“There is a synergistic relationship between
language and art that is rooted deep within
our nature. Great literature leaves us not just
with extraordinary stories; the language also
leaves an image — a rich and expansive
painting of the world written on the page”
“What all graphic novelists aspire to, however -- whether they
start with words or with an image or two -- is a sense of motion,
of action unfolding in the blank spaces between their stopaction frames. They spend a lot of time thinking about how the
panels are arranged and the number of panels it takes (or
doesn't) to depict a given amount of narrative. Most of these
effects are meant to work on us, the readers, almost
subconsciously, but they require a certain effort nonetheless.
You have to be able to read and look at the same time, a trick
not easily mastered, especially if you're someone who is used
to reading fast. Graphic novels, or the good ones anyway, are
virtually unskimmable. And until you get the hang of their
particular rhythm and way of storytelling, they may require
more, not less, concentration than traditional books”
“The Freddie Stories”
See #3 on the link above to watch Lynda Barry’s
short message about the value of doing “more
Panels are blocks of art or framed drawings
on a page
the “visual or implied boundary, and the
contents within it, that tell a piece of the
Each separate panel must be an individual
work of art that helps develop the story.
Word and image panel
See handout for
Rising Action panel
Combination story panel
According to Scott McCloud, a leading expert
on print-image literacies, “the most
foundational graphic novel vocabulary term is
What’s a gutter?
The space between the panels
The moment in time when the reader
moves from one panel to the next
panel and comes to some sort of
understanding between the two.
“While each panel contains its own element
of the story to be told, the gutters that fall in
between the panels are the “glue-like”
moments that bind the panels—and the
They’re transitions, but the reader has to
create them based on what they understand
about the surrounding panels.
A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence of
You make an inference when you use clues
from the story to figure out something the
author doesn’t tell you.
The girl’s name is Abby (panel 1).
She’s packing (gutter b/w panel 1 & 2).
She’s in her room (panel 3).
She’s in a rush (panel 4).
But, how do we know this?
McGrath, Charles. "Not Funnies." The New York Times. 11 July 2004. Web.
28 Jan. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/11/magazine/notfunnies.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm>.
Weatherwax, Annie. "Graphic Lit: 'The Graphic Canon'" The New York
Times. N.p., 30 Nov. 2012. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.