The Panelled Page

Published On November 15, 2012 | By Zainab | Comics

Ok, trying something new, let’s see how it goes. It’s a very basic idea: each fortnight we’ll choose five panels, or sequence of panels (sequences must encompass no more than one traditional comic page, splash pages included) and put them into a post- just another excuse to show off more lovely comic art, really. Selection criteria is pretty broad- anything old, new, funny, beautiful, poignant or just something we really, really like for no discernible reason (may even extend to themes sometimes). Opening this up to everyone, if you want to send in your suggestions via the ‘contact the author’ link at the bottom of the post, please do so, otherwise I’m afraid you’re at the mercy of my taste, and a whole load of Batman.

So many panels from Alan Moore’s and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke could be taken and used for feature like this- it’s immensely quotable and iconographic. The ending to the book where the Joker tells Batman a joke about patients escaping from an asylum, and they share a laugh and possibly a handshake ranks highly in my list of favourite sequences/pages/endings ever. I don’t know if people still consider it controversial, but for me, after all that’s passed previosuly in the story, it’ provides a encapsulation on the unique relationship between the two men.

‘Fun’ panel taken from a Hark! A Vagrant strip by Kate Beaton.  I don’t really ‘get’ people who don’t ‘get’ Kate Beaton.

Grant Morrison is a bit of a marmite writer for many people, myself included. Of the books I’ve read of his, the one I really love is Joe the Barbarian. I’ve seen a lot of people compare it to Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Nimura’s excellent I Kill Giants and I can see why: both share a protagonist on the cusp of teenage/adult hood and both veer between real and imagined worlds, with the reader never sure which is the reality. Sean Murphy’s art throughout the book is simply top notch and this sequence where Joe attempts to retain a grip on his surroundings but finds himself suddenly transported elsewhere is a favourite. Oh and it also features Joe’s pet rat, Jack, who turns into an awesome human sized warrior a la Strider but more fearsome and even more cool.

By Seo Kim: Seo does some great little comics- until recently she was doing one a day(!), with the final few about a grain of rice who breaks the fourth wall and finds himself burdened with the problems of fame as she draws him into more comics. If you’ve never come across her work before, have a click through: a little treasure trove awaits.

And the final panel sent in from blog reader James Newell, who’s always found this image of a boy piggy-bakcing on Wonder Woman rather amusing. Taken from Sensation Comics #19, July 1943, with story by William Moulton Marston and art by Frank Godwin. Thanks, James!

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About The Author

Zainab Akhtar is a qualified librarian with a specialisation in building comics collections. She currently writes for Forbidden Planet and The Beat, and is a committee member for the British Comics Awards.'

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