Sunday, January 23, 2011
Criticism vs Reviewing
I think reviewers are offering advice to consumers, while critics are engaging in a more canonical discussion.
This was going to be my Quote of the Week, but two things changed my mind. 1) It's two months old, and 2) instead of just throwing it out there, I want to spend a little time with it. Usually when I pick an old quote it's just because I'm late seeing it. I saw this one when Dirk Deppey posted it back in November, but all I did with it at the time was think, "Hm, that's interesting" and go about my business. I haven't quit thinking about it since then though.
As someone who writes a lot of reviews, it's a really useful description of two reasons to do that. I've seen my role as advice-offering for a long time, but ever since I read David's comment I've been thinking more and more in terms of canon. As in: which comics deserve a place on the list of great work? The difference is art vs. commercialism. Criticism engages the work purely from an artistic standpoint. Reviewing, on the other hand, has commercial interests: Should you buy this? Had someone pointed this out to me earlier, I imagine I would've changed my motivation for writing about comics a long time ago.