Monday, June 27, 2011

Graphic Novel vs. Comic Book

  After writing on Y:The Last Man, a work many may consider to be a graphic novel, I decided I aught to weigh in on my thoughts on the term. To put it simply, I hate it. I feel it's a weasel word people use to feel less ashamed about something they should feel no shame for, or perhaps to reassure themselves that they are mature adults. They do not read childish comic books, they read graphic novelizations of works that are of an adult nature.

   It makes me feel good to know that this attitude is shared by some of the greatest comic writers of all time, especially since they are the very same writers whose work are often called graphic novels.

Writer Neil Gaiman, responding to a claim that he does not write comic books but graphic novels, said the commenter "meant it as a compliment, I suppose. But all of a sudden I felt like someone who'd been informed that she wasn't actually a hooker; that in fact she was a lady of the evening."-from The Sandman Companion.

   Alan Moore also objects to the term, feeling it's used primarily as a marketing scheme by Marvel and DC,  claiming they just collect a six issue arc and put it in a hardcover, then call it a graphic novel and charge you double for it. He feels comic is an appropriate blanket term.



So, readers, remember, there's a reason this is Comic Critique.

29 comments:

  1. I agree! What a stupid word just to make comic books look fancier!

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  2. You make some really good points, I've never been a fan of the term " Graphic" Novel myself

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  3. I like the term graphic novel, because it feels more right for the things unless they're like actual super kiddy dora the explorer kind of things. Cause you know Graphic as in drawing, and novels, as in... um... novels?

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  4. I agree with your last alinea.

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  5. I thought graphic novels where just longer comic books. Like the difference between a short story and a novel.

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  6. I agree with you, people throw that word around just to avoid a certain stigma.

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  7. i agree with your post, but i call my books manga, however a lot of people tend to think its all children stuff

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  8. I think there's also an element of marketing. Call it a comic and you can charge a few bucks, call it a 'graphic novel' and you can double the price.

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  9. yeah, they both really mean the same thing, hat Dodgy Money said is actually a good point, graphic novels are always more expensive, but they usually always have more content (Watchmen for example) and the cover of the book usually is a better material, thick cardboard or something.

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  10. I agree, my english is not good so I cant debate this entry properly...

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  11. I never really thought about it. It's all about the money I suppose.

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  12. Graphic novel sounds much better, at least if you're an adult. Most people tend to think comic books are for kids.

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  13. I don't care what it's called as long as the quality is there.

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  14. In today's society there should be no shame for reading any material you like, and there is also no need to hide behind any other monikers

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  15. I've always felt that "graphic" was just a way to let parents know they weren't really for kids, or deal with serious situations. I don't think they many of them are really "comics" though

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  16. Neil Gaiman sounds like a bitch.

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  17. Haha, Neil and Alan are awesome.

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  18. Graphic novels and comic books are very similar, confusing one for the other is no big deal

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  19. I agree and disagree. It's weird.

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  20. Really good post man, I'll follow you

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  21. Same thing as Chris Hashemi said. As long as it's interesting I like it

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  22. So if a girl asks, are you going to tell her that you read comics (something associated with a lack of interpersonal experience) or graphic novels (something that most people would not know)?

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  23. Whatever you call it, it's still cool with me, but graphic novel does have a more grown up sound to it

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  24. @Shack180

    Manga is no way a form of children books, yes there are children Manga series but there are a lot of very good Adult Manga some of which have been made into Anime series.

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