As just about everyone knows, 52 wrapped up this week, lietrally and figuratively hanging up its hat, and nothing will ever be the same again. DC proved they could put out a weekly comic that actually shipped every week and broke sales barriers along the way. Unfortunately, some might say it came at the expense of the rest of the DCU line, but them’s the breaks.
Anyway to celebrate this historical event, Newsarama wraps thigns up with Mark Waid:
MW: It changed everything. And you know, we didn’t have to go with it. No one was demanding it. He just threw out an interesting idea. But the grandeur of Grant’s ideas are always proportionate to how long we’re silent after he says them. You know, after he just throws them out. And the longer the silence, as we all just sit there and let it sink in, the better the idea it is. With Skeets, I think we were all silent for about 30 seconds, just trying to figure out what that meant. And Greg probably worked harder than anybody in terms of the nuts and bolts details of everything, keeping track of the storylines, keeping track of the characters, keeping track of the holidays and how real time impacted the series. You know, “Oh, look, this is Halloween, so we should do a Halloween thing.” Or, “Oh, look, it’s Kwanza this week. We should nod to that.”
Over at Wizard, JG Jones explains the last cover:
I wanted something parenthetical that kind of summed up the series and closed the doors on 52 at the same time. The fans, the writers, the artists—we’ve all been on this ride every week for a year. I felt like a preacher standing at the open doors of the church, shaking the hands of all the parishioners as they filed out after the Sunday service. I really wanted something to close the service, a reflective image to say goodbye to the heroes we lost in the series, and also to say goodbye and thank you to the fans who stayed throughout the run.
Douglas Wolk’s 52 Pickup blog is also wrapping up shop:
I’m one of the people who’s delighted to see the parallel-earths concept back, not just because it’s tied to so many stories I love, but because there’s something intrinsically beautiful about it that extends beyond the content of superhero comics to their form. It gets to the heart of cartooning–the way that an artist can draw a world that’s like the one its readers experience, but altered through perception and interpretation. The idea is that “default reality” is not the way things have to be; that not only might everything have turned out differently, but somewhere they did; and that we can approach that place through the bright metaphors of superheroes and their continuity, and the subtler metaphors by which hand-drawn ink lines stand in for what our eyes perceive in the world.
We’ll throw in a plug for DOuglas’s book, which we’re reading and it is OUTSTANDING:
Before I get to 52.52 itself, though, as a few people have suggested, I’m going to take this last opportunity to hype my book a little. It’s called Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean, it’s being published by Da Capo Press at the beginning of July, I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I encourage you to pre-order a copy here. 52 is mentioned only in passing, but there’s a 30-page chapter on Grant Morrison (and Seven Soldiers and The Invisibles in particular), as well as essays about Question creator Steve Ditko, Mogo co-creator Alan Moore, and Mystery In Space writer/artist Jim Starlin. It’s also got chapters on David B., Chester Brown, Carla Speed McNeil, Dave Sim, Chris Ware, Alison Bechdel, Tomb of Dracula, superheroes, superreaders, bad comics, good comics, art comics, and much more. I suspect that people who’ve enjoyed 52 Pickup will get a charge out of it, or at least find stuff to argue with. You can also befriend it on MySpace–I’ll probably be announcing tour dates and such there.
And so, it ends. But another shall rise, and that other is Andrew Hickey’s Countdown Blog when we get to experience it all over again but in a brand new way. Congrats to all involved in 52; we laughed when you sat down at the piano, but you proved us all wrong.