claim the Roger Ebert Credibility Clause. That is, Ebert was responsible for writing the script of one of the worst movies of all time, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. however, he is today the most respected movie critic in the world. I look at it this way: Ebert was a terrible screenwriter, but he’s great at criticizing movies. He found his calling, and the real-life experience didn’t hurt, either. (Inversely, how many of you honestly think that being a good screenwriter would make you a great movie critic?) I’m not saying I’m the Ebert of webcomics, but the experience with putting together a print comic, no matter how horrible, is at least something to help me understand the trials and tribulations of those in the field.

Q: What other review work have you done?

There’s some stuff at guthwulf.com written by me. Look for a writer named “Rook.”

Q: Why do you rate things with whole integers?

Now, see… every reviewer from Roger Ebert to Nathan Rabin seems to hate the star scale. I’m the same way. I’d rather have people read their reviews and make judgements based on the writing. But … I understand why the scale is there. It’s nice shorthand, plus it helps readers decide which reviews to read. So I keep it, with one caveat: I’m sticking to whole numbers. Halves just double the scale and cause controversies: like what if I rated Generic Webcomic 4-1/2 stars and Brand X webcomic 4 stars? Why people would be wondering why one is 1/2 star better than the other, and then the crying starts. I don’t want people to cry, so there you go.

Q: Will you ever rate anything a 1 (or a 0)?

As of this writing … yes, I am reading a couple of webcomics that fall in that range. Problem is, these comics are such a bear to read that I’m having a hard time motivating myself to finish it. (That’s the true trait of a bad webcomic, right? The inability to progress?) This is probably the biggest reason I haven’t rated any webcomic that low yet. Civility is only a minor factor. I guess I could do a write-up now, but I think I owe it to the author to read their stuff beginning to end in case it managed to improve somewhere, thus staying my blade.

Q: So what’s a webcomic? Is Diesel Sweeties still a webcomic since it’s now published in a print format? How about Pibgorn?

Yes. The first got its start on the web, and the second is on the web only. There’s definitely going to be a lot of vague overlap. Lethargic Lad, for example, was printed in comic book form initially, but is now exclusive to the web. It’s the nature of the beast: webcomics are still a young, burgeoning format, and there will be new challenges popping up all the time.

Q: So why did you decide to create yet another webcomic review site, anyway?

I was inspired by John Solomon’s now defunct “Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad” site. (A pity, that. I felt it was just gaining steam. And detractors of the site should note: it probably did a lot in increasing the exposure of the webcomics it was lampooning.) I wanted to do something similar, but kinder. From the feedback I’ve been getting, I think I’m doing a good job so far.

Q: What’s that one quote from Ratatouille about critics?

“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.”

Why do you ask?

Q: Oh, nothing.

Huh.

Q: Why are you such a dead sexy beast?

Good nutrition.

  1. On the whole, I generally freak quite easily at any sort of feedback to my work, but I’ve been actually quite entertained/amsued in a quiet way by your reviews of different webcomics so far.

    it’s been nice reading over reviews that don’t just bollock out webcomics if they’re not to your taste, but you actually give a decent reason, and a sort of honest sort of sympathy to some.

    well, I’m not asking for a review [mostly because i really don't need to be reduced to quivering jelly at the mo] but I have few pages up in the blog of my myspace at the mo [choose the one that says page 01-20 unless you want to be confused.]

    to make it more confusing- i run my pages right to left [just check the page numbers at the bottom.]

    anyway, had fun reading :)

    Naniiebim

  2. I’ll be glad to read your webcomic! It might be a while, though. I have an unfortunately long backlog of requests and it’s been taking me some time to get through them. To give you an idea, the last request I reviewed, “A Fine Example,” was submitted back in December and I really didn’t get to it until last week. I think I may have to do some sort of multi-review, One Punch style, to pick up the slack. :)

  3. I’d love to see your review of “Newshounds” (http://www.newshounds.com) or “Something Happens” (http://www.somethinghappens.net). Newshounds has been around since 1997, and I was fortunate enough to be included in Ted Rall’s Webcomic anthology, “Attitude 3.” I’d really love to read a level-headed review of my work. :)

  4. I do like what you’ve got going here!
    One/Two question(s) I find missing on this page though, is “Will you take review requests/How can I request a review?”
    And, my point with this is, I very much want a review :)

  5. Hey, Alien! If the comic you’re talking about is “Chasing the Sunset,” you’re already there! I just saw something posted on ComixTalk celebrating the 500th strip.

