Comic Strip / Comics

How Many Panels Do You Need for a Comic Strip?

If you’re planning on creating a comic strip, one of the first questions you might have is “how many panels do I need?” The answer to this question can vary depending on a few different factors, but there are some general guidelines you can follow to help you decide.

What is a panel?

First, let’s define what we mean by “panel.” In a comic strip, a panel is one of the individual frames that make up the story. Each panel typically contains one or more illustrations along with any dialogue or captions necessary to tell the story.

Factors to consider

The number of panels you’ll need for your comic strip will depend on several factors:

  • Length: How long do you want your comic strip to be? A longer story will typically require more panels to tell effectively.
  • Complexity: How complex is your story?

    If there are many characters or plot points to cover, you may need more panels to convey everything clearly.

  • Tone: What tone are you going for in your comic strip? A lighthearted comedic strip may only need a few panels per page, while a darker, more serious story may require more.

Average number of panels

So, how many panels should you aim for? While there’s no hard and fast rule, most comic strips tend to fall within the range of three to nine panels per page. This range allows for enough space to tell a coherent story without overwhelming the reader with too much information in each panel.

Three-panel strips

A three-panel comic strip is often referred to as a “gag” or “joke” strip because it typically features one punchline or joke per page. These strips are often used in newspapers or online publications as a way to provide a quick laugh or commentary on current events.


Three-panel comic strip example

Six-panel strips

Six-panel strips are a bit longer and can accommodate more story development. They’re often used for serialized stories or ongoing narratives. With six panels, you can introduce multiple characters or plot points and still have enough space to develop them over time.

Six-panel comic strip example

Nine-panel strips

Nine-panel strips are the longest of the three types we’re discussing here, and they offer the most space for complex storytelling. These strips are often used in graphic novels or longer-form comics that require more depth and” alt=”Nine-panel comic strip example”>

Final thoughts

Ultimately, the number of panels you need for your comic strip will depend on your individual story and goals. However, by keeping in mind the factors mentioned above and using these general guidelines as a starting point, you should be able to create a comic strip that effectively tells your story while engaging readers with well-designed panels and illustrations.