Reviewing A Review

By now most people who keep track of the webcomic drama know about the wonderfully dramatic and entertaining review site Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad. This is a site that grabs attention and readers from being in poor taste. There is a simple truth that anything can be made to look or sound bad with enough creativity or vice versa. Everyone knows this and likely 80% of everyone who has read one of those awful reviews are reading them to see just how bad a bad writer can make a popular webcomic sound like trash. It’s like watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 but with webcomics. You simply laugh yourself to tears because of how much crap you’re wading through and you can’t help yourself but glue yourself to the screen and watch the train wreck in all it’s glory.

Where i get confused is when people take it seriously. My philosophy is to first admit being wrong myself but it’s hard in this circumstance. While I was doing some intersurfing at work I came across this site, Your web comic review site is bad. Really? I’ll admit the irony of the whole idea had me tickled but reading through both sites was not worth the time because once I read John Solomon I didn’t need to know I disagreed, but he is required reading to read the other site. This seems like stabbing yourself in the hand and then slapping yourself in the head for hurting yourself. Now you’ve stabbed yourself twice.

What do I think of both sites? John Solomon, although a bad writer, is very creative. His reviews invoke good imagery and entertain. Over the past couple months his writing has improved and the staff has grown with each new person adding some new twists to the whole webcomic commentary they have going. Their pool of bad comics is huge so they have an almost endless supply, especially considering their standards are astronomically high. Fremen and gang, on the other hand, have almost no where to go unless they start delivering Daily Show quality of entertainment. Their skill in writing may be better but the content lacks inspiration and they try to match the linguistic style of who they are reviewing. I would like to see these guys expand out to everyone else and not limit themselves to one single site because if the other guys get bored then you’re out of a job.


11 thoughts on “Reviewing A Review

  1. I may be biased, because I enjoy John Solomon’s site… but the “Your Webcomic Review Site Is Bad” link seems to be trite and bitter. Solomon and Company check out several webcomics to make fun of, while this site seems to spew hatred for Solomon only. So, in comparison, it would be like a site that was entitled “Roger Ebert Is Bad” and saved all the venom for lampooning a single critic. Funny at first, but sadly repetitive an overly bitter in the long run.

    Also, being critical of a critic seems both hypocritical and pathetic, doesn’t it?

  2. “Everyone knows this and likely 80% of everyone who has read one of those awful reviews are reading them to see just how bad a bad writer can make a popular webcomic sound like trash.”

    Insulting someone else’s writing style with a poorly constructed sentence. Classy.

  3. I didn’t like that sentence but I was having trouble figuring out how to say it. Maybe: “Everyone knows this. Likely, 80% of the readers are reading them to see just how bad a bad writer can make a popular webcomic sound like trash.” Anyways the insult was followed by a complement and I am always saying I’m not that good. Nice catch though.

  4. “It’s like watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 but with webcomics.”

    But Mystery Science Theater 3000 made fun of shitty movies

    Doesn’t this invalidate your whole point

  5. Not from the point of view of the site. Their opinion is they are reviewing bad webcomics just like MST3 was reviewing bad movies. If taken from my point of view then that would you would be right as I like about half the comics they consider bad.

    I was hoping no one would get the wrong impression and think I consider MST3 bad. I think the show was brilliant but the difference is they considered themselves silly and took that approach. It was meant as nothing more then to get a laugh and not really provoke any reaction. YWBYSFB has a lot of potential in the realm of satire and look forward to continually reading it.

  6. Are you shitting me?

    John Soloman may not be the most amazing journalist ever, but homeboy can structure a fucking article. He makes strong points, backs them up with specific evidence (links, mostly), and generally does a good job of attacking the work, rather than the artist (fat jokes about Scott Kurtz notwithstanding.) When he calls Dominic Deegan unreadable trash, he tells you exactly why it’s unreadable trash. With exposition. And colorful language. And “good imagery,” in your words; hardly the mark of an inferior writer, by my reckonin’.

    Really, the only fault I find with John is that he’s a windy sonovabitch. I mean, seriously.

