A panel in a Comic Book, Manga, or Webcomic featuring just scenery. No characters, no dialogue from off-scene characters, and minimal (if any) narration.
Silent Scenery Panels can serve several purposes. Most often, one is used at the beginning of a scene, as the Sequential Art equivalent of an Establishing Shot or Aspect Montage. Used in the middle of a scene, they can imply movement or the passage of time, without the artist having to laboriously redraw characters. They can also serve as pacing, slowing down a story that would otherwise seem frantic.
When the Silent Scenery Panel is also a Splash Panel, the result is almost invariably Scenery Porn.
Compare Beat Panel.
- Hellboy has a lot of close-up shots of whatever artwork or statuary appears in the scene. (And make no mistake, wherever the characters go, there is always artwork or statuary.) On occasion the panel contains statuary or some creature saying Hellboy's "real" name (Anung Un Rama), usually when he's explaining that he doesn't want to be The Antichrist. Mignola seems to eschew large Splash Panels in favor of close-ups of thematically important details.
- Marvel Comics had a month when all their comics were to be silent, so all scenery panels were this way by necessity. One wonders how much money Marvel saved by not having to pay any letterers that month.
- This was done extensively in the first storyline in Concrete. It has a page filled with tiny panels showing how laborious it is to swim across the Atlantic Ocean.
- A lot of Batman stories end with a panel of Gotham's skyline.
- Umi no Misaki might hold the record for the most panels without any characters or action in them. The manga is full of panels showing of the beautiful island that are used by the author to set the mood.
- Tsutomu Nihei uses these a lot.
- Ashinano Hitoshi loves these things. At least one chapter of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou contains no dialogue at all, and several others come quite close.
- Inio Asano frequently uses these and they are generally extremely detailed; he uses scanned photos he has taken and shots from Unreal Engine renderings which are then touched up by hand to create these.
- Yotsuba&! uses these quite often to establish the scenery. Sometimes they only include a tiny fragment of the sky or a close-up shot of some leaves in a tree. They are usually drawn with near-photographic realism.
- Many establishing shots from Tower of God.
- Gunnerkrigg Court initially used a set of progressively smaller panels to indicate the passage of time. As the comic progressed, this was condensed to the point that a single scenery panel at the end of a page invariably signals a scene transition.
- Nature of Nature's Art contains so much Scenery Porn, almost all of it silent.
- Goblins does this often when a new scene is introduced.
- Riceboy and Order of Tales contain tons of scenery porn. Evan Dahm's newest work Vattu is notable for having one word of dialogue in its first 11 pages. The word? Quiet.
- Xawu did this at the start of the second chapter. It's a Silent Scenery Comic.
- Drugs And Kisses strips regularly start with one of these, especially when set outside the main characters' apartment.
- Occurs so often on Misfile that they almost outnumber the panels with characters in them.
- Leif & Thorn: First strip of the "Leaves That Are Green" storyline, and again in a view of Leif's hospital room, doubling as a bittersweet Identical Panel Gag.
- Ellie on Planet X: Sometimes entire strips are devoted to showcasing the pretty scenery.
- The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal: The entirely of chapter 14 is done without dialog.
- Sleepless Domain These are used quite often to establish the location at the beginning of a particular scene. Some instances take up nearly the entire page:
- The very first page is an establishing shot of the City, interrupted only by a loudspeaker delivering an automated message.
- Chapter 12 - Page 24 is entirely silent, but it makes use of panels that are cracking around the edges to show Tessa's worsening mental state without the need for words.
- Chapter 19 - Page 22 is a silent establishing shot of Anemone's Big Fancy House, panning out as Tessa observes it from a nearby rooftop.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent uses this for a rather large percentage of panels, and many full pages as well.
- In Yokoka's Quest, silent scenery panels are occasionally used to indicate characters travelling or entering a new area. Many of these are splash panels which cover their entire two-page spreads, and often double as Scenery Porn. Some examples: (1) (2) (3).
- Often used in Crimson Knights in order to establish the scenery.