Various Writers and Artists
I'm torn. I want to like Wednesday Comics, I really do, but I just can't bring myself to heap praises upon it like many of my peers. A lot of people seem to be caught up with the format and how much they liked what little was given and fail to really tell you that this is just an anthology book with, for the most part, standard comics on bigger pages.
And therein lies my biggest problem with Wednesday Comics - it's a standard, out of continuity anthology comic with Silver Age throwbacks. The creators are the only draw to the book as the format is a mere novelty. There's nothing unique here that could not have been achieved in a standard comic book. Sure, we have some bigger panels or more story on one page, but are you honestly telling me that a Karl Kerschl or Paul Pope or Eduardo Risso couldn't recreate the exact same style and format for a standard sized comic book? Do you think the stories from any creator would be worse because they didn't have bigger pages to work with?
This all leads me to another issue with the comic - the price. It was $3.99 for this "newspaper". I have no problem paying $3.99 for a comic, as evidenced by my purchasing of dozens of overpriced comics every month. However, there's an intrinsic value I get from each purchase that I just do not get from this one. The stories are great, the art is beautiful, but it feels like I was sold a cheap bootleg/shakey cam copy of a comic that could have looked ten times better in the standard comic book format instead of being printed on newsprint and folded over three or four times.
Add in the fact I know this will be reprinted in a better format than what I'm purchasing and I'm already feeling cheated. The format should serve a purpose. It should not be a gimmick or detriment to the final product and I feel that putting it in this newspaper style, while mainstream news worthy and commendable in its own right, was the wrong call for something that amounts to a normal comic book on bigger pages for all but the rare few comics.
One final complaint about the format is that I found it entirely unwieldly. For one thing, I couldn't read it on the ride home nor was it easy to unfold and take a look inside before purchasing - my cramped shop just doesn't have any room for people to be standing around with these newspapers unfolded and taking a look. Even at home, I almost felt like I had to be standing up to properly read the thing without it getting all bent up.
Ignoring the formatting of the issue and my general displeasure with it, many of these comics are actually quite good. While there's the odd clunker, like the Wonder Woman story, which featured way too many panels that were arranged terribly and word balloons crammed into tiny spaces, the majority of these were enjoyable - just not unique enough to justify the newspaper format. The Flash one was one of my favourites and Kerschl did a fantastic job, as always, on the art, but, again, nothing that could not have simply been repeated in a standard comic.
My only complaint about Wednesday Comics, from a story standpoint, was that almost every comic was "identical". No, they all don't fight the same villain and not all were the exact same style or narration, but just about all of them amounted to a "this is the hero, here's a demonstration of his powers, here's the threat, to be continued". If this was a long running comic that had some stories already in progress, a few similar stories beginning at the same time wouldn't be a big deal. With all 15 stories beginning at the same time and just about every one of them featuring the same basic plot, it's an odd feeling of deja vu as we you turn the pages and begin reading each story.
Verdict - Check It. Does it bother you that this is just an overpriced comic book in newspaper format? If no, this is probably a must read for you. Does it bother you that this "comic" won't physically stand the test of time and that a "proper", cheaper oversized trade is inevitable? If yes, this is probably an avoid it for you. Personally, while I don't hate the stories told and I do think the art looks fantastic for just about every single one of these pages, the format simply acts as too much of a barrier for me for what amounted to a basic series of out of continuity anthology tales from top creators. I'll be waiting for the trade on this one where I'll be able to enjoy it in a much easier to handle manner.