This article focuses on panel arrangements and page layouts of early comics published in Belgium in the five decades before the start of Tintin in 1929. It investigates the degree of standardisation in this pivotal period, in which the old system of graphic narratives with captions
evolved to comics with balloons. The years between 1880 and 1929 boasted a variety of publication formats (broadsheets, illustrated magazines for adults and for children, comic strips, artists' books), within which one can see both similar and different conventions at work.
European Comic Art is the first English-language scholarly publication devoted to the study of European-language graphic novels, comic strips, comic books and caricature. Published in association with the American Bande Dessinée Society and the International Bande Dessinée Society, European Comic Art builds on existing scholarship in French-language comic art and is able to draw on the scholarly activities undertaken by both organisations. However, our editorial board and consultative committee bring expertise on a wider European area of comic art production and the journal will emphasise coverage of work from across Europe, including Eastern Europe.