You find this funny?

I believe that Scott Kurtz is the only man on the fucking planet who could be upset about a good review.

Awhile ago Johanna Draper Carlson, of Comics Worth Reading, (whose work, for the record, I don’t even like) gave a pretty good review of Kurtz (and friends) new book, How to Make Webcomics. Carlson actually had pretty nice things to say about the book, though she noted that Kurtz didn’t give aspiring webcomikers any advice on dealing with/wrangling critics. Oh and she found some editing mistakes.

Now this mild mannered review caused Kurtz to vomit out a long blog post attacking the very foundation of literary criticism!

Kurtz: (bolding is mine)

It’s a notion I’m seeing pop up more and more in the blogosphere. The concept that the critic, or reviewer, plays as important a part in the creation of the work he’s critiquing as the artist himself.

Johanna, as her bi-line informs us of her identity, seems almost put-off that we do not take into account the possibility that critics are ever right.

I’m not sure how I ended up in so many tug-of-war competitions with bloggers, where the outcome of our match determines the superior position: creator or critic. But it seems to be cropping up again. There is a strange sense of entitlement, an eerie assumption of an unspoken working relationship that I am happy to inform does not exist. Why we insulate ourselves from the notion that the external critic can EVER be right, is because their critique is moot in regards to the progression of our work.

There’s a lot here but I think Kurtz is amazing full of himself and is intellectually shooting himself in the foot. Because, basically, critics and creators are two sides of the same coin (like Batman and the Joker!), they have a symbiotic relationship. Without creators critics would have nothing to critique but without critics creators would have no one to absorb and, yes, critique their work. They would be making art in a vacuum.

And no one, like Kurtz, who puts their work on the internets wants to work in a vacuum.

And clearly, there is no value to criticism since, you know, there aren’t universities offering courses and conferring degrees in literary theory and criticism.

Basically, it seems to me that Kurtz wants his audience and his critics to shut up and take it. They must be a passive audience, willing to follow Kurtz over whatever cliff he wants to go for the “sake of his art”. Kurtz’s intellectual radar seems overrun by internet trolls who have nothing of value to say. They seek, not to judge the work of a creator them admire, but instead to cramp his style, to wreck his artistic vision.

Kurtz seems so scared (understandable, mind you) of fan entitlement that he’s locked his mind entirely to criticsm. And that makes him more than a little full of it and himself.

Anyway, this is old news. In today’s PvP, Kurtz has unleashed a new group of super villains on his unsuspecting hero, Lolbat. One of them happens to include ‘The Savage Critic’, a female critic-as super villain. Hey, you know whose also a female critic? Johanna Draper Carlson, of Comics Worth Reading! She also writes (or at least wrote) for the Savage Critic(s). Could ‘The Savage Critic’s’ secret identity be Carlson?

If it was wouldn’t that just be hilarious? Kurtz has turned his critics into a joke. The laughter never stops.

And all of this was over a positive review.


4 Comments on “You find this funny?”

  1. psycholarry says:

    I am amused at the juxtaposition of the word “art” and the noun “PvP” in the same sentence. I think it is an oeuvre you should explore more.

  2. old friend, you never cease to amuse me.

  3. […] Smith Michaels of the Blurred Productions blog theorizes that Savage Critic is a stand-in for Johanna Carlson, whose review touched the whole […]

  4. Scott Kurtz says:

    Since you guys are blogging about me, may I PLEASE clarify one point:

    I did not get upset about a positive review. I used a section of Johanna’s review to illustrate a point about why don’t take blogging/review sites to heart when determining the artistic course of our strip and also to comment on my issues with critics who feel their reviews are higher art than the product they are reviewing.

    That’s it. Everyone (yourself included) keeps falsely inferring that I got pissy about a good review.

    Her review was wonderful.

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