Monday, July 20, 2009

So Long Wednesday Comics, It's Been Nice Knowing You. (I'll Be Back When You're Done.)

I decided this morning to stop buying individual issues of Wednesday Comics, the weekly 15-page oversized-format anthology, because I suddenly realized that 12 issues of the thing will run me $47.88. That's a lot of cash, even divided over three months, and especially when I'd rather buy the thing in its (probably cheaper) collected form.

Although I enjoyed much about the first issue -- the art on the whole was pretty great, I liked the novelty of unfolding those big newspaper sheets, and Paul Pope's page in particular stood out -- the fact that each story was a single page really hamstrung the book. There just wasn't enough content there for me, and I'd rather be able to read each story as a whole.

So, I'll be biding my time with this one, ready to pay for the collection.

A few thoughts about some of the stories in issue #1:
  • As I said above, Paul Pope's page was my favorite. He seemed to pack in more detail and fun little things than the others, and used the large format to its advantage.
  • My second-favorite piece might be the Demon/Catwoman story. Solid art, neat concept, and a nice little bundle of information contained in that page. You just know she's gonna get into trouble, and I'm probably looking forward to reading the rest of this story more than any of the others.
  • The Teen Titans page was pretty worthless as both an introduction or a teaser, and I thought that the art would have benefited from brighter colors that were more suitable for the style.
  • I liked the Kubert's Sergeant Rock page, mostly because of their simple, almost utilitarian choice to use nine equally-sized panels. That made a nice contrast to the other, more flashy stories in the book, and something about it fits nicely with the art and the character. Plus Joe Kubert's art is just excellent.
  • The Wonder Woman story was kind of a mess. Too many words and itty-bitty panels made it a chore to read, and opening with a dream sequence to deliver a ton of exposition isn't a very exciting way to start your story.


  1. I was kind of pissed that the USA Today and DC made a big deal that the Superman serial would be in the paper every Wednesday, then I go to read part 2, and its only available on the USA Today website. FALSE advertisement, if you ask me.

    But if you need a Wed. Comics fix until the trade, I guess check out the Superman one on USA Today. The art is good, but the story is helter-skelter.

  2. Sad but true: I'm doing the exact same thing. And I was soooo excited for this for this, too! Maybe if the strips had some sort of mini-closure (does that make sense?) to them they'd feel like a more satisfying read. Instead, they feel like long form stories cut up into one page serializations after the fact.

  3. I started doing this last year. It's a pain when friends are discussing the new issues 6 months before you can buy the trade. But its meant I'm actually paying less for the comics I was getting (though to be frank, I've also started getting one or two others to help fill in the waiting gaps, so I'm probably actually spending the same or more).

  4. What I've found so far, two weeks in, is that the good ones get better (Batman, Adam Strange, Flash, Sgt. Rock, Deadman) and the bad ones get worse (Teen Titans, Superman, Metal Men).

  5. Yeah, I was really excited about this and even wanted to get it just to support DC for making a (somewhat) risky decision. And it is just so hard to wait for the trade sometimes. But the first issue simply didn't provide enough bang for the buck.

  6. When was the trade announced? Or is that speculation?

  7. That's a good question, Jean-Luc. It has not been officially announced, but in this interview editor Mark Chiarello made it pretty clear that it will happen eventually:

    PWCW: Any thoughts yet on how to collect these issues?

    MC: We've been talking about it, and we're trying to figure out the best way to present a repackaging. When you start shrinking pages down you lose the spectacle. How can we collect all 12 issues in an oversized publication? It's still a big challenge, but we're honing in on how to pull it off.

    And in another interview, Chiarello said:

    So there will be a giant book that will come out of all of this?

    Man, I am still scratching my head over that one. It’s going to be a big book when we collect it, that’s for sure.

    Kind of like Kramer’s Ergot, or maybe not that big?

    Well, you never know--somebody (Sunday Press Books) did an excellent job of collecting Little Nemo strips. The book is enormous, but it’s just so gorgeous. I am hoping we can use that as a model and do something like that.