Pick of the Week

07.08.2009 – Wednesday Comics #1

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

795
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.4
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 22.8%
 
Users who pulled this comic:


Size: pages
Price: 3.99

This was probably one of the easiest Pick of the Week reviews in 9 years I’ve ever had to write.  Sure you could probably chalk it up to the fact that it was a super light week, but even if this was a heavy week, I think the result would have been the same.  And that result, picking Wednesday Comics #1 from DC Comics as the Pick of the Week was pretty much made within seconds of walking into my comic book store this afternoon.  As soon as I picked up my copy of Wednesday Comics #1, I immediately held up to my nose and breathed deep, letting the smell of the ink and paper fill my nose, and I knew it, they got it right all right.

I hadn’t paid too much attention to the topic of Wednesday Comics when it was announced.  I got the basic bullet points:
– Art Director Mark Chiarello was the driving force
– A larger format of comic to be printed
– 12 weeks of issues
– Lots of names involved

That was basically what I took from the announcement and I pretty much forgot about it.  As today, the first issue’s release date, inched closer I heard and saw samples and bits and pieces, but I still didn’t really pay it much mind, taking a wait and see attitude.  But it wasn’t until I was holding this comic in my hands did it really hit me just how genius this was. 

Sure the collection of creators is pretty much a no brainer:  Neil Gaiman, Mike Allred,  Paul Pope, Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Joe Kubert, Karl Kerschl, Walt Simonson, Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Dave Gibbons, Kyle Baker, Lee Bermejo, Kurt Busiek and many others all working on on tons of classic DC Characters? Sure, this would be good.  Hell, with all those names, if it wasn’t good then there would be something very very wrong in DC land.  But it’s not just the names that make this special.

Wednesday Comics #1 is deceiving.  You see it on the shelf, the shape of a normal comic book, but then you open it along the fold to the left, and then again downward and see that huge Wednesday Comics logo and the first story, Batman by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso and you’re instantly transported back in time.

I don’t know about you, but as much as I like to reminisce about my first comic books with the likes of G.I. Joe, Excalibur and Uncanny X-Men, my first real exposure to comics were the Sunday comics.  As far back as I can remember, the Sunday paper would come and my father would take it and start going through it.  The news, sports, financial section and the ads and circulars were all just excessive wastes of paper in my eyes, hiding the true gold of Sunday – the comics.  I would have to wait until he was done processing that Sunday’s paper before I could steal away the comics and then I would be transported to the world of Peanuts, Dennis the Menace, Garfield, Bloom County (even though I didn’t “get” it), For Better or For Worse, the Far Side The Lockhorns, B.C., and many more including the greatest of them all, Calvin and Hobbes.  It was in these brief, short comic strips that I learned the visual language of comics.  How word balloons worked and how time passed from panel to panel.  Sure, comic books and graphic novels as we know them now are more dense and complex.  But super hero comics were High School and indie comics were college.  But the Sunday comics? That was elementary school and without them, I would never have learned to “read.”

Sure, Wednesday Comics is a bit of a retro throwback nostalgia play, but for all the right reasons.  With each story being one page, all 14 stories are short and to the point.  But the elegance in their simplicity is what makes it so simple.  The essence of Batman, Superman and all the other characters are distilled down to a small number of panels, beginning a story in a way that is as brief as it is fantastic, with each story leaving me hanging, excited for next week.

The names and talent associated with this project, like I mentioned, go without saying but thankfully they all delivered work deserving of their names.  What struck me was that almost with each story, there was one single panel that summed everything up.  Be it Risso’s Batman in the shadows, or Ryan Sook nailing Kamandi as he paddles through ruined New York City,  or Joe Quinones ending with a Green Lantern that was near perfect (who is Joe Quinones and where has he been hiding?! More please!) or Paul Pope having Adam Strange take off with a “Foom!” (A panel worthy of framing if I’ve ever seen one…).  Each story delivered a quintessential moment that was just so fitting for each character, I’m left nearly speechless. 

I probably could go on and on, raving like a lunatic about each story because they were all so good (like for instance:  OMG Joe Kubert Sgt. Rock art?  now THIS is what comics are all about…), but I run the risk of sounding like more of a lunatic.  But there was story that I just blew me away that I can’t not talk about and that was The Flash co-written by Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher with art by Karl Kerschl.  I’ve been screaming for Kerschl to work on the Flash for years now, and finally I get some Kerschl Flash and it’s so brief, so fast and quick and so perfect.  Ironically, it wasn’t even Kerschl’s drawing of the Flash and use of red blurs that blew me away, rather the second half of the story which focused on Iris West that got me.  Kerschl and Fletcher have written a fantastic story with a Silver Age feeling compounded with Kerschl just drawing his ass off in a classic Silver age way.  The one panel that got me was the second to last, with Iris thinking to herself in the shadows while she spies on Barry reacting to her “Dear John” letter.  Maybe it’s been all the Glamourpuss I’ve been reading, but Kerschl had me with that panel and all of it’s photorealistic cartooning glory.  I literally cannot wait for more.

Simply put, Wednesday Comics is a triumph.  By playing to the strengths of DC Comics and the nostalgia that comes with it, combined with the talent involved (I’m not even talking about Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred’s collaboration on Metamorpho or Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s fantastic Supergirl…) makes this the new “must-have” book for the next 12 weeks.  The only criticism I have is the blatant absence of Darwyn Cooke who should totally have had a story in this, but that’s the rabid Cooke fan in me talking.   Since getting home tonight, I’ve sat back on my couch and opened up the Wednesday Comics and read them 3 times already and probably will do it again many more times until next Wednesday.  That’s a success if I ever saw one.  Bravo DC. 

