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Encyclopedia > Graphic novels

"Graphic novel" (sometimes abbreviated GN) is a term for a kind of book, usually telling an extended story with sequential art (i.e. comics). It is not strictly defined, and is often used to imply subjective distinctions between a given book and other kinds of comics. ... Comics (sometimes spelled comix) are combinations of words and images into a medium for telling stories. ...

Contents


Definitions

"Graphic Novel" is most broadly used to refer to any long-form comic book or manga, i.e. the comics analogue to a prose novel or novella. It can apply to works which were previously published serially in periodical comic books, or to works produced specifically for book-format publication. A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... Rurouni Kenshin manga, volume 1 (English version) Manga (漫画) is the Japanese word for comics; outside of Japan, it usually refers specifically to Japanese comics. ... Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to the patterns of everyday speech. ... A novel is an extended work of written, narrative, prose fiction, usually in story form; the writer of a novel is a novelist. ... A novella is a short, narrative, prose fiction work. ...


Standards for what constitutes a "long-form" work vary. Publishers sometimes designate books of as few as 48 pages as "graphic novels", but whether works this short should be called "novels" is frequently disputed. Some use the term "graphic novella" for works that fit the general sense of the term (i.e. a single, well-developed story), but are less than 100 pages. The fact that books in this range can be published either "perfect-bound" (like a typical "novel") or "saddle-stitched" (like a typical "comic book") adds to the disagreement of whether the term should apply.


Some people refer to works of several hundred or even thousands of pages, published in multiple volumes of hundreds of pages each (e.g. Cerebus the Aardvark, The Sandman), as a single "graphic novel". Others refer to each volume in such an extended work as its own "graphic novel" (e.g. High Society (the second volume of Cerebus), A Season of Mists (the fourth volume of The Sandman)). A serialised work of similar length may occasionally be called a "graphic novel" regardless of whether it has been published in collected form, by analogy to the works of writers such as Charles Dickens, which were first serialized and were (arguably) "novels" regardless of their publication format. Cerebus issues 112 and 113, from 1988. ... Cover of The Sandman #1, by Dave McKean. ... Charles Dickens used his rich imagination, sense of humour and detailed memories, particularly of his childhood, to enliven his fiction. ...


Particularly in the book trade, the term is sometimes extended to include material that would not be considered a "novel" if produced in another medium. Collections of comic book issues that do not form a single continuous story, anthologies of short loosely-related pieces (by a single creator or even by multiple creative teams), and even non-fiction are stocked by libraries and bookstores as "graphic novels". Anthology may also mean a Alien Ant Farm album ANThology, see Anthology (AAF Album) An anthology is a collection of literary works, originally of poems, but in recent years its usage has broadened to be applied to collections of short stories and comic strips. ... Non-fiction is an account or representation of a subject which is composed of facts, true or untrue. ...


Other roughly synonymous terms, preferred by some to avoid the "disturbing" implications of the word "graphic", are "drawn book" and "visual novel".


The term "graphic novel" is commonly used to disassociate works from the juvenile and/or humorous connotations of the terms "comics" and "comic book". It implies that the work is more serious, mature, and/or literary than traditional superhero or funny animal comics. Following the reasoning behind this distinction, the French term "Bande Dessinée" is sometimes applied to certain English comic books and graphic novels - mostly by art historians and those creators and critics who are schooled in the fine arts - in order to further dissociate serious works of fine art from their supposedly more pedestrian counterparts. The usage is hotly contested, even though it is mostly limited to those same fine arts University departments. Superman (left) and Batman, two of the most recognizable and influential superheroes. ... Funny animal is a slang term used to describe a genre of cartoons and comics in which the main characters are anthropomorphic animals. ... Tintin, one of the most famous Belgian comics Franco-Belgian comics are comics or comic books written in Belgium and France. ...


Some object to its use in reference to manga, arguing that the traditional stylistic treatment of Japanese works makes them distinct from the Western works for which the term was created.


