DC revisits old idea for new projectWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagine a comic book measuring 14″ by 20″. Difficult? The more seasoned among us may remember the grand old Sunday comics sections of newspapers from the first half of the 20th century that delivered the funnies at that size. There’s something of those days that DC Comics hopes to echo when it releases “Wednesday Comics” this July 8th.
This is comics writ large. Printed on whopping 28″ by 20″ newsprint sheets, “Wednesday Comics” will present fifteen different strips, each on their own 14″ by 20″ section, and the whole shebang will be folded twice before it hits your local comic shop, not unlike a newspaper. In this day and age of comics printed at the standard 6 ½” by 10 ¼” on deluxe paper and hoarded pristinely into acid-free protective bags, this format’s downright Mesozoic – and pretty chancy for DC.
Seems a DC editor was waxing poetically one day about the grand old storytelling of pre-television days and pitched the idea of doing a new version of Sunday strips yet with a DC’s own super-star characters. The project’s meant to be another way to cross over into the mainstream and rope in those who don’t normally read comics. To bolster that high-minded ideal, “Wednesday Comics” will deliver every single one of its stories “outside continuity,” as we say in the industry. That is, adventures that requite no foreknowledge of the characters nor their past adventures. Yep, DC claims anyone can jump onboard and I for one thank them for that; it sold The Little Woman on the series and we plan to read each issue together. Who says there’s no more romance in the world?
Why “Wednesday Comics,” you ask? New comic books are released every Wednesday at comic shops across the country and DC hopes to make the day even more something to look forward to. For twelve weeks, readers will see characters like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Sgt. Rock, the Teen Titans and others in gigantic tales told by such creators as Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Joe Kubert, Kurt Busiek and even Bowling Green, Ohio’s own Paul Pope.
I’ll be reviewing each and every issue of “Wednesday Comics” at my blog, www.clippingsfromthebeard.blogspot.com and invite you to join me there every Thursday for my critiques of this bold, new experiment by one of comics’ oldest companies. You can also catch the “Superman” strip in USA Today, beginning July 8.