Scott McCloud has put out a series of books (Undertstanding Comics, etc.) that have really brought a focus to the conceptual design and creation of comics and graphic novels to a new level. He fearlessly explores the literary aspects of comics and about how the combination of the visual and the word — and the ability to break down any and all walls of traditional storytelling structures.
Here is Scott, giving a great talk at the TED conference. It’s part autobiography, part comic book discussion, with more great insights.
Peace (in comics),