It is also used sometimes in contradistinction to "trade paperback", to emphasize that the work was created as a single, complex, but finite narrative, and not just collected arbitrarily from an ongoing melodrama. Poster for The Perils of Pauline (1914). ...


History

The term "graphic novel" was popularized by Will Eisner after it appeared on the cover of the trade paperback edition of A Contract with God, and Other Tenement Stories (Baronet Books, published October 1978), a mature, complex work focusing on the lives of ordinary people in the real world. (The simultaneous hardcover did not use the term.) The label "graphic novel" was intended to distinguish it from traditional comic books, with which it shared a storytelling medium. Eisner cited as inspiration the 1930s books of Lynd Ward, who produced complete novels in woodcuts. The critical and commercial success of A Contract with God helped to establish the term "graphic novel" in common usage, and many sources have incorrectly credited Eisner with being the first to use it. Will Eisner (March 3, 1917 – January 3, 2005) was an acclaimed American comics writer and artist who is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of the medium. ... A trade paperback can refer to any book that is bound with a heavy paper cover that is generally cheaper than the hardcover but more expensive than the regular paperback version. ... Cover A Contract with God is a graphic novel by Will Eisner, its full title being A Contract with God: and Other Tenement Stories. ... 1978 was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1978 calendar). ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... Lynd Kendall Ward was an American artist and storyteller (June 26, 1905 - June 28, 1985) He illustrated some 200 juvenile and adult books. ... A woodcut is a method of printing in which an image is carved into the surface of a piece of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with chisels. ...


In fact, it 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. George Metzger's Beyond Time and Again, serialized in underground comics from 1967-72, was subtitled "A Graphic Novel" on the inside title page when collected as a 48-page, black-and-white, hardcover book published by Kyle & Wheary. [[1]] 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 commonly considered an illustrated novel than a work of comics. 1964 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1966 was a common year starting on Saturday (link goes to calendar) // Events January January 1 - In a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa ousts president David Dacko and takes over the Central African Republic. ... 1976 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... Richard Corben (born November 1, 1940) is an American comic book artist best known for his illustrated fantasy stories in Heavy Metal magazine. ... Robert Ervin Howard (January 22, 1906 – June 11, 1936) was a writer of fantasy and historical adventure pulp stories, published primarily in Weird Tales magazine in the 1930s. ... The term underground comics or comix describes the self-published or small press comic books that sprang up in the US in the late 1960s. ... James Jim Steranko (born November 5, 1938) is an American illusionist and escape magician, musician, graphic artist, comic book writer, artist, and historian, publisher, and movie storyboard illustrator. ... Illustrated fiction is a hybrid narrative medium in which images and text work together to tell a story. ... Comics (sometimes spelled comix) are combinations of words and images into a medium for telling stories. ...


Since the term came into use, it has been applied retroactively to various works which did not use the term but fit (or nearly fit) the popular modern usage. These prototypical examples include Milt Gross's He Done Her Wrong (1930), a wordless comic published in book format; Gil Kane's self-published, magazine-format comics novel, His Name is... Savage (1968, the same year Marvel Comics published two issues of the similarly magazine-format The Spectacular Spider-Man); and Kane's illustrated novel Blackmark (1971), a sword-and-sorcery paperback published by Bantam. Another often-cited example is Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species by writer Don McGregor and artist Paul Gulacy (Eclipse Books, October 1978). Calling itself a "graphic album," it marked the first time that an original heroic-adventure character in the American comic-book tradition was conceived expressly for the graphic-novel form. 1930 is a common year starting on Wednesday. ... Eli Katz (April 6, 1926–January 31, 2000), who worked under the name Gil Kane, was a comic book illustrator whose career spanned the so-called Golden and Silver Ages of comics. ... Marvel Comics, sometimes called by the nickname House of Ideas, is an American comic book company. ... Spider-Man swinging around his hometown, New York City. ... Sword and sorcery (S&S) is a fantasy sub-genre featuring swashbuckling heroes in violent conflict with a variety of villains, chiefly wizards, witches, evil spirits, and other supernatural creatures. ... One of the first graphic novels, Sabre (subtitled Slow Fade of an Endangered Species), was written by Don McGregor and illustrated by Paul Gulacy, and published in October 1978 by the company that would become known as Eclipse Comics. ... Don McGregor (born June 15, 1945) is an American Comic Book Writer. ... Paul Gulacy is an American Comic Book Artist. ... Eclipse Comics was an independent American comic book publisher in the 1980s. ...