Ron Richards
Oh how I’ve missed this smell…
ron@ifanboy.com

Comments

  1. Didn’t pick it up. What would your normal 22-32 page comic pick have been, given that Wednesday Comics is a rather unusual format?

  2. Sanity and awesomeness prevail.  Lets just admit; though the whole industry is aflush with talent, DC is straight up kicking ass all over the place.

  3. Well said

  4. I wont get this until friday. I am SO excited. SO SO EXCITED. 

  5. Who is Bruan.  Is he Brian’s brother, lol.  Great review Ron.  I was delightfully surprised by this 1st issue of Sunday comics, and the smell…oh God that smell.  My pick was Unwritten #3, but this was definitely up in the echelons of a seemingly blah week in comics.

  6. @vadamowens har har fixed the typo – sheesh

    @celerant this is the pick, no other book held a candle to it

  7. I couldn’t believe how big this was (thats what she said). The size definitely makes it feel special. This was great. Great POW.

  8. Well now I have to pick it up after reading this review. Great stuff, Ron.

  9. I went with Green Lantern this week, it was fantastic.  But that being said, I loved this issue too.  I can’t wait for more.  I particular loved the second to last panel in Pope’s Strange Adventures.  Good stuff

  10. It’ll be interesting to see how many people are pulling this around issue 5 when the newness of the concept is starting to wear off.  I liked this book and I’ll keep buying it, but with less than half of the stories grabbing my attention so far, I don’t see myself making it to issue 12.  

  11. Taking the highest quality talent available and printing their work on birdcage liner is taking me a while to crack. But I’m glad everyone’s enjoying themselves, and I’m glad the paper smelled right. 🙂

  12. This was a really fun concept and generally well-executed. It’s an entirely different form of comics than most of us are used to on a regular basis (can’t tell you last time I read the Sunday comics section — I supposed I’d have to have picked up an actual newspaper rather than getting my news electronically), but it wasn’t my pick. Lots of fun, but the uneven quality of some of the stories and the single page concept had me gliding through it, rather than digging into it. All of which is cool, but… yeah, just couldn’t make it my pick.

    I went with Unwritten, which I loved this week. Although I could have easily chosen BPRD 1947 or Green Lantern. The World of New Krypton was also quite enjoyable this week. It’s the only Superman book I’m really sticking with at this point, and it hasn’t let me down yet.

     Red Robin was good, but I think I’m gonna hop off that one now. I’m not really interested in this dark, driven Tim Wayne. I dunno. It’s not bad, just not for me. 

    Also looking forward to reading Jeff Lemire’s NOBODY graphic novel, which looks great.

  13. I’m glad you made this your pick of the week, I was going to have to stay up too late to write a review if you had not.

    I had no idea what this Wednesday Comics thing was all about, and was shocked (with great pleasure) to how enjoyable is was. I felt like a kid going through the Sunday comics reading Spider-man, or Superman, or Prince Valiant, or even Mark Trail.

    I’m just going to ignore the price for now.

  14. I’ll pay whatever i need to for oversized Paul Pope pages.

  15. Oh, and this is another pick of the week with Batman. What is that, four weeks in a row?

  16. @Ron You seriously have to be the nicest and most approachable of the 3.  It’s too bad you don’t post that often though.  Even with this pack of jackel’s.

  17. I was extremely happy with my pull list this week.  Weds. Comics was the dark horse pull.  Man am I glad I picked it up.  I loved how I could pick and choose what to read.  Its a comic you can sit with and read multiple times and get something new out of it.

  18. @:fingaz: How is Wednesday Comics a "dark horse pull"?  It’s from DC.

    Well anyway, I fell asleep without even getting to read mine yet.  So far the only stuff I’ve read is Batman #688 and Red Robin #2.  

  19. This was a no-brainer for this week!  Glad to see that it came through and delivered on such huge promise.

  20. Great pick, great book. DC is really headed in the right direction across the line right now (with the lone exception of the terrible replacing Winick with Daniel thing).

  21. Another great pick and a nice review.  I think the bigger story here (as noted by above by a few people) is DC’s unexected success streak.  How did the oldest, most corporate company, that always came off to me as the CBS of comic publishers, suddenly become a leader in producing cutting edge, even experimental concept books?  

  22. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Great review, Ron. Looooooved this. My POW as well.  

  23. Jeff Reid Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    Great pick, Ron, and well written.  Can’t wait to hear the podcast and Sunday to listen to the conversation about this book.

  24. great pick. you’re dead on with that last adam strange panel – pope nailed it.

  25. looks like i’ll be stopping at the comic shop on the way home from work today!

  26. @robydzwonar  "dark horse pull" doesnt mean that it’s a dark horse comic…

    It means that it was not an obvious choice for a pull, or the "underdog" choice.

     Get it???

  27. Timmy Wood Timmy Wood (@TimmyWood) says:

    Yikes Im not going to be able to get to the shop until Friday, if this is sold out ill cry alligator tears.

  28. This was my pick. It is rare to see a company take a gamble on something like this. I mean the format alone makes it far from a sure thing. But when I opened it up and saw that huge page of art I was captivated. I read the whole thing twice and then some individual sections 3 or 4 times. The whole time I was think man these creators love comics. It just came across to me on each page and in each panel. To me this is now the project to beat this year.

  29. This was awesome, It was fun to look at giant panels of comic art…Ron nailed it.

  30. @TripFontaine:  I think what robby was talking about is that this book had tremendous backing from DC and also had a really high pull rate.  So it being a dark horse really doesn’t seem to fit the bill.  It’s not like it was the Lemaire Graphic novel which has smaller amounts of pulls, etc.

