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Oct 12, 2010
Panel 7 is also an excellent example of a "beat" panel. The lack of text, expression, or other stimulus helps carry across the feeling of "sinking in". Dilbert is here stunned by the results of his "experiment", and this feeling is passed over to the audience. It also helps establish a bit of distance between the previous six panels, all taking place in the same area, and the last one, which is not only set in a different location, but contains the punchline which gives the entire rest of the comic (i.e. the previous 7 panels) perspective.
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Jan 11, 2010
In reference to Dilberts expression: in film this is known as the Kuleshov Effect. Show an audience a man with a blank face intercut with pictures of other things (food, an attractive woman, ect) and the audience will think his expression is changing in response to the image he's "looking at" (i.e, he looks hungry, desirous, ect).

I think SA did a great job using this effect in this comic.
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Dec 11, 2009
I think this is a case of implemented expression - the lead-up to the second-to-last panel allows the imagination of the reader see a specific expression where there is none.
May 8, 2009
people love free stuff
Apr 1, 2009
Ummm... Dilbert's expression in the second to last panel is exactly like that in the 3rd panel. ...And the first panel. ...And every other panel where he looks directly at the fourth wall.
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