So when I saw a single click in my "referer" log from a review site, I clicked through... and man, I entered a whole new world. It was the most negative review of my work I've seen in my life. I mean, seriously, this guy hated my comic. Like really, really hated my comic.
Reading his review, some of the criticism is arguably valid. He doesn't like my art choices (although he accuses me of using images from Google Image search, which is obnoxious), and he's right -- I often don't have enough variety in my character's facial expressions.
But then there's... other stuff. For one, the reviewer only read "Chapter Four", and then complained about the Max/Tara breakup:
There's really no buildup or context to this event happening, and I wasn't aware that the characters were in a relationship until it was mentioned only one strip before the arguing started.
Let's think about this. The Max/Tara storyline was a four year arc, and the dude was surprised when he couldn't figure it out reading only the last part of it. I mean, seriously? If you're going to hate on it, fine - but you should at the very least read the whole thing.
It's like reading only the last quarter of a book and wondering why you don't know what's going on.
My other favorite bit was where the reviewer complained that I focused too much on the behind the scenes planning of conventions and not things like cosplay and vending. That's right, a comic which is literally supposed to be about running a convention focuses too much on it. It's like seeing the movie "Major League" and complaining that the film was too much about baseball and not enough about how Charlie Sheen styled his hair.
His hair was in the movie, but that's not what the film was about.
There's lots of other stuff, like how I stopped maintaining the twitter accounts for some of the characters (which is true - but only because they weren't really adding anything, and only a fraction of the readership had even discovered them), but those are the most egregious. I don't mind the parts where the guy says my jokes aren't funny, or that the art isn't up to snuff... humor is subjective, and I've said worse things about the art myself.
But again, if you're going to criticize my storytelling, why the heck wouldn't you, I don't know, read the whole story?
The one thing you'll notice is that I haven't linked the website where this review is published. There are two reasons for this - the first is that I don't want anyone harassing the reviewer. Just because his opinion is wrong doesn't mean he isn't entitled to it. The second reason is simple - his website gets so little traffic, that my linking to it would only help him.
My soapbox is, frankly, significantly larger than his.
The one great thing about this review though is that it gives me a great quote for the back of my next jacket cover: This webcomic is just a bunch of soulless, uninspired nothingness.
I'm *almost* wondering if perhaps this guy was trying to express the somewhat legitimate complaint that the comic is difficult to jump in on, that one may need to start at the very beginning to fully follow what's going on, but lacked the vocabulary. I doubt it, though.