  31. I’m guessing he wasn’t aware of the term "dark horse"

  32. It’s been fun to see the passion people are expressing for W-Comics.  I enjoyed the first installment very much, though I suspect this is going to end up being more of a novelty I pick up in a light week than a regular thing.  I’m just not sure about spending $48 over 3 months for what’s essentially a stack of newsprint that may or may not tell a complete story I care about. (Though I really can’t talk about spending the money because I paid for X-Men Forever and — ha ha ha, yeah, anyway). 

    No question that it’s gorgeous comics made by talented people, but I’m with Jimski in thinking it’s not the best use of resources. 

  33. Great review, and im just going to call it now, July will be 5 straight weeks of DC POTW’s. With blackest night, wednsday comics, and the batman stuff, no other company stand a chance.

  34. Haven’t read this yet, but this is my most anticipated book of the week. Great to see it represented in POW form here!

  35. I haven’t gotten a chance to read any of my other books yet, but I can tell this is my POW. I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was reading it.

    I’m curious if my enthusiasm will stay up once the novelty starts to wear off in a few weeks, though. Plus, I wasn’t a fan of the Wonder Woman story.

  36. The DC "domination" of the POW continues. Sadly, that means that, for most part, I don’t care.

     

  37. I wonder how many people, when they first opened this, brought it to their nose and sniffed. I know I did.

    Having only started reading comics last year there are so many characters that I have yet to read, Adam Strange being one of them, I thought his story was just fantastic.

  38. Chris Neesman (sp?) has been drooling over this on Around Comics and 11 o’clock Comics since it was announced.  Also, I haven’t seen a PotW review "geek out" this much in a long time, and I mean that in an affectionate way.  I think I will pick this up.  This is one book that trade-waiting would be a disservice, as the format is the kicker this time around.

  39. Opening this up and reading it demanded a cup of coffee on the side. Coffee and newsprint, like butter on toast. But then I realised that coffee is newsprint’s kryptonite. I must be very careful when engaging WCs.

  40. Excellent Pick Ron!! I chose Green Lantern because there were too many things in Wednesday Comics that I wasn’t interested in. I’ll keep getting it, though. It’s so fun to read and I can totally relate to what you said about the Sunday comics. My dad went straight to the comics first, then the rest of the paper.

  41. So…..are we saying that retro is the way to go?? as opposed to digital??

  42. @Dez: For this one very specific project, yes.

  43. I just can’t afford any more $3.99 titles, especially a weekly one!

  44. I love that so many of the consumers of the industry have been bitching about the recent price hike (which was an inevitability) and asking for more value for their dollar.  Then this comes out, has the new price point, AND has less content (page-wise), and everybody loves it.  Mad world indeed.

  45. @MisterJ: Judging this solely on page count is to miss the point of WEDNESDAY COMICS.

  46. Besides, every WC page is 4 pages in standard size. A more accurate test of "bang for buck" would be panel count. And smell, lets not forget the smell. If half the shop’s customers could make an effort to smell like an issue of WC, then I’d gladly pay for the safety of what shouldn’t enter my nose and smack my brain.

  47. Plus I can forgive the price because of how few ads there are (there’s just the one so far as I can tell), meaning that the higher price is to keep the margin up. Sure that math doesn’t add up when you factor in the actual price of the paper, lack of staples, and other stuff which means that they make a killing on Wednesday Comics, but still. I can forgive it.

    I think a better way to explain away the cost (for me at least) is the fact that every single time I looked at a new page I squealed with unadulterated joy. Especially on Kamandi for that first page flip. I never bought any of the weekly DC series until this one, and I’m damn glad I picked it up.

  48. @Conor:  To examine WEDNESDAY COMICS in a vacuum is to miss the point that I was making.

    I make no judgment on the quality of the issue (especially because I did not read it).  If this is a situation where people are paying more for higher quality, great.  I am glad people are enjoying it.  

    I am just talking about the wider context of the situation viewed through objective facts.  There have been relatively few people who did not express dissatisfaction the recent price increase.  I have heard even fewer support the comments that Marvel’s General Counsel made at the shareholder meeting.  Now this comes out on a medium that is inferior, objectively, to normal comics (less detail and coloring quality).  It has a lessened page count, even if you remove the ads from regular comics.  It has the higher price point.

    Again, I am NOT saying that people should not like/buy this series as taste is individual.  I am just placing the reaction to this in the context of the reaction to the price increase.  

  49. Oh Ron…..You and your crazy tweeting! Making us believe for a second that X-Men Forever was your pick. Ha ha ha……No seriously if you picked that we would’ve put your head on a pike….

    This was my pick as well. In my opinion this is the greatest idea to be executed in this new age of comic books. Loved how retro it was, loved almost all the stories (Wonder Woman in retrospect was pretty bad), and I’m introduced to new creative teams I never heard of before. This is the Summer of DC cause 5 out of the last 6 picks have been DC books. Woo!

  50. The art on the Superman and Kamandi pages were SO great, I kept going back to those in between the other stories.  To say I’m excited about Wednesday Comics for each of the next 11 weeks is an understatement.  Thanks Mark Chiarello and DC!

  51. I also LOVE that this introduced me to so many characters that were way before my time, and now I really want to read entire series of all of them! I hope DC releases a bunch "What’s Next After DC’s Wednesday Comics" dollar books with older stories of all the characters. I’d buy em all!

  52. Wow.  None of my customers liked this.  I put this in a bunch of subscribers’ folders, because we had so many copies, and all but one of them flipped through it and put it back on the shelves.

