Are Comics Too Distracting for Mainstream Readers?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health it seems so: “excessive clutter in the visual field, slows down the brain’s responsiveness.”
One might think this pushes for the advocates that with 4 or 5 panels on a page instead of 1, as most children’s books have. I would like to take an alternate viewpoint. It is my opinion, that in narrative art format, the many panels FORCE the reader to one panel at a time to process the data. Then the periferal vision kicks in and the reader can move to the next panel when ready. In fact one page containing 4 or 5 pictures can include 4 or 5 times the amount of information and make 4 or 500 times the impact.
Much more valueable. the panels are still segmented. The people can move from panel to panel as quick or slow as they like.
Focused attention equals higher retention.