With All Dewey Respect (A Critic Fights Back)

In the last 48 hours I have been taken to task by the creators of the Image comic The Autumnlands. All this Twitter drama has stemmed from my review of their recent issue. (Issue #13) Most of the heat has been coming from the title’s artist Benjamin Dewey. Mr. Dewey was unhappy with the lack of quality in my review as well as not receiving what he felt was his proper amount of attention.

I’ve been called out on my spelling and sentence structure. Fair is fair. In the last week I’ve written close to 20 reviews for various issues and trades, I also worked on an article that is a list of graphic novels that fans should read for Halloween. I will admit that my output has over-shadowed my editorial abilities. Not every piece that I have written this week was given the editorial once-over before being published. That’s on me. It’s my mistake and I own it.

I was also smacked around on Twitter for not naming Mr. Dewey as the artist in my review. I figured that the credits I included at the end of every article would fill in the blanks for any concerned or curious fans that wanted to know who had provided visuals for this title. I think what really upset Mr. Dewey is that I did not go into further detail about his work, or praise him enough for his visuals. I think what Mr. Dewey wanted was a little ass smooching.

As I stated earlier, I have been writing a ton of reviews this last week, I’ve also been reading a massive amount of back issues thanks to my Marvel Unlimited and Comixology Unlimited subscriptions that grants me access to over 90,000 back issues from various companies. In fact, The Autumnlands first graphic novel is available on the Comixology’s Unlimited service. You should check out the book. I enjoyed the first volume… as I enjoyed issue #13.

That is until all this drama started.

I have had my education questioned. Which FYI – I’m high school graduate from a small graduating class of 83 in the Mid-West. My spelling is subpar, as is my sentence structure, but I continue to write in the hopes of improving. I’ll get better as I go. Unfortunately Mr. Dewey, I write reviews because I enjoy doing it. I’m not paid by www.comiccrusaders.com for my reviews. I do this for free because like you, I love the industry and medium of comics. I want to share that passion with fellow fans in any way that I can and given my limited ability, this is the avenue that I have chosen.

I do this on my own time, on my own dime. I have a family that I’m sure would like to spend more time with me, I have a job to work, bills to pay, responsibilities to meet… just like everyone else. I personally chose to cover The Autumnlands because I wanted the book to get the exposure and I felt I gave an honest and fair review of the issue that is currently available.

I have a deep respect for Mr. Busiek and his work. (He also took the time to denounce my review. Thanks for that. It was an honor to be corrected by one of the best comic scribes of my generation…but at least Kurt did so with class) He has created some amazing stories in the past and this work is well done too. He is the name on the title that draws in comic readers. He’s better known to casual fans and is the more recognizable member of your creative team. He gets the press. He is the draw. Not you Mr. Dewy.

Mr. Dewey, up until I read The Autumnlands I had never been exposed to your work. I’m not familiar with your past efforts, I’m not up-to-date on your resume, and frankly your reaction to my review leaves a lot to be desired. Is this how you treat all of your critics? Is this how you react to your fellow creators?

It may not mean much to you, but your little hissy fit has filled up my notifications on Twitter with fans who now question my reviewing skills. I’ve been reading and following comics for 24 years, way too long to have any fellow fan question my background and knowledge. (I’ve earned my nerd credentials all the way back in 1994) Yet, thanks to Mr. Dewey, I now have to sit here and explain myself.

I could understand this reaction if I had scored the book low. I could understand if I had made a point to make disparaging remarks about the art and the artist. This was a middle-of-the-road review and Mr. Dewey reacted as if I called his mother a whore! The book was scored 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a solid score! You want a better score? Build a better comic!

With over 90,000 back issues to read from and the new content that is released every week, as a reviewer, the team behind The Autumnlands are lucky that I took the time to say anything about your title. I wanted to bring attention to what is a fun comic, but now thanks to you Mr. Dewey; you’ll be getting the wrong kind of press; the kind that paints you as a bully and an egotistical, self-centered A-hole. Enjoy the headlines.

You’ve lost a fan of your comic, you’ve lost the respect of a critic, and you’ve got one less person in the industry that will stand up for you and your work. I could have been an ally. Instead these will be the last words I write about you or any future projects you work on. Have a wonderful career.

One last bit of advice: Losing a fan may not mean much to you now, but you really should treat critics better. We are the unsung marketing department of your career. Keep pissing on folks like me and soon you’ll find you don’t have one.


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