     

    The art is great, but none of these very talented writers (and it’s a great lineup) pulled off the one page story.  I don’t see more than about 1% of comic fans collecting this once the novelty wears off.   DC SHOULD have put this out for a dollar.  While I know they had to pay the impressive talent, this is a much cheaper product that disintegrates faster, and causes the ink to come off on the readers’ hands.  I’m not surprised that it’s the pick of the week (I think Ron has great taste in comics, but tends to put quirky over quality for PoTW…which is fine, quirky needs boosting sometimes), but I’m shocked that so many people here agree that this is the best thing out there this week.

  53. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @akamuu – They’re not one page stories. They’re one page installments. Some were more satisfying on their own than others, of course.  

     

     

  54. @akamuu-You’re an instigator.  Like Woody Woodpecker 😛

    I loved the idea of folding out a huge newspaper to read my comics, mostly because it made me feel smarter because people on BART just assumed I was reading a regular newspaper.  But that novelty wore off quickly and I enjoyed the hell out of this book.  It was full of fun introductions to stories that I am genuinely intrigued by. Assuming that everyone is just interested just because of the novelty of the format is really silly, though I admit it’s naive to think that it won’t happen with some readers.

  55. @PaulMontgomery: They are designed to be one page, ok, installments that are supposed to leave you wanting for more.  And, apparently, for most of you here, they did their job.  But what made classic newspaper comics successful is that each set of panels (be it a three-panel Amazing Spider-Man or a half page Prince Valiant) also needed to be its own interesting, encapsulated statement/story.  In my opinion, none of these succeeded there.  Instead, they all looked like really beautiful (again, the art was awesome) art with throw away stories.  In a comment on my review, someone suggested I should wait for the collection, but I don’t see, based on this one issue, this series producing anything truly memorable aside from the art.  Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but there wasn’t a single panel of storytelling in this comic that madde me want to read more.

     

    @drakdangerz: That’s the best reason for enjoying this format that I’ve read.  I’m glad you’re intrigued by the stories.  And I don’t assume everyone is interested because of the novelty of the format, but I belive that if this came out in a regular comic book format, it would have been praised for the creative teams, but not the actual content.

  56. I tried! I picked this up at the store today and had a visceral negative reaction to it. The format is a fetishistic obstacle. I don’t want to play 1940s dress-up or look smart on the train or smell smells; I want to read a story.

  57. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    The good news is that you don’t have to do any of those things. It is, indeed, a thing you can read.  

  58. @Jimski: Maybe this comes down to the following generalization: story focused people aren’t into this comic, art focused people are. 

  59. I haven’t picked up a monthly book in two years but I’m gonna get this.

  60. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Not quite. I’m a story guy. (And an art guy). 

  61. Now we know how our fore-fathers read their stories in the bathroom.

    (sings) Memories…

  62. Some people don’t like fun I guess.  That’s okay.  When I read this, I felt like the creative teams were all really having a great time working on these, getting to work on some of their favorite characters (many of which don’t get printed on a regular basis) without worrying about continuity and all the baggage that comes with it.  And, as a reader unfamiliar with several of the characters here, it really worked for me for the same reason.  But yes, it looked like I was the only person buying it from my local shop yesterday unfortunately. 

  63. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    It was nice to see all the pictures of people (including several kids) from all over the place reading and enjoying Wednesday Comics over at DC’s Source blog. There’s stuff in here for everybody.  

  64. I admit I’m having a little trouble understanding the newsprint nostalgia in this and a lot of reviews.  I see comics on newsprint for sale every Sunday, and I choose not to buy them.  And back when I did, they cost < $4 and came bundled with classifieds, and celebrity gossip and TV listings and — well, you know, news.   Newsprint isn’t like vinyl records, which literally disappeared from most stores for years.  Newsprint is out there if you want to get it on a regular basis.   Again, nothing against the quality of these particular comics (though I agree with akamuu that most of the Sunday strips I remember stood alone better than these do), and nothing against the sales strategy if it works.  I’m just not quite understanding the appeal.

     

  65. @ohcaroline: You were born in the future and went to the past ala Cable right?

    That would explain your lack of nostalgia for newsprint 🙂

  66. I said above that I didn’t pick this because not all the stories quite clicked with me. I do still think there’s a novelty factor at play here, but… firstly, this is a huge showcase for art. Most readers and sites these days seem to focus on the writing more than the art, but this was an excellent use of BIG ART. It’s important to remember that. And then I think there was also a lot of writing CRAFT that went into these installments. Firstly, this series exists NOT to create long-term, deeply emotion story arcs, but rather to showcase various ICONS of the DCU. In other words, it’s cool to remember that, continuity aside, DC is full of strange and wonderful faces. Kamandi! Adam Strange! Deadman! Each of these evoked that.

    And of the better known icons, how hard is it to strip away continuity and in ONE page get to the heart of the character. Carol Ferris mad at Hal for "dating other women"? Busiek packs loads of character into one page. 

    However, there were weaker pieces. Wonder Woman and Teen Titans didn’t work for me, for instance. Some folks were able to work within the confines of the the newspaper format really well… somestimes in different ways. Others fell a little flat for me.

    But on a personal front, while I enjoyed Wednesday Comics, I think I tend to better enjoy the depth and nuance you can get with more pages devoted to one story.

    But they’re very different things, and I like having ’em both. I’ll definitely stick with WC for its run.

