List of "sideways" comics?

Most comic books, like most magazines, are published in a portrait format.

However, there are a few comics creators who have dabbled with sideways comics, where the comic is turned on its side, in a landscape fashion, and the story is told sequentially that way.

The subtle difference in available dimensions opens up new storytelling possibilities if people are savvy enough to explore them.

Can we create a definitive list of sideways comics? Mainstream, manga, alternative, underground, reprint collections, what have you.

Incidentally, sideways comics are not the same as so-called “widescreen” comics like the THE AUTHORITY and THE ULTIMATES and ULTIMATES 2, where the panels are arranged from edge to edge on a portrait format.

Frank Miller’s 300 qualifies as a sideways comic: even though the initial monthly series was published as a portrait comic, a closer inspection reveals it’s a sideways comic using the whole folded sheet: normally two pages as canvas.

My choice: Bill Watterson’s CALVIN & HOBBES Sunday comics collections when he came back from his sabbatical with a revamped Sunday format: IT’S A MAGICAL WORLD, THE TEN ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION and THERE’S TREASURE EVERYWHERE.

Hmmm. That should say, "Subtle difference in orientation"since the dimensions are the same. Anyway. Thought I’d correct that before somebody beat me to it!

Frank Cho publishes his Liberty Meadows comic book in a landscape format. An issue of Fantastic Four (John Byrne era) and part of an issue of Sandman (from the A Doll’s House storyline) were as well.

Dave Sim, of Cerebus, had several issues where the orientation changed from page to page and required the reader to continually revolve the comic book to be able to read it. And we’re not talking portrait/landscape here. He did a full 360 degree rotation.

This is called ‘being a pain in the ass’.

You think SIM was bad, Alan Moore and J.H. Williams were infinitely worse during their PROMETHEA run: them bastards actually designed a page that was a moebius loop, and the characters were talking and walking around the loop, and hearing echoes of their conversations ahead of themselves and* behind* themselves!

Still – a well designed use of a two page spread, but still.

Nobody else? No manga examples? Single, one-shot issues where this was done as a gimmick are fine.

There was a X-Men comic not too long ago like that – they even moved the staples to the side to facillitate page turning. I don’t rememeber which title or ish, though.

Mad Magazine reprints of their 1950s issues (e.g., The Mad Reader, Mad Strikes Back and Inside Mad) reprinted most of the comic strips (e.g., “Superduperman,” “Flesh Garden,” “Gopo Gossum.” etc.) two panels sideways on a page. It made sense, since it allowed you to see the detail in a standard paperback format.

The obscure Larry Gore’s Thing comic strip appeared in newspapers both in landscape and portrait mode. Gore was fired from Mad for being too weird, and his comic was probably the strangest ever to appear in a mainstream newspaper: a series of random jokes and weirdness. Bob Clarke of Mad did most of the art (that wasn’t clip art or photos).

Non Sequitur Sunday strips are currently published vertically.

The issue of Fantastic Four that Krokodil refers to was # 252.

Thanks, fellas. I’d hoped we’d get more examples but maybe this technique isn’t as widespread as I’d hoped, or seen as too “gimmicky,”

Early '90s crud: Spider-Man #16 by McFarlane and X-Force #4 (I think) by Liefeld, a 2-part story, were both presented in landscape format.

Both parts were in landscape format?

Frank Espinosa’s Rocketo, one of the better new comics of this past year, is done this way.

I believe so, but I sold that crap years ago, so I cannot verify (nor do I remember the exact X-Force issue number).

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a manga example, and would be surprised if one existed. I think the publishing format would discourage it.

That was X-Treme X-Men Annual 2001


Thanks, Lou and cckerberos. Oh, and VCO3? Frank Espinosa’s Rocketo looks neat. Kewl.

It’s amazing how so many American comics are hamstrung by the publishing format. I think a lot of masters of the crowded, detailed, splash or double page spread, like Sergio Aragones, J.H. Williams III, George Perez, Frank Quietly, John Cassady, and others would welcome the wider spaces.

I seem to remember Mad Magazine doing a sideways spread in the late 60s-eary 70s. To lead you into it, the introduction was curved so you had to turn the page to finish reading it. Don’t recall the issue, though.

Sometimes a strict format is liberating. The Heckler, for instance, for its entire run, had every page on a strict 9-panel grid (until the final page of the series).

If you’re including those, then just about every GARFIELD and THE FAR SIDE collection qualifies.

toadspittle. The Watterson comics I singled out aren’t like the one panel cartoons and single-tier strips you’re talking about. Organically, they’re laid out in landscape fashion, allowing more room to tell stories without having to rearrange panel layouts. Examples.

GARFIELD have none of this innovation, although PRINCE VALIANT might FAR SIDE panels were just square blocks with captions, so technically they aren’t “sequential comics.”

:smack: You’d think I’d learn not to hotlink images from Tripod sutes by now…