I’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.