Monday, May 17, 2004

Review or Commentary?

That seems to be the topic of interest today, as blogger Laura Gjovaag took umbrage at Johanna Draper Carlson's comments on Aquaman #18. Calling it poor writing, and stating that Johanna had apparently not read the book in question, labeling it a poor review.

Which Johanna replied back to stating that this was not a review, but a commentary, which is a definition Laura disagreed with.

Now I'll admit up front my bias here, in saying that Johanna has been one of my longest running friends, both on and offline. Yet I found the whole "controversy," such as it was, pretty weird.

I've never thought of Johanna's commentaries on her blog as reviews, so much as just pieces of conversation. Her thoughts always struck me as the next best thing to sitting with a friend "shooting the bull" about the latest movies or TV shows, or in this case comics we experienced lately.

Perhaps a reason for confusion here, is that Johanna can at times be "too smart for the room" in how she thinks even casually. Instead of simply saying she likes or dislikes something, she often has some nifty insight or funny aside, that perhaps makes those that don't know her think more of what she says, than what she means.

Anyone that's observed her site can see that her reviews are much more focused, and usually much longer and detailed than the things we've seen on her blog. She even has a philosophy of reviewing that brings up some interesting points, though I don't know about having to talk about art each time you review. Because if nothing really stands out about it for the good or bad, it can be boring to just say "very workman like, that tells the story well."

Hopefully she'll do some reviews for her site soon, and those just finding her writing will be able to compare the two different types of writing.

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