Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Steranko! Part 2 - The World's First 4-Page Spread

In 1968, Strange Tales #67 appeared and Steranko gave me another of those spine-tingling moments when I realized I was looking at the first 4-page spread in the history of comics. As usual, Steranko was battling the limitations of the cheap mass-market production process. The art couldn't enter the gutters where the pages met and of course you had to turn the page to get the second half of the spread. Here's how the first two pages appeared...

In the words of 'Stingy Stan' "To get the full effect, of course, requires a second ish placed side-by-side, but we think you'll find it to be well worth the price to have the wildest action scene ever in the history of comics!"

I either couldn't afford the extra shilling or I couldn't find another copy. But now, with the magic of Photoshop, I can finally see the spread as it was intended.

I've scanned this extra-large, so if you're at home with a full-size monitor, click on the image to get the full cinematic scale of this mind-blowing scene. You can also play 'spot the colour cock-ups' as the colourist was obviously working on individual pages. Steranko was frustrated by the colouring on his strips and sometimes did the separations himself (on the previously-featured S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 for instance), but not this time. Even so, the effect was impressive for the time and another first for the great innovator.


  1. Someone MIGHT have told the colourist!

  2. And how about MONSTER TRUCK? How-many-page spread is that?

  3. David Hope you are doing well... really enjoy your site... hey the links below will download STERANKO screen-savers/wallpapers for your computer... they're for Tony Robertson's fan-site (I'm the designer) also many good features on him as well... all the best to you, David.






    20 page revised RED TIDE feature in DH Presents:

    If link below doesn't open, cut and paste into your browser.



    HOMAGES (with Steranko commentary):


  4. Despite the color flaws, consider the vision involved behind this page for Steranko and the colorist. Envisioning a 4 page spread in an industry w/ such technological limitations at the time is amazing. Its execution is even more so. Steranko's panel layouts & page designs are evident to this day w/ JH Williams III & Frazer Irving to mention only a few. It's great to see these classic designs & trace their influence into the present day. Another great post David!

  5. And as for Monster Truck? Wow! Having only read a digital review copy from Image, I'm anxious to see how the story progresses & flows on the printed page. Can't wait to pick one up.

  6. Hi Gianni, good to hear from you. I have looked at your site a few times and it has to be the best Steranko site on the net. I'll put a permanent link on the blog.

  7. As for Monster Truck - of course Shaky is actually the greatest innovator of them all, but I can't possibly say that publicly or he'll get swell-headed and there will be no dealing with him.