Hmmm. I think you guys have made some very excellent and accurate points. It is true. Many people are resistant to new ideas, especially on these forums. It's often the new users, you see, who make new comics, and they don't have the skill to pull them off well. They just thought it would be cool to do what everyone else was doing. So we get tons of inane, indecipherable, and unfunny comics.
And many of them are not willing to listen to advice. They're possessive of their work to the point that they explode if anyone so much as throws a comma at them. They're new users. They're not necesarily known for their maturity.
Of course, one should always remember that the critiquers/reviewers have a responsibility in this, too. You really have to be wise about how you present your critique. I don't think that anyone here has ever really tried to be nasty, but it's so, so easy to come off that way. Even saying something as simple as, "This is crap," is a very unpleasant thing to hear. And what does that do to the beginning comic-maker? It basically kills them. So it's no wonder, then, that they explode.
There is an attitude around comic forums, and in fact around forums in general, that worries me somewhat. Sometimes people seem to think there's a war going on between beginning comic makers and advanced artists, and the way to win that war is by telling the beginners that they suck inconceivably badly. This couldn't be further from the truth.
The fact of the matter is, most forumgoers start out as what we call "noobs" in generally every aspect of what they do. Comics included. Goodness, I can think of several excellent strips who at first were absolutely horrendous. Mine, for instance. Over time, though, everyone either disappears or becomes skilled at conversation and comicry. Meanwhile, a new flux of noobs come in, whom the old users rant about.
What I'm asking for, I suppose, is respect for these new comic-makers, especially when it comes to critique. If one really wants to improve the comic forum, than the best thing to do is to be kind. Do NOT say things like, "Sorry, but this comic really sucks." Or, "It makes my eyes bleed." Saying things like that will only (and I've watched this happen time and again) aggravate the artist, and cause things to descend into a "you meanie" squabble, or in the worst cases, a flamewar.
Tell the comic-maker what you like. Then tell them what you don't. And be sure to explain what they can feasibly do to fix it.
I'm not trying to say we should cease all constructive criticism whatsoever, or be all sugary in our reviewing. That would be idiotic. What I'm saying is to be polite and not condescending. And even as you stare at pages and pages of blurry, pixellated, typo-ridden horror, don't forget that these kids are yourself, merely one step removed.
What I would love to see one day is this vision of a perfectly happy and healthy comic forum- a place where comic skill is honed and practiced, but also where newcomers are welcomed and appreciated. Rather than being told that they are failures, they are given tools, the tools they need to make their work great, by senior members. And no matter what a comic may look like, the right of its maker to disagree with the advice he's been given is always respected.
In working toward those ends, I’ve often felt like a wonderful thing would be to create an extremely comprehensive guide to every aspect of comic making, with clear, precise information so that these users can have access to really good details on what they can do to make their comics great. It would be a nice thing to do for the forum, and it would, I think, help me feel like I've really done something as its mod. Unfortunately, time and energy have not allowed for me to really do any work on this, but it's something I think would be a great idea to do.
For various reasons, (not least because I've grown tired of this username), I've moved my operations over to other websites. If you're interested in following my adventures as I explore and subvert the many worlds of Nintendo through prose, look for me on Archive of Our Own, Bulbagarden, or OverClocked ReMix as "Daidalos."
And if you're a fan or a comic-maker from the old days, thanks for more than five unforgettable years of community, comics, and creativity. And thanks for remembering.