Sunday, June 06, 2010

"2D was the greatest". Oh Lordy, I've made a Smashing Pumpkins-based pun.

Hey, everybody who was at the Everyone's A Critic panel at the 2D Festival (as per photo below), here's those links I mentioned. The title of the panel was painfully on the nose - every dam fule with an internet connection these days is reviewing comics, but finding the stuff worth reading/hearing remains the challenge.  I'm a man who remains very fond of his own opinions, but being bothered to express them remains another matter, so while I denied being a critic these days, I mentioned a few blogs whose criticism I did enjoy: those were Paul Rainey's now-completed 2000AD Prog Slog; Sean Witzke's Supervillain; and Tucker Stone's The Factual Opinion. Paul's blog was a Quixotic romp through my generation's golden age of British comics history; Sean's is ostensibly a work blog, but for which he just happens to throw away some fantastically insightful criticism as a side-product of his creative process; and Tucker is the funniest, angriest, but most truthful critic writing about comics right now. 

When I do think objectively about what my blog is for (which is seldom, but being asked to do the panel brought it somewhat into focus in my mind), I think of it in terms of promotion. Sometimes of artists who just don't need it (Mignola, Cooke, Johnson - I'm looking at you),  but when my blog is at its best, it is promoting and encouraging talent that has either never had any press before, or has been forgotten or under-appreciated. In my more deranged and pretentious moments, I like to think I'm one of the secret taste-makers whose influence is felt by the world rather than observed. I even like to think that I've actually helped a few careers out here and there on occasion, even if I did (accidentally, I swear) try and ruin Gary Erskine's.  I mentioned some artist's blogs worth checking out, and was pleased when a couple of names got appreciative reactions rippling across the audience: Warwick Johnson Cadwell and Dan McDaid, my work is done. You guys are huge in Derry.

Anyway that's some of the stuff I tried to say in Stroke City, but usually forgot to in my haste to hand out stickers and make dirty jokes at Leigh Gallagher's expense.  I enjoyed the panel tremendously, and was struck by the warm, loving atmosphere there - an institution develops its values and ethos from the top down, and Dave Campbell is a warm, lovely man. Who kept trying to force free drinks on me. The horror, the horror.

6 comments:

WJC said...

Your blog is for the greater good. And I am much obliged to you for it.

Tucker Stone said...

Oh jesus man, thanks. You're too kind.

sean witzke said...

Wow... thanks, man.

You are a tastemaker, its pretty rare you post art on here thats not the best of the best.

Leigh G said...

Hey man, was a pleasure to meet you! Sorry didn't even spot you afterwards to say bye. You are a funny bearded man...

Dan McDaid said...

My heart just grew by three sizes.

Seriously, Mark, I owe you and your blog big time, and I aim to repay with manhugs and high fives. Stand by.

Mark said...

I did enjoy hugging it out with that big bear of a man Gary Erskine. And I had the strong impulse to hug the Sunnyside Comics crew, but I resisted, 'cus they'd only have accused me of sexual harassment on their next podcast. I'm pretty sure they will anyway.

And Leigh, great meeting you: I had to head back over the Sperrins so left early - hope you got the chance to give WJC's ABC Warriors strip to Pat!