Comic gutters


White Belt
I was showing someone who does work in the comic industry, and they commented on my gutters. Mostly that they seemed too small, now I'm not really asking for any kind of extemption from my critique, but I have seen gutters in comics vary from being very close, to being too large. And I tend to try to make them a bit smaller because I dislike wasted space.

That said I have seen other comics with much smaller gutters than me, and I really haven't been bothered or even notice them when I read, so what do you think? Does it really make a difference in story telling, or is it mostly simply a preference?

I have read Understanding Comics so I understand that principle of timing, but it has never been something I really so considered in general since there usually isn't much time passing between my panels anyway.


4-Stripe White Belt
I generally like to keep the gutters relatively small. If not for saving space, but also for aesthetic reasons.

I disliked how, in Sunday comics, gutters can be HUGE, with panels really being spread apart. I wanted to avoid that look as much as possible.
I really think that it's a matter of preference. People always try to make "gutter rules" (and it's true, in many forms of comics of comics there does seem to be SOME sort of standard), but on the other hand... artists break those rules all the time. If they were too large I could see how it could be distracting, or if they were gone entirely I could see how that might not always look professional... but I personally have never been bothered by small gutters. :D


4-Stripe White Belt
Don't get lost in the gutters.

By that I mean, don't focus too much on what specific size your gutters should be and instead look at each page you make as a composition. A piece of art. Chances are, people will not be staring so intently at each panel in turn that they won't look at the whole page, and that's how you should frame your perspective when it comes to gutters.
This article explains the importance of gutters and could help you.
I've always personally seen the gutter space as a transition between scenes/panel. Sometimes I made them huge to show that a lot of time has passed between panels.


White Belt
A rule of thumb that I personally follow is making horizontal gutters a little larger than vertical ones, to help the reading flow.
Other than that I never gave them much thought.

There are many comics that don't follow this particular rule of thumb and they still read/look fine. So it really comes with preference.