Thursday, August 6, 2009

In Review...

Today, in his mini-comics round up, Rob Clough reviewed Candy or Medicine Volumes 4-7 and lunarcy, as well as comics from Candy or Medicine Internet pals/contributors Tyler Stafford and Rob Jackson and IRL friend Phil McAndrew.

If you don't know who Rob Clough is, he runs the review blog High-Low and he is an exquisite reviewer. While he reviews many things, he often reviews mini-comics. One thing I really appreciate and admire about Rob is that he is honest in his reviews. Often times I find reviews of my work to fall in one of two camps -- the "This is great. Really funny. I love it." camp or "I'm not sure what this is" camp. To me, neither one of those are really of any value.

Reviews in the first camp seem a little hollow. What, specifically, did you like about it? What didn't you like about it? What could have made it better? What, if anything, made it different from other mini-comics you've read?

Reviews in the second camp seem aloof and lacking substance. You don't understand it? Fine. Tell me what you don't understand about it and, more importantely, tell me more than just that you don't understand it. To be fair, I've received reviews like this from people who are probably more likely to review zines than mini-comics.

So to have someone like Rob, who updates his site nearly every other day, is beneficial not only to me, but more importantly to his readers. If readers can gain an accurate sense of what a comic is about, then they can make a well-informed decision to purchase/not purchase a comic or at least visit/not visit a Web site.

I also admire Rob because I suck at writing reviews. I like to think of myself as a decent writer, considering I have two degrees in journalism, I've freelanced for a number of publications for the past 5 years and writing is part of my full-time job's description, but for some reason, when it comes to writing reviews, I'm just not any good at it. I try to do the best I can when I review mini-comics on this blog, but too often they turn out like those in the first camp, i.e. "I really like this." I sent a review to Dirk Deppey to post on Journalista, but he wrote back and said it was just a listing of the contents. He was absolutely correct. I find it difficult to write anything other than here is what is in the comic and I like it.

To have someone as talented and regular a writer as Rob is really a benefit to those of us in the comic community, especially those of us in the mini-comic community considering we have fewer outlets for reviews.

So thanks, Rob. Keep it up.

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