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.