Book of the Month

Wednesday Comics

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Avg Rating: 4.9
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.8%
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Size: 200 pages
Price: 49.99

I’ll be completely honest with you, guys. I had another book all picked out for the iFanboy Book of the Month for June 2010.

Here’s how it usually works when you have to select of Book of the Month. You spend the previous month scouring release lists hoping that something amazing or unexpected catches your eye. Ands if that doesn’t work and you can’t find anything, you cross your fingers and hope that something drops into your lap. In my case I came across a new trade so totally unexpected that I immediately locked it down as the June Book of the Month.

I was all set to go.

And then the Wednesday Comics hardcover collection started arriving. Both Josh and Ron got their copies on the same day. A flurry of e-mails went out about how gorgeous and mind-blowing in presentation it was. Was it going to be the Book of the Month, I was asked? No, I said. I’ve got something all set to go.

And then the next day I got my copy in the mail.

When I opened the box and held the Wednesday Comics collection I was stunned. I sat down and sent a one sentence e-mail to Josh and Ron with the subject line “Wednesday Comics.” The e-mail simply said: “Fuck, this is the Book of the Month.”

Wednesday Comics - The FlashThe best thing that I can say about the Wednesday Comics collection is that it does nothing but enhance an already excellent project. It’s no secret that I loved everything about Wednesday Comics to begin with. I loved the idea. I loved that it honored not only comic book history but also the glorious history of the Sunday comics. I loved the creators involved. I loved that it was a new (old) way to tell and read stories featuring familiar characters. I loved that it was on newsprint. Wednesday Comics in its original weekly format was a home run in every sense of the word. The Wednesday Comics collection is a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth when your team is down by three runs.

The first thing you notice about the collection is its size. People think Absolute Editions are big? At 17.4 inches by 11.2 inches, this thing is about four inches taller than an Absolute Edition. Once you get past just how big this thing is, the second thing you notice is the paper (and the printing quality in general). I was a big fan of the newsprint used for the original issues. It was totally appropriate for the tactile bit of history that was being honored. Here, on high quality stark white paper, the art pops like you wouldn’t believe. Reading these stories again is like a whole new experience. There are some top shelf writers on Wednesday Comics but to me this project was all about the art and its big and beautiful presentation. I have no problem proclaiming that the Wednesday Comics collection is one of the most gorgeous books that I have on my shelf. Granted, it doesn’t so much fit on any of my shelves, so it’s lying on top of my Absolute Editions, but you get the idea.

(The third thing that I noticed about the collection is that there is no dust jacket and that the cover art is printed right on the book itself, something you’re seeing more and more in comics these days and it’s a trend I really like.)

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, Wednesday Comics was a 12 issue weekly series that began last summer. It was printed on newsprint and in full newspaper size. It featured one page stories in the style of old Sunday comics and each page continued its story the following week. The stories featured were “Batman” by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso; “Metamorpho” by Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred; “Adam Strange” by Paul Pope; “The Demon and Catwoman” by Walter Simonson and Brian Stelfreeze; “Deadman” by Dave Bullock and Vinton Heuck; “Kamandi” by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook; “Superman” by John Arcudi and Lee Bermejo; “Wonder Woman” by Ben Caldwell; “Green Lantern” by Kurt Busiek and Joe Quinones; “The Teen Titans” by Eddie Berganza and Sean Galloway; “Supergirl” by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner; “Hawkman” by Kyle Baker; “Sgt. Rock” by Adam Kubert and Joe Kubert; “The Flash” by Karl Kerschl and Brendan Fletcher; and “The Metal Men” by Dan Didio and Jose Louis Garcia Lopez. In addition to these stories, the collection features new one page stories “Plastic Man” by Evan Dorkin and Stephen DeStefano and “The Creeper” by Keith Giffen and Eric Canete.

