Robot 6

Ben Caldwell on Paradise Island

Paradise Island

It’s no secret that Ben Caldwell’s a big fan of Wonder Woman. Between his Wonder Woman story in Wednesday Comics and his awesome, but unpublished, pitch for a Wonder Woman manga, his love for the character is kind of famous.

So it was cool that after I wrote that screed last month on what makes Wonder Woman tick, Ben and I exchanged a few emails, one of which included the above pages from his sketchbook. It’s from another concept he was considering, but ultimately decided not to pitch: a series of children’s books about Paradise Island. My heart breaks a little knowing that it won’t become a real series, but it sure is fun to imagine what it would have been like.



Given that his Wonder Woman was the lowlight of “Wednesday Comics” (exceeding in unreadability only by Teen Titans), I think we’ve all dodged a bullet here.

Wonder woman and Teen Titans were wonderful inclusions in the Wednesday Comics. This project looks like a brilliant idea and DC would be foolish to pass it up. He should definitely look into fleshing it out and pitching it. The format of that Manga pitch is a bit off-putting in that it’s too wordy and focuses too much on the rationale behind the technical specs, which is something that the publisher would be more in control of defining, if greenlit.

Maybe Ben should try pitching this stuff above Dan Didio’s head since it seems clear Dan doesn’t get how well this stuff could appeal to young girls (which would provide a nice gateway to the regular DCU Wonder Woman along with some of their other female-centric titles). Does Warner Brothers have a book publishing division? Maybe Ben should try to open a relationship with another WB division. It could also make for a great kids cartoon.

I very much like Caldwell’s work in general, but I have to admit that trying to read his WW story in Wednesday Comics gave me a headache. The actual rendering was beautiful, but I think he sacrificed readability in his attempts to squeeze the most advantage out of the larger paper real estate. He seemed to be trying to tell more story than could comfortably fit into the number of pages he had to work with. The whole thing felt cramped.

Skullduggery has good point. Ben Caldwell should most definitely try and research which publishers and networks are under/in partnership with Time Warner Inc. and try and develop this into a proper pitch. This has the potential to be a successful as Disney’s Tinkerbell franchise.

Caldwells’ pages for Wonder Woman’s’ Wednesday Comics were included in this years Spectrum 17 annual, so it just goes to show that he more than qualifies for the job.
D.C.’s so backward right now it comes as no surprise that they would pass on such a golden opportunity.
I had my 8 year old niece with me the other day at the comic book shop.
And it was hard to find anything for her to look at since, everything’s so dark and nihilistic.
A sad commentary on the lack of variety in the marketplace these days.

These pages from Caldwell and Landry Walker’s unused pitch for a Supergirl Cosmic Adventures sequel ably demonstrate the imagination and creativity that’s essentially gone missing at DC Comics these days. The publisher continues to be notably failing with what’s still a very active reader demographic.

His wonder woman story in Wednesday comics were unreadable only in the «journal» format. the reprint in hardcover were much more readable and were, frankly, one of the best tale of the book.

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