Monday, June 28, 2010

Wednesday on Monday

This past weekend I got DC's Wednesday Comics oversized (over 17' tall and 11' wide) hardcover. Wednesday Comics was a 12 issue weekly series published in broadsheet format to harken back to the Sunday newspaper comics section. It was an anthology with serialized stories featuring the usual suspects (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman), but also some lesser lights (Adam Strange, Metamorpho, and Kamandi). Of interest to the matter of this blog, at least a few of the strips veer more into non-superhero fanatastic genres.

Probably my favorite is Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook. They keep Jack Kirby's basic post-apocalyptic boy-meets-Planet of the Apes premise, but reinterprete its aesthetic in a Hal Foster's Prince Valiant-ish vein. The result is the most classic comic strip styled peice of the collection, and simply gorgeous.

The other definitively non-supers strip is Paul Pope's Strange Adventures, featuring (aptly) Adam Strange. For those who may be unfamiliar with Strange, he's sort of a John Carter-ish planetary romance character with more of a Buck Rogers aesthetic. Pope plays up the weird--and the absurd. Check out this wonderful peice of dialogue:
"...Why, they resemble nothing less than the mandrillus sphynx monkey of the family cercocpithecidae...Only huge, blue-furred, and operating strange flying machines. The sight would be patently absurd if it wasn't so horrible!"
Indeed. Pope's art is a perfect match for his out-there story:

There are other good strips: Gaiman and Allred's sixties-homage Metamorpho story, Bullock and Heuck's demon-fighting Deadman, and the time travel Flash story makes good use of the format.  But there are also several that just don't quite come together--like the Batman and Superman stories, and the Metal Men strip.

The other drawback is the height of the collection itself--at nearly a foot and a half, its too tall for most shelves, at least upright.


Jay said...

Wow, that's gorgeous art! I just added it to my wish list (which frankly, would be absurd if it wasn't so horribly long!).

/you get the idea :)

Trey said...

I know what you mean about the wishlit! It is nice art though. :)