*Comic Book Page Design Tips #1 Using Backgrounds to Add Flair to a Comic Book Page Design
Page backgrounds can be used to spice up an otherwise plain background. When a well-thought production design is added throughout your comic book, the results are fantastic.
Page backgrounds are an overlooked, yet in my opinion, very important part of comic books. You can use background images to spice up an otherwise plain background.
Why settle for a simple background color when you can add so much flair to your comics?
You can use a page background in your comics to add purely decorative elements, or to let the reader know that a certain set of events is taking place.
I do this in one of my comics, Star Force 7: The Skartiri War, like so:
There are several storylines taking place: the captain and crew of the starship Exodus; the Raven Squad's space combat sequence; the Hellsquad's trek through the Skartiri jungle; and Devian Blackstar's plight in the Skar HQ. Each background is designed around these environments - for the starship crew and the space combat scenes, a variety of starfields are used. For the jungle scenes, I used backgrounds of jungle landscapes. And for Devian, I use several "concrete wall" textures to simulate the look of the interior of the Skartiri base.
This technique is effective when used this way. It lets the readers know , "hey, we're back on the planet!" before the characters are even seen.
You can also use high tech looking backgrounds for robot comics, organic and dark backgrounds for monster stories, or bright-blue-sky-and-sunflowers images for kids' comic books. When combined with the right templates, unusual and dramatic effects can be achieved.
I work frequently in a program called Comic Book Creator (sadly, new versions/updates aren't available). In one project I created a set of backgrounds, then designed CBC page templates around them, placing panels at precise locations to interact with the design of the background. This is a time-consuming method, but if you are patient, well worth the end result.
Experiment with your page backgrounds and see where it takes your comics!
I hope you found this useful,