Criticism Quotes



  • “Those who cannot do, criticize.”


  • It is the critic’s duty, I believe, to deliver honest opinions to posterity on the immediate experience of viewing movies, hoping that successors will respect their honest opinions and find them useful, rather than sneer at their insensitivity.
    o Philip French The Observer, March 5 2006

  • …there is no longer any serious antagonism between critics, film distributors and moviemakers… we are now… welcomed respectfully by publicists, our notices, as they used to be called, filleted for favourable comments, but generally disregarded. In these placid days one looks back nostalgically to the anger an unfavourable review could elicit.
    o Philip French The Observer March 19 2006


  • The trick to writing comics criticism meant for an audience beyond the cult, I think—and, really, if the criticism is good enough and is in any kind of a general-interest venue, the audience will come—is subtle exposition: I try to write for a general audience, and give them everything they need to know, without making it look like I’m explaining something esoteric. In a lot of ways, the long comics reviews I write are just book reviews; I figure out a hook or some kind of engaging way of addressing the subject, I assess the thing in question, and I don’t make a big deal out of the fact that it’s a comic, any more than Kael would hem and haw over the fact that what she was reviewing was a motion picture.
    o Douglas Wolk Graphic LanguageMay 17 2006

  • There were a lot of working professionals who were just sort of appalled at our attitude and probably at our punkish disrespect for mainstream, predominantly superhero, comics in general. They didn’t think it was legitimate to criticize comics in that sort of high-toned way. Mainstream creators took a certain degree of pride in their work, but it was pride in them from the perspective of hard-core fans, and they weren’t really imposing standards on them, other than craft standards, which had devolved from the history of comics—and the history of comics is mostly just a history of crap. So when we came in and applied these “exalted” standards to comics, creators were, frankly, pissed off.
    o Gary Groth BookForum Summer 2006

  • …using the language of film suggests that comics are somehow subordinate to film as a discipline: a movie that doesn’t move.
    o Douglas Wolk Graphic Language May 17 2006


  • …the most useful criticism in any art [form] is new work done with the same tools [as previous art].
    o John Szarkowski Art In America 94.5, May 2005.

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