Fresh from his appearance at the debate on comics criticism at S.M.A.S.H. in London this Saturday (pictured above), here are 21 statements on comics criticism from The Beast Must Die:

1. Comics as an art form has the critics it deserves.

2. Comics critics are not as good as critics in other art forms.

3. Comics critics enlighten people about an art form that they might not know about.

4. Comics criticism lacks notable or significant figures in its canon; there are no Pauline Kaels, Harold Blooms or Roland Barthes [‘Bartheses’, surely?].

5. Comics critics are the best critics of all, because comics is an art form free of decades of critical debate and point-scoring and endless spiralling discussion.

6. Comics criticism is a place for juvenile people to snipe at each other pointlessly whilst keeping out strangers from their precious domain.

7. Comic critics who can’t talk about the art in a comic are no good as comics critics.

8. Comics podcasts are a popular avenue for criticism. They are the most ill-informed, badly thought out most lazy form of criticism.

9. Comics podcasts are a popular avenue for criticism. Comics podcasts allow for free-flowing conversation which generates genuinely interesting critical ideas.

10. Most comic criticism is on the internet, and as such often has little or no editorial input, meaning it is littered with mistakes, weak ideas and groundless opinions.

11. A lack of editorial input means that comics critics are free to think in original and interesting ways.

Click here to read the rest of the list at Broken Frontier!

8 Responses to “21 Statements About Comics Criticism from The Beast Must Die”

  1. Go Complex Says:

    aka: http://33.media.tumblr.com/7398502058917a5623547da5e64113b8/tumblr_inline_nd6qofZudW1r2xhmf.png

  2. Illogical Volume Says:

    This Wisdom of Grampa Simpson: a novel.

  3. gocomplex Says:

    I made some edits:

    1. Comics as an art form doesn’t have the critics it deserves.

    2. Comparativily – comics critics are more fun and more interesting and more entertaining than critics in other art forms. Especially when (and because) they don’t take themselves too seriously.

    3. Who cares about enlightening people?

    4. YOU could be the the notable or significant figures in the comics criticism canon; the Pauline Kaels, the Harold Blooms or the Roland Barthes.

    5. Comics critics are the best critics of all, because (mostly) comics is an art form free of legitimacy and established dogma.

    6. The internet is a place for juvenile people to snipe at each other pointlessly whilst keeping out strangers from their precious domain.

    7. Comic critics who can’t talk about the art in a comic can still be valuable and useful and provide cool insights.

    8. Does anyone really listen to podcasts?

    9. I mean – come on: it’s just people talking – seriously. I’d rather listen to some music or something.

    10. Everything is on the internet. And if it’s not – then who cares?

    11. A lack of editorial input means that comics critics are free to think in original and interesting ways. LOL.

    12. If you’re waiting for your local library to get the book that everyone on the internet is talking about – then you might have to give it a few years…

    13. Lots of people think that shouting the loudest means you win. No one really pays much attention to those people.

    14. Comics critics are open to other opinions, ideas and voices. That’s one of the things that makes you good as a person too.

    15. Describing yourself as a ‘comics critic’ means that you are a ‘critic’ of things called ‘comics’.

    16. There is genuine diversity and representation in the make up of those who call themselves comics critics. In fact – some of them don’t even wear make up at all.

    17. Entitled straight white men are a problem for everyone everywhere. But hopefully they’re not going to be around forever… (Science will find a solution right?)

    18. A good comic critic should be talk about the stuff they want to talk about. It doesn’t matter what their taste is. All that matter is how cool is the stuff they say.

    19. Comics critics should focus on whatever they want.

    20. The worst thing a critic can do is to be Hitler.

    21. Being a critic seems like a drag but at it’s best it can raise the level of debate, help people think in a different (and more creative) way about stuff and even – at some points – make them smile. Being a critic is cool.

  4. Illogical Volume Says:

    Your version of statement 20 is going to break a lot of hearts Joel.

  5. gocomplex Says:

    “You want the Truth? You want the Truth!?”

    “Sir you’re making a scene…”

    “YOU CAN”T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

  6. James Says:

    4. Joe McCulloch
    8. Yeah man!
    9. Yeah, man!

  7. Illogical Volume Says:

    Music/response: https://twitter.com/britney_spheres/status/663862311573176321

  8. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Propheteering Part 1: A False Hope Says:

    [...] possible that might not have occurred without him.  Joel arranged the SMASH comics events that The Beast Must Die and I spoke at, and when he’s not bringing Ellis bros and Maid of Nails into conflict over [...]

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