If you talk to the creators involved, or read or hear or see interviews with them, you’ll know what this was a fun challenge for them. They had a 12 part story to tell, but each chapter on its own had to be its own complete story in and of itself. The stories told in Wednesday Comics were not told in the usual way comic books are written, and if you talk to these guys they’ll tell you that learning to make comics this way was not always easy. And not all of the creators were successful. Some creators got better as the stories progressed and you could see them figuring out this new format. One or two of the creators never seemed to get the hang of it. But in the end I love them all for trying.

There is so much that is great about this book that I can’t talk about it all in the limited space I have here (plus I’d be here all day). But I do want to mention two of my favorite things.

Wednesday Comics - Ryan Sook SketchesTwo paragraphs above you’ll see some of the biggest bold faced names in comic book art. If you’d asked me beforehand to rank them all in order of whose art would look the best you probably wouldn’t have found Ryan Sook in the top five (even though I am a big fan), but he pretty much blew everyone else out of the water. “Kamandi” written by Dave Gibbons and drawn by Ryan Sook was not only an exciting adventure story but it was absolutely gorgeous. Sook is famous for altering his style to fit whatever story he is drawing and here he channels the art style from Hal Foster’s 1940’s “Prince Valiant.” It’s breathtaking, even more so here with the high quality printing.

It may not fit in with any other version of the character that you’ve ever seen, but the “Supergirl” strip written by Jimmy Palmiotti and drawn Amanda Conner features the best version of Aquaman that I have read in years. Maybe ever. And I’ve read a lot — I love Aquaman. The fast talking, wheelin’ and dealin’ version of Aquaman who kind of acts like a mafia boss from a TV show is still fresh and funny a year later. The first page he appears in is still my favorite page of the entire book.

I mentioned earlier that the best thing that I could say about this collection is that it enhances everything about the original project. Two of the biggest beneficiaries of this enhancement are the “Wonder Woman” and “The Teen Titans” stories. If you read Wednesday Comics as it was originally released you probably know that with his Wonder Woman story, writer/artist Ben Caldwell didn’t seem to grasp how best to use the format. There were way too many tiny panels crammed into his pages and they were almost unreadable without a magnifying glass. With “The Teen Titans” artist Sean Galloway (who comes from animation where he is primarily known for his kick-ass character design work on shows like The Spectacular Spider-Man) is clearly learning when it comes to panel-to-panel storytelling. Here in the hardcover I found myself focusing less on those problems and instead I just appreciated the artwork itself. I really love Galloway’s character designs and this time around I found myself really enjoying his unique (yet familiar) take on the Titans rather than worrying about the storytelling issues. I originally gave up on the Wonder Woman story and would just skip on past those pages but here I took the time to really see what Ben Caldwell was doing on those crazy pages and upon rereading I found out that there was some really nice art in there. It’s just too bad there weren’t, like, 75% fewer panels on his pages.

Wednesday Comics is one of my favorite projects to come out of any major comic book company in the last few years. The love for comic books was on every page and that love is magnified ten fold by this gorgeous collection. In addition to the original stories and then two new ones there are ten pages of sketches and notes from every story. This is a comic book lover’s dream collection and not a single page is wasted. Before I go it would be criminal of me if I didn’t mention DC’s Editorial Art Director Mark Chiarello who came up with the idea for Wednesday Comics, pitched it, coordinated it, and got it made on time and without sacrificing anything from the creative side. I just hope that it sold well enough that we’ll get more Wednesday Comics. If we don’t, I’ll always have this wonderful collection that I can return to for years to come.

Conor Kilpatrick
Actually, Aquaman is in this book more than you’d expect…


  1. I’m glad the collection works so well.  I loved the weekly issues.

    Is there any chance we could get a picture of you holding this?  I have seen the dimensions, but it’s hard to visualize without something to compare it to (I’ve never held an Absolute either, so that comparison doesn’t do much for me).

    Thank you for the excellent review. 

  2. This is an amazing collection. Whoever did design on it deserves some recognition. Any chance you could give us your initial POTM Conor?

     @Stuclach: Check this out:



  3. @davidtobin100 – Thanks for posting that. Holy hell. That is one big ass book. That’s considerably longer than I expected it to be.

  4. @Stuclach: Storing the damn thing is a nightmare! It fits nowhere!

