Roundtable Review: Wednesday Comics Hardcover, Part 2
We previously reviewed Batman, Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth, Superman, Deadman, Green Lantern, Metamorpho: The Element Man, and Teen Titans. Check out the first part here, and then read on for the rest below! SPOILERS FOLLOW.
STRANGE ADVENTURES: Paul Pope
David U: I can’t imagine anyone not liking this comic.
David B: A rocking Paul Pope-drawn, Jose Villarubia and Lovern Kindzierski-colored Adam Strange tale. Big beautiful pages, a fantastic story with plenty of space monsters, a couple of good twists, and it all wraps up at the end with a bow. This one was fantastic.
Chris S: Take everything I said about Kamandi, only replace “Ryan Sook does an awesome job” with “Paul Pope does an awesome job.”
Laura: What I loved about this was how it took Prince Valiant/Flash Gordon narrative style of the fantasy comics of yore, and channeled it through insanely trippy Paul Pope art. Where Kamandi was a (spectacular tribute) to that old school fantasy narrative style, this comic reframes that in a way that makes it seem contemporary and relevant.
David U: It’s just gloriously insane in all the right ways, makes awesome use of the format, perfectly self-contained, a great narrative, the whole damn nine yards. Indiana Jones in space with a fairytale twist, and it works perfectly. Brainy, emotional, gorgeous — man, can we throw enough superlatives?Laura: Before when I was whining about the Green Lantern story starting in the middle and how that was confusing — this story jumps in right in the middle of an invasion by blue-furred monkeys, except that here it works. It launches you head over heels into the adventure along with Adam Strange, who’s just waking up. He immediately straps on a jetpack, and the thrill-ride just never lets up.
David U: Well that’s because the first page of the GL story started you in the middle with some people hanging out in a bar, while this had rocket-powered blue apes.
Laura: Basically, this entire comic is wearing a jetpack.
David B: I particularly liked the segments with Strange on Earth. That really, really worked and it really shouldn’t have.
Chris S: The idea that Adam Strange is actually physically different on Earth, and that he actually transforms himself and becomes the Flash Gordon-type hero on Rann is a huge idea to be introduced in a twelve-page story (even one with twelve BIG pages), but he handles it so well. I mean, it’s pure crazy sci-fi, but it even manages to fold in that indie comics “would she still love me if….” scene.
David B: And it’s an idea that makes sense, and works with the basic idea of Adam Strange. It enhances the character in a really cool way.
Chris S: This is one of the few stories that really realizes the potential of Wednesday Comics.
Laura: And emotion. I mean, it even kicks off with the cliche to end all cliches, woman in distress, but manages to flip that around a page or two later when she stone cold stabs her way out of prison. And the whole binary between the two worlds, and the tension that creates about who Strange really is — I wasn’t expecting that kind of vulnerability and emotional depth in the middle of a madcap sci-fi adventure. But there it was.
David U: “Am I a man dreaming he is a butterfly…”
Chris S: I mean, let’s face it: Everyone here would’ve bought a Paul Pope Adam Strange one-shot, but it’s doubtful that DC would’ve given it the green light. I mean, I love “Batman: Year 100,” but it’s not exactly burning up the sales charts.
Laura: Hey David U, you talked before about there not being enough ideas in Kamandi. Are there enough here?
David U: Oh God yes. This is what I wanted. I cannot give this a big enough Read This.
Chris S: Instead, Pope gets a huge stage to show off his art and his storytelling that people get to see, even if they’re just buying it for Superman and Batman and the bigger-name characters.
David U: I wasn’t as hot on “Batman: Year 100″ as everyone else seemed to be but I thought this was pretty much a Triumph.
Laura: Honestly, this alone justifies the entire project, to me.
Chris S: Really? Maybe I’m just a pessimist, but it makes me wonder why the entire thing wasn’t like this.
David U: Because you needed the Paul Popes and Karl Kerschls to show less imaginative people how it’s done.
