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  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by cantide View Post
    --but this is neither the time nor the place
    Good point.

  2. #17
    Incredible Member Kees_L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by middenway View Post
    I stand by my Abe Sapien reviews. If you find them one dimensional, I'm sorry. I put a lot of hard work into them, trying to make them real reviews, not just saying if I like or dislike something, but digging into the whys. In the case of my Abe Sapien #11 review, I wrote it, finished it, then threw it out and completely re-wrote it. I thought long and hard about that one, and it was utterly joyless to write, because I wanted love it. My reviews are as much an exploration of myself as they are an exploration of the material. I use the words "l think" a lot, to emphasise this is an opinion, not a fact. I believe this is an important distinction make.

    And I don't think David or Brian's reviews are one dimensional either, even when I don't agree with them. This week I was surprised Brian didn't enjoy Abe as much as I did, when I thought it was incredible. Really jaw-droppingly incredible. And David's review for Hellboy in Hell was surprising too. But part of the reason we have three reviewers is to get varied points of view. And we strive to be honest.

    So while there are plenty of one dimensional reviews out there, I don't think you'll ever find them on Mignolaversity.
    I honestly wasn't aiming disrespect or to vocally sneer at your work, nor either David or Brian's reviews, but you make me realize my tone and post could be read as implying such.

    I could motivate what disagreement I often feel, not towards merely the Mignolaversity reviews, which indeed always seem clearly presented as opinions - even as opinions along a co-written dynamic - but a significant portion of internet or comic reviews.

    A disagreement towards how paradoxality or weirdness, how anything vague or subtle would need to get considered as 'bad storytelling' or 'an opportunity missed'. I would respectfully both as pretty definitively be to disagree with such.
    Especially when comics or movies both as music or books or art seem often so heavily about presenting suspense and paradoxality, outlandishness and outright doubt. Like perspectives and raised expectations as meaning to be clashing or become undone.

    Comic book graphic storytelling like Hellboy, or Charles Burns's Big Baby, Geof Darrow's Shaolin Cowboy or Frank Miller's Sin City to me seems as intricately about paradoxality or raising poignant questions onto itself, for the sake of becoming interpreted thoroughly or reflected upon, as much as the best David Lynch film or Haruki Murakami book.

    I should have better specified I'm not aiming to say every comic review appears badly written to me, but more rather it could just be that different people could be to read differently. Not necessarily better or worse but differently. Which is what I meant: that for especially interpretable or very imaginative reading such as what Hellboy would seem for me, even as more or less happening graphically before your eyes per panel, it seems I'll often feel disagreement or alterior sensemaking to that of what reviews I'd see.

    I myself even feel often startlingly alterior experiences at rereading sometimes, such as rereading Darkness Calls up to its conclusion once the Fury had been published: Darkness Calls strongly implies both as spells out what will be in store but I hardly felt aware of such upon firstly reading it.
    Which to me seems magical and speaking more rather than bad writing or either bad reading really.
    It's not that any of it seems written for the sole purpose of weirding readers out necessarily, but to illustrate just how content-heavy stuff can become when presented as proving paradoxal or 'interpretable as from multiple perspectives' in my own words.

    My own reviews would probably suck dusty balls, with being too long and too wordy and too paradoxal to interpret at all most likely. Or I'd just say folks should check stuff out for themselves with hardly much else. Which seems sorta short or easy for any review.
    Last edited by Kees_L; 05-15-2014 at 07:10 PM.
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  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kees_L View Post
    I honestly wasn't aiming disrespect or to vocally sneer at your work, nor either David or Brian's reviews, but you make me realize my tone and post could be read as implying such.
    Don't worry about it. The phrase "one dimensional" was just like, "Aw man, I worked so hard on that..." Seriously, Abe #11 kept me awake at night. I tried to be as articulate as possible, but that one was tough.

