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July 22, 2009

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Wednesday Comics Report

So I did go out and snag Wednesday Comics, as I mentioned. My verdict? Beautiful, inventive, and fatally flawed.

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But the flaw is so simple! You see, Wednesday Comics #1 is comprised of sixteen giant pages. And each of those pages is a separate story. This renders it almost completely unreadable. Just as you build up a modicum of reading momentum—TO BE CONTINUED. And they’re not even good to-be-continueds, because really, how could they be? Nothing has happened yet!

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It’s only worth mentioning because the whole thing would have been so sublime if they’d simply focused each issue on two or four stories instead of sixteen. I’m sure there’s some sort of production logic at work here—Paul Pope is still madly scribbling out the back half of his Adam Strange story somewhere—but even so. The product, as is, is broken. It’s fine fodder for “trends in media!” talk—and you know I love that—but as an actual reading experience it’s no fun. Fresh formats are great, but you gotta get the fundamentals right, too.

However! A super-jumbo-sized trade paperback, collecting all of the issues, released around Christmastime, would be a fine thing indeed. I’ll wait for that—and buy it with relish.

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Posted July 22, 2009 at 11:04 | Comments (11) | Permasnark
File under: Books, Writing & Such, Briefly Noted, Comics

Comments

I can see what you mean, but then if they just published a single story every week, aren't they just publishing a comic book? What would the point be?

Though it may be anachronistic, I like the 'funny pages' format, which gives you a small bundle of several different strips. I like the fact that it spurs me to read stories and characters I might not normally pick up; I can easily see myself skipping over the "Kamandi" issue in your proposed model, but here I'm reading that stip's installments each week and enjoying it.

What's more, there's something charming -- and again admittedly anachronistic (how's that for comic book-style alliteration) -- about the serial format too. It's a different kind of storytelling that I think really works for comics and has been undernourished in recent years (heck, decades).

Anyway, I'm not arguing that this should work for everyone. I'm just saying that in my opinion it's probably not as "fatally flawed" as you contend.

Ooh, I think this one is easy:

I can see what you mean, but then if they just published a single story every week, aren't they just publishing a comic book? What would the point be?

It's the format! Big—bigger than you can believe. Like those mega-size Paul Dini books from DC, except even bigger, and printed on newsprint, which has a real charm.

I think that's the innovation here.

I'm all for serialization—I just think the way DC sliced this project into such super-thin little story-bits makes it really hard to enjoy.

And I should fess up: I couldn't stand the serials back when I was ten, sprawled over the Sunday comics in the Detroit Free Press. That dose of narrative has always felt too small to me.

I can't wait for your next comment. That one was just so short.

Unfortunately, you'll have to wait a week for Robin's next comment. However, if you look in another thread, other writers have comments on completely unrelated subjects.

Is that lumberjack Robin I spy above? I had to do a double take and make sure there weren't overalls.

;-)

Oww, Matt said it! We were all thinking it, but Matt actually said it!

Robin's gonna go to town and get himself a wife: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=To63U1CRX-w

Pshh. Guys.

Lumberjacks don't read comic books.

They don't now. But just imagine...

Thanks for linking to my post.

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