One thing that I read about anime/manga fans criticizing graphic novels/comics about is that the variety doesn't seem to expand like anime/manga does. That most of the obscure and lesser known graphic novels are directed solely at adult readers, while the more mainstream comics like Batman and X-Men, are directed at an average teenager, just like your typical shonen manga series like One Piece for example. Sure, there might be some deep and dark undertones and content, but it's not like the variety differs much. Graphic novels will always have that dark and gritty contextual background, in which like manga/anime there are different varieties.
If you want to watch a comedy, you can. A romance, you can. These varieties are easily discoverable. And if graphic novels expand to a much larger audience with different varities, at least from my perspective, they really aren't that noticeable.
Of course, it could be just me, so that's why I want to ask you all - what do you think about this? I mean, from the way that I see it, I know there are probably a much larger variety of genres in graphic novels, but honestly, I can't really seem to find any that stick out as much as your typical dark and gritty Spawn or Hellboy comic.
Like, Fruits Basket, which is a romance anime, is just as popular and well-known(or seems to be at the least) as Gurren Lagann, an action anime.
Similarities like those, for instance, are what I'm looking for. Different genres of graphic novels that would stand out and be as popular as Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns, if that's even possible.
I'm just trying to expand my horizons with graphic novels, as I am sure most readers are as well, and it gets frustrating when it seems like the variety of anime and manga is exponentially shown and seems to be easily accessible at your fingertips, but if I just want to break away from manga and sit back and read a funny comic book or a romance comic book, they seem to be non-existent.
Are graphic novels specifically aimed at mature audiences, and that's why the dark and gritty always seems to stand out? Is that why everything else seems to be so obscure?