You Have 20 Pages Of Superhero Comics…

Comics creator Gleb Melnikov tweeted "please don't do this. you have 20 pages of superhero comic – you don't wanna waste 3 of them on the exact same face over and over again."

You Have 20 Pages Of Superhero Comics...
Credit: Marvel

This concerned the first pages of the comic book Venom #25 by Donny Cates and Mark Bagley, which was actually a 30-page story with a 10-page back-up strip, showed an impending massive invasion of Earth by black dragons. Um, spoilers. But it was a point that others backed.

You Have 20 Pages Of Superhero Comics...
Credit: Marvel

And Melnikov clarified further, saying "I think there should be close to zero non-action pages in a mainstream superhero comic and by action I mean when something happens not through text but through visuals".

You Have 20 Pages Of Superhero Comics...
Credit: Marvel

Anyway, there was much discussion. Far more that Gleb presumably expected.

Prince 3-PO Organa: What I want from a DPS is 16 panels of this, of course
You Have 20 Pages Of Superhero Comics...

Jamie Grayson: I think this one works, and like, works waaaay better, for one simple difference. There are two people in it! Yes we do only see one of them, but still there is progress, there is conversation, which gives us panels of reactions– it's not 16 panels that make up one monologue

You Have 20 Pages Of Superhero Comics…

Landry Q Walker: Two solid issues of this and it's one of the best comics I have ever read…

Mitch Gosser: You drew this last year.

You Have 20 Pages Of Superhero Comics…

Gleb Melnikov: and this too. now imagine 1/3 of an issue of this

You Have 20 Pages Of Superhero Comics…

Alan Morlock: For someone seemingly obsessed with the portion of pages a sequence takes up you don't seem to bother actually counting them.

And more comic book creators joined in.

Jamal Igle: I absolutely disagree with this.

Geoff Thorne: the story dictates how you tell it. beyond that, there are no rules.

Mitch Gerads: I gotta tell you, this mentality that spectacle comes before storytelling is some real 90's bullshit. Comics have evolved. Storytelling has evolved. Readers have evolved.

Alex de Campi: I think the sentiments that "storytelling has become more sophisticated" and "this is a bad, lazy sequence" can happily coexist. Why a whole splash page for a head? Why no reaction shots or cutaways? This is the sort of stuff ALL THREE of us have pulled off in the past with people we collaborate closely with (in Mitch and my cases, they were likely 9 panel grids), and not everybody can do it. This sequence doesn't land. It happens. Better luck next time. Anyway, this is the sort of shit Naoki Urasawa does all fucking day and it's SO GOOD and he keeps the tension up, anyone skating along through here wanting to see this done well, go read MONSTER

Gleb Melnikov: no lies here

Donny Cates: Fun to wake up to comics Twitter dismantling three pages of a book I wrote over six months ago. Guys, I have plenty of new stuff that sucks too. At least be current.

Fabian Nicieza: Just wait until they rag on your work from thirty years ago when you know you have stuff coming out soon that is just as bad!

Jimmy Palmiotti: I always say, if they bought it, that is all that matters.

Tom King: Three pages of a static headshot in a comic book—where the only visual limit is human imagination. Absurd! You should do at least four.

You Have 20 Pages Of Superhero Comics…
Credit: DC

Bryan Hitch: What's this "20 pages of comics" malarkey going around today..?

Al Kennedy: You have 20 pages of superhero comics. 10 of them always lie, 10 of them always tell the truth. You have one question

Sterling Gates: You have 20 pages of superhero comics. Do whatever you want with them. They're yours to use how you see fit to tell the story you want to tell. Do what you think is best. It's your story.

Caspar Wijngaard: I just listened to a review that criticised our 28pg comic for having 2 black pages with text. That it was "lazy". In our comic that was already 6 pages more than the average 20 pages. Man facepalming

Jamie McKelvie: We had reviews say we cheated out readers with an issue that had ten pages of black panels, saying that it was half the issue. Those ten pages were on top of the 20 pages of regular comic, and kieron paid for the extra printing costs out of his own money.

Continuing at a social media near you.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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