    I like Brian and David's shared reviews because they are able to challenge each other's viewpoints. Even when you may not agree with their point of view, you can usually discern if you'll like the book because you can tell if these things they examine matter to you. There's a third point of view that emerges from the discussion, if that makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kees_L View Post
    My own reviews would probably suck dusty balls, with being too long and too wordy ...
    Ha! Mine already are. O_O
    Last edited by middenway; 05-15-2014 at 07:20 PM.

  4. #19
    aw yeah Chase Carver's Avatar
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    I think Cantide does have a valid point. New readers are good news for all of us fans of these wonderful titles. Multiversity is a huge platform to potentially reach all sorts of new people. Why not take advantage for the sake of the books we all clearly enjoy? I'm not arguing for fluff ratings, but spoiler-free reviews that don't get lost in continuity and extended canon discussion are more likely to engage new readers. I love hashing out that kind of discussion myself, but that just makes this huge sprawling universe all the more intimidating to outsiders. Give the casual Multiversity browser something they can actually read without being completely intimidated and spoiled.

    Now an ongoing discussion column, or maybe even a podcast (The Hour Cosmic one was entertaining...) for us committed readers that hashes out the important things like when we're seeing Bendigo, oh god what's Johann gonna do with a Kaiju, and what the heck is Panya's deal anyway…. that could be amazing.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by cantide View Post
    They're basically highly exclusive, spoiler-filled critiques and speculative discussion between longtime fans.
    Somehow I missed this post on my phone. I'm on a computer now, though!

    But, yes, this is very true. That's the way David and Brian do it, and I followed in that regard as I am basically a complete novice learning the ropes. They aim to be more discussion pieces than reviews. In the past I've tried doing a more general review, then pulling up a spoiler warning mid-way through before delving into the deeper discussion. I did this with Baltimore. I'm not sure how that worked. I was trying something. If you guys have read that and liked it, let me know and I'll keep doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cantide View Post
    If I could see any change in Mignolaversity in the future, it would be that they begin to provide simple, spoiler-free reviews that skip the inter-commentator debate and rather place their focus on the review's readers instead of its writers. It is fun to talk among yourselves about your favorite comics, but it provides no real service to readers who just want to know whether they should check out this cool new comic without being spoiled on it. The clear intent of Mignolaversity's reviews is to nitpick, theorize, and discuss each issue, but presenting only that kind of narrative in reviews may be intimidating to less-informed fans, and may leave the impression on a new reader that the comics are hopelessly complicated and there's no use in trying them out. I think it would be cool to start a more inclusive, reader-focused initiative to simply talk about what makes issue X exciting, why you should look forward to series Y, etc., without delving deep into the mythology or turning people away with too many spoilers.
    I think you make some good points, and you've definitely given me a lot to think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chase Carver View Post
    Now an ongoing discussion column, or maybe even a podcast (The Hour Cosmic one was entertaining...) for us committed readers that hashes out the important things like when we're seeing Bendigo, oh god what's Johann gonna do with a Kaiju, and what the heck is Panya's deal anyway…. that could be amazing.
    Also worth thinking about.
    Last edited by middenway; 05-15-2014 at 07:38 PM.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase Carver View Post
    Now an ongoing discussion column, or maybe even a podcast (The Hour Cosmic one was entertaining...) for us committed readers that hashes out the important things like when we're seeing Bendigo, oh god what's Johann gonna do with a Kaiju, and what the heck is Panya's deal anyway…. that could be amazing.
    Thanks for reminding me of that podcast! The Hour Cosmic BPRD discussion was just a blast to listen to. Anybody speaking passionately about these comics and all their intricacies totally has my ear.

    That would be an interesting way to tackle the different levels of discussion one can engage in. Friendly, simple, and spoiler-free reviews for the uninitiated, and semi-regular discussion podcasts (or columns) based on recent story arcs. Splitting the discussion up like that could also give them comfortable room to dig much deeper than they normally do in their single-issue reviews, the way they did in the Hour Cosmic Podcast. (That podcast was partly Mignolaversity, right?)

    Chase has it right saying that there is a lot of good one can do with the Multiversity/Mignolaversity name. It would be nice to see some changes undertaken to draw new readers in while still maintaining a separate niche of discussion and wild conspiracy theories for the longtime fans.

