Wednesday Comics: Inevitable Collection?

Wednesday ComicsI’ve seen several people online talk about how they’re curious about Wednesday Comics, DC’s experiment to bring back the old full-page Sunday comics format…but that they’re going to wait for the “inevitable” collection.

The thing is, I’m not 100% certain there will be a collection. And if there is, it might not be what readers expect.

Sure, in a world where Amazons Attack gets reprinted as a hardcover book and Terror Titans gets reprinted as a trade paperback, and most comics are written in 4-6–issue story arcs, it certainly seems like everything will get collected eventually. (Except that last arc of Flash after Geoff Johns left, but then I’m not sure anyone misses it.) But two things make me wonder about this one:

  • It’s an experiment specifically designed to recapture a newspaper experience.
  • The pages are huge.

The first item means that, for once, the priority isn’t on the eventual collection: it’s back on the periodical.

As for the second, let’s look at the page size in more detail.

According to solicitations, each page will be 14 inches by 20 inches. Basically, open up two comic books flat, then line them up one above the other, and you’ve got the page size. Or pick up a newspaper. (The Los Angeles Times is currently 23″ x 12″ per single page, so WC is a little shorter and a little wider than a newspaper.) If they want to keep the page size, that’s going to be a big book. Certainly hardcover, and more suited to a coffee table than a bookshelf. Like this massive 21″ x 16″ 7-pound Little Nemo in Slumberland tome. That’s larger than (and almost as heavy as) Comic Book Tattoo!

Now, consider that DC charges $50 for a ~200-page hardcover in its Archive series at normal comic book dimensions. A ~200-page hardcover with 4x the page area is likely to cost even more.

So the options I see are:

  • Keep the page size and make it a gigantic expensive coffee table book.
  • Shrink the page size, sacrificing one of the main points of the format.
  • Make it half that size, and print each page sideways across a double-page spread — which means running a gutter right down the middle of each page.

If there is a collection, it’s likely to be either very big and very expensive, or a poorer reading experience than the original.

Of course, none of this matters if the experiment fails and the series doesn’t sell well in the first place.

Update June 21: The Beat has a photo of a mock-up from Wizard World Philadelphia, demonstrating the size. CBR reports that at HeroesCon’s DC Nation, DC said they planned “both downsized and full-size trades” for the series.

Update October 12: The hardcover will be an 11×17″ coffee table book at $49.99.


4 thoughts on “Wednesday Comics: Inevitable Collection?

  1. Kelson Post author

    I’m only assuming it’s typical, but Amazon lists Absolute Sandman vol.4 as 12.8 x 8.7 x 2.1 inches. About half the width and a little over half the height being cited for Wednesday Comics.

  2. CM22

    I actually thought it might make sense for them to just collect specific “titles” together. All the Batman stories in one book, all the Flash stories in another, etc etc. Just call it “Wednesday Comics: Flash”. Given how short they are you wouldn’t even necessarily need to trade them all, just like an oversized one-shot for them.

    1. Kelson Post author

      It’s only 12 issues, though. That means each story is going to be 12 pages if printed 1-to-1, or 24 pages if turned sideways with each original page as a double-page spread. That would actually make it about the same as a typical comic book. Which is something I can see them doing a few years down the line as random reprints, but the whole point of the current trade market is to have something that’ll go on a bookshelf.

      What I’d guess at this point, based on what they’ve said at HeroesCon, is one oversized book with everything (~200 pages) and a set of normal-sized trades with the pages turned sideways so that they don’t have to shrink them quite so much. That would be around 400 pages, and I can see them doing that as 3 trades at around 130 pages each, comparable to a trade collecting 6 normal issues. In that case they might combine related characters in each trade, I suppose.

      I guess we’ll have to see whether it’ll be possible to shrink the pages down 4x and still have them be readable.


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