Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bloody Brutal Reviews

It's sentimentality that kills a lot of writing, and when someone talks straight it can be scary and exhilarating.
Red Right Hand, creator of the Slaughter U: Dark Zoey serial killer webcomic, offers blunt reviews of comics on request. The thread that started it is on The Web Comics List, or you can find him at his review site, Bloody Brutal Reviews. It hasn't gone easy for most of the reviewed titles to date, but no one has accused him of being unfair. Don't mistake him for one of those deranged hatchet job "reviewers:" his title is an antidote to wishy-washy, not a desire to harm.
Mr. Hand seems to have tapped into something: there is a desire for thoughtful feedback among many comics that feel their chances on the review roulette wheel aren't too hot, either in terms of having a shot, or getting a reviewer who will give a convincing analysis. Indeed, with around a dozen reviews published per week, a lot of comics could wait two years. This is not to mention that every third review seems to be another go at a comic that's been done into the ground. You even get phenomena like a comic I recently saw reviewed three times in two weeks.
Getting your web comic reviewed is not as hard as some think, because plenty of the blogs accept submissions and get to them in a reasonable amount of time. But there are a lot of comics that may not feel ready for a prime time review. Twenty weeks out, they want some impressions. Mr. Hand will remain popular, because he offers a rare commodity: timely and efficient truth.