MIKE GOLD On Criticism And Critics

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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16 Responses

  1. Jeremiah Avery says:

    It’s aggravating when some critics bash fandom for what they see as an unhealthy fixation and yet these same critics think it’s normal to have every frame of film of some obscure movie memorized.

    I remember when the first Spider-Man movie was coming out – a critic on the local news was badmouthing it and yet the following Monday, after the movie had set a (at the time) record opening weekend, this same critic was then singing praises for the movie. Apparently it dawned on him that no one really cared about his opinion. I sure as hell didn’t.

    Some seem to want to be contrarian just to stir things up. When something becomes popular, the previous champions of the work then turn on the creators.

    After the fallout of a critic being an even bigger jerk than usual and breaking an embargo in reviewing a movie they had originally seen for free on the promise they’d wait before writing a review, some directors and studio execs are taking the stance of not wasting time in having exclusive critic screenings. Don’t see a point, especially when the critics go ahead and give away major plot points. David Fincher had said he’d rather just have a few trailers and tv spots made and maybe a random screening for actual moviegoers and then just release whatever film he was making. Believes that critics aren’t really the tastemakers anymore.

    • Mike Gold says:

      On the other hand… being a contrarian can be great fun. So can being an asshole. And I speak from experience.

      Back in my days of terrestrial broadcasting, I was privy to a hell of a lot of critics’ screenings. Never met a bigger bunch of nattering nabobs of negativism. Really ruined the movie experience, even in the case of movies so damn awful their creators should have been boiled in popcorn oil.

      Not all critics, to be sure, and in my argument I had a few high profile critics like both Ebert and Siskel (both comics fans, by the way) on my side. And there was this awesome screening room way on top of one of the most awesome screens in the nation — the Chicago Theater, whose marquee remains the city’s greatest icon. And those assholes ruined the architectural experience as well.

      • Jeremiah Avery says:

        I try to keep the mentality of “to each their own” and know that not every book, movie, tv show, etc. will not be of interest to me but some critics seem to forget that not everyone likes the same things. The ones that review books or movies for kids can be clueless.

        Some things I find vapid and downright terrible. Mike, I’d be right with you in dunking certain creators into the popcorn oil. However, I’m not going to watch it (or read every book in the series) just to complain about it every week. I don’t like it, I’ll go find something else. Life’s too short.

        I remember some writer lamenting how at a signing someone was spouting off on what the writer must have meant when writing a part of the book. When the writer corrected the person, said person couldn’t handle being told they were wrong and fired back that the writer was wrong.

        • Mike Gold says:

          I concur but (there’s always a “but” in criticism) but critics are supposed to have informed opinions. If I were to comment on, say, Fear Itself — and I just did — I have an obligation to read the majority of the, I dunno, twelve thousand issues that went into it in order to have that informed opinion.

          Movie critics have it worse: they have to review every major movie and an astonishing shitload of less-than-major movies. Several a day, on average. I’m not sure how they maintain their objectivity. Sadly, some don’t.

          More to the point, I’m astonished we haven’t seen more movie critics climb up a tall building in Cannes and start shooting people.

  2. Jeph Loeb hasn’t written anything good since Teen Wolf. DC hires writer-artists to save money, not to enhance the brand. The new 52 has more crap than gems. All of this is FACT. I’m 30, and I’ve seen everything!

    Seriously though… I’d like to think when I spit fire, I do so with an nod to reality. My opinion is no better or worse than anyone else. I happen to have a soapbox, that’s all.

  3. So, the big question: how can we get the critics and cranks of ComicMix to publicly share their opinion of works we’d like reviewed? Since you are all uber-sophisticated :)

    (I sent an email to this effect a week or ten days ago, but haven’t heard anything).

    • Mike Gold says:

      Hadn’t seen your email, Brandon. This happens a lot; I am of limited attention span and basically anti-social. And under heavy medication. And not allowed near a computer.

      However, if you want stuff reviewed feel free to pick a critic you think is honest and fair (this is an opportunity not given to most, and probably unethical) and email ’em for a direct address. Sending stuff to the ComicMix address is more likely to get pushed into the slush pile, which is roughly the size of Galactus on a hunger strike.

      Oh. And bribes really help a lot.

      • Okay, that sounds like a plan.

        So, is there to direct the contact form to a specific person? I don’t see personal email addresses anywhere (with good reason, of course).


        • Mike Gold says:

          If everything worked right, Brandon, you should have received a direct response from me. If not, let me know here and we’ll figure something else out.

  4. mike weber says:

    According to an article Sturgeon wrote for a fanzine, that’s “Sturgeon’s Revelation”. “Sturgeon’s Law” is something else.

    I was in the audience when Deavid Gerrold quoted the Revelation, and Robert Bloch immediately propounded Bloch’s Corollary to Sturgeon’s Revelation: “…and your agent gets the other ten percent.”

    • Mike Gold says:

      It was Sturgeon’s Revelation. Popular history and common usage has changed that.

      Seriously, I was going to use that phrase but I realized more people would know what I was talking about if I used the more common appellation.

      I say this with full knowledge that Glenn Hauman would have said “Sturgeon’s Revelation,” and if not for this response I would have received a phone call today to that effect.

  5. George Haberberger says:

    “I’m 30, and I’ve seen everything!”

    Well, I’m 60 and I’ve seen everything twice.

  6. John Ostrander says:

    Opinions are like assholes — everyone has one and, sooner or later, everyone IS one.

  7. Mike Gold says:

    John, please see my response to Mr. Avery, above.

    I’m only an asshole for a living. In real life, I’m a sweetie.

    • Hey-I’m an asshole and I’m proud to be one. If by being an asshole you mean that you have a point of view that won’t shift like the wind then I’m an BIG asshole.

      If you mean like Herman Cain…not so much.