I decided that I'd need to post something for the anniversary so I whipped this up.
Since about a month ago, my brother/editor has been working on reviewing the blog, at least when possible. It helps to have somebody run a brief check for the blog before I post it. It also gets me to reread what I wrote before I post so that I can reaffirm what I write what I meant. Recently he pointed out something that suddenly bugged me. Why don't I write more negative reviews. Honestly the question has been posed before by others who have viewed the blog, Scott Smith for example. The reason itself is simple enough: there are too many good webcomics that people need to see.
Reviewing webcomics is different than reviewing albums or movies or even television shows. With webcomics, the review media is always composed of online people working for free and often without training. I have yet to hear of an actual printed periodical taking interest in a webcomic besides Penny Arcade. As a reviewer you are faced with a genre where anybody can create work and many people actually do. Some of the work is horrible errr.... actually most of it is. Very few webcomics are actually decent enough to garner a wide audience. While some people may only do comics for their friends, you need to ask the question, why are you posting it on the Internet then? As I said though, most webcomics are horrible. I then pose, why should I as a comic reviewer working for fun, spend my time on something I don't like just to tell you that you should not like something?
Now, don't get me wrong. Many readers do enjoy negative reviews. Your Webcomic is Bad and the progeny of Internet hellspawn from that infernal womb has shown that there is an interest in negative reviews. Who does that really help though? All it does is perpetuate the Internet hate machine. The creators mostly are just told they need to stop, they receive hate mail and generally just give up. They are never or at least rarely given actual help to improve. Nothing good usually comes out of the situtation.
Now if requested, I will read any webcomic. This doesn't mean I will review it. So far, three webcomics artists have asked me to look at their work at least. Two of them were good enough to get reviews. The third literally caused me physical pain when reading it. I did not review that one obviously. Why? Besides the obvious fact that I wish my readers no harm, I was faced with something so horrible that I would not want anybody to deal with it but also to help the author. The author was alerted to what I thought, thanked me for my help and decided to try and change what he was doing. If I had posted a negative review on the blog, all that would happen would be that more people would have the same opinion and might not be as polite about it.
If your comic is horrible, I don't review it to help you the readers, to help the author and to make my work a little easier. By not reviewing, I can find you decent content that you can actually enjoy or at least try to enjoy, I instead give the writers tips to improve so that I will actually review it and I don't have to force myself to read a comic. All in all, everyone is helped with a little bit of quality control.
If you want me to see your comic, you can know what to expect. If I don't like your comic, I try to make the reasons clear or general enough so you know to change areas. Just putting that out there and thanks for reading.