In this article, I set out to establish the principles underlying the composition of images on the comics page, not by predetermining in advance what such principles might be, but by empirical investigation of the works of artists. I arrive at three major categories of page composition: to the terms 'regular' and 'rhetorical', used respectively by Thierry Groensteen and Benoît Peeters, I add the category of 'semiregular', the transformation of a regular composition as the effect of merging or splitting of panels. However, in both rhetorical and semiregular compositions, panels within the same strip may be vertically aligned according to a further principle that I designate as 'fragmentation'. I propose a notation system to account for patterns produced by fragmentation, including second- (and nth-) degree fragmentation, whereby a vertically aligned panel is split into two (or more) horizontally aligned ones, one or more of which may then be vertically split and so on. The article ends with a consideration and critique of the work of Groensteen, Peeters and Neil Cohn on page composition.