Friday, July 10, 2009

Wednesday Comics: A Review


wednesdaycomics, originally uploaded by sugarfreak.

WEDNESDAY COMICS #1
by Mark Chiarello (editor)/various

Ever since I'd heard of DC Comics plan for their new Wednesday Comics anthology series, I've been increasingly curious as to how it would turn out. I like to see this sort of experimentation and innovation, especially in publishing.

I had a lot of pre-conceptions. I didn't realize how big it would fold out to. I was skeptical of the newsprint. I wasn't sure how the pacing would work. And I just didn't appreciate how much the artists would take advantage of the oversized format.

Wow! The result is that I am totally addicted to Wednesday Comics.

The format of Wednesday Comics is as much part of the point as the hyper-serialized stories (more story than a traditional weekly newspaper strip, but less than a monthly comic), and the weekly schedule smartly keeps you interested.

I have heard people complain about the newsprint, that it is a "disposable" format. And they're right. It is. But so were comics originally, and this is printed in that early, fun spirit. If anything, the fetishization of mainstream comics, with their glossy paper and their cardstock covers and their fans who are nervous even reading the things lest they reduce their collectible's condition before they can slide it into their mylar, has done much to take the fun, excitement and wonder out of reading a comic book.

Wednesday Comics brings back that fun and reminds me of how much I want my 4 color comics on newsprint.

The oversized format is an opportunity that most of the artists here really rise to, like Paul Pope. Just looking at his gorgeous Adam Strange page reveals a world of potential for this type of publication.

But as much as the format is an intriguing draw, so too is the line up. With talent like Pope, Neil Gaiman, Mike Allred, Kyle Baker, Dave Gibbons and other favorites contributing stories, the quality of comics is higher than DC and Marvel has turned out in years (this short story format provides more potential for busy creators who might not have the time sign on to a 4 - 12 issue run of a comic series).

And even though Wedesday Comics only boasts 16 pages per issue, it takes longer to read and provides more for the eye to look at than most 32 page comics.

There is something so wonderfully satisfying about kicking back in a chair and unfolding a big newspaper full of serialized comics by talented creators (and the series has a smart balance of DC standards - Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc and goofball characters like Metamorpho and The Metal Men that generate a diversity of story tones that makes each page as exciting as editor Mark Chiarello must have intended), that I have totally fallen for Wednesday Comics.

The only drawback I can see is that some folks will understandably have a hard time dropping $3.99 for a newsprint comic. But damn if it isn't worth every penny.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Lasts longer than a Latte!