Although there are many novels that I am sure people love to re-read, I am yet to find a traditional novel that I felt drawn to re-reading. However, throughout this semester, I have found myself re-reading many of the comics, whether it was to refresh my mind before class or for writing my blog post, and finding myself enjoying them each time (or finding new, interesting aspects about the comic with each read). As a result, I argue that comics and graphic narratives create a unique experience for readers that encourages multiple readings or re-readings, better than tradition novels.
I think one of the key elements to graphic narratives that allow readers to easily re-read and re-enjoy doing so is the visual experience, which many people have blogged about so far. The ability to flip to any page in a comic book and dive into the visual world is not possible to do with a standard novel. Although readers may be captivated by specific quotes or moments in novels, ultimately, we can not just flip to any page in a novel and feel involved with the material. Watchmen is a great example of visually gripping a reader with each read. During class, I found myself continuing to read on after we discussed specific panels because I was pulled in by the various artistic or written subtleties that I missed during my first read. Similarly, with The Dark Knight Returns I found myself unable to look at only the splash pages, instead I kept reading on in class.
Graphic narratives invite readers to interact with text and image, and also re-interact with the complementary parts to further make connections and closure. This is not to say that novels are not re-readable, however I am yet to personally find a novel that is as easy to re-read as comics and graphic narratives.