David B: This is one of my favorites.
Chris S: I loved Supergirl. Not nearly as experimental as any of the others, but still just perfect in its own way.
Laura: It’s just pure fun, and there’s certainly a place for that. If anything, there are far too few stories like this on the shelves today, and I’m glad to see in the anthology.
David U: It just perfectly captures that straightforward, colorful Sunday comic vibe. It’s not overly experimental with the layouts, but Conner still makes great use of the page size, fitting in tons of detail.
David B: Supergirl works in part because Conner is killer at drawing exasperation. She does it in Power Girl very well, but she goes above and beyond here.
Chris S: I love that it’s just so bright and friendly. Like they actually thought “oh hey, kids might read this. Let’s not have our lead character kiss a dead woman.”
David B: And there’s even a super dumb and cliche Twilight Zone twist ending, and it’s just as wonderful as the rest of the comic. I’ve got to stop using “dumb” as a compliment, but it fits here. It’s one of those, “oh, really?” moments, but it clicks.
Chris S: Even the parts that feel padded out, like the Aquaman scene, are still really funny. I love Aquaman’s shell phone. Also the fact that the alien spaceship is a giant dog bone.
David U: This comic just revels in silly puns and visual gags. It’s so hopelessly cheerful. Or hopefully. I honestly don’t know which descriptor is more accurate.
Laura: And hey, this could have gone dark. Superpets on a rampage, crashing planes and eviscerating mailmen.
Chris S: I might regret saying this, but I really like that Conner’s Supergirl is, you know, obviously a pretty girl, but not nearly as tarted up as creators seem to want to make her.
Laura: I think most of the blame falls on artists for the tarting up, when it happens.
David U: It totally does, which is why Jamal Igle is doing such a good job on Supergirl right now, artwise.
David B: Also, it’s worth mentioning that this is an antidote to the general status quo of the Supergirl of the past five or so years. This is the first Supergirl comic I can recommend in… years without reservations. It was gloriously free of Supergirl kissing Alternate Universe Superman or growing crystal spikes.
David U: I think that’s a bit harsh on Sterling Gates and Kelley Puckett, but in comparison to the Jeph Loeb/Joe Kelly years…
Chris S: What about Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade?
David B: I always forget about that. The Johnny DC line slips my mind sometimes.
David U: I think Supergirl’s best DCU appearance in the past like six years was Final Crisis, without a question. Which is funny, since it was such a dark story, and yet it was her most cheerful portrayal in forever.
Chris S: Oh real quick: Can we just agree that Conner’s title boxes are the best?
Laura: Yeah, that’s a wonderful Sunday comics-style touch.
Chris S: Read!
David B: Definitely Read.
Metal Men: Dan DiDio and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez
David B: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Kevin Nowlan should do more comics together immediately.
David U: It’s good to see that Mark Chiarello, unlike Michael Siglain on Outsiders, is willing to make the dangerous gambit of inserting proper punctuation into DiDio’s dialogue.
Chris S: There’s still a misplaced apostrophe in here. I will say, though: This is one of the biggest surprises in the book for me. I think its’ fair to say that JLGL and Nowlan carried it, but I thought it was a hoot.
David B: This is another strip where I just didn’t care about the story, but the art kept me going.
Laura: It was All Right.
Chris S: There are some really, really bad bits of dialogue (Jesus Christ, you really put “Frak yeah!” in your comic?) but I think it’s outweighed by the fun.
David U: The art was great, but it didn’t redeem the story at all for me. Painful to read.
Laura: I like how Pretorious apparently had three distinct, escalating plans to rob this bank. I mean, if he didn’t know the Metal Men were going to be there, why was Chemo waiting around the corner to rip the roof off the building?
David B: Y’know… just in case.
Chris S: I actually love that. Because it reads exactly like a Kanigher/Andru Metal Men story. (Which I love) Things just keep getting more insane until the Metal Men are inevitably destroyed.