    Has anyone else thought how AMAZING this will be if they turn it into a coffee table book with all the installments fit together by story? I mean, the newsprint is kind of a novelty, and while fun, the downside is that the color doesn’t reproduce as well. I love the texture, but I’d love to see these on some nice oversized glossy pages as well…

  67. If your looking for a story this is extremely unsatisfiying

    If your looking for high concept it is very satisfiying

    I wonder what they have planned for the TPB?

     

  68. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @caroline – I like the words and the pictures. I also like the scale. Would I prefer to read it on nice matte stock? Yes. Ideally, I’d like to be paying less for this. I’d like to pay a buck or two for this format or even this price for a nice print of my three or four favorite single pages so that I could display them (on wall space I don’t currently have). Sure, there’s a nostalgia factor to the newsprint and people are bringing that up in their reviews, but what remains, I think, are some gorgeous, over-sized panels and some fun throwback entertainment you can share with your family and friends. I showed this to my dad and uncle and they opened up about comics they read as kids. So for me the draw isn’t the paper stock. It’s not even just the nostalgia. It’s something different. And it’s beautiful.  

  69. I guess I’m in the minority, but does anyone have Calvin and Hobbes or Garfield books? It’ll probably be collected in that style when it’s all done. Or maybe be a bit larger then most like what the Foxtrot trades will be since that series is all Sunday prints now.

  70. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @TNC – I have several Calvin & Hobbes and Foxtrot treasuries, sure.  

  71. I’ve been meaning to crack open my Bloom County collections for weeks and weeks and weeks. (Bloom County, like everything I seem to be thinking about lately, hasn’t been published since 1989, so you may have no idea what I’m talking about.)

  72. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Jimski – My uncle sent over 5 or 6 Bloom County collections a few months back when he heard I was writing about comics.  

    "I used to love these things! They’ve been sittin’ next to my toilet going on 15 years! Always handy in a pinch!"  

    I have not, how shall I put this, touched them. At all.   

  73. There’s an article right there: Newspaper Comics

    I remember the good old days of reading Garfield, B.C., and Crankshaft when I was a kid. Ha ha ha….Crankshaft..

  74. Paul, I totally agree about the scale of the art.  That’s definitely the best advantage of this format.  It reminds me of what’s cool about ‘Comic Book Tatoo’.  I’m wondering if this would work collected in a format like that, in which case I’d definitely buy it (if it was affordable like CBT or the Local hardcover, that is).

    I was at a con a while back where somebody talked about being in college in the 80s, and reading both ‘Bloom County’ and ‘V for Vendetta’ as they were originally published, and how those two works tell you everything you need to know about the Reagan/Thatcher era.  I’m not sure I quite agree with that, but you have to admit they’d make amazing companion pieces.

  75. @TNC — My point is that I’m not nostalgic for newsprint because it hasn’t gone away.  It’s still out there, I just have chosen not to engage with it, for the most part, because online & audio sources give me what I need, in a way that fits my life better.  Judging from the state of the newspaper business, I’m not alone, and I find it frustrating when discussions of publishing, whether it’s news or comics or fiction, focus on the form instead of the content.  Find a way to get your content to people, and find a way to get the people who make the content paid fairly for their work.  I care about those things, I don’t care about getting ink on my fingers or how it smells.

  76. I don’t know why people are having a problem with the writing. I realize it’s a personal thing, but all the one-page stories are pretty great. The Batman one where Gordon popped the signal at literally the last minute is a great read in and of itself. If that was the end of the story I would be satisfied. Not even kidding. That’s just this great little vignette on its own. And the Flash one is great because it’s split up between Flash and Iris and it’s also pretty great on its own.

    I think people need to wrap their head around this as a super serialized art form. It’s more akin to webcomics in that you get updated on the story a page at a time. And if you’re good with that you should be good with Wednesday Comics.

  77. @ohcaroline: Are you kidding? What has been the discussion around the country for the last 2-3 years? The death of the newspaper.

    Okay technically it’s still around. But considering it’s a shell of what it was….this is pure nostalgia. If we have to spilt hairs: Then it’s nostalgia because when I was a kid I hate this stuff of. If we have to ignore the death of newsprint then I’ll replace that…

  78. Let this forever debunk the myth that cheaper paper would mean cheaper comics.  No staples and less cutting and it’s still $3.99!

    I gave this a 3 after the first read but read it again last night and wish I’d given it a four. 

  79. @TNC  If the newspaper is dying, it’s because of lack of demand, not lack of supply.  My hometown paper may very well be gone in 6 months, but I could go to Kroger and buy a stack of them right now.  It just happens that I haven’t done so for at least 2 years.   It’s possible that some Americans live in places where it is physically impossible to obtain a newspaper, but it certainly hasn’t been my experience.

  80. @ultimatehoratio – I did the same thing, but I actually went and removed the book from my list and re-pulled it so that I COULD give it a four. 😉

    As I said — I totally glided through it at first, but I really do appreciate the art on all the stories and the writing craft on a good number of them. It’s a different type of read, but I’d still give it four stars.

  81. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @daccampo – This is an interesting point. In the absence of Wednesday Comics I might have made Green Lantern or Unwritten my POW. There’s no question that Unwritten was more absorbing and sophisticated in terms of storytelling. I gave all three of the above (along with The Nobody and Superman WoNK) 5 star ratings. And they each earned their 5 stars in totally different ways. I don’t know exactly how my scale works. But I try to weigh it on how much fun I had with the book and how well it succeeded for what it was. There’s also a level of tilt. Even beyond the objective elements of the collection itself, I had a really fun *experience* reading Wednesday Comics. I don’t want every book to work like this, but it was refreshing. Maybe that’s novelty, but, I dunno, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Even if it’s fleeting, it’s no less spectacular in its time. 

