What Is a Graphic Narrative?

In a story in Library Journal titled “Graphic Novels for Reluctant Readers: 33 Titles” on 18 March 2010, Martha Cornog includes The Invention of Hugo Cabret. (She calls them “graphic narratives” in the introduction, which might be slightly less recognizable as a term, but more accurate in describing how this particular book is configured, given lengthy unillustrated narrative passages in a book in which illustrations are, nevertheless, an essential element.

So, I wonder: how much illustration does a fictional work need to be considered a graphic narrative?

Take, for instance, The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman. Sterne includes black pages in memoriam Yorick, an illustration of the flourish the corporal gives his stick, and other elements without which the narrative would undoubtedly be altered and diminished.

I don’t have an answer, but I thought it a question worth posing.

Meanwhile, if you know of a child or student who particularly enjoys illustrated works or would be encouraged and supported in reading by the graphic elements in books, check out the LJ list.