Breaking Panels, Breaking Time: Examples of the Connection Between Panel Construction and Narrative Time

Mikayla Laird

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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Abstract

In Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, he makes the comment, “To kill a man between panels is to condemn him to a thousand deaths”. An incredibly evocative piece of language, and very poetic in itself. But what McCloud is referring to is how time works in the comic book medium. The space between panels and how we perceive time working within that space. How the space between panels does not have a fixed time frame. A panel can be separated by something as small as milliseconds, all the way up to thousands of years and beyond. Depending on the story being depicted, panels could even take place at the same time.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationSequart
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2019

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