Laura: An even better question: Why would the Chemo plan come after the suicide bomb plan? I would think that blowing yourself up would be the very last plan.
Chris S: Oh, totally. I mean, I will more than concede that it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. But to me, in this particular story, that’s a feature, not a bug.
David B: I vote Read. The art is a joy to behold. A tour de force, if I can Peter Travers it up.
Chris S: Garcia-Lopez is so good. I think he’s got a legitimate shot at being tied with Conner for the best facial expressions in the book. I give this an emphatic yes. An emphatic Read, rather
David U: I hate to say it, because the art *is* great, but this didn’t do anything for me.
David B: Daaaaaang. It’s like that, David?
David U: Except make me feel bad that this is what they brought Garcia-Lopez and Nowlan together to draw. Like J.D. Salinger coming out of retirement to write an installment of Goosebumps.
David B: I see nothing wrong with that.
Chris S: I would read the hell out of that.
David B: A book-length epic in twelve pages!
Chris S: Unreadable. Quite literally unreadable. I mean, we’ve talked about people who didn’t use the space, but Caldwell goes the opposite route. He uses it TOO MUCH. He just puts so much in, tiny little lettering and dark watercolors that were printed on fast-yellowing newsprint.
Laura: I think it looks much better on the glossy pages of the hardcover. It wasn’t an easy read, perhaps, and doesn’t yield itself up to a casual scan, but it rewards the committed reader and I enjoyed it. And I give it credit in much the way I gave Gaiman credit for his experimentation on Metamorpho.
David U: It’s skilled, but this completely busts up the flow when you’re trying to actually read an issue of Wednesday Comics in one sitting. You’d get to this, and it was just like reading a message board thread and someone posts a total WALL OF TEXT. And it’s like, it could be a totally insightful wall of text, but I’m just not in the mood.
David B: I didn’t like this when it was being serialized. It was too much and too muddy. But, I do appreciate this in a way that I don’t appreciate, say Teen Titans, though that sounds like damning with faint praise. I like that he did this strip this way. One of these is something like 65 panels, right? This is the kind of experimentation and creativity I want to see.
Laura: Yes, exactly. If you’re going to do something, go big. And this goes big. It’s definitely not something that you could do in a normal comic. And it requires a lot of attention, but I don’t think it’s a failure.
David U: Well, someone had to go for the “let’s pack as much crap into the page as we can” approach, and I think it got totally undermined by the coloring and just the preponderance of woooooooooooooords. Still, though, it’s got that noble failure feeling attached to it, as opposed to cynical cash-in or playing it safe. I’d rather see comics that are interesting but flawed in this format than competent but standard.
Chris S: Yeah, and the layouts… They’re just bad. They’re counterintuitive. I’ve been reading comics for 22 years and I have no idea what order some of these go in.
Laura: They are presented in horizontal strips that are delineated by wider horizontal gutters. Look at the gutters, and then read left to right on that particular strip.
Chris S: Look at page 6. How do I read this? Every page up until then had been in four horizontal rows (with columns and rows WITHIN the rows), but this one… Why? Why all the sudden is it vertical? And there’s no indication with the balloons. That, I think, was the page where I went “Screw this.”
Laura: It’s the exact same thing, but rotated 90 degrees. It’s presented in five vertical columns, and you read downwards within each column.
David B: The colors actually help with the reading here. The way it goes from cool to hot… I really like this, but I didn’t like reading it the first time.
Laura: Also, I think this is a useful reminder of how a lot of non-comics readers feel when they pick up a comic for the first time.
David U: If they do Wednesday Comics 2, I think a lot of these strips will serve as signifiers as to what work and what doesn’t. Or they can just wait for the change to Tuesday shipping, and then call it 2sday Comics.
Chris S: It’s a shame, too, because the big panel here is actually really beautiful.
Laura: I would have liked to have see more variation between the minipanel experimentation and big splashes.