  7. #22

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    I'm really glad you brought this to my attention. The more I think about, the more I agree. The site has risen in profile, and probably needs to be more accessible. This is definitely something we need to consider.

  8. #23
    Incredible Member Kees_L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantide View Post
    I'm so grateful for all the buzz Mignolaversity has helped to develop around HB, BPRD, and Abe Sapien in the past year or so. They've done such a great job organizing events, conducting interviews, getting the word out! I'm sure all that work has brought in some new readers.

    However, Mignolaversity reviews are not written to attract potential readers--or if they are, they're not accomplishing that at all. Mignolaversity reviews appear to be written for the entertainment of current fans, given that the reviewers regularly discuss previous events and also the specific events of the issues they are reviewing. They're basically highly exclusive, spoiler-filled critiques and speculative discussion between longtime fans.
    It seems to me you are (aptly) sharing your own particular thoughts on how both new or either experienced readers can be having fun with the reading.
    Which I understand and agree to, eventhough my own POV might be a lot different in ways.

    I'd say even experienced readers could still enjoy or even benefit from other people's perspectives which they might not have thought of themselves quite in the same way.

    I have been reading all Mignolaverse from the start, which means firstly along an order of publication. And what that displays is where the creators or authors would be coming from in their storytelling.
    It's not so much that a more story-based chronology would get ignored this way, but what it does is (help) point out how come stuff would be unfolding the way it does, at the point of being firstly published.

    It helps to ascertain how come stuff is put forward in order to become established, with saving other stuff for later, for establishing any such in its own or most convenient time.

    To explain: at reading the books I never wish to take on a viewpoint of going: this story could have been different. It couldn't, because apparently the creators meant it the way it is, or they could revisit any stuff at another point in time.
    Which would tell me as a reader that if I cannot tune in to how a story means to be, than that seems a certain way to not be taking in the story most conveniently.

    And reading the way I basically have been helps to register newly forming loose ends, with stacking them next to all the others formed already, so I can enjoy the ride wherever it goes with trusting the loose ends becoming resolved due to any other book or title at any point, as all of the titles tie in together in such a way, with even remaining to prove tied in as history, onto which any new discovery or particular plot-point could be adding to, or even create alternate possibilities!

    In Hell shows Hellboy still pondering or adding up stuff, or either in other titles could even very new seeming BPRD-agents add continuity onto whatever, whereas for instance Hellboy's ultimate destiny still would be awaiting him fully. Even if the world changes or crumbles, even if individuals alter or die, that doesn't mean the story matter or wonderment becomes less and less.

    And the weird thing of reading (any) comics is that it is understandable how readers along the way pick up their own expectations or assumptions, nothing wrong with that, it seems intended even, as long as it wouldn't become a stumbling block onto jumping onto stories with being able to tune in to them? Like possibilities not resolving in the end would still be something, as forming story content even?

    (end of part 1 of 2)
    Last edited by Kees_L; 05-16-2014 at 03:27 PM.
    SLINT / Mike Mignola / Walt Whitman / Arthur Lourié / Dr. Pepper

  9. #24
    Incredible Member Kees_L's Avatar
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    (part 2 of 2)

    All this I write in order to agree how sharing thoughts and reading experiences could be fun and potentially helpful, to new or experienced readers alike. Also because the Mignolaverse may read pretty differently from other comics.

    Which might point out my critique towards how Mignolaversity.com seems to do it: for my money they seem to treat the Mignolaverse's continuity like just ordinary comics, along expectancies and whether or not stories would be written clearly or accessible enough.
    Which isn't necessarily wrong, but it seems almost a must to best be to have one's own opinion on any of it, like without agreeing to it merely at face value!
    Like if encouraging discussion or thought would be the intent, than that means the reviewers don't solely seek to be agreed with.

