How do you create the effect that voices are mumbled while the character is daydreaming in a comic panel? In films, you actually hear the mumbled voices while the character is daydreaming or in a sort of trance-like state. How do you achieve this in a comic panel? Is this even possible? What are some ways of achieving similar effects?

  • Are the voices mumbled or are they just out of focus of the viewpoint character?
    – Laurel
    Jun 12, 2022 at 1:41
  • The voices can't be heard by the character daydreaming.
    – Sayaman
    Jun 12, 2022 at 2:33

1 Answer 1


I've seen a couple of techniques used.

Blurry text

It's the text equivalent of the lack of camera focus that you see in movies. I've seen it a lot when a character is either groggily waking up or getting knocked out. I've also seen it used in a bit of a different context, to show that a character is drunk.

Sometimes the text is legible for anyone who squints enough, other times it's too obscured to determine so it could just be nonsense blurred.

Squiggle lines

A line like a long tilde is drawn in the speech bubble. Used for background noise in several different contexts (e.g. talking in a crowd or too far away).

squiggles far off in the distance

Source: Half-Ghost Episode 58


While novel writing eschews having this type of thing, comics seem to embrace it. (You'll also see "ha ha ha" in a speech bubble for a laughing character.) Obviously you're only going to see "mumble" in a speech bubble where the character is mumbling.

woman "mumble"s on couch

Source: Half-Ghost Episode 57

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