Single comic panels that depict both cause and effect


12 Responses to “Single comic panels that depict both cause and effect”

  1. gwailo_joe says:

    Yeah! Tintin, Akira, Frank Miller. . .that’s the good stuff. The cause and effect example makes me think of a Walt Kelly Pogo strip when the turtle hit a baseball around the world. But he took a full page Sunday strip to do it :)

    I bet Carl Barks has some good examples, I should go dig up my old Uncle Scrooges. . .

  2. skeletoncityrepeater says:

    Panels like these are so ingenious – people don’t really think about things in a linear fashion, but just like this, as chunks of information, or series of actions. One of those things that make comics special.. the way they mirror the creators’ thoughts and perceptions in such a short time, in rectangles filled with color, text, and shape.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Not to toot my own horn, but my proudest moment doing ‘News of the Weird’ illustrations for my local alt-weekly paper involved something similar, except I always thought of it as motive-action-result in one panel:

  4. lectroid says:

    Seems to me almost every Rube Goldberg illustration should be in here as well.

  5. WhyBother says:

    There’s actually an even more common variation that bends cause and effect just as much: the simple conversation. Open a comic (any comic) and look for a panel that has two characters in a back-and-forth conversation. Just a few words balloons worth will work, but one where a character is shocked by that information he finds is the best to illustrate. You’ll see one character (B), mouth open, calmly relating the information to the other character (B). Character B will be reacting (face shocked, confused, or otherwise just mouth open and also talking) at the same time.

    Take away the word balloons, and it looks like two people talking over each other while one of them has a nervous breakdown. It’s the flow of the conversation and composition of the frame that makes us interpret it sequentially.

    • Jerril says:

      If you read the article, you’ll find quite early up “While sharing fun examples I want to focus on mostly action-based applications of Cause and Effect in comic panels for this entry, though there are great examples of cause and effect with characters reacting to spoken words. ”

      He’s already acknowledged the spoken word example, and is specifically stating his focus to be on action examples, not the broader case of any kind of cause and effect in one panel.

  6. kmoser says:

    Not quite the same but here’s a bunch of panels from Jack T. Chick tracts showing grizzly deaths accompanied by people screaming, “YAAAHHH!”

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought you meant Grizzly and was excited to see a comic which focused primarily on ursine death. Ah well.


  7. teapot says:

    …and being punched into a brick wall makes a “BONG” sound?!

    You learn soemthing every day.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Bill Waterson was also a genius of drawing sequential action. I’m surprised to not see some Calvin and Hobbes examples.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just the type of fascinating intellectual effluvia for which we come to BoingBoing.

  10. Sequoia says:

    Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” has a pretty in-depth treatment of the subject of representation of the passage of time in comics.

    A great read for anyone interested in comics, art, or psychology.

Leave a Reply