Overview

Wednesday Comics #2

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Wednesday Comics #2

Credits

  • Words: Brian Azzarello, Dave Gibbons, John Arcudi, et. al.
  • Art: Eduardo Risso, Ryan Sook, Lee Bermejo, et. al.
  • Colors: Dave Stewart, Patricia Mulvihill, Paul Mounts, et. al.
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jul 12, 2009

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here.  DC’s experiment in retro-new form comic books continues just as strong as ever.

Many of you probably have this memory from when you were a child – of stealing the Sunday funnies page out of your parents’ paper (perhaps even impatiently not waiting for them to finish the paper before you did it), spreading it out on the floor and then poring over it.  There was an art to doing those strips.  They were more vibrant, being in full color, and quite often they had a different storyline from their black and white, daily brothers so the writers had to cannily make sure that their audience was always in the know about where the story was from week to week.  There was something special… something more to those strips and, from your position on the floor you could feel it.  And then, all too suddenly, the page(s) were consumed and returned to their place with the rest of the paper… which contained all that news you didn’t really care about.

When Wednesday Comics #1 hit the stands last week and I brought it home and opened it up I found myself instinctively moving to spread it out on the floor (don’t worry, your intrepid reviewer stopped herself in time and did not read the comic while lying on the floor) – the memory it invoked was that strong.  The real surprise is that issue #2 invoked that strong memory again.

This comic is no fluke, the first issue was no one-off novelty.  Wednesday Comics continues to powerfully take what is wonderful and right about the Sunday funnies and increase the potency of that to full strength while simultaneously correcting the defaults of the Sunday funny pages.  Here there is no news to put up with; here, instead of one puny strip readers are treated to full pages covered in panels – many at least nine panels or more.  And then there is the content…  truly something for everyone… superheroes, magic, intrigue, science fiction, war stories, romance, drama, the list is nearly endless.  It is also interesting to note that DC has chosen something from nearly every era of their publishing history.  They have tapped characters who have been around since the Golden Age but also tapped a number of Silver Age and even Bronze Age creations.  Despite the age of the characters, however, each one of the writers and the artists has proven that they can give these stories modern twists or sensibilities.  And with every turn of the page here is a new character, new situations, and a new art style to absorb; a variety that is truly the spice of life.

Wednesday Comics is not without its problems however, two of the strips seem to pale in comparison with their brothers and sisters here.  Ben Caldwell’s Wonder Woman strip should be a… well, wonder to behold but it is here that the sturdy newsprint-like paper seems to fall down on the job leaving the art and lettering a bit muddled and murky looking.  The tightness of the panel grid Caldwell uses also makes the page too busy and the story a little hard to follow.  In the opposite vein, Eddie Berganza’s Teen Titans page is a bit too open, giving the sense that readers are not getting as much for their time here.  It also reads as something that is a bit more for fans of the Teen Titans and those who have been following the characters’ exploits in the regular comic books rather than being new reader friendly as so many of the other pages are.  Still, with only two pages out of all having some difficulties Wednesday Comics still comes out on top.

This week’s issue, I also spotted something I had missed before… on the back page among the fine print there is the simple legend: “Dedicated to Archie Goodwin”.  For those not in the know, Goodwin was one of the Grand Old Men of comic books.  A famous figure throughout the comic book world, he wrote for a number of newspaper comic strips before graduating to writing comic books for several major publishers and eventually becoming an editor.  I do think that Wednesday Comics stands as a fitting dedication to the life and work of Goodwin and all who have gone before and followed him.  Even more, it bottles lightning.  It gives us great new stories, amazing art, work from some of the best people in the business.  It gives us all new memories and ones we may even share with others in our lives and it wraps it all up in the brightly colored paper of our old memories.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go lie on the floor and re-read this issue.

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