In the following drawing, a man decides to try hypnotism on his wife.
The second picture skips over her reaction and goes directly to the end result:
Frost implies the action, then leaves it to our imagination to fill in the blanks. By involving us in the picture, he can make a humble little pen and ink drawing potentially boundless.
This pacing of the images is another aspect of what I'd call the vocabulary of visual storytelling.
Like Frost, Leonard Starr sometimes chose not to depict the fateful blow, as in the following strip, where a character circles back to get two agents who have been pursuing the heroine. Starr makes dramatic use of the empty space between his images.
|"I convinced them that we were quite another thing..."|
|"It seems to be clear now...." If anyone knows the whereabouts of this original, I'd be interested in hearing from you.|
But recently, popular notions about the pacing of sequential drawings have changed. We see sequential drawing that is intended, as one commenter has said, to be "underplayed, understated, deadpan." Rather than razor sharp timing and theatrical punchlines, we see time sequences stretched out to convey what has been called "bleak humor." This reflects a different set of artistic goals, but in my view those goals lack some of the elegance and power of the previous pacing.