8/14/2009

Some Notes on Wednesday Comics

Maybe you noticed Jesse stopped doing his weekly Wednesday Comics write-ups. I think it's safe to say nearly everyone's interest in the series has waned and although Jesse is the only one of the crew still buying it, it's essentially found its groove as to where the not-so-good ones, you just don't read and the good ones are good enough that how the strips build upon one another week-to-week's become more interesting.

That said, the general response from most of us here has been that Wednesday Comics took a lot of missteps--and they were there from the start. To call it a failure would be harsh, the thing's still so damned cool, but there's a lot of bullshit to wade through to make it worthwhile. The price point really is pretty obnoxious because the cost to print this thing is no doubt cheaper than a sorta glossy, 32-page typical comic book and it almost feels like DC expects readers to buy it out of "support". Kinda like when you go to SPX and some dick has these stupid cartoony drawings with like a pig farting and it's $5.99 or something, only here it's not so much "support a starving artist" as it is, "support a cool, slightly weird idea"--but well, fuck that.

Sammy made an interesting point about the writer/artists chosen and it's one of the few complaints about the series that I've not read anywhere else: Why isn't it more writer/artists? Besides the fact that on, what I'll call "boutique" comics projects like this, the writer/artist almost always fairs better, the comic-strip format is almost always rooted in a single creative mind. And indeed, save for the Risso/Azzarello Batman strip, the single-creator works, namely Kyle Baker and Paul Pope are the most engaging. A few of the other strips would gain a lot from lopping off the writer and letting the artist do it all: Joe Kubert should just write Sgt. Rock, Mike Allred should write Metamorpho. You get the point. And really, this would work because there's no one reading this thing for Teen Titans or Catwoman & the Demon. So in short, you're paying too much for not enough.

That said, I'm not exactly waiting for the trade of this either because it'll still be full of too many strip-series that just don't matter. There would be no reason to do this and most comics people would percieve as it soaking them twice-over, but it would be great if there were these like, Tin-Tin-sized editions of each strip individually--16 big, awesome, glossy pages by Paul Pope or Eduardo Risso. I actually would pay way too much for that.

4 comments:

Matt said...

Newsprint these days costs way more than typical glossy, magazine-esque paper stock, and an issue of Wednesday Comics uses as much paper as 64 pages of a normal-size comic would. I feel like $3.99 is a deal, even though I'm only reading about half the strips any more.

samuel rules said...

Matt-
Do you feel that 22 page comics are a deal at $3.99?

I have a really weird thing where I still feel like a sucker buying Captain America, which I read cover to cover and LOVE, for $4, because it's four god damned dollars. I wanted Wednesday Comics to work, but I'm even I, someone who spends every available "expendable" penny on comics, think it's too much. Why would I ever pay $4 for what, 5 pages?

brandon said...

Matt-
The daily newspaper is more pages and cheaper? I know it's not totally analogous, but the "more than magazine stock" isn't really true--or should I say it isn't totally accurate. It's also cheaper than it's been in recent years...there's been "newsprint price hike" discussions since the early 90s.

Even so, there's plenty of costs avoided with newsprint: lighter so cheaper to ship, less production (doesn't need to be stapled, etc.).

I might even pay 4 dollars a week for 6 pages of Paul Pope--the real issue isn't price, it's quality.

Brandon Graham said...

yes, yes.
good points.

I do hope they make a trade of the thing. It did seem like the best Pope in years.