  5. It has been done.

  6. @davidtobin100 – Why not use this $129 iPad stand to display it?

  7. That better be some sturdy wood.

  8. @Stuclach: Sorry, I can’t resist the urge…..

    That’s what she said!!! 

  9. Thought I would pass on this until it saw it in my local store.  Wow, that thing is big and beautiful!  No, it doesn’t fit anywhere, but I would not want it to be smaller, and was pleasantly surprised DC went as big as they did.  Just awesome.

  10. @davidtobin100 – I fully expected and was prepared for that.  Well done.

  11. I have made it pretty clear how much I love this book. I don’t do reviews, but the few time I do it is usually because something gets me so excited. This collection is one of those "I fell in love with comics all over again!" moments. I feel pretty lucky if I feel this way once or twice a year. And the fact that I can share this with my kids makes its that much better.

    Eat this ipad! 😉

  12. What was gonna be your original pick conor?

    I see this every time I go to Barnes and Noble. First I need the money to get it…..but it’ll be damn worth it. I really hope DC does this again sooner or later.

    Here’s some shameless plugging: Our friend, PraxJarvin, did a video on Wednesday Comics HC. It’s on youtube and I suggest everyone watch it.

  13. Totally wasn’t planning on buying this, but the review makes me think this would be an awesome coffee table book.  Damn.

  14. yes yes yes and yes. This book is absolutely amazing and it totally got the royal treatment. Every single page is wonderful. I’m really glad you guys went with this for Book of the month. Also worth mentioning is the british graphic designer (i don’t have his name in front of me) who did all the logos for the characters in the book. He really did a great job. 

    in terms of the cover. What you’re seeing is a piece of paper wrapped around the book boards that has a special coating applied to it. Its a cheaper method than the usual book cloth/foil stamp/dust jacket method on higher end books. I really like it on this book since its not tooo fancy and stays true to the content. 

    Totally agree on the paper and printing. Really top notch. DC really brings it on collected editions and this is no different. 

    To all you guys having cash flow issues, look for it on Amazon..its about $30 or so.  

  15. How are the stories spread out. Are all the Batman stories one chapter, for example. Or are the stories reprinted like how they originally appeared?

  16. They’re all together. Batman, Superman, etc. etc.

  17. YAYZ! I CAN ACTUALLY BUY A COPY NAOW. Hmm… I wonder where it should go… the coffee table to impress guests or on the counter for optimum reach.

  18. @stuclach: I don’t think that would hold up. (that’s what she said.)

  19. I’m gonna guess that the runner-up POTM might have been the Johns and Manapul Superboy collection. It’s the one that sticks out to me as another frontrunner that I seem to remember the guys enjoying on the podcast. 

    @wallythegreenmonster: The designer is Rian Hughes. He was a 2000AD artist during the 90’s and moved into graphic design. If you like Darwyn Cooke or Dave Johnston you’ld like his stuff. Did a lot with Millar and Morrisson during their stints at 2000AD if I remember right and did some really nice Robo-Hunter strips.


  20. @NathanNicdao – Good one.

  21. Waiting for the paperback.

  22. @david–yeah i looked him up after i got my book. I just couldn’t recall his name, and my book isn’t here with me. He has some great stuff….really enjoyed looking around his site. I didn’t know about the 2000 AD connection,(guess i looked too fast) that actually makes a lot of sense. 

  23. This was staring at me during checkout and I was very close to buying this last week at my LCS, but buying it online at super discounts is the way to go.

  24. this is the first book I have ever double dipped on….

  25. I’ve had this on my Amazon Wish List for too long. I’m going to order it today. This review gave me the kick in the a$$ I needed.

  26. Great review Conor. Even at AU$64.95 I’m going to have to get this.

  27. iFanboy, you are my financial Kryptonite.  I fought you for two days, but I have weakened and thusly spent my money on this collection.  I’m so weak….

  28. @roadcrew1: pun unintended? But seriously, I had a feeling they’d do it so I had to resist the first time around.

