AICN Comics is a section of the Aintitcool.com entertainment news & rumors website. It has become well-known within the comics industry and among the fan community as a trusted source of commentary. To this end, a pull-quote from a member of the AICN Comics team placed on the cover of a comic is a valuable marketing tool that publishers look for. AICN Comics is distinguished from the other sections of that site because of its independence from Ain't-It-Cool's management in terms of contributors and source of content. Ain't-It-Cool functions as the web portal publisher for an independent team of commentators, reviewers, interviewers, and reporters whose work appears under the group title of @$$holes. Comic book writer, Mark L. Miller, under the nom de plume of "Ambush Bug," manages the team and works as the technical liason between the writing team and the publishing umbrella of Ain't-It-Cool.
In a web environment in which many different news and review sites publish similar materials, a hallmark of the AICN Comics section is the Gonzo style journalism of the @$$holes. There is a conscious tendency to avoid fostering a "press-release" environment, but rather emphasize the validity of reader-opinions and an interactive interview style.
Regular features of the AICN Comics column include a humorous title logo (often a spoof of a comic book cover or image), weekly reviews that cover the entire range of comics' genre such as manga, independent comics (indies)and webcomics, previews and contests.
Along with the weekly comic book and graphic novel coverage, the column now features extensive first-person coverage of the Comic Book Convention circuit, "Roundtable" discussions among the @$$holes on significant comics or events and "Q&@"s with top comic book professionals. Some of these "Q&@"s of significance include Geoff Johns, Joe Quesada , Dan Didio and Jim Lee. The "Q&@" feature is often used to spotlight independent and small press creators deserving of wider exposure such as Robert Kirkman (creator of THE WALKING DEAD) , AiT/Planet Lar's Larry Young (creator of ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE) , and Michael Easton (creator of SOUL STEALER).
AICN Comics readership has grown to justify expanding the column's length and feature reviews of film adaptations of comics by members of the team. The team also produces Christmas lists and a yearly week-long awards "ceremony" called the "@$$ies", timed to coincide with Oscar week, in which the @$$holes pick their personal choices for best comics of the year.
The AICN Comics column is different than other columns on the Ain't It Cool website in that it did not spring into existence from the mind of founder Harry Knowles or anyone else in management with the company. The AICN Comics section began as a, sort-of, "grass roots" organized effort from within the readership of the website.
The original core group of reviewers for AICN Comics began as a group of friends who simply posted on the Ain't It Cool News message boards, known as "talkbacks." This group became frustrated because, at the time, comic book reviews were provided to Ain't It Cool through an online magazine (now defunct) called GrayHaven whose policy was to emphasize only positive reviews and toned down language so as not to offend the major comics publishers. This original group organized with an express intent to be brutally honest in both content and tone. To illustrate the difference in tonal approach, they adopted the name "Talkback League of @$$holes." The name for the group (@$$holes) was unwittingly coined by Harry Knowles when he referred to some rude and uninformed readers posting on the message boards as "talkback assholes" .
The current team of @$$holes consists of:
- Ambush Bug (Mark L. Miller)  (since 2002)
- Professor Challenger (Keith Howell)  (since 2005)
- Optimous Douche (Rob Patey)  (since 2008)
- Humphrey Lee (Joseph D. Iacovone)  (since 2006)
- Rock-Me Amodeo (Dante Amodeo)  (since 2007)
- Matt Adler  (since 2009)
- Lyzard (Lyz Reblin) (since 2010)
- Johnny Destructo (J.D. Korejko)  (since 2010)
- KletusCasady (since 2010)
- BottleImp (Stephen Andrade) (since 2008)
- The Writing Rambler (since 2011)
- Mr. Pasty (Jesse Holland)
- Henry Higgins Is My Homeboy (since 2010)
The original team of @$$holes consisted of:
- Ambush Bug
- Buzz Maverik
- The Comedian
- Cormorant (later Dave_F)
- Jon Quixote
- Sleazy G
- Village Idiot
- Vroom Socko