It seems like people don’t use thought balloons as much as they used to in comics.  That may not be a bad thing, as a poorly used thought balloon can be a real writing crutch.  On the other hand,  a well-purposed thought balloon can help the reader to get to know a character more clearly (and quickly) than anything that could be gleaned from the expression on their face.

In the last couple of pages I’ve tried it both ways.  The last panel of the previous page could have had a large thought balloon with an exploration of all the mom’s mixed emotions and anxieties, but I ended up letting the artwork speak for itself.  On this page, I considered doing the same thing, but I didn’t feel like the image conveyed how mom and daughter are emotionally running parallel with one another.  And so they’re sharing a thought balloon on this page.  Is it effective?  I kind of like the idea, but it may be a little heavy-handed.

It may be awhile before the next thought balloon gets put to use….