Read this essay first and then come back http://comixcube.com/2013/06/17/i-cant-fold-i-need-gold-i-reup-i-reload-product-must-be-sold-to-you/
In the comments Dan Morris wrote this:
"This bring me to my next point, I think a lot of that has to do with lack of a wall between critics and cartoonists in this scene. Now granted there is a lot of great writing writing on comics right now. I can’t deny that. To me though, there’s a lot of suspect writing on comics because of the close relationships between critics, publishers, and cartoonists. I don’t think that its healthy when the major voice of comics criticism owned by one of the two biggest publishers in alt/art comics and whose editor in chief is a publisher for a smaller art/alt comics boutique. Ultimately, publishers are going to put out the work that they most believe in deserves publishing and eventually that work will have to stand on its own. Yet having the publisher put out the reviews of this work doesn’t say “We’re trying to be an honest critical voice here”. It says promotional piece to me. Same with when critics are friends with cartoonists and vice versa. That’s seems even more even more incestuous to me. How are critics supposed to provide honest and through analysis of material when they’re buddies with the person making it? No one wants to speak poorly of friends so how is an art form supposed to grow when there is glowing praise coming from every direction?"
I agree with this. However, I have been thinking recently that I'm most interested in writing about the FORM of comics by specifically writing about my friends who make comics precisely because through knowing them and knowing their intentions and through what we talk about I might be able to provide insights that the casual reader or even interested fan may not pick up on. So, for me, it is less about "speaking poorly" about friends who are cartoonists and more about speaking enthusiastically and from a sincere place in an attempt to further discussion of the FORM.
(I left this as a comment on the original blogpost - just posting it here for myself)