Ready for another tip?
The splash page is serious business, and it should be used with discretion.
There are several ways to think of the splash page: the first is the opening of the story. You want something big and meaty in order to draw the reader in. The second is for a big emotional scene. The third is for a huge action. You could parse it down further if you wish, but those are the big ones (and really, the first one is nothing but a case usage of the latter two).
Why discretion? Because if you use too many, you’ll lose the impact you want them to have. I personally don’t recommend more than three splash pages per issue. Really, three is pushing it. Two is the better number, but that could definitely be a personal bias. However, if you try to use a lot of splash pages in your story, you might want to look at your story. You may not have enough story to carry your page count. Those splash pages may be padding.
The splash page needs to be thought through when it comes to placement in the story. It is my contention that outside of the first page, splash pages should be put on even-numbered pages. This way, you get the surprise and you get the emotional investment of the story.
Let’s do a page count with a right-left placement, shall we?
When you open a comic, you’re immediately looking at page 1. This is on the right side of the book. You turn the page to get to page 2, which is on the left, and then you just move your eyes over to page 3, which is on the right.
We take this and extrapolate it, and we can say that the odd-numbered pages are on the right, and even-numbered pages are on the left. Outside of P1, you don’t want to lose the impact of showing the splash too early, being able to glance over and see the splash page on the right side. Save it for after you’ve turned to the even-numbered page on the left.
Simple, because we’re only dealing with one page.
Double splash pages are a little different. You have to be aware of where you’re putting them in the comic. These must go even-odd when it comes to numbering, and not odd-even. (Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of scripts I’ve seen that have a DPS and haven’t taken its placement into account.)
To be obvious, the reasoning is because the shot is taking up two pages, it has to go from left to right: it has to start on the even-numbered page on the left and end on the odd-numbered page on the right. If you try to start it on the right, then you have to turn the page in order to get the rest of it, and that throws off your story.
Keep these tips in mind when writing your next splash page.