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See You Next Wednesday

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Folks looking to get the most bang for their entertainment dollar can stop searching: the pop culture high of the summer isn’t a movie, isn’t a video game, isn’t Lady GaGa. It is, instead, a ballsy literary experiment from D.C. called Wednesday Comics.

So what the hell is it? Wednesday Comics looks like the color Sunday Funnies, circa 1957, and is being published as a weekly. It comes on big folded news-sheets, and has a different continuing story on each page, 15 stories in all.

D.C. has rounded up the best in the industry to go old school, and they, in turn, have produced a battalion of big, bright, brassy, two-fisted tales, irresistible to anyone with a functioning imagination. You’ve got Neil Gaiman writing Metamorpho: The Element Man (pictured above) as a Steve Canyon-Milton Caniff thing. There’s Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook doing Kamandi: The Last Boy On Earth in the muscular, highly detailed style of Prince Valiant. Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso supply a bone-chilling Batman story that feels both completely modern and as retro and transgressive as one of the Spicy Adventure pulps (it also has the best cliff-hanger of the bunch). Hell, Wednesday Comics is worth your $4 just to get Lee Beremjo’s Superman, a giant page of art so rich and stunning, you might as well buy a frame and hang it on the wall.

My attitude is that it’s no one’s job to support a literary gamble just to support a literary gamble. Readers should spend their money on what’s good, what turns ‘em on. But in this case, when you’ve got a big press giving their talent a chance to go buck wild on a one-of-a-kind project, and the damn thing works, then yeah, I can’t help hoping people will get behind it in a big way, so it doesn’t wither on the vine. Next time you’re near a comic shop and you’ve got $4 in your pocket, spend it on Wednesday Comics instead of a candy bar. It’s better for your teeth, and the sugar high will last you right through the end of the summer.

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