Other similar works pre-dating the term are book-length hardcover Franco-Belgian comics featuring Tintin, Asterix and Spirou, which have been popular since the 1960s. One could also classify the long-form sequential woodcut albums by Belgian Frans Masereel, such as Passionate Journey, as early forms of graphic novel. Belgium and France have a long tradition in comics, known locally as les bande dessinées. ... Tintin and Snowy (Tintin et Milou) are world travellers and inseparable friends in The Adventures of Tintin. ... A shrewd, cunning little warrior; all perilous missions are immediately entrusted to him. ... Spirou is: a Belgian childrens comic magazine; one of its serial comic strips, which is also published in hardcover format the eponymous character of the comic strip. ... The 1960s, or The Sixties, in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... Frans Masereel (1889-1972) was a Belgian painter, one of the greatest woodcut artist of our time. ...


Artistic movement

Eddie Campbell has issued a manifesto (2004) to the effect that the "graphic novel" is more the product of an artist, and that it follows that the term is therefore better used as a description of an artistic movement. Members of the movement are known as "Graphic Novelists". Alec: The King Canute Crowd by Eddie Campbell Eddie Campbell is a Scottish-born comics artist and cartoonist who now lives in Australia. ... Alec: The King Canute Crowd by Eddie Campbell Eddie Campbell is a Scottish-born comics artist and cartoonist who now lives in Australia. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time (usually a few months, years or decades). ...


Campbell defines the major goal of the movement as being "to take the form of the comic book, which has become an embarrassment, and raise it to a more ambitious and meaningful level." Campbell sees the movement as drawing on many antecedents, notably woodcut novels, such as those by Lynd Ward, but does not wish the movement to be applied in relation to such antecedents. Further, Campbell rejects the notion that the term can be applied to the form of the work with any objective meaning, beyond those necessary for marketing purposes. A woodcut is a method of printing in which an image is carved into the surface of a piece of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with chisels. ... Lynd Kendall Ward was an American artist and storyteller (June 26, 1905 - June 28, 1985) He illustrated some 200 juvenile and adult books. ...


