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Last summer, DC Comics published a weekly collection of serial strips in newspaper format called Wednesday Comics. I enjoyed the series, but I was kind of underwhelmed with the weekly package. Serially, only a few of the stories worked on a weekly basis (it's hard to tell a story serially on one comics page. You have to re-establish last week's problem, solve it, and introduce a new problem in roughly twenty panels or less) and it was hard to drum up enthusiasm by the time the end of the series rolled around.

But now the comics are collected in one-and-a-half-foot-tall book (also titled Wednesday Comics even though the collected volume was technically published on a Tuesday) and the problem with the weekly editions has turned out to be a boon for the collected volume. Rather than running one page at a time, the editors wisely chose to run the stories together from beginning to end, and almost all of them function beautifully as single-unit stories. Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred's Metamorpho strip, especially, read like a stuttering mess in the weekly edition, but here it's a great fun callback to the mod 60s era of superhero comics. And the series that worked best in the weekly format, the Prince Valiant-style Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth strip works just as well collected as it did as a weekly strip.

Some of the best artists in comics today contribute strips—Paul Pope's Adam Strange story actually makes the character cool again—and there are a few surprises, like the Flash strip by Karl Kerschl and Brenden Fletcher, which makes great use of the enormous page real estate provided by the project. At fifty bucks, Wednesday Comics isn't an impulse buy, but if you like comics at all—superhero or, really, any genre comics—you'll find a lot to enjoy here. As an added bonus, the book's huge size is completely overwhelming, in a good way: If you sit on a couch with the book in your lap, you're forced to look up in childlike wonder at each page, and it makes the experience just a little bit more nostalgic if you grew up reading comics. This is a great case for the printed book as an experience unto itself.