Are graphic novels inherently dark?

An interesting point of similarity between all the stories we have read so far is the darkness or negativity found in each story. Up until this point every graphic novel we have discussed in class has had a dark nature at least in a point of it. To prove this point that I see as being so pervasive let me recap the works we’ve read so far and where I have seen this.

In Little Nemo the dark nature come in thorough the frightening images for a children’s comic strip. There is also a violence to it that is rather dark given the fact that Winsor McCay’s target audience was children.

In Watchmen the darkness is very overt. It plays a role in the content but also in the coloring of panels at certain points. Obscuring scenes such as the scene right before Hollins is killed, play on the darkness of the actions that are about to be committed.


In Akira the dark nature of the story is mostly clearly seen through the actions of the leading group of biker boys. Kaneda particularly as the lead character has a streak of violence and poor behavior that leads the reader through the darker side of Neo-Tokyo.


Even in What it is, a workbook style and often brightly colored book there still persist a nature of darkness. When Linda describes the way that monsters are pervasive in child’s childhood. However when discussed during class, monsters seem to have plagued Berry more then any of us felt them as threats in our personal childhoods.


The question I really felt after everything we have so far read is, do all graphic novels aimed at adult audiences have a dark nature to them? Or is it simply the group of graphic novels curated for this course that have so far been over whelming full of darkness.