Notable examples

American Splendor is the autobiographical comic book series and graphic novels written by Harvey Pekar. ... Harvey Pekar (born 1939) is an American underground comic book writer. ... Robert Crumb (born August 30, 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an artist and illustrator who signs his work R. Crumb. Crumb was one of the founders of the underground comics movement, and is often regarded as the most prominent figure in that movement. ... Eli Katz (April 6, 1926–January 31, 2000), who worked under the name Gil Kane, was a comic book illustrator whose career spanned the so-called Golden and Silver Ages of comics. ... Blankets is a 2003 graphic novel by Craig Thompson. ... Craig Thompson (born 1975 in Traverse City, Michigan) is a graphic novelist best known for his gigantic 2003 work Blankets, which is, at over 600 pages, one of the longest graphic novels ever written. ... Cover of Bone: One Volume Edition Bone is a graphic novel by Jeff Smith. ... Jeff Smith is an American cartoonist, best known as the creator of the self-published comic book series Bone. ... Cages (1998) by Dave McKean Dave McKean (born 1963 in Maidenhead, England) is an illustrator, photographer, comic book artist, filmmaker and musician. ... The New York Trilogy is a series of novels or long stories by Paul Auster. ... Paul Benjamin Auster (born February 3, 1947) is an American author. ... Dave Mazzucchelli is a comic book artist. ... Cerebus issues 112 and 113, from 1988. ... Dave Sim (born May 17, 1956 in Hamilton, Ontario) is a Canadian comic book writer and artist, best known as the creator of the 6,000 page graphic novel Cerebus the Aardvark. ... Cover A Contract with God is a graphic novel by Will Eisner, its full title being A Contract with God: and Other Tenement Stories. ... Will Eisner (March 3, 1917 – January 3, 2005) was an acclaimed American comics writer and artist who is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of the medium. ... Don McGregor (born June 15, 1945) is an American Comic Book Writer. ... The premiere issue of the series The Dark Knight Returns (known as DKR by fans) is a superhero comic book story published by DC Comics between 1985 and 1986, starring Batman. ... The first issue of The Dark Knight Returns, perhaps Millers best known work Frank Miller (born 27 January 1957 in Olney, Maryland) is an American writer and artist best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. ... From Hell is a graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and artist Eddie Campbell speculating upon the identity and motives of Jack the Ripper. ... Alan Moore Alan Moore (born November 18, 1953, in Northampton, England) is a British writer most famous for his work in comics. ... Alec: The King Canute Crowd by Eddie Campbell Eddie Campbell is a Scottish-born comics artist and cartoonist who now lives in Australia. ... Motoko Kusanagi in the movie Ghost in the Shell (1995) Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊, Kōkaku Kidōtai, Mobile Armoured Riot Police), is a Japanese science fiction manga created by Masamune Shirow. ... Masamune Shirow (士郎 正宗 Shirō Masamune) is a manga artist of international renown. ... Book cover Ghost World is a graphic novel by Daniel Clowes. ... Daniel Clowes (sometimes credited as Dan Clowes) is a comics-author and cartoonist of alternative comic books, including Eightball, and Lloyd Llewelyn. ... The Incal is a comic book saga written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and illustrated by Moebius. ... Jean Giraud (born May 8, 1938) is a French comics artist. ... Alejandro Jodorowsky © Beauregard - Maelström Edtions Alexandro Jodorowsky (born February 7, 1929, in Tocopilla, Chile to Ashkenazi Jewish parents) is an actor, director, producer, composer, mime, comic book writer and psychotherapist. ... Its a Good Life, If You Dont Weaken is the title of a graphic novel (or picture novella) by Seth, published by Drawn and Quarterly. ... Seth is the pen name of Gregory Gallant (born 1962), a Canadian comic book artist and writer. ... Jaime Hernandez and his brothers Gilbert and Mario are the creators of a black & white independent comic Love and Rockets, published by Fantagraphics Books. ... Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth a graphic novel by Chris Ware, published in 2000. ... Chris Ware ( 1967–Present) is an American comic book artist and cartoonist, best-known for a series of comics called the Acme Novelty Library, and a graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth. ... Chester Brown (born May 16, 1960) is a Canadian independent cartoonist. ... Cover Maus: A Survivors Tale is a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman that recounts his fathers struggle to survive the Holocaust as a Polish Jew. ... Art Spiegelman (born February 15, 1948) is an American comics artist. ... Nausicaä flying her Mehve over the Valley of Wind Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (風の谷のナウシカ Kaze no tani no Naushika) is a graphic novel (manga) and 1984 film by Japanese writer, illustrator, and filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. ... Animator Hayao Miyazaki Hayao Miyazaki (宮崎駿, Miyazaki Hayao) (born January 5, 1941) is one of the most famous and respected creators of anime, or Japanese animated films. ... Harvey Pekar (born 1939) is an American underground comic book writer. ... Palestine is the title of a graphic novel written by Joe Sacco about his experiences in the West Bank. ... Joe Sacco (born 1960) is a Maltese comics artist and journalist. ... Palomar (subtitled The Heartbreak Soup Stories) is the title of a graphic novel written and drawn by Gilbert Hernandez and published in 2003 by Fantagraphics Books (ISBN 1560975393). ... Gilbert Hernandez and his brothers Jaime and Mario are the creators of a black & white independent comic Love and Rockets, published by Fantagraphics Books. ... Persepolis is a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi that describes her childhood in Iran during the overthrow of the Shah. ... Marjane Satrapi (born in 1969 in Rasht, Iran) is a contemporary graphic novelist and illustrator. ... A poster for Road to Perdition Road to Perdition is a 2002 motion picture directed by Sam Mendes and starring Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and Daniel Craig. ... Max Allan Collins is a prolific American mystery writer who has been called mysterys Renaissance man. He has written novels, screenplays, comic books, comic strips, trading cards, short stories, movie adaptations and historical fiction. ... One of the first graphic novels, Sabre (subtitled Slow Fade of an Endangered Species), was written by Don McGregor and illustrated by Paul Gulacy, and published in October 1978 by the company that would become known as Eclipse Comics. ... Don McGregor (born June 15, 1945) is an American Comic Book Writer. ... Paul Gulacy is an American Comic Book Artist. ... Cover of Sin City Sin City is the title for a series of stories by Frank Miller, told in comic book form in a film noir-like style. ... The first issue of The Dark Knight Returns, perhaps Millers best known work Frank Miller (born 27 January 1957 in Olney, Maryland) is an American writer and artist best known for his film noir-style comic book stories. ... The Books of Magic is a four-issue comic book miniseries written by Neil Gaiman and published by the DC Comics imprint Vertigo. ... Neil Richard Gaiman () (born November 10, 1960 in Portchester, England) is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy works, including many comic books. ... Cover of The Sandman #1, by Dave McKean. ... Neil Richard Gaiman () (born November 10, 1960 in Portchester, England) is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy works, including many comic books. ... Stuck Rubber Baby is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Howard Cruse, first published in 1995. ... Howard Cruse is a gay American cartoonist. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Alan Moore Alan Moore (born November 18, 1953, in Northampton, England) is a British writer most famous for his work in comics. ... Screenshot of Beneath a Steel Sky, backgrounds courtesy of Dave Gibbons. ... When the Wind Blows (1982) is a graphic novel, by British artist Raymond Briggs, that shows a nuclear missile attack on Britain from the viewpoint of a retired couple, Jim and Hilda Bloggs, who live in Sussex; Briggs used the same characters in his earlier book Gentleman Jim, and they... Raymond Briggs (born January 18, 1934) is a British illustrator, cartoonist, and author who has achieved critical and popular success among adults and children. ...

