Panel shapes can be used to create a wide variety of visual effects. Typically, a panel shape is square or rectangular, but it doesn’t have to be. This is the third part of a four-part series discussing a comic page’s panel layout.
Artists can use a panel shape to convey emotion and feeling. Below is an example of different shapes that can reflect a range of emotions.
The top left panel is a square/rectangular panel which is typical, and most readers expect to see these shapes. The straight lines convey a sense of normalcy.
The top right panel’s jagged lines convey shock.
The bottom left panel’s waving lines convey uncertainty or things occurring within a dream or memory.
The bottom right panel’s uneven rectangle conveys a sense of uneasiness. When a page is filled with uneven panels, it will portray a sense of unbalance and tension. These can be used in a high action or horror scene.
This concludes part three of the panel layout series. Next time, I’ll talk about panel flow.