Monday, 30 January 2012

Comic Books & Easter Eggs

Panels from David Hine and Shaky Kane's Bulletproof Coffin #6

Jason Atomic's Coffin Fly art
I was having a very interesting chat with Jason Atomic the other night at the DJ Food & Henry Flint exhibition, about Easter eggs in comics. According to Wikipedia, a virtual Easter egg is an intentional hidden message, in-joke, or feature in a work such as a computer program, web page, video game, movie, book, or crossword. Something I'd never really thought about until I realised I was guilty of hiding a few myself. Jason is a very interesting artist who also has an impressively rammed cupboard full of comics and paraphernalia, which I will talk in depth about some time later. He was telling me how he'd sent some Coffin Fly 'fan art' to Shaky Kane for a bit of fun, to see if they'd end up on the letters page of Bulletproof Coffin. As it turned out, the letters page was all done and dusted, but Shaky emailed Jason to ask if he would mind them appearing somewhere in the strip itself. Well, of course he didn't mind, so above are the originals and the panel that they appeared in.

As for my own little additions; I used to do glamorous cover photographs of a certain world-famous doll for her own magazine and sometimes, just sometimes I used to digitally encode secret messages into the pupils of her eyes. Only positive messages of course and they were so small, only I knew they were there anyway. It was slightly akin to Grant Morrison and his sigils, which he was often trying to convince me actually worked. I always felt that I had my own methods, but I did once try his, with pretty spectacular results I have to admit. Anyway, I'm going off at a tangent a bit, so I guess my most recent Easter egg was planted while I was adding colours and effects to Brendan McCarthy's art on Spider-Man: Fever

There was a blank picture frame on the wall in one of the panels that was just crying out for a picture. At the time I was experimenting on a photo of my girlfriend Michelle and trying to turn it into a kind of Tretchikoff portrait, so I thought it was timely to use that and also quite fitting that she should appear in a Spidey comic as she'd given me a rather quirky, miniature doll-sized Spider-Man mask on our very first date. So there you have it. Easter eggs in comics, who'd have thought it!

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