The last day of the graphic novel giveaway

by Ahalya on October 3, 2010

JGW-2010-with-campfireDid I forget the writer? Did I forget to talk about the person who does the text in the graphic novels! I think I did!
In quite a few graphic novels, the text and the images are brought about by a team of writers and illustrators. But, it’s easy to forget about the writer, when the image so easily captures centrestage.
I didn’t even think about the writer, till I saw a ‘silent’ graphic novel. An entire book with hardly any text, just images. David Small’s Stitches had me wondering if we even need text in well-drawn graphic novels at all. Isn’t text dispensible? I think graphic novels without text tend to be more powerful a reading experience. Each image has to be read slowly, with the reader working doubly hard to ensure that he/she gets into the story, understands what the illustrator wants to convey.

As this giveaway draws to a close, tell me if you would like to read a graphic novel with no text.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jaya G October 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

It will be fun to own a graphic novel without any text. But what will the story be? How will we know what to make of it? Will it be interesting?


Sneha Shah October 3, 2010 at 11:53 am

Text carries a story forward. I would like a textual story to carry me through the illustrations. A graphic novel without text will just be a bunch of pretty drawings.


Vivek October 3, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Graphic novels without text will be a little boring. It would not render well to ‘re-reading’. I mean there will be no re-reading.


Abhishek N October 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I think a graphic novel without text will be really cool. There will be so much more space for the illustrations!


Sharan Sood October 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I think there should be text in the graphic novel. It makes sense to have at least some explanation to the drawings.


Snehal October 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm

What rubbish! You cannot expect to sell a graphic novel without text. i mean who will buy it? People will just read it the bookstore and return it to the shelf!


Rohit Nichani October 3, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Ha! How can i read a graphic novel if it does not have any text?


Meethil October 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm


If a Graphic Novel dares to go without text it should have superb illustrations that can tell not one but multiple stories. They should be open to interpretations because if one owns a ‘Silent Graphic Novel’ one must enjoy it each time one turns the pages and adds his/her own thoughts as dialogues or narrations. This will be possible only if the illustrations enable us to relate to them in our various moods. No matter what we are feeling, we should be able to relate to the novel. This is possible only for a very small selections of stories. Or, only a great illustrator can achieve this successfully.

Its a challenge. Is anyone up to it?


Maya Sanghtani October 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I have not seen a graphic novels with no text. Do they really exist? Where can i get one? I would like to see one, only then can i tell if i would like text or no?


Vishal Devgon October 4, 2010 at 9:10 am

Silent books 🙂 noway…


Vishal Devgon October 4, 2010 at 9:12 am

I want one .. my very first graphic novel as a grown up 🙂 needs some cajoling seems.


Aditya October 6, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Watchmen, Sin City and Promethea all have parts without text
I think an entire issue of Death Note as well, but thats not a graphic novel


Ahalya October 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Hey Aditya,
Thanks for participating! You have won the last giveaway! I look forward to seeing more of your comments on the other posts 🙂


Aditya October 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Umm one thing that graphic novels do over and over again is to push the limits of storytelling. The visual and text medium come together, allowing writers and illustrators many kind of opportunities that would not be possible in any other medium. The advertisements, pamphlets, and even birdwatching journal entry in Watchmen are all examples where the layout changes how something is written (there is even a comic within a graphic novel). Using all these elements in a story is a work of sheer genius, but no other medium allows you the freedom to do this, neither movies nor books, this is something that can be achieved only in graphic novels. So in a lot of ways, text plays an equally strong role, as much as the visuals. Sometimes though the visuals are so overpowering that you forget that the text is even there. The Sandman issue – The dream of a thousand Cats is an example of this. The entire storyboard is made up of a cat talking to other cats. There is very little text, and in some parts its there just so that people dont flip through the artwork in a hurry.


Gayatri Ugra February 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Hello Ahalya,
They say a picture is worth a thousand words!
Sure, a basic notion in graphic writing/art is to minimize.


Atula Siriwardane July 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I am a comic book Artist.
I prefer a movie with less dialogues, even without any dialogue.
but I hate Graphic novels without words…
To me it is like Ravi Shankar without Alla Rakha…
I think this would be okay if the writer is weak,
or doesn’t know how to complement the art.
What “Sin city” would be without words, Comics or the movie,
I think bad writers disturb the art,
while a good writer can enhance it.


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