This article is about the plot presentation method of the games, you might be looking for the actual Max Payne 3 comics.
The graphic novel is used as a navigational tool in the Max Payne games to show the player how the story progresses. It is done in slide show style, containing 'stills' as visual aid, and a voice-over from the characters within the story. They are in-place of most cutscenes, and the player can chose to skip, pause and rewind over different chapters of the novel (with the exception of the PlayStation 2 version of the first game). It can be viewed at anytime within the game via a hotkey button, and the player can review their progress throughout the game so far.
The style of the novel adds to the film noir feel that the game provides.
In one of the nightmare levels, after Max Payne has been induced heavily with the drug valkyr, he comments on sometimes feeling being watched, as if being in a graphic novel or inside a video game, controlled by someone else (which obviously references that of, the comic book cutscenes within the game, and that by someone else meaning the player).