  29. Read this in weeklies, but I do love how huge the collection is. THe only nitpick I have is that, at least in weeklies, all the stories wound up hitting to same beats at the same time toward the end. I remember feeling that around issue 10. unavoidable given the format–but made me think it might have been interesting to see maybe 6 strip/4 strip arcs. Like I said, nitpick…

  30. Ok, I feel like an idiot.  Is there a iFanboy Amazon affiliation link for this book somewhere on the site and I just can’t find it?!  If I’m going to buy it I’d like iFanboy to get a cut.

  31. @Risible: I’ve added a link to the article. But for future reference you can always go here and click on "Powered by Amazon."

  32. @Conor – Excellent, thanks, I’ll be sure to make use of it.  I tend to buy a lot of stuff through Amazon, so it’s nice to have a general purpose ink that I can use to help you guys out.

  33. i saw this at midtown and was at a loss on  how in the heck i would store this?! i want it. i stopped buying the individual issues and decided i wanted the collected edition. but’s unwieldy!

  34. absolutely amazing. This IS why I love comics.

  35. I’m guessing the original pick was Power Girl. 

  36. So I order from Amazon (yay two day shipping, love Amazon Prime) and then promptly forget I ordered the book.

    Today a giant box arrives and I’m like "What the hell is this?!  I didn’t order anything big…"  I mean, this box is HUGE.  I open it up, completely baffled how it could be so big and yet relatively so light.


    I mean, I knew it was big, but good lord I didn’t expect THIS.

    Oh, and it’s sweet as hell.

  37. I didn’t really like Wednesday Comics and towards the end of it I just wanted it to be over. But hearing that all the stories are packaged together (ie twelve batman pages etc) makes me slightly more interested, plus the two bonus stories. The problem ia it was such an uneven bag of stories; the supergirl one was fantastic but the wonder woman one actually hurt to read.

  38. For the most part, I didn’t enjoy Wednesday Comics when it was coming out in issues.  I think it was a fantastic showcase for artists, but that most of the writers just weren’t used to writing in this format, and it showed.

    The oversized hardcover collection, though, is fucken A awesome.  Mostly for the art, but also because the slightly missed beats that felt, to me, offputting in the single issues weren’t nearly as noticable when you could just turn the page to see the next part of the story.  Great pick.

    The extras at the back were fantastic, too.  Loved seeing all the logos that were pitched and ditched.

  39. I just got my copy in the mail today, and man, does it come in the most ridiculous box from Amazon.  Also, it’s BIG.  I’m excited to paw through it later tonight though.

  40. Just bought this on instocktrades for 26.48. That’s such a crazy fucking discount, I almost feel like I’m ripping them off.


  41. I spotted a copy behind the counter at my LCS. The owner let me look through it as it was the only copy in the store and he was taking it home. Beautiful!! Gorgeous!! Huge!! I’m not quite ready to own multiple copies of anything and I have all the originals, but this is tempting….very tempting…

  42. are there any stories that just fall flat? i’ve heard the superman, batman and wonder woman (the big 3)  stories weren’t all that great…?

  43. @GloriousGodfrey

    Those three are not very good.



  44. @GloriousGodfrey: Just Wonder Woman and Teen Titans. They rest are good to great.

  45. ok, cool. definitely gunna pick it up when i can afford it. the adam strange looks awesome. big fan of that old pulpy sci-fi stuff. i just had a look at some of the wonder woman, looks almost unreadable, but hey i’d give it a go. oh the flash looks great too. is there a bit  where it goes all ‘meta’/psychedelic?

  46. Avatar photo Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    This book does look gorgeous. As others have noted, I have no idea where I’d put this thing if I bought it. At least the original newspaper issues fit in a longbox. Placing this book sideways on top of other books would just kill me aesthetically. Until I can find a solution, I’ll just have to look at this book with longing whenever I go to a book store.

  47. At first I was, yeah, it’s huge, cool.

    and then I saw it on my LCS. They had it for $44.

    And that was when project $44 started.

