Ari Folman’s film “Waltz with Bashir” shows us it is possible to use animation and illustration techniques to creatively tell stories often left in the domain of tradition documentary. Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel, “Maus: A Survivor’s Tale,” is a precedent for Folman’s film and similarly expands the tradition of personal memoir by taking advantage of the visual montages of the comic panels.
Of course, illustration or storyboarding is not restricted to animated films. It is also used as a kind of “pre-viz” of what a specific shot might look like or how a particular scene might be composed. Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” is an often cited text for studying the conventions of comic book story telling. Here you can see a talk given by McCloud at TED, or Technology, Entertainment, Design, an annual conference drawing specialists from a variety of disciplines. The talk itself is good example of visual storytelling via associative thinking in the age of powerpoint.
He also did a kind of introductory comic for google’s new browser, chrome. It can be seen here.