Fish Gotta Swim and Birds Gotta Fly and Critics have to Critique

Posted by on July 6th, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Commenting on Jeet Heer’s post about a bookstore panel on Best American Comics Criticism, Tom Spurgeon wrote, “On the other hand, it occurred to me the other day that on a certain fundamental level I don’t care if any of my writing is necessary or not, I’m still going to write.”

This is actually something I’ve been thinking about for a while: many critics are like cartoonists in that they are driven to do what they do. More often than not, I think that if even it there was no one to read or listen, critics would critique comics to the ficus. Also like cartoonists, that’s where craft/talent/inspiration etc. comes in regards to how well each critic is able to execute his or her own work, capture an audience, etc., but I feel the motivation is much the same.


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4 Responses to “Fish Gotta Swim and Birds Gotta Fly and Critics have to Critique”

  1. […] totally agree with Kristy Valenti, who’s inspired by a comment of Tom Spurgeon’s. She says, “I think that if even […]

  2. Noah Berlatsky says:

    Not me! I’m a critic because that’s where the money and fame is. Otherwise, I’d be writing zines.

  3. Rob Clough says:

    Yup. I read comics, I think about them, and I have to write that stuff down just to get it out of my brain.

  4. Scyzoryk says:

    Same, before I started putting stuff out into the public I had a bunch of notebooks filled up with scribble about like, “what really set Krigstein apart from the rest of the EC artist was similar to what set Steranko apart from the rest of the Marvel artists”. Writing criticism also really helps with actually drawing comics in that it’s endeavoring to understand what the stuff is doing and how it’s being done, and understand it so well that you can verbalize it. It seems to me that the average critic understands more about comics than the average artist. And the more you understand, the greater the compulsion to explain gets… yep, critics gotta crit.
    -Matt Seneca