Robot 6

Wednesday Comics may be quaint yet daring

Hawkman, by Kyle Baker

Hawkman, by Kyle Baker

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.

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Comments

4 Comments

Anyone know if they’ve announced the price as well? I’m not quite sure what a folding out broadsheet is like in terms of equivalent page count, so I’m curious as to whether or not it’ll be $2.99 like a regular 22-pager.

maybe this isn’t as quaint as you think. newsprint is FAR cheaper to print on than the glossy stock used for single issues nowadays (from what i understand, that is). and with the big names attached to this project, the collected edition is sure to sell extremely well in comic shops and bookstores. to top it off, the collection will probably be an oversized hardcover – a size and format that sells for a much higher price than your average collected edition TPB. so DC might be using the Sunday funnies format as an intial marketing gimmick… but to me, it looks like they’re really looking for a cheaper way to print single issues (not to mention releasing them weekly for a short period of time, which has shown to be lucrative for the first couple months at the very least) and then charge more for the collected edition. that seems clever to me rather than quaint. and not so much daring as a big PR stunt up to create buzz so they can sell more collected editions down the line.

I’ve been cutting back and cutting back so much that I’ve ended up with just one mag-format comic on my standing order – and that’s surviving on inertia.

This…I am going back for. Oh, hell aye.

(this and Jeff Lemire’s new series. Hot damn)

//\Oo/\\

@ Nick: Sooooo?

If you’ve ventured into any forums or message board threads, the general consensus is that people will prefer cheaper paper if it means a less expensive price. And there are also the people who want quality and are willing to pay, especially if it’s in an appealing and glossy oversized format. You’re just assuming based off of the likely facts of this project that DC is plotting something nefarious, way to look at the glass half empty. By the way, I wonder what you think about all of Marvel’s 32 page books that are 3.99, if you find Wednesday Comics so “clever”.

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