Friday, 11 September 2015

Sussing Spider-Woman #10

Or I'm a sucker for the great page turn in Spider-Woman #10
by Dennis Hopeless, Natacha Bustos, Vero Gandini, and Travis Lanham; Marvel Comics

When I took a look at the last issue of Spider-Woman, I talked about how effective a good page turn can be in comics. Sure, it might be one of the oldest-tricks-in-the-comicbook, but using the physical structure of a comic to spring an unseen surprise just works. And Spider-Woman #10 has another great example of why this trick works so well.

There will be *SPOILERS* for Spider-Woman #10

The pages under consideration are these two. The first page on the left depicts Jessica Drew fighting a horde of brain ashed cowpokes and hulked out cattle. It's busy and fast and ends on a panel with a charging bovid in the background. And then there is a page turn. And suddenly there is a panel depicting Spider-Woman getting flung across the page by a collision with a cow. It's kind of funny but also an evocative and effective bit of storytelling that uses the sudden unveiling of the moment to generate comedy and action. It's a good example of a well used page turn.

The thing is though, if you dig a little deeper, these pages are actually a lot more interesting. The pages use lettering, nested panels, and the black limbs of Spider-Woman's costume to guide the eye through the pages, along arcs of motion and beams of energy, to quickly navigate the pages. It makes every moment of action feel more dynamic and interesting. These guides also really help set up the page turn, drawing attention to the charging bull on the first page and providing a hard stopping point before the page turn. Then, after the page turn, the vectors and guides of the action cause you to abruptly encounter the cow, pause to take it in and find the next guide, and then travel along the onomatopoeia and Spider-Woman's black limbs to get a real sense of her flight path and motion. Like telling a good joke or story, these pages absolutely catch the rhythm of the action and time the page-turn-punchline perfectly. This is really adept comics.

Spider-Woman #9: page turns and splash pages

Spider-Woman #8: turning down the background
Spider-Woman #7: the brilliance of the inset panel
Spider-Woman #6: Guided chaos and multiple reading paths
Spider-Woman #5: Character Design and composition

No comments:

Post a Comment