Comic Review Poll – Trades or Issues?

The prevailing opinion in the review of Daredevil: Out
seems to be that readers would prefer to see comic reviews
cover trade paperbacks and complete story arcs, rather than
single issues. These and other options will be suggested below;
if you have a preference, let us know.

One option is to review all titles in trades or story arcs. This will
cut down on the actual number of comic reviews (but not the
number of comics reviewed), and make the stories easier to
score in most cases. Some titles, however, don’t use story arcs.
Supreme Power for example, is an ongoing saga
deal, so reviewing that will every five or six issues might feel a bit
arbitrary.

Another option is to continue as now, reviewing titles with every
issue. This will mean we’ll get more articles here, but the stories
being reviewed won’t be complete, and those with no interest in
comics will have more articles to sift through to reach the stuff
they are looking for.

A third option seems to make the most sense to me: we can
review the first issue of a new title, or the first issue of an old title
with a new creative team, so people get a feel for how the new
direction is going. After that first issue, we wait for the first
complete story arc and review from there. So, for example,
David Mack will be taking over writing duties on Ultimate
X-Men
from Brian Michael Bendis in an upcoming story
arc. We could review his first issue as writer, and then hold the
reviews until after his first arc is complete. Similarly, we’d review
Ultimate Six #1 this week when it’s released, and
then hold off on other reviews of the title until all six issues are
out.

If you have a preference among these, or if you can think of an
option not listed here, let us know.

16 replies on “Comic Review Poll – Trades or Issues?”

  1. SemperAskew says:

    Third Option
    Go with that one.

    • UncleJam says:

      Re: Third Option

      But then with a title such as Supreme Power, you end up with the same problem mentioned in option 1.

      Whereas with my suggestion (below), you can review arcs for those titles that have them while still reviewing issues for those that don’t.

    • TechnoGirl says:

      Re: Third Option

      Go with that one.

      I’m for option 3 myself.

    • chad says:

      Re: Third Option
      My choice is three.

  2. UncleJam says:

    How about…

    …reviewing each individual issue, then maybe a review of the entire arc when it’s finished. That way we get timely reviews of the issues as they come out (I know I look forward to a lot, but not all, of them) and a look at how the arc hangs together at the end. Kind of like reviewing each episode of a TV series and then doing an end-of-season mega-review.

    I know that makes more work for the reviewer, but often something that seems to work in the context of a single issue can’t be sustained or doesn’t pay off in the long run. Or, conversely, something that makes little sense in a single issue suddenly becomes clear with the benefit of seeing the entire arc. This review format would allow those types of things to be covered better.

    This would seem to me to offer the best of both worlds. But maybe that’s just me…

    • SemperAskew says:

      Re: How about…
      The problem is that reviewing issues of an arc independently is like reviewing chapters in a book. You need all the issues in that arc to put things into perspective. If a comic does not do arcs, then review the issues but, I doubt very much that there will be many of these.

      • UncleJam says:

        Re: How about…

        Maybe, but not as extreme, I would say.

        Comic issues are more like television episodes than book chapters. Even in arc-heavy shows like Babylon 5 or, to a lesser degree, Buffy, each episode has to stand on it’s own to an extent. Look at some of the major arc eps in B5, for example. Even though they rely heavily upon the accumulated drama and plot of the previous eps, they always can be seen as episodes in their own right and can be reviewed separately from the arc.

        Comics are, or should be, the same. Despite being part of an ongoing arc, each issue should also stand on its own and be reviewable in its own right. Even with something like Straczynski’s Supreme Power, I think there is enough standalone-ness to make each issue reviewable as an issue while at the same time fitting into a grander arc.

        Book chapters, as you rightly point out, don’t fit that scheme. They don’t need to have any independent existence from the other chapters, because books aren’t (usually) published chapter-by-chapter. A reader doesn’t have to wait a week or a month (or more) between chapters so there is no need to encapsulate things the way comics and television shows do. Soap operas are a form of television that follows more closely the book paradigm, with new episodes every weekday and less of a need to stand on their own. Daily comic strips like the old Flash Gordon or Prince Valiant would be another parallel.

        Still, perhaps the best solution is to decide whether to review issues or arcs on a case-by-case basis, depending on how the comic in question is structured.

  3. antihero says:

    Personally…
    I like the issue reviews. It’s fairly instant, and interesting. I understand that I am a comic book fan, and that skews my interest, but I have had to wade through a whole lot of X-Files related stuff, and I personally have no interest there. But other people do, so that’s cool.

    As for the lack of comments, someone related this to reviewing episodes of a tv series, and i think that’s exactly what it is like.

    I can recall several episodes of Smallville or any other show that didn’t garner a whole lot of comments. I don’t think that indicates people aren’t interested.

    That said, if people don’t wanna see every issue, I think reviewing story arcs as appropriate is good, and for ongoing sagas maybe every issue. That seems like a good middle ground.

    • hitch says:

      Re: Personally…

      I like the issue reviews. It’s fairly instant, and interesting. I understand that I am a comic book fan, and that skews my interest, but I have had to wade through a whole lot of X-Files related stuff, and I personally have no interest there. But other people do, so that’s cool.

      As for the lack of comments, someone related this to reviewing episodes of a tv series, and i think that’s exactly what it is like.

      I can recall several episodes of Smallville or any other show that didn’t garner a whole lot of comments. I don’t think that indicates people aren’t interested.

      That said, if people don’t wanna see every issue, I think reviewing story arcs as appropriate is good, and for ongoing sagas maybe every issue. That seems like a good middle ground.

      I’m liking the “review a story arc” thing – for titles like Supreme Power….
      well, let’s just take that as it comes. Fiz and I both get it monthly, so we’ll figure it out.

  4. pythor says:

    What About….
    Mini-reviews for single books, not the full 42 point scale, maybe a high point, a low point, and general discussion. Low spoilage for the readers. Then, do a full fledged 42 point review for arcs. Spoilers expected, since it’s hard to discuss a full arc without them. A similar format to tv shows that don’t get full reviews, like The Dead Zone. (I gotta keep hypin’ Johnny. It’s the best SF show out there right now, that I can think of.)

  5. y42 says:

    one more vote for 3rd
    I don’t even bother reading them anymore, group ’em up allready.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: one more vote for 3rd
      I’m inclined to go along with reviews for first issues, arcs, and stand-alones. As has already been noted, exceptions can be made for special cases.

      • y42 says:

        Re: one more vote for 3rd

        I’m inclined to go along with reviews for first issues, arcs, and stand-
        alones. As has already been noted, exceptions can be made for special
        cases.

        Sounds good.

  6. Canthros says:

    I’m for option 2
    I stop by the comic book shop once or twice a week, and am keeping up with only a couple of monthly books. I’d like to know if something is worth picking up before I have to go digging through the archives after it.

  7. Lurch_Kimded says:

    “As for me and my house…”
    I go for the reviewing story arc (or TP) option it makes more sense in my mind (what little there is most days) or, as has been already suggested, doing “mini-reviews” for each issue.

  8. IronHelix says:

    three…
    I’m not much into comics, but the third option makes the most sense.

    I primarily browse the site through Slashdot’s RSS display, and having alot of comic reviews coming down the pipe makes the non-comic stuff scroll by fast and I miss other headlines. IMHO if you are to review every episode of a comic, it should be in a separate news channel due to the large number of entries. But that’s just my two cents.

Comments are closed.