VCU Libraries Gallery



Archie No. 613, Page 9.jpg
Archie No. 613, Page 9.jpg
Title: Archie
Creator: Defalco, Tom, Fernando Ruiz, Rich Koslowski, Jack Morelli, and Tom Chu.
Date: 2010 November
Source: VCU Libraries, James Branch Cabell Library, Special Collections and Archives
Publisher: Archie Comic Publications
Description: Time is a hard concept to represent. With comics, the gutter between panels can represent anywhere from a second passing to several million years. Typically, we approach comics with the assumption that the time between the panels amounts to a few seconds unless there are drastic changes between one panel and the next. Such as a character that was a child in one panel is shown as an adult in the following one. The larger the amount of time that passes, the easier it is for the reader to follow because the visual differences will be greater.

But what if the comic wants to show the passage of say, an hour? This is where the pause panel comes into play. A pause panel is exactly what it sounds like, a panel in which the action pauses. Bounded by action on both sides, the pause panel is a typically devoid of movement, or text. It is a visual “rest”.

Take this Archie sequence for example. On page 9 of Archie No. 613 Jughead drinks a mad doctor’s zombie formula in order to identify its contents against the advice of Archie. Between drinking the formula and his revelation that chicken soup can counteract it, there is a pause panel where all of the characters wait to see if the formula will turn Jughead or if the risk of tasting it pays off. As readers, there is no way to tell precisely how much time passes between the panels, but because of the pause panel it is clear that the action before and the action after occurred separately instead of in a continuous chain. To put it another way, think of a pause panel as a visual period. It ends the first action and begins the second.

Issue Title: The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.
Issue Number: 613
Month: November
Publisher/Imprint: Archie Comic Publications
Writer: Defalco, Tom
Artists: Ruiz, Fernando,Rich Koslowski, Jack Morelli, and Tom Chu.
Year: 2010
Considering Comics
Defalco, Tom, Fernando Ruiz, Rich Koslowski, Jack Morelli, and Tom Chu., “Archie,” VCU Libraries Gallery, accessed July 18, 2024,