Wednesday Comics No. 1
Published by DC Comics. Art and writing by various.
The Deal: I've been waiting months for this ... at last, DC Comics' new weekly series Wednesday Comics finally hit shops yesterday. Now, for those who haven't heard, Wednesday Comics is DC's attempt at capturing the look and feel of those old, full-page comic strips that used to run in the Sunday editions of newspapers waaayyyy back in the day. The folks at DC have gathered together a star-studded group of writers and artists — like Neil Gaiman, Joe Kubert, Brian Azzarello, Kyle Baker and many more — to create over-sized, one-page, serialized comic strips starring an eclectic bunch of the company's characters.
The Good: I'm blown away by the big, full-page format. Of course, I'm a little biased: I've always loved those old full-page newspaper comics. When I was a kid, I used to go to the library and read old reprints of "Wash Tubbs" comics (Yes, I'm a geek!); and as I read them I thought, "Damn! I wish newspaper strips were like this now!" So seeing this secret "strip" fantasy of mine realized is definitely a dream come true. But beyond my own personal affection for the full-page format, no one can deny the mind-blowing quality of the art and the writing found on these pages. I mean, you've got Paul Pope writing and drawing an Adam Strange strip ... and it's as off-kilter, kitschy and alien as you'd expect. Other standouts include Kyle Baker on Hawkman; the art for his pages have been floating around the Internet for a bit, so it's not a secret that he switched up his style to draw this strip — but it's breathtaking. Busiek's Green Lantern strip is also engaging, retro and incredibly iconic in its approach. And ... and ... wow, there's a lot, lot, lot to like.
The Bad: Comic Shop News kind of screwed up this series a little bit. I don't mean that the reporters over there gave it bad press or anything like that, but that weekly magazine about comics has been giving away their similarly formatted publication for free for years. So, I think it makes it hard for comic buyers to think of Wednesday Comics as something they have to pay for — especially $3.99. Now, it's definitely worth the price, but some readers have just been trained to not buy a folded, newsprint publication like this for a long time. We'll see how the fanboys react. Another gripe is (and it's a small one) not all the strips in Wednesday Comics have a "To be continued ..." line of text at the end; some do and some don't. Are all these strips serialized or are some done-in-one? I'd like to see some consistency on that front.
The Verdict: It's really a wonderful product. I can't recommend it more. Buy it, dammit!
Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.