Analyzing sequential art

Sounds kinda pompous, doesn’t it? But I do it anyway, and it’s actually pretty fun. So how does one get qualified to do this? Funny you should ask…

I got into reviewing comics because I lost my day job. That sounds dramatic, I know, and it’s not like I get paid for reviewing either. But ultimately that was the trigger. About a week after I got laid off, I was talking to my friend Thomas and he asked if I’d be interested in reviewing comic books. He had been doing it for several months at that point, and wanted to get more reviews per week on his website (and wasn’t interested in trying to write more himself). I thought about it for a few minutes, and decided that not only did I have time on my hands, I also needed to get some practice at writing again (I had been solely proofreading for almost five years). So I agreed.

I suppose I should explain my qualifications at this point. Technically I’m not sure if there really are any, but here’s what I’ve got. Before the proofreading gig, I taught college writing for a few years. (And yes, you have to have a Master’s degree to do that.) I also tutored writing during that time, and both jobs consist of helping people who are uncomfortable with putting words on paper figure out how to make their thoughts make sense to others. The degree involved some literature classes, of course, but also some on composition, some on teaching composition, some on language structure, and even one on research.

And I was somewhat familiar with the format. I hadn’t been paying attention to comics for a few years, but it didn’t really take much to get back into it. A few questions to Tom, who’s a freaking encyclopedia of comics, and a couple of months of regular reading and I was ready to go. And I’ll be honest here, I have a noticeable leaning toward the story aspect of comics. I’m certainly no artist, though I’m learning to see how some things are done intentionally that forward the story from an artistic perspective.

Oh, and we do our best to avoid spoilers in our reviews. We’re not here to take the fun out of the books, after all. We just want to share the ones we like with you guys, because we hope you’ll like them too. My own preference is for the new books; I like getting into a new title early and trying to see where it’s going. And there’s soooo much good new stuff coming out right now. Every week, it seems like, we get another new title that’s worth watching. I swear I’m going to run out of money for these things at some point.

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