Friday, 28 November 2014

Deep Sequencing: TITLE REDACTED

Or Jonathan Hickman and the best damn author bio gag in comics 

I think book design in comics is really important. I think it is important because I view books as art objects. I mean, my love for comics is mostly about the stories contained in the pages, but they are also things I arrange on shelves and decorate my home with.  I really appreciate it when attention is given to book design and when it is done well. I also think book design is really important for selling comics: books that are pretty or better yet, distinctive are more likely to catch the consumers eye. (I particularly think comic spine design is under-utilized) And the thing is, book design in comics is frequently middling at best.

Jonathan Hickman and his collaborators are excellent at book design. HickmanEtc books have compelling and interesting covers, wonderful use of buffer spaces between chapters, and a distinctive, unique spine design. They even have a distinct visual identity that makes every HickmanEtc comic instantly recognizable as a HickmanEtc comic. And with it's creepy photo cover, black minimalist cover, and black and grey spine stripes, Secret is another boldly Hickmanian looking book. 

It also has the greatest author bio page in all of comics.

Jonathon Hickman's bio is always pretty amusing. It has mostly followed a formula where it mentions some of his accomplishments, tells an amusing lie about his twin brother, and then jokingly threatens to leave his family if he isn't showered with affection. It's short, punchy, funny, and always a little different. It is the one author bio I always makes sure to read in comics. In Secret, a comic about espionage and lies and, well, secrets, the familiar Hickman bio, and the bio of artist Ryan Bodenheim re heavily redacted. Which is just such a clever thing to do.

I absolutely love it.

You can all go home now, Hickman and Bodenheim have won bio pages.

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