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File:Silentscenerypanel-hellboy2.png

Hellboy: Conqueror Worm, Chapter 2, panel 2. This is the entire panel.


A panel in a Comic Book, Manga, or Web Comic featuring just scenery. No characters, no dialogue from off-scene characters, and minimal (if any) narration.

Silent Scenery Panels can serve several purposes. Most often, one is used at the beginning of a scene, as the Sequential Art equivalent of an Establishing Shot. Used in the middle of a scene, they can imply movement or the passage of time, without the artist having to laboriously redraw characters. They can also serve as pacing, slowing down a story that would otherwise seem frantic.

When the Silent Scenery Panel is also a Splash Panel, the result is almost invariably Scenery Porn.

Compare Beat Panel.

Examples of Silent Scenery Panel include:


Comic Books

  • Hellboy has a lot of close-up shots of whatever artwork or statuary appears in the scene. (And make no mistake, wherever the characters go, there is always artwork or statuary.) Mignola seems to eschew large Splash Panels in favor of close-ups of thematically important details.
  • Marvel Comics' month, where all their comics were to be silent, so all scenery panels were this by necessity. One wonders how much money Marvel saved by not having to pay any letterers that month.
  • This was done extensively in the first storyline in Concrete. It had a page filled with Over Nine Thousand tiny panels showing how laborious it was to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • A lot of Batman stories will end with a panel of Gotham's skyline.

Manga

  • Umi no Misaki might hold the record for the most panels without any characters or action in them. The manga is full of panels showing of the beautiful island that are used by the author to set the mood.
  • Tsutomu Nihei uses these a lot.
  • Ashinano Hitoshi loves these things. At least one chapter of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou contains no dialogue at all, and several others come quite close.

Web Comics

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