Chris S: But what I got of the story (three strips in a row that I swear to God ended with “It was all a dream! OR WAS IT?!?!?!”) didn’t make me want to put the effort in. This is a comic that asks a lot of its reader, and then doesn’t back it up.
David U: I wouldn’t say it doesn’t back it up — I think it went about some stuff the wrong way, but I’d be interested to reread it in the actual collected edition. I think it was a ton of fun in the end, and I’d like to see Caldwell try this again in a new edition, maybe with more pointed coloring.
Laura: It’s not all the way there, and there are some issues, but I liked the experiment, and enjoyed paying the attention that was required to experience it. But then I really like puzzles.
David B: Same here. I mean, block out some time, and you might glaze over some words, but it’s worth the effort.
Chris S: Dude. If you end ONE page with “It was all a dream–OR WAS IT?” you’re on thin ice. If you do it three pages in a row, there’s no excuse.
David B: I think if you do it three pages in a row, it counts as technique, rather than laziness.
David U: Except that a character, like, on that page, said she was going to have crazy dream adventures. I mean, that could be a one-line review of Little Nemo too. Winsor McCay, that hack!
Laura: Yeah, I think the dream was telegraphed pretty consistently throughout on a lot of levels.
Chris S: BAH!
David U. I’d rather see someone try and fail to be Winsor McCay than try and fail to be Marv Wolfman.
SGT. ROCK AND EASY CO.: Adam Kubert and Joe Kubert
Laura: It’s the Biggest Little Sgt Rock comic ever!
David B: I loved it.
Chris S: If you did not know this was printed on a larger sheet of paper, you would not know this was printed on a larger sheet of paper. “Hey, we’re going to give you a page four times the size of a normal comic! What are you going to do with it?” “I’m thinking… nine panel grid? Yeah, nine-panel grid.
Laura: The story is well-done, but I’m not sure I can excuse the waste of the format. It’s like… if you’re shooting a movie for widescreen, use the widescreen format. Don’t just shoot it for TV aspect ratio and then stretch it out.
David U: Yeah, this wasn’t designed for broadsheet at ALL.
David B: I’m a Joe Kubert stan, so I definitely can. It’s late-era Joe Kubert Sgt Rock, but blown up to king size.I like the way it was just a big ol comic, like one of those old treasury books.
David U: Yeah, this wasn’t designed for broadsheet at ALL. Going back to my IMAX comparison, this is like when they just take the regular film and blow it up onto the IMAX screen so it’s all fuzzy. And the story was just — I dunno, my general distaste for/disinterest in war stories is somewhat well documented, Band of Brothers bores me to death. I know, I’m defective.
Laura: Band of Brothers is a lot of things, David, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard it described as boring.
David U: I’m basically saying that as a warning: yeah, this didn’t do much for me, but in general unless you’re Inglourious Basterds or some other insane twist no war story can do much for me. I found Platoon boring, for God’s sake.
Chris S: I actually agree with you about the comic being boring. But then again, in my ideal Wednesday Comics, “Sgt. Rock” would just be twelve pages of Nazis getting the living s–t kicked out of them. It’s very pretty. I mean, it’s Joe Kubert, how could it not be? But what does it do that couldn’t have been done elsewhere?
David B: I think what I liked about this was the way it was about delayed expectations. We know Sgt Rock is going to end the way every Sgt Rock story has ended, with a lot of dead Nazis and a quick little moral/personal touch. So, if the ending is never in doubt, what happens before that is what matters. And I liked the interplay and the torture and all.
Laura: I mean, this is a perfectly fine story. I just don’t know what else to say about it.
David U: Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with it, there just wasn’t …. anything right with it.
Chris S: The thing is, I’ve read a lot of Sgt. Rock, and they’re all basically the same story. The only new thing this one brings is that it’s got the huge format, and that’s not used.
Laura: It probably breaks down to how much you like war stories. I’m not CRAZY about them, but I like them all right, and this is a perfectly good one. So I’ll say Read, even though the teacher in me is tempted to fail it for not understanding the assignment.
