Thursday, June 25, 2009

22 Panels That Always Work

This is the famous "22 Panels That Always Work," created by Wally Wood, the superb dramatic and satiric comic book artist. They're a wonderful aid for graphic storytelling, suggesting ways to add drama and variety to comics and individual illustrations.

Higher-resolution scans and more about this piece can be found at the blog of Joel Johnson, the art's owner. Thank you, Joel, for making this available to us all.

These drawings were allegedly created by Wood as a cheat sheet for himself. He didn't need it...

...but sometimes the rest of us do.


  1. This is great! Thanks for posting it Brian!

  2. It is great. Of course, the trick is knowing when to use which idea.
    I want to see the Daryll Collins version: 22 ways to ensure your art is funny to the lunchgroup after it's been rejected by the client.

  3. Wally Wood - the ORIGINAL big wall-of-machines guy!! I'll try to find & scan some of my old Thunder Agents & Witzend stuff. Daryll absolutely needs to "customize" this piece to fit his needs...

    I love the panels piece - but what's that thing in the next-to-the-last panel?

  4. For the curious, I've got scans of all the issues of Witzend.

    And I can't figure out that next-to-last panel either. Is it a crystal radio receiver?

  5. what's that thing in the next-to-the-last panel?

    Are you guys talking about the newspaper?
    I have my own question: I figured out that SILH is Silhouette, but what the hell is BEN DAY?

  6. A "newspaper"? That sounds familiar. Does Cincinnati have one? It sounds some kind of dying industry, or something.

    "BENDAY," as Woody meant it, referred to transparent overlay sheets with dot patterns. You cut them to the size of the area you wanted shaded, and used a burnisher to rub the dot pattern onto the page. The result: solid tones of grey, or gradients, or colors - all perfectly ready for reproduction in your classic 1950s comic book.