Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Reviewing a comics page - World's Finest

Check this out! I swiped the image from the Heritage Auctions website (which has high-res scans of a TON of comic art! Register for an account and go nuts!). It's a page from a World's Finest comic, drawn by Dick Sprang (the best Batman artist) and inked by the superb Charles Paris. I like this page because there's a ton of dialogue, but through a combination of good layout design; clean drawing; crisp inking; and clear lettering, everything is extremely easy to read. 

Today's comics suffer from a dearth of dialogue, I think - you're left with pages showing off an impressive drawing, but not telling you much. Sure, it's a different way to write, but how long are stories in modern comics? Six issues? Twelve? This page is from an issue of World's Finest that would have had several stories in it. Probably not telling any Earth-shaking stories, but these are Batman comics for Pete's sake. Tell the story, and if it's lousy there'll be another one right behind it.

The lettering in this page was obviously laid out before anything was drawn. I marvel at this, because when I'm doing comics pages, I still fall into the "draw first and ask questions later" trap of lettering.

Look close and you'll see the backgrounds varying from panel to panel. And I love the circle panel thrown in there! In fact I think I stole that for a page in Toaster Guy!

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