Narrative Formats

Increasingly popular, the comic book or graphic novel format and aesthetic is having a renaissance.

A way of creating new narrative formats that delineate the page, and often incorporating text in a holistic way, these projects reimagine these styles for new readers and longtime fans alike.

Ciara Quilty-Harper‘s project shows subjective responses to colour. Made during lockdown, the images with fragments of text join together to create an overarching narrative.

This work by Magdalene Leung takes the form of a diary of 185 consecutive days exploring her relationship with her mobile phone. The grid format is a durational mapping of her life and in particular, her struggles with anxiety.

Oben‘s comic-inspired piece was created in response to lockdown. Each panel is an action that helped the artist to cope with confinement during this time.

Higi Vandis‘ sensitively drawn graphic novel tells the story of Salvadorean women at risk of longterm imprisonment for having an abortion.

Noa Peled‘s wordless graphic novel is a visual response to the magical beauty of snow.

This graphic novel by Hannah Brinkmann tells the story of the artist’s uncle, who refused to be drafted into the military on conscientious grounds. It combines a personal history with archival research to tell the story.

Eszter Godina‘s graphic novel is inspired by the Hungarian term ‘panels’ (meaning a block of flats or apartments). It takes the panelled format of the graphic novel to tell the story, inspired by the artist’s own experience.

This hand drawn zine by Amy Moss captures a trip from London to the south coast of England. It taps into the rich tradition of reportage illustration, combined with a graphic novel format.

A. Wolfgang Crowe‘s graphic novel Danger Man incorporates personal stories and wider topics of queerness and hate crime. The classic comic-style speech bubbles belie the serious themes of the story.

This poster from Butcher Billy uses a classic comic book aesthetic to show the drama and suspense of the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.

Cécile Simonis‘ comic tells the story of Scottish scientist looking at the effects of climate change on the forest. Printed in risograph, the book has a tactile, handmade quality.