Best Online Comics Criticism 2010

January 19, 2011

The final selections for HU’s Best Criticism 2010 is here; my own shambling, fairly ridiculous justification for my selections is here. Other people’s choices are at the bottom of the main post.

Final Thought:

In the introduction to David Ohle’s excellent Motorman, Ben Marcus asks why it disappeared after publication:

Visual artists have critics, ostensibly, while innovative writers have, for the most part, reviewers, whose job it is ever more frequently to determine the cost-benefit of purchasing the book, using heart-crushing standards such as beachtime, readability, difficulty, sameness, narrative drive, and superficiality (more, please!). Or they are hen-pecked jacket copy plagiarists, dutifully paraphrasing publicist’s pitch letters in their newspapers. But rather than remark on the obvious cultural conditions (or lack thereof) that have rendered many artistic writers (as opposed to, uh, other kinds of writers) marginal, based on their low sales– The people don’t lie!– while visual artists, who might not sell what they make to even one person, can work at the limits of their art without the overt burden of audience pleasure (read: Snickers and Cheez Doodles) in mind, it seems better to be pleased that this book is back in the hands of people who might read it for themselves.

Comics artists seem to be visual artists trapped by reviewers, or by the market demands behind reviewers. Still, Motorman’s a great book.

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