When I say “Easter eggs,” what do you think of? If you’re hungry, you may be thinking of spring time Easter eggs, either the hard boiled or the chocolate versions. But in terms of movies, especially movies based on graphic novels, an Easter egg is a pop culture reference hidden in the movie.
One of the best movies for spotting Easter eggs is Ready Player One. And no, I don’t mean that whole bit with The Shining. That is way too obvious to be an Easter egg. Movie posters that appear as part of the setting, a button or patch on a character’s jacket, a character’s name or a scene that is blocked to mimic the scene in a classic film, those are all Easter eggs.
In Ready Player One, you need to pay close attention to the skins that the various characters wear when they are in the OASIS. And I don’t mean just their regular character skins. Instead of paying attention to the main action, look at that skins they wear in battle and you will spot a Gremlin, the Iron Giant, Battletoads, Halo soldiers, and more. Background music and cars in the race scenes are other ways that this movie works in Easter eggs.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Easter eggs after reading Alissa Grosso’s column at YA Outside the Lines. Whenever possible, I try to work Easter eggs into my work even when I’m writing nonfiction. My favorite place to do this is in chapter subtitles.
But after reading Grosso’s column I’ve started wondering if I should be working Easter eggs into my graphic novel script. I’m writing this for a picture book audience so anything I work in wouldn’t be for my young readers as much as for the adults who are reading to them.
Some Easter eggs would definitely be the work of the illustrator but I could do something with my character names. This is definitely something I’m going to be thinking over as I work on my rewrite.