    From my own perspective the stories are written primarily as with having reader enjoyment in mind, which isn't only about clearity but also due to having the stories unfolding by building stuff up as coherently as possible for tying up loose ends later.
    Seeming due to how graphic storytelling couldn't dwell on things too long or just limitedlessly. I'd say that graphic stories need their pace and in-the-face-ness rather much.
    A story is made into something enjoyable, by cutting or not explaining all kinds of stuff. A story could be containing certain distinct things, but mainly as by leaving other stuff out or as mere asides. Asides which amid other stories could still become super important instead of but mere asides.

    At the same time would the graphical or much in-the-face interpretableness be granting great diversity: stuff looks to be meaning things a certain way, until from basically anywhere or any point in time, something makes everything different, even pivotally or retrospectively.

    The idea of 'spoilers' seems understandable, yet also a typical or traditional way of looking at things. This forum has been becoming riddled with folks having fun sharing their particular views, as of the late 90s, all the way up to now. But usually the trick has seemed to not let reading expectations become to rule I'd say, since that could come in the way of taking stories in. New or old ones, for either new or be it experienced readers.

    I honestly don't feel spoilers for the Mignolaverse, because interpretating it all depends so heavily upon one's own actual reading experience, with stuff needing to get interpreted actually amid one's own reading, before I'd feel to know how or what story points would be presented or established.

    Whereas the sharing and discussing both as any reading interviews or even reviews to disagree with, would really help on what perspectives to take on the books. Would be my POV.
    Last edited by Kees_L; 05-16-2014 at 09:15 AM.
    SLINT / Mike Mignola / Walt Whitman / Arthur Lourié / Dr. Pepper

  10. #25
    Astonishing Member Joker's Avatar
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    I'd agree that a spoiler free review to open would be nice. Then, delve further into the book below that. There's no reason both can't co exist.

    I'd also like to see them go further into the book, the themes, references, call backs. More like the Hellnotes. I don't need several paragraphs about how that guy didn't like it.
    My original point here was he stated not liking the issue for, what it seems, is exactly what Mike's setting out to do with the series. He even admits as much. Might be time to find someone who does like the book.

  11. #26
    Incredible Member Kees_L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    I'd agree that a spoiler free review to open would be nice. Then, delve further into the book below that. There's no reason both can't co exist.

    I'd also like to see them go further into the book, the themes, references, call backs. More like the Hellnotes. I don't need several paragraphs about how that guy didn't like it.
    My original point here was he stated not liking the issue for, what it seems, is exactly what Mike's setting out to do with the series. He even admits as much. Might be time to find someone who does like the book.
    Telling reviewers how to review or read doesn't seem helpful to me. And for remaining totally spoilerfree it seems best to stay away from reading reviews prior to reading the books or installments I'd say.

    Not that readers neededly should be staying away, but if they wanna read they ought to refrain from getting hung up on spoilers, since they always could be refraining from reading reviews on comics they haven't read yet.
    SLINT / Mike Mignola / Walt Whitman / Arthur Lourié / Dr. Pepper

  12. #27
    Astonishing Member Joker's Avatar
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    Eh, reviewers, and critics, they dish it out, they can handle it.

    The AV CLub got it: http://www.avclub.com/article/mignol...-scope--204718 that's how you review this issue.

    If you're going to run an ongoing set of reviews/features on a site called Multiversity it certainly implies a higher set of standards than 'Dudes Talking Comics'. With that comes higher expectations. David clearly didn't get what this issue was about, or why it was good. Why it was a story to tell, and its piece in the larger framework of the story. Sorry, I just expect that from a website that compares itself to a university. I don't think that's my fault.

  13. #28
    Incredible Member Kees_L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    Eh, reviewers, and critics, they dish it out, they can handle it.

    The AV CLub got it: http://www.avclub.com/article/mignol...-scope--204718 that's how you review this issue.
    Well I can agree with you that the review you link to seems a nice one at first glance. Which I need to be skimming since HIH #6 is yet to be reaching me from my LCS.
    It seems nice in incorporating all there'd be to reference to story-wise, with also discerning quite how mr Mikes particular panel-to-panel storytelling would be to work.

    That does seem more constructive than focusing on how a reviewer wouldn't be liking stuff, but that doesn't mean that Multiversity's apparent ongoing approach of more than one reviewer sharing thoughts need be good for nothing?

