The Five Defenses of Those that Dislike Criticism for Comics

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The Five Defenses of Those that Dislike Criticism for Comics

Postby ChaosBurnFlame on Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:55 pm

People that dislike their comics being critiqued or comics that they read being critiqued deploy five basic defenses against the criticizers.

1) Accuse Jealousy: This is the most baseless defense. It implies that the criticizer cannot be objective or is being purely spiteful in the process. This case CAN be true, but has to be examined on a case by case basis and more often than naught in a forum of other artists is baseless.

2) Ask for Credentials: This defense is based on the idea that only
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Postby Joel Fagin on Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:55 pm

In short, they blame the critiquer.

Blaming someone else for one's own failings is so ingrained into the human psyche that when you hit your thumb, your first instinct is to blame the hammer.

"Arg! Blasted thing!"*

Psychological defense mechanism. It's always someone else's fault first. If you're lucky you'll get someone who thinks beyond that but that first impulse is always there.

- Joel Fagin

* PG-13 version.
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Postby Dutch! on Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:03 am

If more than two people are to blame, no one will be held responsible...Murphy's Law #whatever
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Re: The Five Defenses of Those that Dislike Criticism for Co

Postby McDuffies on Tue Oct 12, 2004 3:35 am

My comments:

1) Old trick of turning on to the one who said instead of what he said. It's as if they said "He is a jerk, thus everything he said is untrue". But even jerks sometimes can be right. Even if a person is really jealous and even if that drove him to write a critique, that still doesn't mean he's not right. It's like saying that Charlie Chaplin's films are bad because he was promiscuity. If you want to beat arguments, beat arguments, not the one who said them.


2) Everyone has right to state his own opinion. Of course, a lot of people really shouldn't write reviews (frankly, they mostly don't), but it comes down to arguments again. If someone don't have what he needs for writing a review, his review will mostly be along the lines of "This sucks, and this rocks". Instead, it should be "This sucks because and this rocks because". I respect everyone who can make their arguments, even if I disagree with him.

3) "Art is subjective" is an old philosophy theory that is long devaluated now. If philosophers abandoned this idea long time ago, I don't see why amateur artists should linger on it.

4) We all know that through the history, (and with only a few exceptions), the most popular things were those shallow, one-time-consuming things, while those that had any value and that are still remembered to the present day, were held second-rated. Just look at the current music scene or blockbuster list, and everything will be clear. If popularity is any merit, than Britney Spierce is the greatest musician in the world, and Titanic is the greatest film of all times. True is, big majority of people don't care about quality or depth of what they're consuming, as long as they're having fun.

5) Criticism is supposed to point artists at mestakes they make, thus to imporove. But mostly, criticism is ment to readers. If we ditched critics just because they bother artists, then we're very unfair to readers. And even so, you just can't stop criticism. If I put top 5 of my comics on my link page, then I'm partly a critic, because I'm claiming that given comics are better than all the other ones. If I put a short comment on why I like those comics besides, even more so. In order to put a stop to plague of criticism, we'd have to forbid everyone to make any kind of statement concearning quality, or even likes and dislikes of any kind. I'm sure there are so sensitive artists who'd be hurt if someone just said that he doesn't particulary like their comic.
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Postby TheLoserHero on Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:21 am

Ah. I still take my favorite quote from a monkey concerning mistakes to heart. It applies to a lot of other stuff, too. *Ahem*

"You can either run from it... or you can learn from it." ~Rafiki, The Lion King

Writers/Artists can't live in a lovely bubble away from the harsh words of the public. What they create is as much theirs as it is the public's. Art isn't meant to be saran-wrapped and stowed away. It's meant to be tossed out, naked into the world, chewed on, stepped on, spat at and returned to you stronger than before.

Constructive criticism helps. "OMG ur comic 5uxx0r5" does not.
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Postby TheLoserHero on Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:22 am

p.s. Screw art teachers. </hypocrisy></childhoodtrauma>
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Re: The Five Defenses of Those that Dislike Criticism for Co

Postby Cope on Tue Oct 12, 2004 5:56 am

ChaosBurnFlame wrote:3) Proclaim All Art is Subjective: This just doesn�t work for a comic book. Declaring Ed McGuiness warrants the same obscure artistic considerations like Picasso, Monet, or Van Gough is just loony. A comic book is some of the most commercialized art in the world. The artists work not from their own ideas (there are exceptions, but they are the exceptions!) but from a pre-written script on a pre-selected page size on a schedule on a per page commission.


Personally, I'd much rather flick through a comic book than look at a Picasso. But that's just me.

This proclamation is a slippery slope. If given the leeway, someone can proclaim all forms of entertainment is �subjective�, thus one cannot say a TV show or movie sucks anymore because it�s �all good in its own way�.


