1. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    Comic books or graphic novels?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Islander, Feb 3, 2011.

    I don't like the term "graphic novel". It implies that "ordinary" comic books don't have the qualities of a novel, like characterisation and a deep storyline. It also creates a divide between "serious" writers/artists and those who write for a popular audience, and we don't need divides - we need more cross-pollination between different types of artists and genres.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    This might just be me, but I tend to think of "comics" as referring to smaller, single issues in a longer arc. "Graphic novel" to me indicates when those individual issues are collected in something more resembling a book. I see them as different sides of the same coin really, and not anything particularly negative or discriminatory. But I suppose terminology and phraseology will mean different things to different people.
     
  3. thenewpeter
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    thenewpeter Senior Member

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    I've personly always thought of it as the term comic book being aimed more towards a younger audiance, where as graphic novels to a more mature audiance, but that just how I've always seen it, I know theres examples of either side of that to contradict it, but meh, its just my opinion, I'm all for either any way. ^^
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Yeah, whenever I use the term graphic novel, I use it to refer to a long-format comic book, whereas I use comic or comic book to refer to individual issues. For the style as a whole, I use Eisner's term Sequential Art.

    I get why the term 'graphic novel' has maybe higher or more literary connotations, but that's only because most people's knowledge of comics is limited to Marvel and DC. Eisner, Spiegelman and those guys have been doing 'literary' things in comic books for decades, so I don't think there's any stock in that kind of division.
     
  5. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Much as I'm inclined to reject any further unnecessary subdivision within genres (try being a metal fan it is the worst for that), in this case I find it somewhat useful. Comic books and graphic novels aren't really my thing, but at least if someone tells me about a comic or a graphic novel, I have a clearer sense of what they mean. I guess as a very casual reader of either genre, I'd compare it to the short story/hardcover novel distinction. Whether this is accurate or not is a whole other matter.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I guess for me the difference is a comic is serialised a graphic novel isn't.

    However my issue is I always think of when the BBC used to say and 'this show contains graphic scenes of violence and scenes that are sexual in nature that some may find disturbing.'

    To me whenever I hear graphic novel I think sex and violence :)
     
  7. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't like the term graphic novel, but that's only because my dbag ex and his friends used to call their comics "graphic novels" to sound cooler (and also refer to the comic book store as the cbs so people wouldn't know where they were going...if you're gonna be a nerd, you've got to own it!). I think it makes sense that a comic would be a single issue, while a graphic novel refers to a longer one.
     
  8. Aryss White
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    Aryss White New Member

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    I don't like the term Graphic Novel because it can be two or three different things. I read Manga and people refer to them as Graphic Novels. I do read some comic books and I get confused when someone refers to them as Graphic Novels because my first thought is a book with text and pictures at certain points to show an action or a character's reaction to something.
     
  9. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    If "graphic novel" refers to the format, why do people call "Watchmen" a graphic novel? It was published as a 12-issue miniseries before it was collected into a book.

    You also hear people refer to "Sandman" as "a graphic novel", but even in collected form, it stretches across eight or ten books. Shouldn't it be called "a series of graphic novels"?
     
  10. sidtvicious
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    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm a comic die-hard, whenever someone uses the phrase "graphic novel" i feel like they're trying to hide the fact that they're reading a comic. Meh prejudices.
     
  11. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Most people are probably most familiar with Watchmen in collected graphic novel format, even though it was initially serialised. And anyone who knows what Sandman is should know well enough to call it a comic, or at least a series of graphic novels, because graphic novel it is not.
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think once it is collected into a book it is no longer a comic. Just like Little Women, Martin Chuzzlewit etc are now novels
     

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