    That said, I’m puzzled why the prevailing opinion (in the webcomics commune, anyway) is that John is a bad writer. Like I said: he’s a very proficient, if perhaps not exemplary, journalist. He’s mentioned several times that he’s primarily a writer of fiction. As someone who’s reasonably well-acquainted with the written word, switching beween storytelling and journalism is kind of a bitch. Writing an article is much more constraining, and generally leaves less room for personal style than a short story would. For someone used to the freedom narative allows, conventional journalistic structure is annoying.

    At any rate: that webcomics review site review site. To be brief, what a flaming crock of shit that thing is. The guys who do it are pretty obviously morons. The response to John’s quip about Dominic Deegan and universal constants? It made my fucking head hurt. I can’t tell if Mr. Fremen’s tenuous grip on physics or rhetoric is more enraging.

    And what’s with the fucking Dune reference?

    PS: Irony. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  7. I still puzzle at why John Solomon is ever described as a good writer. If he could actually stick to hating the comics, then he’d at least just be unfunny, but his ED-centric need to be an attention whore completely kills it. So he’ll spend more than half the review insulting the author, the comic’s audience, and even his own audience. Or he’ll waste time with a post about how much he hates his readership.

    Yea, he can construct competent sentences, but the reviews still suck. They smack of either someone who got rubbed the wrong way by David Willis, or someone who craves attention. When he does stumble upon some valid criticism, it is discovered only after painfully crawling through pointless material and spouting of “faggotry”. Ironically, I’d compare him to Robert Howard in his need to latch onto notoriety for attention.

    Finally, as for the MST3K comparison, the amount of respect that the writers of the show have for the medium of film and even the people who made the dreck they’re slogging through is evident. John Solomon appears to hate the mere existence of web comics. Also, MST3K is actually funny.

    As for the review of the reviews, the less said the better. And now Mr. Solomon seems to have put his blog on hiatus and stopped his illustrious staff from writing in his absence apparently. Perhaps the drama has come to a close, but this is the internet and the ED authors need their “lulz”.

  8. It should come as no surprise, but I rather like Jon Solomon’s writing. Likewise, it does not surprise me that if you have a blog, and you have what YOU think are valid points, and pepper it with sometimes-terse observational humor, punctuated by occasional profanity, not to mention a little honesty (presuming he actually DOES find these webcomics to be irritating and feels they’re out there, actively rubbing him the wrong way, polluting HIS internet), in turn, you will have devoted fans who have longed for someone to single out those comics as the enemy and lambast them publicly. Heck, *I* find some of these creators incredibly arrogant, and now having the “Anime Con” style notoriety of being a guest-of-honor at Whatevercon-2011 somewhere, they’ve had a taste of a teensy bit of notoriety and they’re acting like juggernauts. Having experienced some of this Buckley-centric behavior, I think a site like badcomics.blogspot was inevitable. And welcome!

    Likewise, besides achieving a small base of very devoted fans, you will also have whiners that constantly simper about your language, as if they’ve never heard George Carlin perform, or worse, have tried to shelter themselves from anything with an “F” word.

    Limp-wrists who claim his comments are in “Poor taste” baffle me. Look, I don’t understand what was so different about your upbringing, but if I let my imagination run amok for a second, I might conjure forth images of a guy who writes gay fanfic based on Quantam Leap, and yet is having trouble reconciling his fixation for Sam and Al, his masturbatory habits, and the fact that “God” is watching him.

    Jon incidentally retired the character. His “Schtick” is no more. His opinions, however, have gained a longevity across “daz interwebz,” as they continue to be copypasta’ed into other blogs and websites.

    If you’re going to judge his writing, perhaps this is something you should take into consideration.

    Just a suggestion to those out there who are still whining about his supposedly off-putting demeanor, who are, in turn, annoying the hell out of me.

  9. Thank you for adding nothing worth while to a blog post that is nearly 4 years old. Adding the rude comments about my upbringing is a nice extra touch of poor ability to say anything constructive. BTW, no one is whining anymore!

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