I believe that comics and graphic narratives can provide a richer reading experience than a traditional story or novel. Comics are visual not simply in their text like books, but in their artwork. Artwork leads to a fuller experience because readers can actually see the characters and setting. Human empathy is a powerful tool and I feel like many comic artists use their artwork to elicit emotional reactions. For example, in The Dark Knight Returns, Bruce Wayne struggles with his internal demons and the artwork displays this agony and frustration in ways that the written word alone lacks. Additionally, I feel like the strength of comics lies in the ability of artwork to do what normal written description cannot. Comics can feature moment-to-moment and aspect-to-aspect transitions and explore all the minute details of a scene. However, if written description tried to address all these features, the text would be bogged down and difficult to read. The artwork of comics incorporates all features of a scene without distracting the reader.

However, there are certainly limitations of the comic and graphic narrative. The form incorporates both text and visual art, but relies primarily on the art. However each panel can only display a stagnant depiction of the events. I’ve found while reading comics that I often lose the movement and energy of the piece because each image stands alone. Additionally, when the comic features aspect-to-aspect or moment-to-moment transitions, each panel can seem fragmented and disparate if the panel layout is not conducive to the movement of the scene.

The strengths and limitations of comics are held in the interplay between text and visual art and this can change pieces are read, absorbed, and loved.