Comic Strip / Comics

What Are the Boxes or Frames in a Comic Strip Called?

When you read a comic strip, you may have noticed that the characters and objects are often contained within boxes or frames. These boxes play an important role in organizing the story and guiding the reader’s eye through the narrative.

But what are these boxes or frames called? Let’s explore!


The basic unit of a comic strip is called a panel. A panel is a single image that usually contains some combination of characters, dialogue, and action. Panels can vary in size and shape, but they are typically rectangular or square.


The space between two panels is called the gutter. The gutter helps to separate one panel from another and gives the reader a visual pause between moments in the story.


A bleed occurs when an image extends beyond the edge of a panel or page. Bleeds can add drama and excitement to a scene by creating a sense of movement or action.

Speech Bubble

Speech bubbles are used to convey dialogue spoken by characters in the comic strip. Speech bubbles come in many shapes and sizes, but they all contain text enclosed within a shape that is connected to the character speaking.

Thought Bubble

Similar to speech bubbles, thought bubbles indicate what a character is thinking rather than saying out loud. They are often depicted with cloudy edges to differentiate them from speech bubbles.

Caption Box

Caption boxes provide additional information about what’s happening in the story, such as setting or backstory. They can also be used for narration or internal monologues.

  • Tip: To make your caption box stand out, try using bold text!


So there you have it – the various boxes and frames that make up a comic strip. From panels to speech bubbles to caption boxes, each element plays an important role in telling the story and engaging the reader. By understanding these elements, you can better appreciate the artistry and craft that goes into creating a comic strip.