back to list

Time Stand Still

Banes at 12:00AM, Nov. 9, 2017

Time doesn't really exist in comics. Someone can blast through multiple pages in seconds, or linger on one panel for years. Well, that would be rare. But you see what I'm saying.

What if you want to make your readers slow down? To give your pages the pace you want?

No Talkie

We may have discussed this around the ‘site recently, but the first and simplest way to do it is to eliminate the dialogue on a panel or page. This forces the reader to, well, not read. They have to look at the pictures to absorb what’s going on. This often slows things down.

Well, not necessarily; a wordless page of action packed panels might feel fairly fast paced. But it will still create more immersion in what's going on.

More Detail

This is the same idea. If a picture has more detail, it can cause the eye to wander around the page, absorbing everything in the panel, especially if the effort is bolstered by a lack of dialogue.

Aspect to Aspect

This type of panel transition is covered in Scout Mcloud's Understanding Comics/Making Comics books. Several panels, showing different aspects of the scene, can slow things right down as well as pulling readers into the environment. Imagine a scene inside a restaurant…(no, I'm not gonna draw it! Who has that kinda time??)

Panel One: A couple at a table, laughing
Panel Two: Two wine glasses clink together
Panel Three: Closeup of a knife slicing into a steak
Panel Four: A waiter walks along, tray in hand
Panel Five: …

…Etcetera. Moving aspect to aspect can slow things down, even with smaller panels.


A borderless panel that has no “frame”, with the image going to the edge of the page (literal or web page), can again force the reader to slow down and take it all in, whereas framed panels will tend to be taken in more quickly.

These are the techniques that come to mind to slow down time in a comic. They can be used in combination, especially with the no dialogue (or minimal dialogue) thing. Too much dialogue might keep the focus on the words and make it less likely the reader will slow down.

Or that's my theory at least.

Have you used techniques like this to slow things down or create a deeper connection to what's going on in your comic? Are there other techniques you think would work?

See you next time!

take ‘er slow, y’all!


this is a repost from the Best of Banes Collection - I ran outta time, appropriately enough!



Emevsa at 1:41AM, Nov. 10, 2017

We have a bit of both. In fact we've had pages full of heavy dialogue only to follow the pacing with pages without as a way to speed up the action. It depends on how you want to stage the scene. Are there particular looks you want to linger on? Things you want to draw attention to? It all depends on the mood you are setting as to how fast you want the audience to read the page. That and webcomics have the added benefit of having to wait a certain amount of time before the next page so people are more likely to linger if only to make it last longer. XD

VinoMas at 11:32PM, Nov. 9, 2017

So relevant for my comics. YOUR CHOICE... started in 2013 and it's still the same day.

Avart at 10:40PM, Nov. 9, 2017

Of course! I rely more on the visuals and less on the dialogues. But from the current chapter of my comic I need to slow things down so I'm trying new layouts to make a better pace, not too fast nor slow. I avoid to use the traditional layout of a comic, my pages doesn't have more than 5-7 panels (7 is the max). Good and useful articñe Banes :D

Fantasticbrick at 6:26PM, Nov. 9, 2017

That was a thoughtful article. Very insightful read!

KimLuster at 7:03AM, Nov. 9, 2017

Your insight into all this is so impressive, Banesy!! I've used these methods some... and I can think of LOTS of pages where I wished I'd used them!! :D

Tantz_Aerine at 2:11AM, Nov. 9, 2017

Basically, if you want the readers to slow down, draw a ton more per page hahaha!

kawaiidaigakusei at 1:22AM, Nov. 9, 2017

I wonder if people like to binge-read comics as much as they binge-watch tv shows.

ozoneocean at 12:50AM, Nov. 9, 2017

I didn't even realise this was a repost. This is "decompressed" stuff right?

ozoneocean at 12:49AM, Nov. 9, 2017

Hahaha, Gunwallce ^_^

Gunwallace at 12:31AM, Nov. 9, 2017

The Best of Banes Collection. Order now and receive the complete Banes Method writing guide. But wait, there's more. A set of steak knives can be yours for no extra cost. And the first one hundred purchasers get a signed photo of Banes unmasked.

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved Google+