Layering is done when more than one story, idea, or point needs to be made at the same time. By adding a layer, a new idea can be introduced at the same time but differently to show distinction from the other things going on at the same time. This can become confusing but when it is done correctly, it can be lead to amazing results.
On this page, Lynda Barry is trying tell a story but from multiple different points of view. She uses layering to show that they don’t all come from the same place.
She uses typographic layering to illustrate the different viewpoints. She has printed, written, and typed script. With each, she has different fonts, sized and structural formatting. By adding each thought in its on way, it becomes apparent that it’s from a unique viewpoint.
The pictures and text are also in different layers. The pictures are overlapping onto different texts suggesting that they are in the foreground and the text in the background. This gives the overall piece some depth.
One graphic novel that seems interesting is My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf about his relationship as a child with the notorious serial killer, Jeffery Dahmer. He uses layering in his cover by first placing Dahmer in his own row, offsetting him from the other children. He also uses a shading to obscure the other children and draw attention to Dahmer.