I am completely enamored with Ben Caldwell’s pitch for a youth-skewing Wonder Woman comic, which is getting plenty of other props online. I’m generally not a fan of manga-style illustration, but Caldwell’s concept is fresh, playful and modern without being silly (*Cough* jeggings on Wonder Woman *Cough*).
If the work looks familiar, it’s because Caldwell was behind the ethereal Wonder Woman arc in Wednesday Comics. He has posted his vision (with notes) on his blog, and what’s particularly nice is that he’s thinking about younger readers. I love his take on Etta Candy as a curvy, thrill-seeking sorority girl and his sulky/hot Batman is adorable. The idea of Bruce Wayne as “a notorious playboy who wants to see and be seen with the Amazon princess” is like catnip to those of us on team BatWondy. It seems like a well thought-out idea with more than a little personal passion behind it — and it just looks freaking cool.
Alas, Caldwell told readers to curb their enthusiasm (or ire) because this book “will certainly never happen.” I’ve been reading mainstream comics long enough to know that he’s probably right. That’s a damned shame, because the spontaneous response to Caldwell’s pitch tells me that there’s a pent-up demand for this kind of creativity and accessibility. While comic-book reading has become an adult hobby (at last year’s Dragon*Con, Darwyn Cooke correctly called it “an over-35 club”), kids still dig them if a) they can find them and b) they’re good. My children read comics, but only because I ferret out the titles that are age-appropriate and bring them home. I have a feeling that my 10-year-old son would like Caldwell’s Wonder Woman comic, even though it’s about a “girl.” But first, he’d have to wrest it from my hands.
What do you think? Would you buy this book for yourself or the kids in your life?