Talking About Speech Balloons: Speaking Within or Outside a Panel
Part 2 of 7
This is part two of a seven-part series discussing speech balloons. Characters can deliver their message from within or while outside a panel. Today’s article discusses both methods.
Character Speaking within the Panel
The most common type of speech balloon is one in which a character delivers a message within a panel. These are a few methods that can be used.
The most basic method is when a character delivers a phrase within a panel.
Multiple or Compound Method
When a character has multiple or compound balloons, only the balloon closest to the speaker has a tail. The other balloons are commonly connected with narrow speech bridges or some call them connectors.
Multiple balloons from the same character can be used to distinguish different sections of dialogue. They can also be used to indicate a pause or a change in subject.
The bridge can also be omitted, with the first and the additional balloons joined together.
There may be times when characters speak over one another. In these instances, overlapping balloons may be used to portray this.
Character Speaking Outside the Panel
There are multiple ways a character is shown to deliver a message from outside a panel. Here are three examples of the most common methods.
Positional is a speech balloon with the tail pointed toward the character’s position outside the panel.
Indented has the tail pointed towards the speaker but inwards into the speech balloon. This style is often used in manga.
The rectangular shape often has a different background color, quotation marks, or has a double outline and does not have a tail. It can be used when a reader has a good understanding of the character making the comment and draw the reader’s focus on an object versus a specific character. It can also be used at the beginning of a chapter to cause a reader to be curious about the character’s identity making the comment.
Rectangular balloons can be confused with a caption box, as they are similar in shape but serve different purposes. A caption box typically serves as a title, short explanation, background information or description accompanying a panel. They typically do not have quotation marks. Example: Scenic City, October 1st
Next time: Colors, Emotions & Symbols (Part 3 of 7) will be discussed.