Comic Strip / Comics

How Many Panels Is a Comic Strip?

When it comes to comic strips, one of the most common questions that people ask is: how many panels should a comic strip have? The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

The number of panels in a comic strip can vary depending on the story being told, the style of the artist, and the preferences of the editor or publisher. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the factors that can influence how many panels a comic strip should have.

Storytelling Considerations

One of the most important factors to consider when deciding how many panels a comic strip should have is the story being told. Some stories may require only a few panels to convey their message effectively, while others may need more.

For example, a simple gag or joke may only need one or two panels to get its point across. However, if you’re trying to tell a more complex story with multiple characters and plot points, you’ll likely need more panels to properly develop your narrative.

Panel Size

Another consideration when deciding how many panels your comic strip should have is panel size. If you’re working with smaller panels, such as those found in newspaper comics or webcomics, you may need more panels to tell your story than you would with larger panels found in graphic novels or comic books. This is because each panel will have less space for dialogue and action.

Artistic Style

The artistic style of your comic strip can also influence how many panels it should have. Some artists prefer to use fewer panels and focus on creating striking visuals that convey their message without relying on dialogue or exposition. Others prefer to use more panels and focus on dialogue and character development.

The Rule of Three

One commonly cited guideline for how many panels a comic strip should have is the “rule of three.” This guideline suggests that most comic strips should have three panels: one for setup, one for conflict, and one for resolution. This structure can be effective for telling simple stories or jokes, as it provides a clear beginning, middle, and end.


In the end, the number of panels in a comic strip will depend on a variety of factors, including the story being told, panel size, artistic style, and personal preferences. Some comic strips may need only one panel to tell their story effectively, while others may require dozens. As with any creative endeavor, the key is to experiment and find what works best for you and your audience.