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Graphic novel

Related: graphic - novel - comics


A graphic novel is a long-form comic book or manga; the comics analogue to a prose novel or novella.

However, because it disassociates these works from the juvenile and/or humorous connotations of the terms "comics" and "comic book", the term "graphic novel" has also been adopted as a marketing category: it describes comic books that are bound and sold as hardcover or paperback books, as distinguished from those presented in the traditional comic book magazine or children's book formats. When used in this sense, the term is sometimes extended beyond novels; story collections, sometimes even anthologies, have been gathered and sold under this umbrella term.

Popularized by Will Eisner, the term appeared on the cover the 1978 paperback edition of his first graphic novel, A Contract with God. This led many sources to incorrectly credit Eisner with originating the term. However, "Graphic novel" was used as early as November 1964 by Richard Kyle in CAPA-ALPHA #2, a newsletter published by the Comic Amateur Press Alliance, and again in Kyle's Fantasy Illustrated #5 (Spring 1966). In 1976 the term appeared in connection with three separate works. Bloodstar by Richard Corben (adapted from a story by Robert E. Howard) used the term on its cover, and George Metzger's Beyond Time and Again (published by Richard Kyle) was subtitled "A Graphic Novel." Chandler: Red Tide by Jim Steranko used the term "graphic novel" in its introduction and was labelled "a visual novel" on the cover, although Chandler is more properly an illustrated novel than a work of comics. (The original 1976 hardcover printing of Eisner's A Contract with God did not use the term).

Long-form comic books existed long before the term's popularization and subsequent use as a marketing category: for example, the book-length (and hardcovered) Franco-Belgian comics featuring Tintin, Asterix and Spirou are graphic novels. This format is the most popular for the Franco-Belgian comics since the 1960s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic_novels [Apr 2005]

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