What is Comixpedia for?
Submitted by Stark on November 9, 2004 - 07:07
I have just read the new article 'Beyond Journal Comics: Life-like Webcomics' and I must ask: what is the point of this article?
Okay, I'm being a bit unfair to pick on this article in particular because of something that is endemic across the site, but this is where my patience snapped.
When 'Comixpedia' launched, I was very optimistic; I thought that finally there would be a site covering webcomics in critical depth. However, instead we get numerous articles like the above: 750 words that skim the surface of a topic, patronising lists of obvious terms (does anyone, anyone really imagine that people need to have the difference between autobiography and biography explained to them?) with random words made into links and absolutely no attempt at analysis beyond a couple of throwaway questions. How much thought goes into creating an article like this? Ten minutes, maximum, with maybe another five to collate the links? It's lazy, that's all it is. Lazy and patronising, both in its condescending tone and in its assumption that people are so stupid as to find something so devoid of original thought interesting.
And the reviews are no better: mere descriptions of comics, again with random linked words. One single (pre novel-writing-month) article on http://www.websnark.com/ has more depth of analysis than every review Comixpedia printed in its first six months. So it's a good thing that Burns is now writing for Comixpedia, but it doesn't excuse the lack of substance that still abounds over the entire rest of the site.
I know that people aren't getting paid for Comixpedia work, but really, what is the point fo doing something if you don't do it properly? A real, meaty site dedicated to webcomics would be a wonderful thing but Comixpedia just isn't it.
So I suppose the question is, what is Comixpedia meant to be? Is it just a glorified news site for which people occasionally dash off articles form the top of their heads, articles that say nothing -- candy-floss for the eyes? Or is it a serious attempt to provide commentary on the emerging medium of webcomics? Because if it's meant to be the latter, you really need to shape up and start writing articles that assume your readers are intelligent, knowledgable people, not children who need to have it pointed out to them that there are 'many moments within journal comics and illustrated blogs that definitely fall within the slice of life category' as if it's some great revelation, rather than something which any webcomics reader with half a brain has already noticed for themselves. That assume your readers can understand basic critical terms like 'focalisation' and 'diegetic' and discuss such things in articles that provide real insight.
So which is it?