Extra, extra!


POSTED: Sunday, July 05, 2009

One of the cornerstones of any daily newspaper's Sunday edition is the comics section. It's here that you see a variety of creators knocking out any number of popular one-stop-gag and humor strips, all done in their own unique styles for the “;Sunday funnies.”;

Starting this week, DC Comics will release in comic book stores across the country its own superhero spin on the newspaper comics section with the first of a weekly 12-issue series titled “;Wednesday Comics.”;

Printed on newspaper stock and broadsheet-sized, the series will contain 16 full-page strips featuring a variety of DC superheroes done up by a top-notch crew of writers and illustrators in the field.

DC's trinity of main heroes will be represented—there will be a Batman cover strip by the Eisner Award-winning “;100 Bullets”; crime/noir team of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso; Superman as written by John Arcudi with gorgeously detailed illustrations by Lee Bermejo; and an animation-styled take on Wonder Woman by Ben Caldwell.

The man who came up with the concept of “;Wednesday Comics”; is DC's editorial art director Mark Chiarello, who already has on his resume an impressive list of excellent projects, including Darwyn Cooke's “;DC: The New Frontier”; and the multicreator “;Batman Black & White”; and “;Solo”; titles.

Speaking by phone from his New York City office on Wednesday, Chiarello, 50, admitted that “;for older guys like myself, it's a bit of a nostalgia thing to put this out in a newspaper format—not meaning to put a negative spin on newspapers, considering what's been happening to a lot of them lately. I collect old Sunday comic broadsheets, and there's something charming about the artwork and stories (published around the early 1900s). The big size of the newspaper back then, and the graphics used, were incredible. Creators could really investigate the medium, and I wanted the modern writers and artists working on 'Wednesday Comics' to have as much fun with their strips as possible.”;

Chiarello said he was heartened by the response from the writers and artists from his wish list, who all said “;yes”; to the idea. “;And they were adamant that it was going to be done on newsprint,”; he said, to honor the classic form.

The creators were given their choice of characters, resulting in some intriguing, potentially exciting comic strips.





        “;Wednesday Comics”; will retail at $3.99 and will be found every week through Sept. 22 at the following Oahu comic book stores:

» Collector Maniacs (3571 Waialae Ave., 739-3912)


» Gecko Books & Comics (1151 12th Ave., 732-1292)


» Jelly's (98-023 Hekaha St., Suite B1-9, 484-4413)


» Other Realms (Ward Warehouse, 596-8236)




“;Neil Gaiman said he wanted to write Metamorpho, and Michael Allred is drawing it. (Both of “;Sandman”; and “;Madman”; fame, respectively.) Paul Pope, who is a sweet guy and a brilliant talent also in the art world, is doing our space hero, Adam Strange. And it was neat to get Joe Kubert to illustrate Sgt. Rock again, this time with his son Adam doing the writing. Talk about fantasy casting!”;

Chiarello also mentioned Dave Gibbons, fresh off the “;Watchmen”; movie, doing his take on the Jack Kirby-created Kamandi, “;the Last Boy on Earth,”; with the help of illustrator Ryan Sook, and animation storyboard artist Dave Bullock doing Deadman.

“;The fan and online response to this has already been phenomenal,”; he said, “;and I'm already getting calls from other writers and artists who want to participate in this. There's already talk in the company of doing this every summer.”;

There are also plans to do a high-end collectible edition when this first series of “;Wednesday Comics”; finishes in September: “;I remember seeing the book edition of the old Little Nemo strips, and the pages were so huge. I hope it'll be along the same lines as that. But right now I'm happy we're able to keep the price down for each issue, and fans should have fun picking it up every week.”;