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Motion lines

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A drawing of an airplane with motion lines to indicate that it is moving fast

In comics, motion lines (also known as movement lines, action lines, speed lines,[1] or zip ribbons) are the abstract lines that appear behind a moving object or person, parallel to its direction of movement, to make it appear as if it is moving quickly.

The use of motion lines in art is similar to the lines showing mathematical vectors, which are used to indicate direction and force. A similar effect is found in long-exposure photography, where a camera can capture lights as they move through time and space, blurred along the direction of motion. They are common in Japanese manga.

Motion lines added with photo-editing software, to imply motion

Carmine Infantino was one of the best known practitioners of motion lines, particularly in his illustration of Silver Age Flash comics.[2][3][4]

See also


  1. ^ Amash, Jim; Nolen-Weathington, Eric (2010). Carmine Infantino: Penciler, Publisher, Provocateur - Google Books. ISBN 9781605490250. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  2. ^ "The New York Comics Symposium: Arlen Schumer On Carmine Infantino". The Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  3. ^ "20th Century Danny Boy: Carmine M Infantino v. DC Comics et al: The Fight For The Flash". 2011-06-14. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  4. ^ J.C. Vaughn, Gemstone Publishing (2013-04-04). "In Memoriam: Carmine Infantino". PREVIEWSworld. Retrieved 2014-01-04.