Experiment 2 — Speech on the outside horizontal edges of panels

Because of the dilemma over showing the timing of talk in speech bubbles, the illustrator Ryan Hamill suggested, running speech above and below the panels. This format hybridises line-by-line transcripts with panel-to-panel comics. It works well for two speakers, where speaker A runs above the panel and speaker B below the panel. It becomes harder to follow as numbers of speakers increase (e.g. A & B above the panel with C & D below the panel).

The sense of timing remains complex because there are still the timings produced by the sequence of video grabs with their relative panel widths which have to then be read in relation to the point on their edges where the speech lies. When Customer 1 says “I haven’t lost my ticket” this speech begins on both reaching the café counter and on turning her head toward Customer 2. The text then traverses the brief appearance of the ticket from Customer 1’s purse. As a reader, you then assemble the talk as happening as the ticket is picked out and shown to Customer 2. Customer 2 meantime remains unaware of the showing of the ticket having her visual attention focused on her purse.



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