When we talk about the term comics, it is used as an uncountable noun for referring to the comics medium. Thus, it takes the form of the singular aspect, for instance, “comics is a medium” instead of “comics are a medium”.
On the other hand, wherever comic makes its appearance in the form of a countable noun, it essentially refers to the different instances of the medium, like the comic books or some individual comic strips, for instance, “Richard’s comics are lying in the upper shelf”.
Panels are basically individual images consisting of a particular segment of action, normally surrounded by a border. The prime moments of a narrative are usually broken down into the form of panels through a process known as encapsulation. The reader is able to put together the pieces through the closure process, making use of the background knowledge and a fair understanding of the panel relations, thus mentally combining the panels into events. The shapes, arrangement and sizes of these panels significantly affect the pacing and timing of the narrative.
The incorporation of text happens pretty frequently in comics via sound effects, captions and speech balloons. Speech balloons consist of dialogues spoken by the characters, or thought balloons in case they’re used to depict the character’s thoughts. Their tails are pointed towards the respective speakers. The use of captions is done for giving a voice to the narrator and/or for conveying the thoughts or dialogues of characters. These are also used for indicating some place or time. There’s a pretty strong association between comics and speech balloons, so much so that simply drawing a speech below next to an image is good enough for turning it into comics. The sound effects are used for textually mimicking non-vocal sounds, using something known as onomatopoeia sound words.
This is one of the most frequently used mediums of making comics. Traditionally, cartoons have been made using ink (India Ink to be specific), along with ink brushes or dip pens. Nowadays, digital technology in mixed media have taken over this field. Whenever artists are making cartoons they employ cartooning techniques like abstract symbols and motion lines.
Although comics are usually the creation of a single artist, the work involved in making them is frequently divided amongst a number of specialists. These specialists may be artists and/or writers. Furthermore, an artist may also specialize in other areas of artwork like backgrounds or characters, as it’s seen in Japanese comics. If we come to the American superhero comic books, their artwork is usually divided between a person known as penciller, who’s responsible for laying out the pencil artwork, and an inker, who gives finishing touches to the artwork with the help of ink, then a colorist, and finally the letterer who adds speech balloons and captions.