In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud identifies a vocabulary of panel-to-panel transitions used in comics:

  1. Moment-to-moment portrays time.
  2. Action-to-action portrays key frames in an event.
  3. Subject-to-subject take us between different subjects while staying within the same scene or idea.
  4. Scene-to-scene transports us across time and space. It requires deductive reasoning.
  5. Aspect-to-aspect mostly bypasses time and sets a wandering eye on different aspects of a scene, idea or mood.
  6. Non-sequiter is disjoint. Any linear meaning is projected entirely by the reader because there is no obviious logical sequence. It provokes the reader to interpret for themselves and conveys general emotion.

These techniques serve as visual joinery for building story arcs. They're so powerful, you can use them to stitch together a story that is entirely visual... no exposition at all.