The word “stereotype” is often considered and used in a negative way. Stereotype is inaccurately generalising a certain idea without looking at it in an individualistic approach. This word was originally used in letterpress printing where a particular method was used in which duplicate plates were moulded.
Though stereotype as a word is considered negative, it has great importance in comic books/graphic novels. Comics are representation of certain person’s thoughts (person who narrates the story). Drawings in comic books/graphic novels are narrator’s reflection on his thoughts. The success of a narrative depends on the reader’s visualisation that he/she gets from experiences he/she has gone through.
Making drawings simple, hence stereotypical helps readers visualise quickly. In comics, stereotypes are taken from generally accepted/understood physical characteristics of individuals. These become symbols and are used as a graphic language while telling a story.
Book Reference : Eisner, W. (2008). Graphic Storytelling And Visual Narrative . NewYork, USA: W.W. Norton and Company.