My 13 Favorite Things of 2009 (Part 10 of 17)

Wednesday Comics (DC): It was really a good year for most of the anthology style books I picked up. Marvel’s Strange Tales and The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror being some of the strongest examples, but Wednesday Comics was a breed apart. Honestly, you had me at Paul Pope, since he’s one of those buy on sight creators. But more than any single creator or character, it was the experimental spirit and heart of an explorer that Mark Chiarello harnessed and should be commended for. Do something different. You learn in this process. The company learns. The talent grows. There were sure hits (Strange Adventures), and sure blunders (Teen Titans), and noble failures somewhere in between (Wonder Woman), but like Solo before it, the project conceptually was brilliant and should be encouraged. I’m switching gears here to talk about Disney’s acquisition of Marvel and Warner Brothers restructuring of DC Entertainment, but it’s a good example to run with. If Disney and WB truly adopt the business model and treat their subsidiary companies as “hands-off R&D labs” mined for successful properties that they can put their marketing and distribution muscle behind, then projects like Wednesday Comics should continue to be produced. Heck, they should not only be allowed, but be overtly encouraged as part of the corporate culture. It will be telling to see if there is continued permission to fail, if experiments conducted aren’t always necessarily held to bottom line driven decision making, if the commerce demands can yield momentarily to the creative ones. In short, for every Strange Adventures, there are ten Teen Titans and you can’t always get the precision of the former without the freedom to try the latter. In my opinion, the more experimentation with things like Wednesday Comics we see, the healthier the industry is and can continue to be. If that happens, then Disney and Warner Brothers might not be the overbearing corporate overlords everyone fears, and their treatment will signify renewed prosperity and financial viability for an already artistically rich medium. Wednesday Comics was never about the quality of the strips in and of themselves, it was about the creative management lesson to be learned.


At 1:35 PM, Blogger Matt C said...

I hope you're right in your prediction, and the creativity available to Marvel and DC really gets unleashed in 2010.


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