    Basically the rule is simple: I just have to be interested in it. Folks have e-mailed me requests in the past, and I’ve tried to review their stuff, but then I came to the realization, at some point, that their comic wasn’t made for me. It would do the author and myself a terrible disservice if I reviewed a webcomic that was on a topic I had no particular interest in.

    However, I do love me some fantasy! I think “fantasy webcomic” is one of my largest categories at this site. (Currently 18 fantasy webcomics reviewed, it looks like.) And, like I said in my interview, good art usually grabs me immediately!

    I’ll try to do a review of your comic. No promises though. I’m actually planning on going on a long term hiatus soon, so I might not get to it in a long while yet.

  6. Hideeho! I too have a webcomic in desperate need of eyeballs. Please give it a look if you find a spare moment or three. My webcomic is not godawful.
    It can be found at http://www.untruetales.com.

    Thank you and have a pleasant tomorrow!

  7. Hey, thanks for hosting this great resource of comic news! keep up the great work :)

  8. Nice look to the site, Santo!

  9. I would love to hear your review on the recently published issue 1 of my web Manga, The Beast Legion. I’ve loved reading your reviews so far & look forward to more. You can find it at http://www.thebeastlegion.com .

  10. A very funny blogger on wordpress Matt Posky commented on my drawings and mentioned it here.

    This blog is very interesting resource. 5 stars!

    Thanks to this blog I set out to start my own “webcomic”.

    Its a work in progress, but then again, what isn’t?

    I reckon as long as I’m having fun why not do it?

  11. Hello! I noticed that you review webcomics and I would like your opinion on my site. My stuff is usually only one to three frames so you don’t have to spend so much time on following some plot. I hope you will like it and would appreciate a responds. Thank you for your time!

    Todd

  12. Hey, I really enjoyed reading this Q & A. I’ve been authoring a comic strip for about 18 years that has been on the web for nearly 9 years. I hope very much you’ll read the series and the information on the site, then let us know what you think.
    Thank you for your consideration, and for this important blog,
    Al

  13. Hi there! Great blog! I wanted to contact you about my webcomic, but can’t find an email address, so I will just post here. It’s called Doodze (a tiny epic) and is an all ages fantasy comic that could be described as a cross between Smurfs and LOTR. I am about 40-odd pages in. If you have time to check ot out, that would be great. Thanks!

  14. DEAD ZOO depicts a world where Bodies and Machines merge. A prosthetic love story…Help make it happen on Dead Zoo’s Indiegogo Page http://www.indiegogo.com/DEADZOO !

  15. Hi I came across this awesome “American Splendor”-esque webcomic Cosco Comics: http://davidcoscarelli.tumblr.com/ I think you would enjoy reviewing it!

  16. You have yourself a new fan in me, just found you because of Fogs’ plugging post!

  17. So how does one get on that thar list of to be reviewed webcomics?

  18. How can I get my comic reviewed!?!?! I’m dyin’ over here.

  19. It’d be pretty cool if you could get around to reviewing this webcomic sometime:

    http://blue-blaster.com/

  20. Would you consider adjusting the “About” page to the period now? It seems about time that you do.

    If webcomics ever reach the mainstream, your site might just become one of the webcomic world’s equivalent for one of those “grey old ladies” of editorials and the such you used to talk of on occasion..

    • I kinda think I already am one of the “gray old ladies” of webcomics. This blog may be the oldest active blog still writing about webcomics anymore. Kinda makes me feel I earned my rocking chair.

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