WHAT A COMIC CAN DO IN 2 PANELS
I love what comics can do and I love teaching this comics workshop.
Yesterday we were talking about panels and when to use larger or smaller panels. We found this page from Craig Thompson’s Blankets, where we see a narrow panel of Craig’s mom waving goodbye, and then a large vignette of Craig driving away, leaving his mom alone in the parking lot.
The “waving goodbye” panel is quick. Fleeting. The panel with mom left alone has no borders, which allows time to float all around and fill up the empty spaces of the page and book. The vignette sits at the bottom of the page, like an unresolved thought on which every other thought is built. The larger panel gives us much more to look at, and we spend more time in that panel, looking at the details of tire tracks in the snow, the empty vehicles in the parking lot, the absence of the other vehicle, and the distance between mom and the vehicle.
Important goodbyes never last long, and the moments afterward can feel like an eternity.
Amazing, how a comic can convey all of that and more in only two panels.