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There’s undoubtedly something to be said about DC Comics evoking the withering newspaper and its incredibly shrinking funny pages for the format of its next big weekly series.
But I’ll leave the satire to someone else, because I think I like the idea of Wednesday Comics. I even find the approach somewhat … daring.
What’s not to like about some of the biggest names in mainstream comics — Neil Gaiman, Kyle Baker, Dave Gibbons, Kurt Busiek, Mike Allred, Joe Kubert and Paul Pope, among them — working on a mix of popular and quirky heroes like Batman, Metamorpho, Supergirl and Metal Men?
It’s that Best-Talent-on-the-Best-Characters formula that publishers and editors remember from time to time and then trumpet in interviews as a new discovery.
So, no, that’s not the daring aspect. That comes with the format.
At a time when the industry is moving toward collected editions, or at least bigger, more satisfying reads, Wednesday Comics will feature 15 one-page stories serialized over 12 weeks.
When more creators and publishers, including DC, are exploring webcomics and digital comics, Wednesday Comics will be truly interactive, unfolding road map-like into a broadsheet. There actually will be a tactile experience — that element devotees of print argue that digital comics are lacking.
There’s a certain quaintness to the whole thing, like owning a rotary telephone.
And DC is wisely limiting Wednesday Comics to a 12-week summer “event,” thereby avoiding the are-we-there-yet? fatigue of its yearlong weekly titles.
I may change my tune by mid-July, but for now I’m looking forward to DC’s unconventional weekly. I’ll just need to spend the next few weeks honing my map-folding skills.