Santoro on Page Composition

There are “harmonic points” on a canvas that can be used like one would use harmony in music. These points can be measured. In comics, these ideas are often used WITHIN the borders of each panel but the overall design of the page is often muddy and bottlenecked and this undercuts the power of the image inside the panel borders. The whole structure of the spread should be “in key” with the images. And, for the page or the whole two page spread (all comics are read as two page spreads when they are in a book) to “sing”, to really be clear, the structure has to be “open”, and have a symmetry that is dynamic as opposed to static.

Frank Santoro Interview by Tim O’Shea (5 Nov 08)

This idea of overall page (or two page spread) composition working with the panel composition is something I wish I were seeing more of in the new Kramer’s Ergot volume (#7). Few of the artists seem to be paying much attention to the page as a whole, many seemingly just using the extra large pages as a way to get in a lot more panels than the average page.