Some graphic novels immerse readers in their world, pulling at their multidimensional senses from a two-dimensional platform. The well classed novelist plays with readers’ perceptions by bending what initially seems like a strict set of rules and procedure for interacting with the novel.
- Locke and Key
Hill and Rodrigruez worked so well together to express emotion through highly stylized contrasting artwork. I felt everything the characters felt, even the less savory ones I wouldn’t normally identify with reading a regular book. If that’s not enough, the graphics break walls on their page – literally – to take advantage of reader expectations and portray experiences we wouldn’t otherwise have in real life.
- The Sandman
Gaiman and his artists capture a highly fantastic environment within the negative space of the simple and the extravagant to articulate an otherwise unimaginable mood and experience. No one knows what it feels like to be an ancient god, all powerful and yet, all too burdened by the realities of a world we don’t understand; but reading The Sandman got me pretty close.
- Manhattan Projects
A graphic novel with serious implications that doesn’t take itself all too seriously. Hickman and Pitarra work, through beautiful, original art and meta narrative, to throw us into the hellish minds of some of our most prized scientists’ alter egos. They too break walls and use immersive plot digressions to illustrate what it might be like to experience the mind of evil geniuses and live in their world.
I don’t know how many would agree with me, but I’ve felt for a while now that Watchmen reads more like a work of prose than just another graphic novel. The artwork is amazing too, but what really gripped me and kept me in the story were the details in the backgrounds and on mixed media pages. Almost as if you were keeping up with the daily headlines yourself.
- Doom Patrol
Although I found the art a little simple, it managed to portray Morrison’s weird and altogether abstract concepts eloquently. There’s no realistic way to portray a character like Negative Man or Mr. Nobody – even Crazy Jane is complex in theory and she’s probably one of the most humanoid characters in the book. Reading Doom Patrol, was as close to the concepts as I could get.
- Arkham Asylum
Not only do the painstakingly detailed graphics read well, but what really comes through in this novel is the unassuming art of dialogue boxes to carry massive weight in a minimalistic style. In conjunction with the rest of the graphics, it portrays characters, mood, and all around sensory input.
- Calvin and Hobbes
Watterson, for me, was one of the original mind benders and heart wrenchers. Watterson’s unapologetic use of a simple story-line provides a comfortable backdrop in Calvin’s crazily fun, wild mind that allows simple tricks to give massive emotional appeal. Any time Calvin left his imagination or Hobbes suddenly became the stuffed animal we secretly didn’t want to admit he was, we knew the illusion was over but also realized we were living the dream right along with Calvin before that.