One thing I don’t undertand in comics is characters talking with their mouths closed. You see it all the time in mainstream books. I’m certain there’s a point when I was drawing comics that I flipped from not even thinking about the closed mouth talkers (my early stuff is full of them) to really hating them. It completely punctures the reality of a panel for me if someone’s talking with their mouth closed.
This drives me crazy! A speech bubble floating above a character’s head, and he or she has their mouth shut. Don’t do this! It loses the immediacy of the dialog when the mouth isn’t open.
i do the closed mouth all the time and I’M GONNA KEEP DOING IT. >:D
Here’s my two cents on this. A panel is not a snapshot or a frame of film. It’s more elastic than either of those. It can, and often does, represent a range of time. Just because there is a word balloon in a panel does not mean that panel represents *only* the seconds when that character is saying those words. It might also represent the moments before they start speaking, and also the moments between sentences, and when they pause. It’s like when there’s a panel where Superman has just punched Bizarro, and Supes is in a punchy pose, Bizarro is flying through the air as a result of getting punched, civilians are dodging out of the way, and there’s a big POW! sound effect. POW! isn’t the sound of flying through the air, it’s the sound of getting punched. That kind of panel is representing a range of time. Comics are an intuitive kind of storytelling. It’s more abstract in its moment-to-moment action than film or audio.
Also, an artist might choose to depict emotion through a character’s expression, rather than draw a literalist simulation of speech. It might make for better storytelling to show a character with a severe frown than to draw their mouth open to “match” the angry words in the balloon. If the closed-mouth frown does a better job of conveying the character’s emotion, then that’s the better option.