    Personally I surely wouldn't take Multiversity as being to stand out like some Comics University. The reviews seem too singular or succinct for any such. They hardly appear to touch onto quite how the narrative would have been establishing itself as from its beginnings all the way up to now, between the many different arcs and titles and even different mediums, from comics to prose and from standalone shorts to volumes filling epics.

    In my own words: they seem to insist on treating it all like just comics, eventhough narratives would be amounting quite diversely as by various approaches and renditions, be it by either the same people or different ones.

    When clearly not every comic would be presenting itself or characterizing stuff along distinct paradoxes both as intricately instead of purely linearly or but singularly. All the organicalness and the overturning any 'good vs bad' kind of paradigms seem essential both as deliberately something other than just any comics.
    Or at least it would seem warranted to approach it all as openmindedly or unrigidly as possible.
    Because not the reading would neededly be proving all that hard, but the bearing expectancy to any such would be, most likely.

    Continuities or character universes appear to add up essentially differently or at least particularly in the Mignolaverse, so reader expectancy would be working differently or particularly as well. I think the inclusion of any such notions I would generally feel to be missing within the Multiversity reviews moreso than not in my own opinion.
    Last edited by Kees_L; 05-16-2014 at 01:54 PM.
    SLINT / Mike Mignola / Walt Whitman / Arthur Lourié / Dr. Pepper

  14. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    I'd agree that a spoiler free review to open would be nice. Then, delve further into the book below that. There's no reason both can't co exist.
    It's certainly something I'm going to keep in mind. I think it's a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    The AV CLub got it: http://www.avclub.com/article/mignol...-scope--204718 that's how you review this issue.
    That's one way. I like the AV Club's reviews. I also like Brian's and David's though. They examine why they like or dislike an issue, and are willing to examine their biases.

    To me it seems disingenuous to review a series of comics, giving good reviews and then suddenly skip a review, or put on a different reviewer, because you didn't like the latest issue. Remember too, the reason Mignolaversity exists on Multiversity Comics is because these guys love it, and they'd been doing it for a long time before I came along. I literally just graduated my freshman year with the site. You have to love this stuff to do it for free, week after week, year after year. This thing is fueled by a passion for the comics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    Eh, reviewers, and critics, they dish it out, they can handle it.
    Exactly. Plus it's good to sit back and re-evaluate what I'm doing. It's easy to fall into patterns otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joker View Post
    I'd also like to see them go further into the book, the themes, references, call backs. More like the Hellnotes.
    That'll always come down to the reviewer. They have to catch the references and callbacks first in order to talk about them. I would have liked to have talked about the links to The Vampire of Prague and The Third Wish, but that's me. That stuff jumps out at me.

    But all this got me thinking about Hell Notes, and how maybe I should rethink it a bit. When I was first invited to be a guest writer on Mignolaversity I was asked to write a column to compliment the Hellboy in Hell reviews. It was this awkward, clumsy thing. Honestly, I didn't really know what they wanted or what I was doing. (Here it is) These early versions were kinda "Things you might have missed" for people less familiar with Hellboy. The current stuff I'm doing has a warning at the top that in essense says, "If you aren't up to date, DON'T READ IT." It's full of spoilers, and kinda limited to people already deep into it.

    Maybe that's not a bad thing. People seem to like Hell Notes (I think). But it's got me thinking that maybe it shouldn't always be like that. Maybe I should write some that are much more geared towards new readers.

    What do you guys think?

  15. #30
    Astonishing Member Joker's Avatar
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    I like your contributions. I think they're what brought me to the site. That's what I'm after, connections to past stories, things I may have missed, further analysis. I read the issue, I have an opinion, I don't care what someone I don't know thinks of it, I want further insight.

    Maybe that means the reviews aren't for me. I read that last one and just bought it was an awful piece of writing, half by a guy who didn't seem to like the style the book's being done in, by his own admission.

    So maybe they aren't the problem, just my interests/expectations.

    Keep up what you're doing, Middenway.

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