A frequent topic of discussion at the local comic shop and online among comics fans has been whether or not DC Comics plans to collect the strips from Wednesday Comics and what possible shape such a collection or collections might take, given the oversized, broadsheet format of the episodic incarnation of the title. That led Eye on Comics to snoop around the Internet for a possible clue. A good source for future collected editions of DC products is Amazon.com, which lists expected trade-paperback and hardcover releases from DC and other comics publishers months ahead of their appearances in the industry catalog, Previews.
I didn’t find any information about Wednesday Comics collections, but something else involving one of the Wednesday contributors caught my eye. Amazon lists a book entitled Kubert Covers War, with DC Comics noted as the publisher. The only details are that it’s slated for release May 11, 2010, it’s a hardcover, it’s priced at $39.99 US and it’ll be 208 pages long. No cover image is included in the listing.
A DC Comics representative declined to comment on the project, but his email reply seemed to confirm the book is in the works.
“Nothing to share now, but we’ll have more info soon,” wrote DC publicity manager Alex Segura.
Surprisingly, Joe Kubert himself was apparently unaware of the project until Eye on Comics contacted him.
“I’m pretty much in the dark about this project, and can only refer you back to the source: DC Comics,” Kubert wrote in an email.
In light of that, DC’s silence about a project that’s already been made public by a major bookseller is all the more frustrating, confusing and curious.
The Amazon listing doesn’t detail the nature of the book’s contents, but the title itself suggests it might be a collection of Joe Kubert cover artwork from the various DC war comics to which he’s contributed over the decades. DC has published coffee-table-like books of cover artwork before, such as Dave McKean’s covers for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series and Glenn Fabry’s cover paintings from Preacher. Still, this would seem to be a more unique archival project — if that’s what it is.
Of course, there are other possibilities when it comes to the content. Joe Kubert might be best known for his work on such DC characters as Hawkman and Sgt. Rock, but he’s also crafted critically acclaimed graphic novels that are deeply rooted in wars. Dark Horse Comics first published his supremely crafted Fax From Sarajevo in 1996, and iBooks published Yossel: April 19, 1943 in 2003. The former was the true story of a friend of Kubert’s who experienced the Serbian siege of Sarajevo firsthand and with whom he communicated via fax regularly. The latter was an alternate family history in which Kubert explored what might have happened to him if his Jewish family had remained in Poland instead of emigrating to the United States when he was a child a decade before the Second World War.
These were creator-owned works, and while it’s entirely plausible that Kubert might have taken them to another publisher — one with which he still shares a strong business relationship and a long history — for republication, it’s unlikely that Kubert himself would be “in the dark” about any such plan. A further possibility — and perhaps the most exciting one of them all — is an original work. Perhaps the comics legend has new stories to tell or has a visual comics essay on how he chooses to present images of war in the medium of comics, but again, such a circumstance is implausible in light of Kubert’s comment.
No matter what the content of Kubert Covers War proves to be, the title alone is cause enough to bring a smile to the faces of fans, not only of Kubert’s art or of war comics, but of the medium in general.
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