Like any other written work, graphic novels should absolutely be regarded with the highest esteem of artistic respect. Classic literature, is an art form in an of itself because words are used to paint a visual picture. Images are not relied on to tell the story but rather, words are used to aid the imagination in what one should see. Graphic novels play on the best of both these worlds.
Much like a well-cut film, graphic novels and comic books tell a story through almost exclusively drawings in a storyboard-like sequence. Using minimal words in some cases, with the exception of dialogue between characters and the narrator to reader.
Unlike comics, which are typically short and belong to an on-going story line, graphic novels are generally entire stories. On occasion they come in parts, but they are longer in length and far more in depth than that of their comic counterparts(no pun intended).
Graphic novels can be thought of as entire movies in the palms of your hands that need only a turn of a page, rather than a swipe of the finger. The art is often finer in detail and the story sequences have more license to take their time in progression as opposed to rushing a storyline that promises to be continued in the next comic.
Just as writing is an art in itself as painting with words, so to can we look at the art of graphic novelry as such. The placement of images, the stories characters tell with an expression or the aging building in a landscape. Storytelling itself is an art, and anyway in which it’s conveyed is its own art.