David U: Yeah, Laura, I think you’re right. It’s a Don’t Read for me on the scorecard, but I’d asterisk it with “David is a biased a–hole” or something.
THE FLASH: Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher
David U: YES YES YES YES YES YES
Chris S: Hated it.
David U: …
David U: Are you serious?
Chris S: I’m kidding, I just wanted to see Uzi flip out.
David U: This was the Ice Haven of superhero comics. Probably the best superhero comic of 2009.
Laura: I want to high five whoever made the decision to print the Iris West strips with the old school Ben-Day dots. They really stand out on the glossy hardcover paper, too.
David U: It is a total triumph on basically every level, visually gorgeous, narratively complex, a BRILLIANT use of the medium and format…
Chris S: It’s one of the few that works on its own and metatextually. Like Kerschel and Fletcher were the only ones who heard “like a newspaper comic” and then didn’t immediately go “Oh, like Milton Canniff/Hal Foster/Mac Raboy.” They’re like “Oh, you mean like ‘Apartment 3G’ but with the Flash?'”
David U: It does EVERYTHING right, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been a big Kerschl fan for a while, but this was above and beyond, just a dead-perfect Barry Allen Flash story.
Chris S: It’s just really structurally well done, even beyond being a fun, pretty comic. You start to notice that they lose the Flash/Iris West newspaper strip structure, and then you realize that that’s an intentional part of the story and that the structure of reality is breaking down too. I mean, that’s Thinking Cap stuff right there.
Laura: I love the conceit of the Flash moving through time while the format itself changes to reflect comics from different times, but it’s also so much more than a pastiche. It uses those historical touchstones in a constantly evolving way — it isn’t content to just ape old strips without innovating on its own.
David B: Yeah, this is one that I liked on every level, almost to the point where I don’t have any glib stuff to say about it. It was just a great read, one of the best in the book.
Laura: Man, when it comes in with the Gorilla Grodd strip out of nowhere, that’s when I knew.
Chris S: Oh man, the Gorilla Grodd comic with the Tarzan font! That’s so perfect.
Laura: And it then starts fracturing into parodies of Peanuts and Blondie —
Chris S: And MARK TRAIL.
David U: It’s a romance comic, it’s an adventure comic, it’s a tour through cartooning styles, it’s … it’s seriously, I think – honestly, I can’t gush enough about this comic, it was just an absolute triumph. Oh God, the Gorilla Grodd comic! There’s just so much imagination, so many ideas, so much care and thought.
Chris S: And Page 11, which is one of the few to really use the bigger page to great effect, breaking out of the smaller panels in a huge way at the climax of the story. Just really good stuff.
Laura: Not just smaller panels, but physical manifestations of the ripples through time.
David U: It was Barry Allen’s Metaphysical Trip Through Newspaper Comics, and it aced it. With a character where that idea works so well, since everything he does is so reliant on bent science and the history of cartooning. More than anyone else, Flash is more involved with his medium. It’s always been that way – the entire Flash-1/Flash-2 relationship is built on comic books; he was one of the first heroes where they really started playing narrative tricks like that. He was always the most meta.
David B: I think more than any other strip, this one used the format and conceit of the project the best.
David U: If every other strip had been absolute drivel, this would have made the whole thing worth it. Read, Read, Read – I adored this like I adored All Star Superman. This really is All Star Flash, to me.
Laura: Yeah, it’s the Read-iest of Reads.
David U: Thoroughly journeyman work from two industry legends.
Chris S: This was one of the biggest disappointments for me. I like Brian Stelfreeze, I love Catwoman and the Demon, I SUPER-LOVE Walt Simonson, but it’s just there.
David U: With Simonson and Stelfreeze, I was really expecting more.
David B: Could’ve been great, but ended up being… just okay?
David U: Yeah, the ingredients were all there, totally.
