No image up top; it’ll ruin the surprise.
Let’s get something out of the way: I am not about to argue that if you disagree with me about a piece of culture — a movie, a book, a TV show — that the fact of our disagreement means that you are irrevocably stupid and dumb and wrong. Indeed, the most valuable movie critic I’ve ever read was a woman in the local newspaper <cough, mummble years ago, cough> with whom I regularly disagreed, but did so in a wholly predictable manner, meaning that I could estimate to a high degree of precision how much I would like a movie based on how much she did or did not. That’s some primo information, y’all.
What I’m puzzled by today is a review of Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor (of which much has been written on this page and elsewhere) at The AV Club, whose writers I normally find well-mappable and usefully predictable (in the sense that I can predict my own likelihood of enjoyment from theirs). It’s a pretty
mediocre, verging on bad review; I’ve seen less-than-laudatory reviews of The Sculptor, but this one seems to be … mean spirited? It’s drawing inference and intent that I don’t think are accurate in anything but a most cursory read, seems to be unable to separate the creator from the character, and particularly seems insulted that The Sculptor mentions Jeff Koons in a cursory way that is not a big, sloppy blowjob.
I can’t recall the last time that even a novice creators still learning their way around a craft was treated as shabbily as in this conclusion:
A few fantasy bits are cribbed from a photocopy of Neil Gaiman’s plumber’s cousin’s Sandman fan-fic¹. There’s even an angry Russian landlord with mob connections. Is there a word for when talented artists succeed in proving to the world in the most embarrassing and sincere way possible that they have absolutely nothing left to say?
Like I said — puzzling.
Spam of the day:
My thoughts exactly.
¹ One must note that among those that disagree would be Neil Gaiman.