It was a very rewarding experience and if you like world building, there is nothing comparable, if you happen to have the 4 years to work on it.
Enough time has passed since I finished Earthling! that new graphic novel ideas are starting to take shape. It’s like any difficult task you face, the further you are from it, the more willing you are to tackle it again (For those who have children, you will immediately get this point!). You learn from every project you complete and that creates a desire to try it again. To make it better next time. Or at least not worse.
I recently read some GN’s I have sitting in my shelf. What I found odd was that the books that stuck with me, are not the ones most (critics, reviewers…) would consider the best written or the best illustrated.
The ones that stuck with me are the ones that created the strongest reality distortion field. The ones that I enjoyed the most had an internal coherence that I find difficult to describe. The combination of words and pictures can create a very persuasive alternate reality. I suppose this isn’t that different from some critics saying Stephen King isn’t a great writer from a technical perspective. But to most readers who pick up a novel by him, the characters and story force you to keep turning the pages. Whether he is an accomplished writer from a technical perspective or not, the greatest hurdle a writer faces is creating a story that makes people want to turn the page.
Many of the graphic novels I loved are not technically perfect, but they left me with such a strong lasting impression they became my favorites.
Some of the best written and drawn GNs (like Ordinary Victories by Manu Larcenet ) made my favorites list but others stay with me because the whole is greater than the sum of their individual elements. There is something unique about the depth of the world created in a graphic novel that becomes the most important aspect.
It just makes it that much harder for me to define exactly why I love the ones I do. Nothing can draw you in and surround you quite the way a good graphic novel can. They allow the total immersion you get in a novel but also speak to the brain with images like film does.