10 Years of Dan Didio: More Wednesday Comics, Please!

This morning, Bleeding Cool collected a number of Facebook posts made by DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio [...]

This morning, Bleeding Cool collected a number of Facebook posts made by DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio over the weekend. Together, they form a retrospective look at his ten years with DC, and a list of the top ten moments he's most proud of. Notably absent from the list is Wednesday Comics, DC's first weekly miniseries after the failure of Countdown to Infinite Crisis and one of its biggest artistic and critical triumphs in the five years leading up to the New 52 relaunch. Written and drawn by dozens of high-profile, award-winning creators working on a wide variety of DC franchise characters, Wednesday Comics was a 12-issue anthology which was published on newsprint and released to look like Sunday newspaper comics. It was eventually reprinted as a prestige-format hardcover, in order to maintain the page format created by the books' unique dimensions. Ever since the last issue rolled off the presses, fans have been clamoring for more, and it's something that DC has always said is on their radar, even while they've had other priorities (notably, the DC relaunch and expanding their movie and TV universe). The philosophy of books like 52 and Wednesday Comics, one that can theoretically be attributed at least in part to DiDio, seemed to be a focus on the diversity of the DC Comics line. Characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman had strips that ran alongside Deadman, Kamandi and Sgt. Rock, each with a unique art style determined by the creator on the title. Reports are that at least some of the creators selected the character, rather than being assigned a project, resulting in comics masters Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred working on the basically unmarketable Metamorpho. It's a diversity (of content, not necessarily of race or gender) which has shone through in The New 52, as the company has given properties like I, Vampire and G.I. Combat another chance at life and allowed WildStorm characters to overrun the DC Universe to such an extent that Superman's big upcoming villain is Helspont. And yet still, May sees the launch of six new DC titles to replace books which most fans knew wouldn't survive the first year before #1 was ever released. Could they have avoided this by simply releasing more Wednesday Comics? As preposterous as it sounds, it seems as though there are two ways that it might have played out to DC's advantage. First, it's entirely possible that by releasing a true anthology book (DC Universe Presents may be one in name, but the fact that it features three-to-six-issue arcs starring one character or property before anyone else gets a turn changes completely the role that it has in DC's publishing plan) they could have seen coming which properties didn't generate enough interest to support an ongoing title, and reacted appropriately. It's also not outside of the realm of possibility that a title like this could drive interest in characters that many readers would otherwise not have read. With the right push, great books like O.M.A.C. or Mister Terrific could easily have generated a following coming out of an anthology book that carried over to their own monthlies later. The pattern is not without recent precedent; Power Girl's own series spun out of a fan-favorite arc in JSA Classified a few years back and eventually the former outlived the latter. It's hard to get fans to take a chance on a $2.99 comic that they're not sure they'll love, featuring a character they don't have any connection to. Books like Wednesday Comics sidestep the issue by providing readers a number of different stories for one price. It's like a sampler platter--even if I don't care for the onion rings, it might entice me to buy a larger order of mozzarella sticks next time.