Above is a panel from The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers #3, copyright © by Gilbert Shelton (I hope you don't mind the rip-off, sir).

Why listen to me?!?

You have opinions. I have opinions. Everybody and their father's mother has opinions. Why listen to (read) mine?

The easy answer to that, of course, is that there's no particular reason you should listen to mine. I have no degree, no formally recognized expertise as a critic (although, it's true, I have been professionally and semi-professionally published a couple of times, most notably in The Globe and Mail back in 2009 (that piece is now only available to subscribers, but it is also available here at Rex) and in 2012, I reviewed Christoper Hitchens' Mortality in the Winter 2012/13 edition of Humanist Perspectives #183 (PDF download), which is also available on this site, of course.

Two professional (or one professional and one semi-pro) publications don't exactly make for an impressive resume, I know. So really, you can read some of the reviews posted here and come to your own conclusions as to the quality of my critical analysis.

A couple of points, especially when it comes to books. Although you'll find a couple of pretty negative reviews of self-published or small press books, I don't intend to do more of them. I think independent publishing should be encouraged, so if I come across something published by a small house that I don't think is much good, I'll most likely pass over it in silence.

If, on the other hand, a novel is making a great deal of — to me — unwarranted noise, I'll quite possibly go after it with the proverbial guns blazing.

All that said, I would much rather spend my time pointing you towards things — books, movies, plays, television shows — that I think are worth your time, so (I hope) you'll find more positive reviews here than negative.

Either way, happy reading!