  82. @TNC: I have a ton of paperbacks of Calvin & Hobbes books, Bloom County/Outland books, Far Side collections, Boondocks, and more.  I enjoy the books a lot more than I enjoyed them in the newspaper.  But, when they were in the newspaper, those artist/writers had spent their entire careers (a generalization, I know) writing to that format: three panel dailies (or one panel for The Far Side, Family Circus, Marmaduke, etc.), slightly more elaborate Sundays.  All the cartoonist/artists we saw were considered some of the best American (for the most part) writers at writing that format.  This collection features some of the best comic-book writers in the industry.  Masters of the 22 or so page book, or the graphic novel.  In my opinion, they didn’t write the one page issue well enough to grab me.  So, nostalgia is a non-issue.  If Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred were creating a Calvin & Hobbes page, or Kyle Baker did a Far Side, I’d have probably given this a five.

     

    That aside, the store I work in barely sold any copies at all wednesady or today.  Another of our stores, which is less than a mile away, and on the same damn street (same side of the street) sold out completely an hour after they opened.

  83. @Paul — Agreed. I enjoyed GL, Unwritten, Wednesday and Nobody (still reading that one) all on very different levels. All were very good. I think I personally get more from one style than the other, but that’s just a choice, not necessarily a comment on the format itself. They have different strengths and weaknesses.

    However, I will say this: not every story in WC really worked for me. Let’s set aside the pros and cons of the format for a moment and call it dead-even between between longer-form storytelling and the WC format. Now in grading WC, I would *still* have to mark it down slightly because, like any anthology, it’s bogged down by the weaker links (whereas GL and Unwritten were consistent from first page to last).

  84. @akamuu: Well I can understand that criticism more then a price point or the lack of appreciation of what DC is trying to do. But I think that we need to be a bit forgiving when it comes to how the writers are handling the downgrade of 22 pages to 9 panels.

    I didn’t find any fault with them transitioning to this new format. But let’s say we’re 4-5 papers in and the majority of the stories aren’t flowing well to keep continuing. THEN I can understand that argument and if this goes south on me then I will definitely state why it did. But for a first paper and first attempt, I found it a very good transition.

  85. Ron, you made the wrong pick. Don’t you know it’s now a rule at ifanboy that the pick of the week has to be some variation of Batman? What’s that you say? The first storyline of the book you picked was a Batman story? … . Strike up another point for renamining your site “ifanbatboy.com.”

    Ron, you are supposed to be the “Marvel guy” (as Conor is the DC guy and Josh is the independent publisher guy), but lately you’ve just been picking novelties or quirky independent titles. By the way, maybe this is the wrong forum, but I thought there used to be an unwritten rule at ifanboy that when a comic was consistently good every week, it would not be mentioned each week in the podcast, unless one particular issue just stood out. Is there a reason that this unwritten rule doesn’t apply to Batman?

  86. When I see all the great feedback this book has gotten, I regret not ordering this book when I had the chance.

    But then I think of the 3.99 cover price x 4 a month, and do not regret ordering it.

    Hopefully DC will release it in trade at a more reasonable price – because I really think they overpriced a potential "gateway" book.

  87. Did anyone find it really fascinating that Dan Didio wrote a comic? Let alone it was actually a pretty damn good one? Maybe he has more talent then just being an annoying editor.

    @Aeopile: I pity you.

  88. this was so awesome!!

  89. @Wondermanfan: as a huge Marvel zombie from the day I started reading comics until today, I can not possibly imagine any of the Marvel titles that came out this Wednesday being PotW.  The reason they’ve been picking bat books is 1.) because they’ve been consistently amazing, and outdoing previous issues; and 2.) they’re all different titles: Batman, Detective, Red Robin, etc. all deal with differenct characters.  It’s like picking X-Men one week, Wolverine the next, and X-Force the third.

  90. It’s amazing the POW has the simplest rules of any existing thing on earth besides maybe Fight Club, and yet they seem to be challenged or misunderstood on a weekly basis.

  91. @TNC -DiDio’s written comics before. He co-wrote Superboy with Jimmy Palmiotti.

  92. Art was great, stories were golden agey but the format really bugs me.  This barely fit into my silver age bag and board and I feel like I’m going to break it everytime I turn a page. 

  93. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    DiDio also wrote a really bizarre Aquaman story in the Christmas special. If I’m to understand the story correctly, Aquaman saved Jesus. 

  94. It’d be cooler if Aquaman and Jesus fought first. Jesus could, like, turn all of the water in the ocean to wine and then Aquaman would get totally wasted just by breathing, and then he would stop acting like such an asshole and then they’d realize they both had awesome beards and long hair and they’d throw a big party with the apostles and the justice league.

  95. @Daccampo: you need to find the appropriate artist and get to work on this idea before next Christmas (or next summer, if you want it to be a summer blockbuster).  I’d buy that story.

  96. @Jimski: It’s not that I’m challenging the rules for POW or failing to understand them, but the way things are going, ifanboy is becoming a DC advertisement. As someone who stopped buying almost all comics last year when I lost my job, I’ve hoped to follow what was happening in comics vicariously through the ifanboy reviews. Marvel is the only comicverse I know. Unfortunately, despite the fact that Marvel generally has half of the top 10 most pulled books books by the ifanbase on a given week, they have been mentioned less and less frequently on the podcast. I think it was a week or two ago where 12-14 books were reviewed, including user reviews, and only 2 of them were Marvel. I’d just like to see more Marvel books mentioned. Also, I’m not the first to point out the DC (and mostly Batman) stranglehold on pick of the week.

