Standard American comics use an average of 5 panels per page. This isn’t a rule as such, more of an instinct. That number of panels allows room for art and text over a 20 page story quite nicely, tho many scripts go up to 7 or 8, and of course there’s the occasional splash page that happens, and that’s all part of the process of creating a rhythm for the strip.
When I took the Frankie gig on, I was told by Byron that it needed to be 4 panels or less per page, partially because they didn’t want to smother the young readers with overly complex storytelling tropes that would be distracting and confusing for those who had only just started readings comics, and also because the book was being printed quite small.
This did present me with problems, but then problems are just opportunities that need a bath and a shave, so my solution to much of this book was to compress or decompress certain scenes to fit. Anytime I read a scene I would jot down any specific events or moments that I felt were required for ease of reading, and this led to scenes which covered a broad span of time with snapshots of Victor trekking thru different countries, as well as pages that followed the actions of the characters as they made them.
I feel this added to the variety of tone in the book, and it’s such a good restriction to have that I have been thinking that maybe it’s a path worth following on future self-generated projects. After all, I want clear storytelling as well as fancy doodling.
Less is very often more, rite?