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CSBG Archive

A Month of Comic Book Sites – Good Ok Bad

All throughout June, I’ll spotlight a different web site about comic books.. Like with the month of independent comics, the month of LGBT comics and last month’s month of webcomics, I figure I will let you comic book site/blog owners out there suggest your comic book web site (or blog) for spotlight during this month. So if you want me to spotlight your comic book site, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

Today we look at Good Ok Bad, a comic book review site by Seth Hahne that tells you whether Hahne felt a comic book was (wait for it) good, Ok or bad!

First off, the idea of having a strict three star review process is an interesting concept (I tend to go with just two prongs – either I recommend it or I don’t recommend it, but I can see the appeal of “okay”).

Secondly, the design of the site is quite impressive. I thought it was interesting enough that I actually took a screen shot of it to share with you all here (I shrunk the type to make it easier to see the bigger picture of how the layout was designed)…

Isn’t that a smart looking website?

Hahne is also slowly putting together study guides for notable graphic novels. Here is one he did for Asterios Polyp.

Finally, in a fairly bold decision, he also has a “current Top 100 favorite comics” list on his site, a list that changes as time goes by. Here is the current list. Interesting stuff.

All together, it is a well designed, well kept up website with interesting reviews (and it has only been up for a few months – when he gets even MORE reviews on it it will be even MORE helpful). If you’re interested, check the site out at http://goodokbad.com.

5 Comments

Wow, thanks Brian for the write-up and the kind words. The site is still in its infancy, so I’m in the process of evolving the concept as I search for what works and doesn’t work for me. So, any thoughts or critique from anyone at this early stage would be welcome.

I love a lot of the design choices, but one problem I had was that it took me searching for the Top 100 to realize you had reviews that weren’t on the homepage graphic. You might want to provide some indication that those are only the “featured” or “recent” reviews (if that’s what they are), and maybe replace “Browse Reviews” with “Browse Review Archive,” which I think does a better job of pointing the reader to content behind the front page. Small quibble, really, just that I can see somebody missing out because he clicked on a few of the frontpagers and thought he had seen it all.

Other than that, I like the three star review system, and I’m intrigued by your conceit of reviewing superheroes by the same standard as “lit” comics. I’m not sure its entirely fair, since, you know, Chris Ware spends a couple of years putting together a 70 page novella, whereas I don’t think DC would allow Grant Morrison six months for Batman #701 or whatever. On the other hand, I do agree that too much serviceable throwaway material gets talked up to the heavens for surpassing low expectations (e.g. Paul Cornell’s Action imo).

One last thing I wanted to add is that I like your selection of books and your style of writing, both of which are very accessible. I contrast this with a site like TCJ, which is great in its own way, but often too high brow and artsy for my tastes. Your reviews bring a sort of normal dude, Greg Burgas-y type vibe to the work, only more structured and with fewer snipes at Brett Booth (sorry Greg, you know it’s true).

Thanks Cass, that’s some great advice. I’ve been slowly picking at the front page since I first launched for the very reason you mention: visitors won’t necessarily know that there’s a lot of reviews not linked on the front page. I like the ideas you propose and will probably implement them soon. And yeah, those reviews linked on the front page are the recent ones, the bigger the bubble, the more recent the review. I’m kicking myself for not making that more clear to visitors.

You’re right that it’s not entirely fair to judge episodic genre lit on the same criteria as books that don’t suffer the same constraints. I do try to give books some leeway depending on what they’re trying to accomplish and then balancing that against more general concerns. Part of my original idea for the site was to give people who don’t really have any investment in the characters a foothold for finding books that will appeal to them. I’ve wavered on whether I should even include reviews of superhero books.

For one, I’m a bit biased since I for the most part don’t think much of the products of the genre (or at least most of it). I grew up reading superheroes in the ’80s and ’90s and as I hit my twenties, I became disenchanted by the stories and the continual return to status quo. I still enjoy books from the DCU and MU occasionally, but its much more rare than it once was. And their usually mindless pleasures for me. Like how I adore Billy Madision but couldn’t in good conscience rate it up as high as Citizen Kane which I think highly of but enjoy less.

Still, there are some Marvel/DC books that I have positive things to say about and I want to review them in the near future. It may be that from here on out, I’ll only include superhero material that I have positive things to say about. I dunno. Something for me to consider, so thank you.

Thanks also for the kind words regarding my style. I also see some similarities between what I aim for and what Greg Burgas produces. I love his graphic novel reviews. I also enjoy the film reviews of James Berardinelli, which are also written in an accessible style.

That looks great, nice one Seth. I’ll check it out. My own blog doesn’t look that good … but I shall suggest it anyway.

Nice idea, Brian.

It is refreshing to see someone give bad reviews to All-Star Superman, Batwoman: Elegy and Pride of Baghdad. Personally, I own and enjoy all those books, but obviously Seth is telling us what he really feels and has a strong and steady critical voice. It is admirable to see someone go against the grain and give an insightful and differnt point of view on massively popular books.

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