  97. If we’re a DC advertisement, I want my money.

    DC books have been good lately.  That’s not our problem, it’s Marvel’s.

  98. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @WonderManFan – Went back and took a look. Last week around 8 Marvel books were mentioned on the show. The previous weeks, 4 and 5 Marvel books. Of the remaining books, many of them were from Image and other, smaller labels. I’d say there’s a good balance between publishers overall. DC is doing well lately, and that’s accounted for. But I don’t think Marvel’s getting quite the short straw you’re suggesting. Some weeks Marvel has a great week and DC doesn’t.  If you’re a fan of one particular publisher (which is fine, of course) you tend to only notice the weeks where the number is lower. 

    The other thing is, I actually kind of like hearing about books I’m not reading just as much as I like hearing about books I do read. Good way to find new things. Even if I don’t end up buying them all the time.   

  99. Also: with books like Aquaman/Jesus Team-up!, does Marvel really even have a chance? I mean, really?

  100. I like hearing reviews of bad books just as much as I like to hear reviews of good books. In fact, reviews of bad books can be better because they tend to be funnier. I just find you guys very funnier and entertaining, and I’d love to hear more of your takes on Marvel books. In fact, I’d even be happy if you brought back “the bell”, just to get in more books. I love the bell.

  101. Great pick,  Ron.  It was mine, too, with GL coming in a close second.  I am a story guy–I can’t remember the last time I bought a book solely for the art (ok, I do–Absolute Hush).  And I thought the stories all worked remarkably well (with the exception of Wonder Woman and Titans)–Azzarello (who I’ve never been a fan of) and Risso’s Batman was a masterpiece. 

    @WonderManFan–These things are cyclical.  As a DC fan, I can tell you there have been several weeks where nary a DC book has been mentioned.  DC is just kicking all kinds of ass right now.

  102. I do love that bell too…

  103. We should have the bell this week and the show will be 10 minutes long.

  104. @daccampo: Is that Superboy story collected? Or better question: Is it any good?

    (Also I forgot about that Aquaman story….but then again I didnt read it so there ya go)

    I really think DC is finally getting back on top. It might not show in terms of sales, but in terms of quality they are doing 1,000x better then Marvel.

  105. Idont know, I guess I’m a novice when compared to the rest of you. Someone please explain why everyone cares so much about Marvel, DC,blah, blah. A good book is a good book, right? What difference does it make?
    Ok, that’s out of the way, fuck the price, I loved it. When I first saw it was on news print, I hesitated. As Connor said though, if those things bother you, you’ve missed the point of Wednesday comics.

  106. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @jonzombiex65 – *high five*

  107. Jeff Reid Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    @Jimski: As someone who read BLOOM COUNTY as a tween in the early 90s, I was very confused by the reoccuring references to a man named Caspar Weinberger.  If you do get around to re-reading those strips, let me know if they make any more sense now adays.  🙂

  108. I didn’t read this because a) I’m primarily a Marvel guy and b) I buy enough books and this just didn’t fit into a Marvel guy’s budget.  But what I find strange about this is I thought DC was going for more mainstream appeal with this.  Yet, I just don’t see how it will do that.  I was bored yesterday morning at work, so I read the Superman story in a copy of USA Today.  That whole move seems like it just won’t work.  Assuming that was the intent, perhaps they should have made a push to get this into other retail outlets other than the direct market.  Will they be getting numbers on how many people are going to follow up the Supes story online?  What will those numbers look like?  Why just the Superman story?

     Somebody said something about passing it along to their dad and uncle to a positive response, but how many regular comics fans that bought this will be doing that?  Somebody else mentioned dismay over it not fitting in a bag and board.  Maybe I misunderstood DC’s hopes for this.  Just some thoughts.. 

  109. @JeffR, I was going to make that EXACT, terribly specific reference when I mentioned it earlier. Caspar Weinberger was Reagan’s Secretary of Defense; Bloom County was extremely topical, which is why it might not play now. I thought I might do a column on it, but now I feel like I’ve tipped my hand. Maybe months from now, when everyone has forgotten. Including me.

  110. Anyone who is moaning about this because of not being able to bag/board it dont know nothing about fun.

  111. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    When all’s said and done I might make some collages out of my copies. 

    You heard me. Arts and crafts, son!

  112. For the sake of comparison, I’d like to hear the guys talk about the Marvel anthology.  I’ve never read it nor have I spoke to anyone who has.  It would make for an interesting discussion.

    I wonder if you could lift the print off of Wednesday Comics with a gob of Silly Putty(tm) like you could with newspaper strips.  Wow, I’m really dating myself with that not only old but obscure reference.  Next week I will attempt to weave toy Kryptonite rocks into the POTW discussion. 

  113. You know Paul, you could cut the issues up and put them into a photo album.  It would be like a homemade trade.

  114. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    That’s not so obscure. 

  115. Anyone paying 4$ for a 16 page newspaper is getting rip off.

  116. @PaulMontgomery: That’s the most useful idea I can think of for this.  The art reallt is fantastic and worth saving.  Do you think DC, maybe, thinks of this as collage fodder?  Perhaps this is Dido’s answer to the Jay-Z vocal track for the Black Album.

  117. Yes lets talk about the pricing and costs of making a newspaper. Plus why only 16 pages for 4 dollars is economically sound.

    Let’s talk about it and here the bitching for it….

  118. Well, I imagine Neil Gaiman gets paid slightly more than Johnson Q. Neverheardofim, the guy who wrote today’s article about the city council meeting in the Metro section.

