You know what? That’s about my high average in response! 158 claps? Whoa.
I’m a big believer in lots of graphics (although I’ve often stopped using them because I’ve been slapped around by enough editors...).
However, there are multiple publications where graphic storytelling is the primary focus. I go to them when I have a graphic-driven story to tell. THAT is the answer, I believe (and, pardone my Quebecois, but screw the others...).
As far as the punctuation, etc....
There are rules and there are rules. I don’t think “punctuation” turns people off. Some editors do. Some editors literally prohibit certain types of punctuation in their pubs. I think that’s ridiculous. I think “catchy” is “catchy” regardless. How you frame something is much more important and the primary image you use is more important than the headline, anyway (in most publications).
Medium doesn’t agree. That’s their thought. My brain moves back to Quebec on that one... They would rather you do certain things in your head, sub-head and kicker (should you use one). Most publishers (therefore editors) bow down to Ev and some go further with their own guidelines.
So, it really ends up being a matter of what team you’re on, and if you’re on your own, more or less—or given that latitude by a decent editor—play with it until it feels right. Will it tank? Maybe. But it’s still yours, and that’s what counts.