Chris S: I blame the lack of John Workman (sorry, Steve Wands).
David B: This is one of those stories where you read it, and it is inoffensive, but not all that memorable.
Chris S: Yeah, again: Absolutely nothing wrong with it. But it might as well have been a story in “Catwoman Secret Files.”
David U: Or an arc of “Batman Confidential” or something.
Chris S: Except that now that I think of it, “Catwoman Secret Files” had that really good Brubaker story where they talk about Holly coming back from the dead.
Laura: I have nothing to say about it, really, except to damn it with absent praise.
David U: It just had no heart. I really don’t have much to say about this, either. It’s not bad, but it felt like a last-minute speed bump in every issue.
David B: It isn’t bad by any means, but it is kinda unremarkable.
Chris S: Who would’ve thought we’d have nothing to say about a story where Morgan Le Fey and Catwoman have sexy bondage times while Brian Stelfreeze does awesome art of Etrigan?
Chris S: That’s really good! So why isn’t this better? Still, Read. If nothing else, you’ll get the beautiful art that you’ll immediately forget about.
Chris S: LOVED THIS.
David U: Rereading this, I’d forgotten how well Baker’s new Poser style worked on this paper. It’s been disastrous on the glossy stock of his… sigh… Deadpool work, but it totally works here.
David B: This was pretty great, that’s true. It was the most… insane of the strips?
Laura: I think Strange Adventures still holds claim to that title, but yeah, this goes some places that had the 10-year-old in me cheering.
David B: I know he came into it with only a loose idea of “What do kids like to see?” and “What would be fun to draw?” So: Hawkman taunting a T-rex.
Laura: I enjoy the terrorist on the airplane turning into a giant space crab, as well.
Chris S: This might’ve been my favorite part of Wednesday Comics. If only because it gave us the interview where Kyle Baker said that Hawkman hits things with a mace, so as a writer, you have to give him problems that can be solved by hitting them with a mace. The hilarious Frank Miller/300 pastiche dialogue on the first page.
Chris S: “I have a plane to catch.”
Chris S:”Would Aquaman help?” “Well he couldn’t hurt!”
Chris S: “Hawkman unsheathes his knife and crawls into the gasping T. Rex’s jaws, thinking ‘sadly, this is not the craziest thing I’ve ever done.'”
Chris S: Just hilarious all the way through. Pure joy. Also the fact that it’s like Baker’s going “nah, that’s boring” every three pages.
Laura: Wow, on page 11, is a shark attacking the T-Rex’s tail?
Chris S: Yes. God yes.
David B: Yeah, the ante is upped considerably every once and a while.
David U: This was tons of fun, and totally matched the format. I’ve got no complaints about this, it’s just a big dumb grin inducer the whole way through.
Chris S: “Hawkman fights terrorists who hijack a plane! Nah, that’s boring. They’re also aliens who are fighting the Justice League in space! Nah, that’s boring. The plane crashes! Nah, that’s boring. DINOSAURS! Nah, that’s boring. DINOSAURS FIGHT SHARKS! THeeeeeere we go.”
Laura: How would you describe what’s going on with the art here? There’s a sort of watercolor/silkscreening effect. And this washed out coloring like every panel is a photograph with intense backlighting.
David U: It’s computer-assisted, for sure. I think the backgrounds are somewhat 3D-rendered, with the characters being hand-drawn and then computer-colored and otherwise screwed with. I know Baker did this serial INSANELY quickly. Two weeks, I think
Chris S: The first time I saw it, I thought he was just goofing off with a computer, teaching himself software by making Hawkman fight dinosaurs.
David B: Baker’s been using computers for years at this point, but in the last 18 months or so it’s become more obvious, for better or for worse. I think he’s modeling characters on a computer now. Ithink it allows him greater control over his art, in a way. The more of it that is digital, the more you can adjust in post. If any of you have read Special Forces, it goes from very traditional art by Baker to obviously CG in the last issue. It’s a little jarring, and I’m not entirely sure how happy I am with it, but when it works, it works.
