Comic Strip / Comics

What Is Panel Placement in a Comic Strip?

Panel Placement in a Comic Strip

A comic strip is a form of art that tells a story through a sequence of illustrations arranged in panels. The placement of these panels is crucial to creating an engaging and effective comic strip. Panel placement can affect the pacing, flow, and storytelling of a comic strip.

In this article, we will explore the importance of panel placement in creating successful comic strips.

What is Panel Placement?

Panel placement refers to the arrangement and positioning of panels on a page. Panels are individual frames that contain one or more illustrations, and they are arranged in a specific order to tell a story.

The Basics of Panel Placement

The basic rule for panel placement is to arrange them in sequential order from left to right, and from top to bottom. This ensures that the reader can follow the story without confusion.

However, panel placement can be more complex than just arranging them in order. There are several techniques that comic creators use to create interest and tension within their work.

Techniques for Effective Panel Placement

Size Variation: Varying panel sizes can add visual interest and emphasize important moments within the story. Larger panels can be used for dramatic moments while smaller ones can be used for quick actions or dialogue.

Overlapping Panels: Overlapping panels can create a sense of depth and movement within the story. It also adds visual interest by breaking up straight lines on the page.

Full Bleed Panels: Full bleed panels extend to the edge of the page without any margins or borders. This technique can create tension by making the scene feel larger than life or by emphasizing important moments within the story.

Gutters: Gutters refer to the space between panels. The size of gutters can affect pacing; smaller gutters create faster pacing while larger gutters slow it down.

Panel Placement and Storytelling

The placement of panels can affect the storytelling of a comic strip. Panels can be used to create emphasis, reveal information, or set the tone for a scene.

For example, a panel that takes up an entire page can create a dramatic pause in the story. A panel positioned at the top of a page can set the tone for the rest of the story.


Panel placement is an essential aspect of creating effective and engaging comic strips. By using techniques such as size variation, overlapping panels, full bleed panels, and gutters, creators can add visual interest and emphasize important moments within their stories. The placement of panels can also affect storytelling by creating emphasis, revealing information, or setting the tone for a scene.