by Danny Setna
“Easter eggs” in comic book interiors can refer to many things such as: activity amongst secondary or background characters, objects that tell a story, popular objects or people (cameos), homage to existing works, hidden messages etc. Incorporating some of these examples can make your work much more entertaining for you and your readers. Including Easter eggs allows artists to tell their own stories within the story and the storytelling will be livelier because of this.
There are many artists who draw their background characters in stiff and boring poses while their foreground characters are dynamic and full of life. This may work for contrasting your foreground elements from your background, however adding some variety to the background characters poses can go a long way to breathing life in your storytelling. On the other hand you don’t want to have every bystander on the street look like they are dancing, you want the middle ground.
Consider the following scenario: there is a street brawl in the middle of the street, there are bystanders nearby. The bystanders who are in visible range of this action should be reacting to it, whether they are cheering or in shock they should be somewhat aware of it. Pushing this scenario to the next level could mean having a bystander photographing the action with their phone, or including a cameo of Peter Parker on a lamppost taking pictures of the scene. To push that even further the bystander could be posing in front of the street brawl while Parker takes pictures of them, this is provided you are not drawing a spidey comic. The possibilities are endless and you will likely enjoy including these extras from time to time, however it is also important to use sparingly.
For my first page on Holmes Inc I was required to draw two groups of protesters and security guards guarding the carnival entrance. For this page I drew a group of Hippies protesting and a group of cowboy themed characters reacting to the hippies, all the while the cops are stuck in between the two groups. If I drew the security guards just standing there looking tough it would have got the job done, however I made it more interesting by having the cops interacting with each other and the rioters.
The best types of Easter eggs are the ones that are relevant and heighten your story, I included various use of flags throughout this page to do so. The American flag held by the cowboys represents their rights to freedoms and that they are proud citizens. They are simply trying to attend a western themed carnival which the hippies are disrupting, so the use of the American flag is a simple prop to use for this scenario. The main reason I had them waving American flag is for it to clash with our main character: Edgar, he is a pompous detective with a lot of authority. So when he rides in on horseback and disrupts a Texan riot with a big union jack on his chest it shows a good amount of integrity and audacity. Throughout the story he is constantly questioning the capabilities of the local authorities’ and aggravating them in the process. The use of the union jack on this page goes a long way to foreshadow what is happening throughout the story and heighten Edgar’s characteristics.