In yesterday’s post I mentioned comic book critics that I follow on YouTube and that I could recommend some that put the current comic debate into perspective as far as what people unhappy with the current trends are actually saying versus what you’re being told they’re saying. I thought that tonight I’d spotlight a few of those critics, letting you hear, for example since it was brought up, what some of these critics mean when they complain about a comic or other piece of media is “woke”, though not every sample I’ll be using will touch on that, or just the issues with the darker themes for formerly fun comics. Sadly none of them are as adamant about letting kids read mainstream DC and Marvel superhero stories as I am and some of them came from the 1990s, where some of these trends truly began before politics infected every aspect of our entertainment…usually coming off more as a distraction from how bad the show is combined with lazy marketing than anything else.
In compiling this list I snagged a sample from liberals, conservatives, the politically unaligned, the biased and unbiased view alike, and people I may or may not agree with on specific topics but do agree with in broad terms or at least find their presentation interesting enough. Frankly I’m a bit concerned to even do some of these. I’ve had people in the past that I’ve promoted like the Game Overthinker or JewWario either fall into madness or was secretly problematic the whole time…and given my stats I’m sure most of you know what I mean about the second name given that my article about it gets read at least three times a day for some reason. Some of the stronger critics on the right like Eric July are not on the list because right now he’s focused on his own comic company and I want to show that it’s more that white conservative Christians (he’s not white but he is the other two, specifically Libertarian) calling out the current trends in comics. It’s a wide variety so if you want to get the full flavor of the current debate check these reviewers out as well. Let’s start with the most neutral party on this list.
Sasha Woods’ primary content is looking at some of the crazier stories in comics, not only in the Silver Age but in more recent years and other “Ages” of comics. However, at times she does commentaries like this and I could totally make an article around it–in fact I have before after Tim Drake was forced out of a closet he was never in. Her commentaries look at both sides of the debate honestly, trying to get a good sense of what they actually believe and letting her viewers decide. Mostly she just really enjoys talking about comics and seeing the comments of other people who love comics. If you use any of the channels I’m listing here to get a sense of the current debates in comics, Casually Comics should be that one.
Others are a bit more biased but they’re people I agree with on enough talking points to recommend. For example:
Just Some Guy is not a conservative. He refers to himself as a “classic liberal”, was against the Florida bill that got Disney in trouble, and seems to think all Catholics are pedophiles because of a handful of priests and a clergy that didn’t help them be set free from pedophilia and it’s related mental illnesses. So when it comes to politics he and I would not get along. When it comes to media, however, we are very much in agreement. He has posted diatribes against comics like Black AF and Ignited, complained about Bobby Drake and Tim Drake going gay in violation of how their characters were depicted, and his rage against The Rings Of Power is something of legend. He believes in proper storytelling, in not accepting sloppy second pallet swaps so some writer feels better about themselves (or whatever the heck Velma is trying to do), and by making an adaptation as close to the source material as possible while dealing with the necessities of adaptation. He just wants the franchise to reflect the franchise. So if you think “complaining about SJWs” is just some right wing stuff, check this channel out.
Perch is or was (might still be) a comic store owner. He knows what customers are saying, what shenanigans the various publishers and distributors pull, and his own opinion on the comics themselves. This gives him a unique insight that others in this list don’t have. He wades through the political arguments but is more willing to give his opinion than Sasha is. He’s also done interviews with people in the comics business that he shares with his audience. It’s a good site to get an insider’s view on the current state of comics.
I wanted to stick to commentaries but I also wanted to keep to something recent. As of late most of Dannphan’s videos have been readthrough riffs of DC’s young adult comics, reimagining DC heroes and locations in a non or limited superhero landscape. They’re not very good. Her unique perspective is someone looking to be a success in comics. You can even go to her website and see what she has produced. She also has a recurring segment on advice for writers and other indie comic creators.
He can be a bit harsh at times lately. Personally I don’t blame Cavill for Zack Snyder’s failure to adapt Superman properly and at least with The Witcher he’s proven that if he does like something he’d rather not be part of a bad adaptation, given some behind the scenes info about his actions on set and one of the reasons he left the show. Whatever the case though, Michael Critzer is an actual professor, and his field of study is modern mythology. It’s not just nostalgia that has him at odds with the current comics, or in this case movie based on a comic (again, going by recent videos and most of his are focused on the adaptations…at least he’s not doing a video on the “pregnancy” situation). He sees a purpose to myth whether it’s faith or pure fiction and the positive and negative impacts on our culture. I’m not saying you’ll agree with him but the purpose here is to highlight the opposition to mainstream media and press so you can get a proper perspective of what the opposing view is versus what you might be told about them.
In the end I prefer to see both sides of a story and then make a judgement, unless I know they’re lying to me. It’s why I cut all connection with CNN after they admitted they were playing up to Saddam Hussein just to get the interviews and lying or ignoring his human rights abuse, not because of whatever political leaning they may be operating out of. These are some great choices for various reasons and worth checking out, especially Casually Comics for the sake of this article’s goal. Get the full story and then make your call.