  119. Man, Caspar Weinberger references do not drag ‘Bloom County’  down.  The inclusion in ‘Bloom County’ elevates Caspar Weinberger.   That’s the only reason I remember his name.  ‘Bloom County,” column, Jim. Wriiiiite it!

  120. Y’know, I realize that any time a Marvel vs. DC thread comes up, it general devolves into silliness and someone reasonable comes along and says "oh who cares?", but I want to defend something for a minute.

    I don’t discuss Marvel and DC because I want to discuss whether or not Hulk could beat up Superman. And I don’t bring them up because I have a special "home team" allegiance to one publisher.  But for ME, there is a relevancy when talking about the two publishers because I like to discuss the BUSINESS of comics, and those are the two primary publishers and they each have a set of evolving and shifting publishing strategies. 

    For me, it IS worth noting that I’m buying more DC titles and I’m starting to drop Marvel titles because I like to examine what DC is doing to get my business and what Marvel is doing to lose it. I like talking about things like whether or not Wednesday Comics works and whether or not Dark Reign works. In looking at those things, I also look at the publisher, and inevitable comparisons come up.

    Alright, yes, I know I just highjacked the thread for a moment, but I just wanted to state that not *all* Marvel/Dc discourse is brainless "home team" worship.

  121. People are going to think I’m weird when they come to my house and open up the photo album on the coffee table expecting pictures of my children only to find cut-out pages from Wednesday Comics.

  122. @Jonzombiex: The reason that it matters whether a book is Marvel, DC, or an independent publisher, to me anyway, is that I’ve invested 23 years of my life following stories in a particular universe, the Marvel universe, where my favorite characters interact. If you view the entire history of the Marvel universe as one huge story, then every new story that comes out today is like a later chapter in a story that I started reading when I was a kid. I think it is a rare and special thing to feel like a story that started 20 years before I was born, still gets to continue today, as these characters continue to evolve through new writers. It’s not brainless Marvel zombieism, it’s the fact that because of price and quantity of books, I choose to invest myself only in the Marvel universe. I’m not saying that other publishers aren’t putting out good stories, I’m just saying I don’t care about their stories, because I’m not invested in their characters. One of the main reasons I love Marvel is because of the continuity. Continuity keeps me following comics. So, I won’t be picking up this week’s pick of the week, because I just don’t care about the characters.

    P.S. Out of continuity stories by Marvel suck too.

  123. Caspar Weinberger was also mentioned in the awesome Gil-Scott Heron song "B Movie." But then again so was everyone else in the Ronald Ray-gun administration. Let’s play more six-degrees of Caspar Weinberger!

  124. @WonderMan If you look at my pulled books for the short tenure that I’ve been on here, Marvel is a majority of them.  I fucking love Marvel and have a lot of affinity from when I collected as a kid.  Even if you don’t care about it anything outside of Marvel, these guys are obligated to do the best they can to remove any bias (or as much as possible) and pick a book that they think is the best of their stacks.  Your or my affinity for Marvel books is irrelevant.  Besides, can you honestly say that Marvel has been releasing top quality stuff with even a small number of their books per week?  Cause I sure as hell can’t!!!  

  125. IS NAMOR IN IT???

  126. Not having the Internet is killing me.  So many posts to read through! I really enjoyed this, and I love the concept of this project.  It’s nice to see DC doing something different with the format.  Of course, these are going to be hard to keep forever, so hopefully, DC has a really good trade/collection idea for these when it’s all said and done.  Regardless, all the stories in this bad boy were a lot of fun, and I was grinning like an idiot the whole time.  The art/coloring was absolutely gorgeous.

    That said, my POW was Green Lantern.  Johns brought the funk and noise with this issue.  I say bring it it on. 

  127. Great pick, and gorgeous to behold.  Still a mite concerned about the durability of the paper, but at the same time I cannot think of a better format to actually present both the artwork and the styles of these stories.  Gloriously nostalgic, great fun and man, that art.  (Particular favourites in that department being Kubert, Stelfreeze and Baker – not that any of them were weak.

  128. I really liked this newspaper format, I hope DC starts pushing this format. Maybe instead of looking for this in a LCS, I can go to any newsstand and find my Wednesday Comics. The price really bothered me too but 15 pages of artwork you can hang up on your wall or read on a train isn’t a bad deal. Print doesn’t have to die, it just needs to be remade to fit in a changing world.

  129. Art and presentation were wonderful looking but I need more than one page of a story at a time, sorry.

  130. The worst part about comics by mail?  Having to wait another week to get this.  But the money I save is soooo worth it!  Still, I want this NOW!

  131. I like to think about how long it takes me to read some of the comics I get when I think about how much they cost.  This weeks Punisher I read in maybe 5 minutes.  Literally.  That’s pathetic, I don’t care if it’s $3 or $4.  Wednesday Comics I read over the span of 20-25 minutes, and then I read it again later.  I’m pretty happy with that.  Individual gripes about how good the stories were I can understand, but no one should walk away from this thinking they are getting short-changed when half their books can be read faster than a cigarette gets smoked.

  132. Between Rucka/Williams on Detective, Morrison/Quietly on Batman & Robin and Wed. Comix; DC is printing 3 of the best comics of any genre right now. Goddamn. Visionary stuff.

  133. I don’t know, I enjoyed this well enough, but there just isn’t enough story for me to justify buying this every week.

  134. Also, anyone complaing that this should be cheaper because newspapers are cheaper don’t know what they’re talking about. The reasons newspapers are so cheap is primarily because of advertisement. There was 1 ad in Wednesday Comics.

  135. Forget Wednesday… I’ll trade out my local papers Sunday funnies for these any day of the week. Awesome experience reading these stories. I got the last copy at my LCS.

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