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Everything in Its Right Place: Comic Book Panel Blocking 101

This week’s comics masterclass focuses on how to layout panels for maximum effect.

Meet the Visions. Panel selection from The Vision by Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire and Tom King. Screencap via

It’s time to check back in with our mini-comic masterclass, Strip Panel Naked, hosted by Hass Otsmane-Elhaou. This week’s webisode, shown below, focuses on Marvel's The Vision comic, by Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire and Tom King. “It's a really great character study,” explains Otsmane-Elhaou, “and I wanted to take a look at how Walta frames the scenes and the characters to really showcase that; how King breaks down the beats to emphasize it; and how Bellaire renders the colors to build the emotional understanding of the characters.” The Vision takes place, “in a time when 'The Vision,' a sort-of android from the Marvel universe's Avengers team, wants to settle down. He has aspirations of normal, married, suburban life. So he creates a wife and two children—but it slowly all starts to unravel. It's really a story about how we keep a relationship going when everything appears to be falling apart. It's honestly masterful, incredible work all around.”


This week’s Strip Panel Naked breaks down the blocking in this masterful panel. Panel selection from The Vision by Gabriel Walta, Jordie Bellaire and Tom King. Screencap via

So, what can good scene blocking and panel positioning do for a comic? As Otsmane-Elhaou explains with The Vision, it can create total cohesion. “Every part of this comic is working at such a high level, it all keeps bouncing off each other. But what Walta does so well in the comic is how characters are positioned and placed—he uses the locations and settings and lighting to help visually showcase a character's emotional state. Maybe he'll put a character in shade and one in light, or he'll place characters in the foreground or background to emphasize relationships.”

Watch the video on blocking a scene below:

To see more, visit the Strip Panel Naked YouTube page, and check out its Patreon page to support to the series.


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