Graphic novels can teach us about literary elements such as foreshadowing, statire, allusion, symbolism, to name a few.
We have to do a lot of inferring, which can be a difficult skill. In graphic novels, we can practice making inferences with a little help from the pictures.
Yeah and we can learn comprehension skills like predicting, sequencing, summarizing. And we can learn about different people while seeing ourselves in situations that may be foreign and familiar at the same time.
True and graphic novels can motivate some of us who have had difficulty liking to read. They are engaging, unique, and unexpected. They challenge us even though we may not feel challenged. Since so many are historical or autobiographical, we can become more involved in the context, social issues, or history.
It's not always easy, though. We have to learn how to use the art and the design elements to help us understand. Graphic novels have deep themes, complex structures, and lots of symbolism so we need teaching, time, and practice learning how to read them.
As Carol Tilly said (TED 2010), graphic novels can help to critically and multilingually thinking young people". I think she is right. We are surrounded by pictures and words all full of symbolism and implied information in this age of the pocket computer. Graphic novels can help us practice being involved citizens as well as help us learn about topics.
Plus, graphic novels give us a unique way to see ourselves through the deep character development. "We must learn to see for ourselves in the complex interrelation between words and images" says Michael Chantey (TED 2011).