Basically, sometimes, there will be a single page or a large portion of the page dedicated to a single scene or image, and this will be cut into panels. But if the gutters were removed, the image would be whole. So what purpose does cutting it do exactly?


2 Answers 2


The division in panels is used to signify the passing of time, occurring in the direction of reading. This is known as sequential narrative. Whether the panels consist of different images or divide what appears to be a single image, does not matter for this interpretation.

Often when it concerns a single image, this division is combined with text - be it dialogue, description, or thoughts of the person(s) depicted. It can symbolize a lack of physical or emotional change, a stability, solidification, or unyieldingness:

Daredevil concentrating
Chris Samnee. Daredevil, issue #25, 2011

  • 3
    +1 for this being the correct answer, but also noting that the example image is actually an exception to this rule, where the division appears to be highlighting the different senses Daredevil is using (note where the divisions are taking place).
    – Allison C
    Oct 5, 2020 at 13:31

Adding to Joachim’s “passage of time” explanation and considering his example image specifically, composite images consuming multiple frames also consume more of the current page than conventional single frame images.

This greater scale may imply that the image contains greater drama, intensity or event some time-stopping significance to the depicted character.

It attempts to convey a horrible moment which stretches out towards eternity due to its mind-shattering emotional impact upon the subject of the image.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .