The Savage Critic is a group comics weblog which is well worth reading if you’re into the things (of course if you’re into the things you already know about it). Douglas Wolk, of occasional ILX and music writing note, writes for it occasionally, but the site has a really broad set of voices – readers, retailers, fans, thinkers – and styles. In fact it reminds me a bit of NYLPM, or what I hoped NYLPM would become, except it’s not about pop music obviously. It could stand sometimes to be snappier – a lot of the review posts are still using that old USENET format of a load of unrelated comics, graded one by one to make a colossal post, but does that format really still make sense when you’re no longer writing stuff offline before dialling up? Anyway these are quibbles – this is good criticism.

Halfway down the page you’ll find this epic post by Jeff Lester, which I admit I haven’t read all of yet. BUT I wanted to highlight it cos it hits on a point I remember talking about with Mark S and some others in the pub a few months ago. Mark was asking, basically, what do you get out of these incredibly dreadful comics (I think I had mentioned the Doctor Doom 9/11 tears ‘thing’) and we groped towards the understanding that basically comics fandom was like sports fandom, with joy at the triumphs and the rest of the time a degree of bonding over the occasionally farcical lows. Well, comics fandom at its best. Anyway that’s also the analogy that comes to mind when I read the other comics blog I regularly look at, the “Downcounting” column at Funnybook Babylon. This is a week by week evisceration of DC Comics’ dreadful Countdown series, a hugely ambitious and – so far – astonishingly shoddy project, plagued by internal contradictions, repetition, piss-poor cash-in spin-offs, a total lack of thought as to characterisation, motive, and in fact anything other than sticking 20 pages of content out weely. All of this “Downcounting” recounts in detail – enormously funny, frustrating detail if you, like me and like the guy writing the blog, actually have a huge soft spot for DC Comics and its silly characters.