Entertainment

A Lesson in Comics from Spider-Man's First Appearance

From giant hands to blocked lines of sight, Steve Ditko was the king of comic framing.
October 30, 2016, 11:30am
Peter Parker’s hand didn’t really get that huge when it was bit… that’s for dramatic effect. Video still featuring a modified page from Amazing Fantasy #15. Illustrated by Steve Ditko. Screencap via

This week’s entry in the YouTube comic-making masterclass, Strip Panel Naked, looks back at one of the original masters of sequential art for lessons still applicable to the form (and still widely used) today. In the latest video, Steve Ditko & Framing Spider-Man - Amazing Fantasy #15, Hass Otsmane-Elhaou turns to the comic artist and longtime Marvel creator's groundbreaking work. Steve’s comic, which features the very first appearance of Spider-Man, shows what can be accomplished by an artist through framing techniques like exaggeration, blocking, placement in relation to other characters on the page, and more.

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Notice all the hands in Peter Parker’s face? That’s not an accident. Video still featuring a modified page from Amazing Fantasy #15. Illustrated by Steve Ditko. Screencap via

Where is Peter Parker in the frame of the panel? How is he standing in relation to his peers? Where are bodies placed, how are bodies morphed for dramatic effect, and how is Spider-Man framed differently from his meeker alter ego? These are the big questions that Otsmane-Elhaou explores in this week’s video, and it’s a key primer for artists trying to figure out how to place their characters on the page. Who better to study than one of the pioneers of the genre, right?

Watch the full video on Steve Ditko and framing below:

To see more, visit Strip Panel Naked on YouTube, and check it out on Patreon to support the series.

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