Tuesday, March 06, 2007

On reviewing.... (instead of actually reviewing)

I'm starting to seriously review again for the first time since leaving Nostalgia & Comics back in October. (reviews here, guff about N&C here).
At Nostalgia & Comics I used to do a regular review sheet called Propaganda for the shop highlighting everything I thought the customers should be reading. At the FPI blog I'm just reviewing anything I fancy and anything I've read in the latest N&C care package.

Of course, the two review gigs are completely different. One headache that I used to have with the N&C Propaganda has gone completely. It used to take up so much of my time just editing the reviews to fit properly and stylishly onto 1 or 2 sides of A4.
With the weblog, all of the problems of formatting have completely gone. All I have to do now is find enough interesting things to say about the items I'm meant to be reviewing.
Sometimes the reviews come easily and quickly. (The Desolation Jones and The Dark Tower reviews were like that on the first FPI Propaganda - for completely different reasons). But sometimes it's like pulling teeth, the words just don't want to come and it can be very, very frustrating.

Which is why I'm sat here, writing this instead of finishing the review of Ed Brubaker's Criminal series I'm halfway through at the moment.

Of course, some of the best reviews to write from a fun point of view are the nasty ones. (Again, that's why The Dark Tower came so easily - pure venom flies onto the page so much easier than praise I always find).
One idea I had many years ago whilst writing the Propaganda for N&C was to do a review of some Rob Liefield comic (cannot remember which one, but it doesn't matter) that simply consisted of the word shit over and over and over. In the end I didn't do it because I was trying to make the whole thing a positive thing designed to sell more quality books and didn't have the space to put in reviews of books I hated.
With the weblog it's slightly different; I checked when I signed up for the gig and negative reviews are fine. But the odds of me deliberately picking up something I know I'll hate just to give it a bad review are slim. I simply haven't got the time to waste on fruitless reviewing.
Of course, occasionally the staff at Nostalgia will throw something my way that they want my reaction to. (That's what happened with The Dark Tower).

But overall I'd much rather spend my time reading and reviewing stuff I've at least got a chance of enjoying. We all know how bad a lot of the stuff out there is. But sometimes it's nice to be reminded of the wheat amongst all the chaff.

And with that over with, it's time to get back to the reviews.
That's the one bad thing about having a regular gig. I did say I'd have two lots of reviews a month done. And deadline for the next one is fast approaching. How do I talk myself into these things?

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