If you’re just blowing in, this is the second in a series of posts documenting the tribulations I went through in adapting to a widescreen-format comic. Co-conspirator Justin Jordan discusses the writing aspect of the challenge here.
So I’ve been dissecting some of the most recent and highly effective double-page spreads I’ve seen to try and decipher what logic the artists might’ve been operating on. Reverse-engineering, if you will. I figure if I stare at these babies long enough I may be able to extract remnants of whatever special cut of LSD the penciller was on when thumbnailing, and use then-acquired zen state on projects such as JENNY STRANGE.
Because hey… like Thomas Edison probably always said, “When in doubt, steal from the best.”
In Ultimate Spider-Man #124, Immonen uses the top half of the page to establish the environment and mood of the scene, taking full advantage of the panoramic view. The tall narrow panels of the lower half splits the events into tense, almost choking, moments.
Similarly, in Crossed #1 Jacen Burrows splits the spread into a top and bottom half. The top however is employed as an illustrative piece to essentially convey a definitive shot of the story’s backdrop, whereas the smaller panels below shows us the actual characters and pushes the story forward.
In Secret Invasion #1, Leinil Yu went with a three-tier spread to initially wow you with a shot just packed with characters. The second tier features mostly talking heads, whereas the final tier is pretty much gravy to just tense you up for whatever comes first on the next page.
So without getting too technical and shit, what strikes me the most as the widescreen format’s strength is the panoramic advantage as the splashes just look more cinematic, allowing the reader’s eye to wander more and discover things. Never doubt the power of Where’s Waldo.
Something to think about.
This series of posts concludes with me showing my JENNY STRANGE pages, which I did as I studied the above artists. So it’ll be a healthy exercise in accepting my apparent density. No doubt my girl would have a thing or two to add about that. Fun for the whole family, I guess.