THE SPLASH PAGE!
It's the first thing you'll see. It's there to make an impression.
When done right, nothing conveys more information than this, one of comics' greatest and oldest storytelling tools.
Recently, comics have been full of splash pages, unfortunately, in the wrong places. Lately, they've been used in the middle or end of a story to convey "epic scale" and often to the story's detriment.
Just my opinion, but too many splash pages, mid-comic, do nothing but confuse the storytelling. Personally, I've been conditioned to look for the splash (hook) at the beginning of a story and when it comes late, it throws me off a bit.
So, imagine my surprise when I noticed the splash page has made a major comeback. No better examples can be found than in two of this week's new releases:
Why does it work? Artist Olivier Coipel's composition is absolutely beautiful. The "Welcome To New Orleans" sign in the foreground. Thor in the background gently descending towards the surface. Laura Martin's muted palette suggesting twilight.
It's brilliant, gently letting the reader in on the story about to be told.
Best thing about this splash page? The mud on the sign. It's a sad reminder of the city's abandonment. Two years after the flood, it's watermark still there, a reminder of the city's abandonment. It's a small, subtle thing but one that speaks volumes without one word being said.
WONDER GIRL #1
Why does it work? Simplicity. Wonder Girl stands forefront and the first words you read are these:
"Her name is Cassandra Sandsmark. She is the second warrior to be Wonder Girl."
It establishes who she is and makes the reader want to turn the page to find out more about her story and the characters surrounding her.
Artist Sanford Greene, with his round line and Manga-esque influences, is nearly perfect for this character.
He establishes that this comic, featuring this young girl, might be something a young Manga fan might appreciate.
So, yeah, KUDOS to the SPLASH PAGE... and to those who truly know how to use it.