Related terms

An artists book is an art object in the form of a book. ... A form of artists book approaching very closely to (but preceding) the Graphic novel. ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... Rurouni Kenshin manga, volume 1 (English version) Manga (漫画) is the Japanese word for comics; outside of Japan, it usually refers specifically to Japanese comics. ... In comics, a trade paperback (TPB) specifically refers to the periodic collections of the regularly published issues, usually capturing one story arc in the series. ...

References

  • "The Eddie Campbell Interview". (September, 2004) Graphic Novel Review In Depth - The Eddie Campbell Interview - Sidebar - Eddie Campbell's (Revised) Graphic Novel Manifesto. URL accessed on May 1, 2005.
  • "The Comics Journal Message Board Thread". The Comics Journal Message Board: NYTimes Mag Article 7/11/04 - within which Eddie Campbell formulated his Graphic Novel Manifesto). URL accessed on May 1, 2005.

May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ... May 1 is the 121st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (122nd in leap years). ... 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Graphic novel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2099 words)
The evolving term "graphic novel" is not strictly defined, and is sometimes used, controversially, to imply subjective distinctions in artistic quality between graphic novels and other kinds of comics.
The term "graphic novel" began to be popularized two months later after it appeared on the cover of trade paperback edition (though not the hardcover edition) of Will Eisner's groundbreaking A Contract with God, and Other Tenement Stories (Oct. 1978).
Eddie Campbell has issued a manifesto (2004) to the effect that the "graphic novel" is more the product of an artist, and that it follows that the term is therefore better used as a description of an artistic movement.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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