I think it's time, even though nobody's really asked me any questions, to put up a F. A. Q. Why? Well, because it's nice sometimes to be able to define oneself, and what this site is about. That and it helps fill the time between writing reviews. Let's start.
1. Who the [insert expletive here] are you?
Thanks for asking.
I'm Andrew Araki (pronouced "a rock key"). No I don't draw a comic, nor do I have any natural artistic talent to speak of. I'm a music major. I read comics in what little free time I have.
I also like being a critic, which is why I started this site. I was of course inspired by Eric Burns, but the real reason I thought starting this site was feasible was because of a blog called The Living Comic (which hasn't updated in a while (that proves I have longevity, people)). What I liked about The Living Comic was the fact that he didn't write comics, and didn't much seem to be part of the community, yet he still got noticed because his writing was good.
I didn't really expect to make much of an impact on the webcomics community. I just like writing in any form, and I decided to start this blog for fun. I was planning on once I had enough posts and I felt I was good enough to start commenting on other blogs to get noticed. That plan didn't quite go the way I thought it would, since Phil Kahn linked to me before I even considered making myself noticed. That led to a soon forgotten link on Comixpedia, and here I am today. I never expected to get as far into the community as I have, so I'm definitely satisfied with that.
2. What's this site about?
Comics Rock is a website about webcomics. I mostly focus on reviews, with Now That It's Finished Reviews getting first priority. I also review comics still running by request and on a whim. I also discuss comics theory every once in a while. The comics theory essays are more to give the audience a feel for my taste than to say what should and shouldn't be in a webcomic. Every once in a while during the lull between posts, I will do a comic one-shot, where I pick one comic, post the picture on my site, and talk about it as much as I feel it needs talking about.
3. Why did you choose a stupid name like "Comics Rock?"
Who says it's stupid? I understand that the name isn't a very searchable name. Put "comics rock" into google and by the third page you might find something that references my site. (Apparently, however, I'm the only Andrew Araki in the world.) I wasn't really thinking about that when I chose the name. Truth is, the name's a triple meaning. Really.
First meaning is the obvious "comics rock" in that comics are awesome.
Second there are quite a few cities or landmarks that have the word "rock" in their name. In that sense "comics rock" is a place that has something to do with comics. That's why the subtitle says what it says.
Finally, my nickname in high school, which I still go by sometimes today, was "Rock." The reason I was nicknamed that way has to do with my last name (see pronunciation in first question). So I can say, "My name's Rock and I review comics. I'm Comics Rock." It's a silly thing, I know, but I think it's cool.
4. Why don't you review art?
Because I'm not an artist.
Really, there's just too much about art and drawing that I don't know about. Cross-hatching, anatomy, brush strokes, perspective, whatever. I can't tell if art's good by objective standards, so I just don't try. There are enough blogs out there that pay good attention to art that I don't have to. Personally, as long as I can tell what's happening, I don't care. Pick your own style and stick with it.
5. How do I get on your top 5?
Simple. Impress me.
If I see a comic that's worth talking about because it's very good or a storyline turns out to be more than I thought it would, that comic goes into my top 5. The top 5 works on a rotation system, so a comic remains on the top 5 until five other comics have received that honor at which point it gets taken off.
6. How can I remain on your top 5?
Simple. Impress me twice.
A comic won't go through more than two rotations on the top 5. After that I'll take it off to give another comic a chance.
I also tend to avoid talking about a comic multiple times within a short period, so the second comic actually has to be a little better than the first to stay on.
If that happens I give the comic a buffer.
A buffer is defined as a substance which resists change (basically (it's actually a little more complicated than that).
What happens when a comic gets a buffer is it moves back down to the end of the top 5 and starts the rotation all over again.
Because of that it will remain in the top 5 longer.
7. Why aren't you reading [insert comic here]? It's awesome.
Well there could be many reasons.
I might not have heard of it, or I might have heard of it, but wasn't interested. A good way to get me to read a comic is to request a review. That's almost guaranteed to put me in an archive crawl.
I might have read it, but didn't like it. Even though I have varied tastes, I don't like everything. Somtimes you'll just have to accept that I don't like everything you do.
It might be too short. If I can't get a good feel for a comic, I'll usually wait until I can, then decide whether I like it or not. The shorter a comic is, the harder it is to get a feel for it. I might like it once the archive bulks up a bit, but for now I'm not sure.
That's all the questions I have for now. I'm going to be posting the permanent link for this post in the sidebar. If anyone else has any other questions, put them in the comments.