Things I'm tired of hearing/seeing

A curmudgeonly rant.

Now that so many movies based on comic books have been well-received in Hollywood and only seem to be on the upswing, the phrase "Graphic Novel" or the derivative "Graphic Novelist" is more ubiquitous than crabs at a Pam Anderson Beach Party.

They dare not call comic books comic books, because apparently it's more palatable for non-comic readers to be seen in public watching or buying a movie based on a graphic novel. It sounds more erudite, doesn't it? Well, yes, semantically I suppose it does, but let's call a spade a spade and stop perpetuating negative stereotypes that already make the niche market of comic book collecting an endangered one.

Graphic novels are distinctive from comic books in a variety of ways, which is why the two terms have generally never been used interchangeably until the saturation of comic book properties in the movie industry. Granted, there are exceptions to the rule, but by and large, most comic related movies are based on ongoing series or limited series as opposed to graphic novels, which are generally defined by length, binding and whether the story is self-contained, among other variables. But all comics suddenly fall under the Graphic Novel Umbrella to appeal to a wider base and sell more tickets!

Note that the 30 Days of Night poster above claims it's based on "the graphic novel". Apparently, in this case, "the graphic novel" means a series of single issues printed on a monthly schedule presenting a serialized arc.


JLo said...

Didn't you chastise me once for calling them comic books? Just saying...I think I said, you color combic books, and you said something like, no, I do narrative graphic illustrations, or something like that.


Joel said...

Nope. I never said that. I may have made a stupid joke based off the implication that I use crayons or something, but I color comic books. Single floppies are comics, one-shot stories told in a single bound volume are graphic novels. Even collected trades are referred to as graphic novels, but they aren't either. They are trades. It doesn't matter in the long run, I guess, it's just something that irked me, kinda like the LOL Cats/talk thing is annoying me lately.

JLo said...

I am still kind of lost. I just remember saying something like that and being corrected, or perhaps I asked you for the correct terminology. Either way, no biggie.

And I love LOL Cats.