Forums Forums Writer’s Roundtable Splash Abuse

  • philipspace

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    January 26, 2022 at 6:59 am
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    A good person to study would be the works of Jack Kirby, if only because so many other artists have copied him. Frequently you would see a lead up in his stories with the first page of a given book setting the stage (the who-what-when-where and why), followed by the all-important 2-page splash. This is extremely impactful.

    Think in terms of “key frames” when pacing out your stories, no more than one per page, but the splash is where your “key frame” is an entire page.

    The question is; what scene or moment do you really want to have an impact? What moment do you really want to stick with the reader from your story? It can’t be the whole book, but it can be a single scene. That’s where you place your splash page.

  • glen

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    January 26, 2022 at 7:35 am
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    Thanks. I know plot (or major plot points) often determine when to use a splash or spread. I was thinking from a page economy point of view. Thanks. I know plot (or major plot points) often determine when to use a splash or spread. I was thinking from a page economy point of view:
    I am hitting my page limit and I have not gotten enough of the story into the script. Should I restructure the script by removing Splash pages or Two page spreads retooling them into the 4 to ^ panel structure. Or doing the opposite and putting splash pages and spreads?

    • philipspace

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      January 26, 2022 at 9:22 am
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      @psychophipps and I ran into this last year as well with our own 8-page story.

      Given the space constraints, we were left with the choice to pare the larger story down that we wanted to tell to just the essentials, or try to squeeze more actions and events into our limited space per page. That’s the compromise with a short-story format. Essentially you’re sacrificing visual spectacle for clarity.

      Depending on how large the story you wish to tell, a splash page may ultimately be a misuse of valuable real-estate that is better incorporated elsewhere.

  • izmoney10000

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    January 26, 2022 at 10:11 am
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    I would talk it over with your artist, see if they think a splash or double is needed for the progression of the visuals. Full Splash pages are often hard to justify in a short, half or 3/4 can often do the job for establishing shots. Double splash are not used in every issue of an ongoing book so I would think a double for a short would be a waste of real estate, but if it is the “money” of the story then it has to be included. IMO. Good question. Maybe @buddyscalera @krisburgos @Mr.AnderSiN @LateNiteScholar @thesurrealari can help as they are writers?

    • mr-andersin

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      January 26, 2022 at 7:21 pm
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      slash pages are suppose to be used for effect. This is a moment that is powerful, shocking or right before a HUGE REVEAL.

    • krisburgos

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      January 27, 2022 at 9:25 am
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      Completely agree that splash pages are used for effect. To emphasize something. Sometimes it’s a balls-to-the-wall massive battle that needs emphasis, like all of the X-Men fighting the entire Brotherhood of Mutants. It could be something more subtle that needs emphasis for example the unexpected death of a character, or the reveal of the size of a massive army or villain, even the reveal of a hero if they’re flashing some new duds. Sometimes you’ll see a splash at the very beginning of a comic, I’m thinking Batman or Spider-Man specifically, to emphasize the mood of the comic as well. Seeing a brooding hero lurking over a dark city while atop a gothic gargoyle or a hero swinging effortlessly through a bright and busy city can be a powerful first image for a book.

    • buddyscalera

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      January 28, 2022 at 9:09 pm
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      In most cases, each issue benefits from at least one splash page. It can add drama and impact to an important scene, including both action and non-action scenes.

      I’m personally not a fan of double-page splash pages. In a way, it takes me out of the story. It makes me notice the paper and the pages. It can be used well, for sure, but I just don’t like it as a reader.

      I’ve never written a double-page spread as a writer.

  • philipspace

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    January 29, 2022 at 12:52 am
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    Another great place to check out the use of splash pages, or even splash panels, would be most shonen Manga. Oftentimes you will see page layouts (depending on the book) being broken into 1/5ths, and the “key panels” will be 3 or 4 5ths of the page, or blending into double-page spreads. I was wondering at one point why more American comics didn’t do this, and then when flipping through some of the early Image titles (Spawn, Youngblood) I realized that they often did. Just food for thought.