I’m no longer surprised when I run into someone who doesn’t understand how to read comics. I’ve learned that, what comes naturally to me after years of reading comics, doesn’t come as readily to someone who doesn’t have that same familiarity with the medium. Even now, I’ll see a friend or relative read through one of my strips and go from one word balloon to another, completely out of sequence, driven by a logic only they understand. This confusion has led a lot of people to avoid comic books and strips altogether, and that’s a shame.
If you’d like to read about the language of comics and maybe some theory about exactly what a comic is, i can’t recommend Scott McCloud’s book, Understanding Comics highly enough. It’s a must-read for anyone who enjoys comics (or “sequential art” as Scott calls it) or wants to be an artist or writer of the medium.