Jan 15, 2017

Techniques and Tricks: The Cutout

I'm a sucker for the cutout — scene-setting panels where a wall is cut off and we can see "through" the place that is drawn. Often it tracks a foreground figure and goes throughout a setting, similar to a polyptych.

It's really helpful in taking you through a place and giving you a tour:

GI Joe, Larry Hama


Covering multiple scenes that take place in different rooms anyway:

Mockingbird, Kate Niemczyk


Economically taking you through a character's routine in a minimal number of panels (without the cutout, this would have taken more space):

Promethea, JH Williams III


Just flat-out giving a sense of place:

Seconds, Bryan Lee O'Malley

Effectively acting as a progression of scenes on its own, with a payoff at the end:

Spidey Sundays, Marcos Martin

Or simply looking pretty:


The Spirit, Will Eisner (colors I believe by Arlen Schumer)

It's one of those things that actually takes up less space than if you were to not do it, but I think it isn't done as much because it does take some thought to make it work. For one thing, you'd have to make sure you'd need a reason to go from room to room. But also, it can make mundane scenes look more exciting.

Got a favorite cutout? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page!

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