One thing I find baffling about the current criticism of comics criticism: so much of it centers on what are essentially reviews. The couple times I have attempted to write criticism, it involved books I liked, but my goal was to investigate my response to reading them, not to describe why I liked the book about which I was writing. (And since I don’t have much of an online following or make any money at it, wouldn’t I be insane to spend months of my life working on essays about books I hated?)
Criticism is subjective - the best critics are the ones who can jump in and dissect a book, using their unique critical lens to open the book up for further criticism and discussion. The need to rubber-stamp whether a book is GOOD or BAD is all about the ego of the critic, turning the subjective critical lens into an objective proclamation. Criticism should give life to a work, but so much criticism in comics seeks to turn the work into road kill. Been there criticized that. Nothing to see here, move along folks.
Reviews have their place, and they’re important. I write reviews. I read reviews. But critics who are actively practicing comics criticism shouldn’t care whether what they’re critiquing is good or bad, and they certainly shouldn’t beat their readers over the head with those judgments.