Comic Strip / Comics

What Is a 3 Frame Comic Strip?

A 3 frame comic strip is a type of comic strip that consists of three panels arranged in a sequence. Each panel usually features a different scene or action, but all three panels are connected and follow a cohesive narrative. These types of comic strips are popular due to their simplicity and ability to convey a story in just three frames.

History of 3 Frame Comic Strips

Three-panel comic strips have been around for decades, and they were originally used as filler content in newspapers. The format was popularized by cartoonists such as Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, who frequently used three-panel strips to tell his stories.

How to Create a 3 Frame Comic Strip

Creating a 3 frame comic strip is fairly simple, but it requires some planning and creativity. Here are some steps to follow:

Step 1: Determine the Storyline

Before you start drawing your comic strip, you need to have an idea for the storyline. Think about what you want to convey in just three frames. It could be a joke, a short story, or even a political statement.

Step 2: Sketch Your Panels

Once you have your storyline in mind, it’s time to sketch out your panels. You can use regular paper or even digital tools like Photoshop or Procreate. Make sure each panel is roughly the same size and that they flow together in sequence.

Step 3: Add Dialogue and Captions

Now that you have your panels sketched out, it’s time to add dialogue and captions. This is where you can really make your comic strip come alive. Use speech bubbles or thought bubbles to convey dialogue between characters, and use captions to provide context for the reader.

Step 4: Finalize Your Artwork

Once you have your dialogue and captions in place, it’s time to finalize your artwork. Add color if you want, and make sure each panel is visually appealing on its own while still fitting into the overall sequence.

Examples of 3 Frame Comic Strips

Here are some examples of popular 3 frame comic strips:

Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes is a classic comic strip that frequently used three-panel layouts. The strip often featured Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes getting into all sorts of mischief.

The Far Side

The Far Side was another popular comic strip that frequently used three-panel layouts. The strip was known for its offbeat humor and bizarre characters.


Dilbert is a comic strip that follows the daily life of an office worker named Dilbert. The strip frequently uses three-panel layouts to depict Dilbert’s interactions with his boss and coworkers.

  • Conclusion:

In conclusion, a 3 frame comic strip is a simple yet effective way to tell a story or convey an idea. Whether you’re a professional cartoonist or just starting out, creating a three-panel layout can be a fun and rewarding experience. With some planning and creativity, you can create a memorable comic strip that will entertain readers for years to come!