Manga Paneling Basics

Mina Petrovic March 30, 2021 ·3 min read ★

Hey All, in this tutorial on MangaFY, we'd like to share with you the paneling basics for Manga, by our very own team member and board consultant, Mina Petrovic. Mina (aka Mistiqarts) is a manga influencer, author of several books, and the founder of one of the first Manga schools outside of Japan.

When we think about what is setting Manga apart from other comic or graphic novel variations, the first thing most likely to come to mind is the Japanese culture, and the fact we read it right to left, etc. But another key feature to set it apart is the paneling that makes it really stand out.

So, what is a panel? Panels are being used in all forms of graphic novels from western comics to web-toon and Manga. A panel or multiple-panel sequence of a comic strip consists of a single drawing acting as a frozen moment. They use it to create an ongoing story.

But, paneling also has many layers to it, which we will address in this tutorial.

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There are several panel templates you can utilize.

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But note:

  • Thin panel edges are often used for Shōjo manga (少女漫画)
  • Thick panel edges are often used for Shōnen manga (少年漫画)

Now let's try panels that serve a purpose

Characters Introduction

When introducing a new character into the story, a vertical panel showing the character is the most efficient. Reactions to the character will add to the story.

Some basic image elements are:

  • Background for the environment but also for emotions.
  • Character emotions with appropriate emotion symbols like arrows, sweat drops, blush lines and etc.

Elements of note here is that you are always allowed to play with characters popping outside the frames.

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Fast scene

This is a paneling choice when we want to show a quick scene playing out, like this scent of the characters hair getting chopped off.

Some basics image elements are:

  • Sound effect for a moving blade and right after we show the scent following the sound.

The panels for such speedy scenes are usually draw slightly tilted, creating almost a tiny animated sequence of three images

Even thought the scene is fast, try to add as much of emotion as possible. Manga panels always need to evoke a feeling with the audience

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We hope you enjoyed the tutorial and you can also visit Mina's website for more awesome content:

Now, it's time to train and be creative, go to the MangaFY platform, and share with us a panel from your upcoming project/story. Have a friend who also dreams of learning cool things? loves comics or manga? or has a story he wants to turn into a graphic novel? bring him over to MangaFY :).

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