Word balloons used in cartoons and comic strips

Cartoon word balloons are an essential element in cartoons and comic strips. Cartoon word balloons can define the overall message in any cartoons you read!

cartoon word balloonsIn fact, take some time to study the look and feel of word balloons used in various cartoons and comic strips in the newspaper or in your favorite Marvel comic book series.

Cartoonists can portray the impact that makes up a cartoon depending how a word balloon is used in a single panel cartoon or in your daily comic strips.

I’ve learned over a period of time when developing my comic strips or creating single panel gags that there can be a science behind the creation of these important aspects that make up cartoons.

For instance, if you want to really emphasize shouting or yelling in your cartoons, have the word balloon above or beside your character contain block lettering.

Word and thought balloons appearing in cartoons

Perhaps a cartoon character is hollering or laughing, you could also emphasize the word balloon shaped with jagged edges like the character who is laughing on the left side of the sample cartoon appearing on this page.

A unique way to depict a cartoon using a thought bubble is the add certain visual elements into the actual thought bubble. Thought bubbles are just like word balloons in a cartoon, only they have the central character in deep thought.

Take note, your single panel cartoon or comic strip will have a certain look and feel, based on this and therefore can have a greater impact. In essence, you work may have a greater impact.


Do some experimentation by studying the strips in today’s line up in your local newspaper. This same concept applies the comic book illustrators….especially action related super-hero comic book illustrations and stories.

Cartoon word balloons are important elements

If you happen to lean towards creating the type of cartoons that are single panel gags, you could easily incorporate the look and feel of those word balloons within your single panel cartoons, therefore creating a more unique identity to your own material.

Experimentation is key! Grab your sketch book and get busy trying new layouts and ways to present the messages in your work. You might be surprised at the look and feel and ultimately you could impress your editor or an author who sees your work and wants to hire you.