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When 98% of reviewers suck, maybe you're thinking about it wrong

Some recent answers from Tom Brevoort's formspring page:

>> Read a nexus review for New Avengers. How do you guys put up with some of this stuff? Its like there is no longer an art of criticism, its just nit picking and finding ways for things to be wrong. No research, no nouse, just myopia. NA was awesome cool

I haven't read the review you're talking about, but I feel that way about 98% of the reviews out there. The Internet has allowed everybody to become a faux-reviewer, without any particular qualifications or ability. Ain't no sin having an opinion, or expressing that opinion, of course. I just don't take most of them any more seriously than I would a guy chatting to me at a comic shop or a convention. I would like to see the emergence of more better, more substantive reviewers, especially at the big comics news sites--but that's easier said than done.

>> Tom, have you ever considered that you lend credence to their reviews? If you guys didn't give them all your announcements as exclusives people would spend less attention to whats posted there.

That doesn't fix my problem, though. I don't want fewer people visiting sites, I want better and more cogent reviews.

>> With out your exclusives and such, they would have to improve the actual content of the site to secure page views, instead of just counting on your stuff to drive us to them

Doesn't work that way. If it did, there'd be all kinds of excellent reviews on sites to which we're not providing content--and there are more of those kinds of sites than ones we're working with, and still a dearth of good reviews.

>> It's funny you don't agree with a lot of reviewers. The ones I've read enjoy Daredevil, Hulk and several other books and are annoyed by a lot of the gaping plotholes in books from bendis and Fraction or the art by Greg Land. Seems spot on to me.

I'm not talking about agreeing with the reviews, I'm talking about the reviews being well-written and insightful, of them having something legitimate to offer in terms of analysis of the craft involved. I'm not looking for all positive reviews or anything--that doesn't help anybody. But I would like to see more reviews with more thought behind them than, "I just finished reading this comic two seconds ago, let me tell you about what I thought message board style." That's not a review, it's a blog.

I know, i know: stop reading Tom Brevoort's formspring page. But i did, and this line of answers really kinda stunned me. Now to be clear, we're not talking about my SpeedReviews here. Which clearly are of the "I just finished reading this comic two seconds ago" variety, by design. So i'm not taking this personally! We're talking about the "big comic news sites" here. But i keep getting this impression that Marvel thinks it's producing high art, and this reinforces it. Now it's high art that no one even appreciates! The problem with that way of thinking is that it's used to justify continuity mistakes and bad characterization and bad research. "We're not letting that stuff get in the way of a good story" is the explanation when this stuff gets messed up.

I do want to go back to "That's not a review, it's a blog", for a moment, though. Guess what? Reviews go on blogs nowadays. My deliberately quickie SpeedReviews aside, what you're going to get in a review by, say, Paul O'Brien or Caleb Mozzocco is really more than these comics deserve. A comic that takes literally ten minutes to read is not worth more than a paragraph to review.

And back to the main point, we're talking about super-hero stories here. I guess this might be strange coming from me but i've actually been consistent on this point. As i've said before, no one is reading Avengers expecting Sandman. But now i realize that Brevoort and company believe that they are producing Sandman, since they think they deserve this kind of detailed substantive review. You're not, guys. And i think if you stopped pretending you were, you might make a better match with your audience.

By fnord12 | January 9, 2013, 4:14 PM | Comics

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey

Let's do this the way Tom Brevoort requests. Nay, the way these works of art deserve.    Read More: SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Reference from SuperMegaMonkey

I made fun of Tom Brevoort a while back but in one sense he's right: actual comic reviews are relegated to the bowels of CBR and the like.    Read More: One way to support the things you like is to promote them