If a person enjoys "Survivor", does that person inherently err? (um, this question is purely rhetorical, of course). Furthermore, why is objectivity necessary to hold an opinion? Can't people just agree to disagree? Also, subjectivity dictates that if something is "all good in it's own way", it is simultaneously "all bad in it's own way".
Last edited by Cope on Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ChaosBurnFlame on Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:28 am

I'm just telling you the defenses I saw used the most :)
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Postby Cope on Tue Oct 12, 2004 8:21 am

Okie-dokie.
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Re: The Five Defenses of Those that Dislike Criticism for Co

Postby Phalanx on Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:01 am

ChaosBurnFlame wrote:People that dislike their comics being critiqued or comics that they read being critiqued deploy five basic defenses against the criticizers.

1) Accuse Jealousy: This is the most baseless defense. It implies that the criticizer cannot be objective or is being purely spiteful in the process. This case CAN be true, but has to be examined on a case by case basis and more often than naught in a forum of other artists is baseless.

2) Ask for Credentials: This defense is based on the idea that only
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Postby McDuffies on Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:33 am

Actually, it is an awesome list (well, it prompted me to type all that stuff, didn't it).
We should quote it somewhere on hntrc. "How not to accept critique".
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Re: The Five Defenses of Those that Dislike Criticism for Co

Postby ChaosBurnFlame on Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:32 pm

Phalanx wrote:
ChaosBurnFlame wrote:People that dislike their comics being critiqued or comics that they read being critiqued deploy five basic defenses against the criticizers.

1) Accuse Jealousy: This is the most baseless defense. It implies that the criticizer cannot be objective or is being purely spiteful in the process. This case CAN be true, but has to be examined on a case by case basis and more often than naught in a forum of other artists is baseless.

2) Ask for Credentials: This defense is based on the idea that only
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Postby Bustertheclown on Tue Oct 12, 2004 6:32 pm

Well stated. The only point I'd take issue with is #3.

3) Proclaim All Art is Subjective: This just doesn
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Postby Christwriter on Tue Oct 12, 2004 10:44 pm

I think that the line between subjective art and something that's just moronically bad is when the argued elements are intentional.

Picasso is fairly subjective, but he learned what the rules were before he went about breaking them. Esher learned the rules of perspective before he started tying stairways into knots. People who are incredible artists break the rules of perspective, anatomy, shading, ect, all the time. If they make an inacurate drawing or an ugly painting (or webcomic) it is usually an intentional ugly, made to prove a point, make a statement, ectera.

However, if the ugly is NOT intentional, but comes out of some kind of inability, then correction ought to be made and taken into account. When I first got started I posted a drawing of one of my characters with a request that it be taken apart. There were three major things brought up. Two points--her eyes and lips--were intentionally exagurated, while the third, her center of balance, was not. The first two, therefor, were a part of the picture and a part of the character. Putting her balance WAY off was a bum mistake on my part, and I pay closer attention to that from now on.

Usually, unintentional mistakes are easier to spot than the intentional ones. They're blatantly obvious, especially if the artist has taken great care in the other areas of the drawing. For an inexperianced artist to say that their mistakes should be overlooked because art is subjective is like a child saying that their age shouldn't be a factor in whether or not they get to watch an X rated video.

My two cents.

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Postby Joel Fagin on Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:10 am

CW is quite correct. It comes down to intent.

And you should always understand the rules before you break them. We all understand why killing is a bad thing and therefore all know when it is acceptable to actually do it (self defence, for example).

"Rules are there to make you think before you break them." - Lu-Tze, Theif of Time by Terry Pratchett.

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Postby Cope on Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:30 am

But can't art exist apart from the artist and their intents? Ah, nevermind...I think this thread's subjectivity debate hinges on how any one artist reacts to constructive criticism.
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Postby ChaosBurnFlame on Wed Oct 13, 2004 8:40 am

Cope wrote:But can't art exist apart from the artist and their intents? Ah, nevermind...I think this thread's subjectivity debate hinges on how any one artist reacts to constructive criticism.


The problem, as CW pointed out, is the subjective kind of art is usually created ONCE the artist already knows the rules and is blatantly breaking them.

If someone absolutely cannot draw and wants to put their artwork in the 'subjective' category, he just doesn't want to hear what he doesn't like to hear.
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Postby Ruxen on Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:04 pm

Have any of you been asked to critique someone, then when you give your honest to goodness opinion they then turn on you, get really mad and refuse to talk to you for years an years?
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Postby Alaina on Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:11 pm

Yes, but it wasn't years and years, just weeks and weeks.

My friend wrote the worst novel ever and asked me to edit it and maybe do illustrations for various scenes. WORST NOVEL EVAR.
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Postby McDuffies on Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:42 pm

Cope wrote:But can't art exist apart from the artist and their intents? Ah, nevermind...I think this thread's subjectivity debate hinges on how any one artist reacts to constructive criticism.

Once the art is finished it do exists apart from the artist because it gets different meanings, sometimes much different than what artist intended. Unless he destroys it first.
But then there is the entire story about the perfect artist and the perfect consument (basically, recreation of artist in mind of consument and artist aiming at the kind of consument that would understand his art the best)...

It's a pretty long story. I still agree with CW.

Incidentally, Jack Derida, one of the greatest art philosophers and probably a creator of the art critic as it's known today, died two days ago. :(
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