Laura: Regardless: Success.
David U: Definitely Read.
Chris S: Read! Read. Or I will hit you with a mace.
Laura: Any closing thoughts on the project?
David B: Overall, I think it was a success.
Laura: I agree. Not every comic in the assortment was a gem, but Wednesday Comics handed some truly incredible artists the keys to the broadsheet format, and many of them delivered — some, spectacularly. I’m glad it exists, it was a worthy experiment, and it created some comics I truly adored.
David B: Like any anthology, there are ups and downs, but it’s something I desperately want more of.
Chris S: Overall, I think it was a failure.
David B: Why is it a failure, Chris?
Chris S: There were good and occasionally great things in it, but I think it’s terminally bogged down by stories where we see the learning curve on display. As an art showcase, I think it’s just fine, but as storytelling goes, there’s nothing here I could’ve done without. The only thing that really couldn’t have been done in another format was Flash, because its premise was so tied into what it physically was. Even Kamandi could’ve been done as a “300”-style book of double-page spreads (that I would’ve liked better, I think).
David U: I’m happy it exists. I dunno if I’d recommend the big hardcover, but I’m glad I grabbed this as it was coming out. Some of the strips were really, truly A+ excellent, enough to justify $4 every week.
Laura: Personally I wasn’t expecting virtuoso work from everyone out of the gate in an unfamiliar format, but if they come back for more, my expectations may be higher. What would you want to see in Wednesday Comics Vol. 2?
David U: Bring back the creators who did well, bring in some experimental, YOUNG new blood. No more old dudes. If you look at this book, a lot of the least interesting strips were, ironically, by the people who were old enough to remember the original strips.
Laura: Who would you want? Aside from Morrison and Quitely, of course.
David B: I don’t mind the old dudes. And Morrison is like 50 years old. That’s pretty old.
Chris S: Enjoy the Chaos Magick Hex you’re going to get for saying that.
Laura: I’d love to see Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie take a stab at this. They’re not Marvel exclusive, right? Oh man, and Jonathan Hickman.
David U: I’d love to see Hickman with JHW3 on this format. With JHW3 drawing his infographics.
Laura: Oh god, yes, J.H. Williams III. How about Jim Lee?
David U: Lee is a no-brainer; he’s slick, a big name, and can be experimental. Marco Rudy. Amanda Conner again. Francis Manapul. Darwyn Cooke. Sean Murphy. NOT George Perez — I think that’d be a mess, honestly.
Chris S: Oh man, not George Perez? Really? He’s one guy that I think could make it work.
David B: Perez is boring.
Chris S: You are dead to me.
David U: I think he’d just draw a really big regular Perez comic, and I don’t think this project needs more epic superhero porn.
Chris S: I wouldn’t mind if he just did his normal thing. I’d love to see those huge pages he does at an actual huge size.
David U: Honestly, that’s what I’ve got Absolute Crisis for.
Chris S: There’s really no getting around that something like this — with the big pages–is always going to be art driven, but I’d like to see more emphasis on creating a union between the two, rather than just the art being an excuse to draw big pictures. I’d like to see less serialization. I know that’s kind of the point of the project, but I’d really rather see one story by one team every week than have things broken up by people who are trying to figure out how to pace stories that are simultaneously four times and half the size of a normal comic.
Laura: Maybe have one comic that’s all one-shots each week? Possibly by different teams, so they could switch in creators too busy to commit to the whole project.
Chris S: One-page stories I think might really work. And it could be done; Mark Millar did an entire issue of Superman Adventures that was all one-page stories.
Laura: Any other thoughts before we finish?
Chris S: You are all wrong about Wonder Woman, and you’re probably stupid and I hate you.
David U: I think I’ve said what I need to say. Flash, Adam Strange, Kamandi and Supergirl are amazing, just superb comics that justify the experiment. I’d love to see them do it again with more risktaking.