Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Waiting for Wednesday, Issue 20

Holy Cats! It's the 20th Week-iversary of Waiting for Wednesday! And it seems like only yesterday that I started this rambling, one-day-a-week-filling...uh, I mean...incredibly important addition to the Interweb's comics community.

Yeeeah, that's what this is.

Anyway, thanks for joining us on this not-so-monumental-or-educational journey through the best of what's around in the world of comics. So, without further ado, let's get to this week's short list of books I'm looking forward to.

Now, while it's a relatively small shipping week, there are some major "event-y" type books coming our way from the big publishers. First and foremost is DC's Blackest Night mini series that will run through the Green Lantern titles.

This is the big one, in DC's eyes--the event that everything has been building up to recently, written by Geoff Johns and with art by Ivan Reis. Look on ye advertising image, and tremble:

Blackest Night teaserOoooh, scary stuff. But will the book be good? The short answer: Yes, yes it will. Why? Well, it's Geoff Johns on Green Lantern. Really can't go wrong there. And the whole "The Dead Shall Rise" tag line? Bruce Wayne, anyone?

Quickly, two other books I can't wait read are The Unwritten, issue three, from DC's resurgent Vertigo line, which has been a smart, well-plotted read, and issue one of North 40, from Wildstorm.

North 40 is a book that managed to catch my eye in the abyss that is the Previews catalog, so I have high hopes for this title. It's a horror book by the team of Aaron Williams and Fiona Staples, and seems pretty intriguing. Here's the blurb:

Somewhere in Midwestern America was a place called Conover County. When the old book was opened, and the runes therein used in haste and ignorance, a place of farms, simple folk, and small-town dreams became a den of monsters and nightmare.

NORTH 40 is the story of those who survived and came to confront an even greater evil on the horizon – one that wouldn't just consume their flesh, but their souls as well.

Heroes arise with power to bring against the dark: Wyatt, an unwilling protector of his former tormentors; Amanda, an apprentice to forgotten arts; and Sheriff Morgan, whose bonds with Conover County go back farther than even he can remember. See where it started, and watch where it's all going in NORTH 40 #1.

And here's the creepy cover:

NORTH 40 #1 coverOh! And I almost forgot--Marvel's big book this week is the Giant-Sized 600th issue of Amazing Spider-Man, which will feature over 100 pages of story. So, you may want to check that out, as well.

But the Big Story this week comes from DC, and no, it's not Blackest Night. Instead, it's something called Wednesday Comics, the first issue of which launches today. What is Wednesday Comics, some of you might be asking. Well, it's like the Sunday comics section, only with DC characters and stories written and illustrated by the top talent at the company.

And, yes, it will be in newsprint, in standard newspaper size.

So, what does Alex think of this idea? Well, (glad you asked) here's the deal--I like that DC is trying something different (I'd say it's something new, but it's really something old, when you think about it), and while I'm not real sure if it will pan out for the company, I'll be buying the first issue.

I mean, I like that DC is finally (finally) doing something that Marvel isn't doing, or hasn't already done. And, yes, okay, so instead of surging to the forefront of digital comics like Marvel is, DC has decided to go in a--um, let's call it retro--direction.

And that's kinda cool. I love anthologies, be it short fiction or graphic collections, so this book should be right up my alley. Will DC screw it up? Most likely, but hey, they have some of the absolute top talent in the field working on the, I mean, you know the stories will be good.

Wednesday Comics sampleSo, what's the not good part? It rhymes with Collections, and it's two-fold.

Wednesday Comics
will be produced in newsprint, which by nature, is not very sturdy. Comics People, by nature, are collectors. And a good portion of Comics People who read the characters that will be featured in WC (Batman, Superman, Catwoman, Kamandi, etc) are straight up collectors. Which means they'll want their books to be preserved and in pristine condition for years to come.

So, those people may buy two copies--one to read, one to "collect."

So sales figures among the fanpeople base might be a bit skewed there. The other issue with printing in this format is--how in the world will DC collect this material? If the most important feature is newsprint, how would they go about collecting the stories in trade? Will they even collect them? Or are we back to the old, buy 'em when they ship mentality?

I dunno, and maybe DC's made an announcement to this end, so let's hope these things get collected.

Before wrapping up, I do want to harp once again on the positives of this idea, because I do think it's pretty cool and I think that it could be something big. To that point, here are some of the creative teams on WC, and as you'll see, this is where DC definitely got things right: Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso on Batman; Neil Gaiman (yay!) and Michael Allred on Metamorpho; Adam Kubert (on writing duties!) and his dad, Joe Kubert, on Sgt. Rock.

Great creators, on both big time and not so big time characters. We'll see how the market reacts to this experiment, and if maybe, just maybe, WC can take a big bite out of the collector's mentality that plagues our hobby.

Anyway, that's just my two cents. What about you? What are you Waiting for?


Scott said...

I was sort of interested in Blackest Night before I got burnt out. All of these "mega" events on top of each other in DC and Marvel just completely turned me off of comics.

Plus there's the whole Technicolor Lantern Corps thing.

When I originally heard the tagline for Blackest Night, I thought it was going to be DC trying to profit off of the zombie craze somehow.

AJG said...

Yeah, "Event Fatigue" is something the companies (while acknowledging that it exists) just don't seem to care about.

It's the whole, "well, there's a rabid and loyal fan base, so they'll buy whatever we put out, no matter what. Heck, they might even buy two copies!"

And that's not good for comics.

I'm interested in Blackest Night, but the lead up has been wearing pretty thin. I actually haven't been following any of the Lantern books lately, so I'm hoping to be able to read Blackest Night, understand it without having to go back, and enjoy it.