  48. The issues were awesome. I’ve been waiting for this. Since like 1973. A new Kamandi story, done as oversized, Prince Valiant-esque Sunday pages? I can’t wait to re-read that story in sequence on good paper. Project $44 may become get from Amazon (Project Thirty-Two Fifty). Guess I picked a bad week to give up blowing the rent money.

  49. Sorry for the double-post, I forgot to mention my Top Five were:

    1) Kamandi (loved the Sunday-page style, and Kirby/Foster/Raymond/Williamson/Schultz influence)

    2) Adam Strange (nice take on Alanna’s character and their relationship, great color, costumes, sets, tone)

    3) The Flash (I loved how it became several strips and played with time)

    4) Metamorpho (the writing and art came together in a metacomics way that worked for me)

    5) Hawkman (I liked the action, the color, the shading and the gritty yet cartoony feel)

  50. Just got this in the mail and I love it! Thanks for making it book of the month. I may have skipped over it otherwise.

  51. I just bought this. I read the first issue and wasn’t that taken with it, but this is the kind of format I’m down with. Can’t wait for it to arrive.

  52. Fantastic. Defintely the jewel of my hardcover collection.

  53. Ended up using a $20 credit for Amazon and got this for around $12. What a steal. Such a gorgeous book. I’m glad I doubled-dipped, but if DC decides to do this again then I most certainly will just wait for that hardcover rather than buy the singles. I’ve only read the Batman one so far, but I enjoyed it a bit more in this collected edition than I did in the weekly format.

  54. @josh, ron, and conor. Which one story of the Wednesday Comics was your favorite?

  55. I’m gonna say Adam Strange.

    And I will guess Ron will say Flash, and Conor will say Kamandi.

  56. Avatar photo Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Not that anyone asked me, but KAMANDI all the way. 

  57. Why didn’t anyone warn me that this thing was monster size!?

    (And the above comments about the size of the book were not sufficient cuz people complain about the size of hardcovers all the time).

    Glad I got a top shelf spot that I use for front cover display.

    I was seriously shocked when I just saw the box it came in . . .

  58. It was on the video show, and I’m pretty sure it was mentioned many times over on the audio show. You just didn’t believe us.

  59. @Scorpion: you should’ve checked out PraxJarvin’s vid on youtube.

  60. Or read the above review, which has the measurements of the book in inches.

  61. I so want to bring this with me to NYCCon and have the creators sign the inside front cover over all the different logos, but do I really want to schlep it around with me all day?  Decisions, decisions…

  62. You should fit it with straps.

  63. hahaahahahha, that’s a funny image.

    Conor, for the most part dimensions don’t mean shit to me. I can’t remember what the dimensions are on standard size paper. I just assumed that it wouldn’t be much bigger than an Absolute.

    My 80 GIG iPod died about nine months ago and my old iPod mini can’t handle the video podcast. I haven’t listened to one of the video podcasts in months (cept for the Jonah Hex one: I watched it on the computer).

    Bad thing: not up on the video podcast.

    Good thing: will have a huge backlog of entertainment when I get a new iPod.

    I apologize for being so uniformed.

  64. Oh yeah, and Prax has a tendency to lash out at me now, which scares me; otherwise, I would have watched it.

    Does Prax wear a monocle, sit in a leather bound ornate backed chair and have a smoking pipe in the video while he analyzes the book?

  65. Hope Prax doesn’t catch me in here teasing him . . .

  66. Is the Wonder Woman story worth reading?

    I’m coming up on it and it was painful to read when I read the first issue of the comic a ways back.

  67. I never finished it, but I’d say not so much.

  68. haha, that doesn’t bode well for my reading.

  69. Can’t we just go ahead and call this one "Book of the Year"?

  70. Format and art are amazing. Stories . . . a little to retro for my tastes. I’m still not done, but I liked the Sgt. Rock story, Kamandi, and Strange Adventures.

    I remember liking the first pages of the Flash and Hawkman story.

    Beautiful book for sure.

  71. Quinones is so good.

  72. It looked to expensive, but I kept seeing it in the store, taunting me with it’s HUGE popping art. Finally, I collapsed and gave in today. I’m so glad I did 🙂