Comics and Graphic novels can be more effective at telling a story through their use of images. Specifically, comics can display emotion by showing the characters in a certain way. When a character is upset, they have a sad facial expression, and when they are happy, they have a happy facial expression. By showing emotion in this way, comics do not rely on text to describe emotions. Comics can directly represent emotion, which I think is more effective. Additionally, comics can effectively set the mood or tone through setting and color. Throughout this semester, we have discussed how color, especially background color, can set the tone of the panel. If the character is angry, the background can be red or orange. Novels and other more traditional stories cannot do this. Comics can also use setting to create a certain mood. A good and recent example of this is Watchmen. In watchmen, the setting is a dark and corrupt city. The colors are mostly dark, but are contrasted with brighter colors such as red, yellow, and orange. These colors, especially the red, create a sense of violence, anger and blood that continues throughout the story.
Comics can also represent action and adventure in a more satisfying way. In all of the superhero comics we read, action is a driving force behind the story. These comics show the action visually rather than relying on the text to describe what is happening. Additionally, in the adventure comics we read, the sense of adventure is heightened by actually seeing the places the characters are going. Providing actual visuals makes for a more satisfying and immersive experience.
Comics do have some limitations. They rely heavily on dialogue to drive the story. Although some comics, such as Superman, had a lot of caption boxes, it made the panels feel cluttered and difficult to read. Additionally, by showing everything visually, there is less of a chance to interpret the story for oneself. When reading a novel, we imagine how the characters might look based on their descriptions. When reading a comic, we are shown how the characters look.