What is a Graphic Novel

Glossary > Graphic Novel

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Graphic novels are books published in strip format with length, plot, and character development similar to regular novels. The term graphic novel was coined in 1964 by Richard Kyle and gathered popularity with Maus, which is usually regarded as the first graphic novel.

Related questions about graphic novels:

What are the three main types of graphic novels?

Typically, graphic novels are divided into superhero stories (think Marvel and DC Comics), non-superhero stories (Maus is a good fit), and personal stories (like Persepolis). Non-fiction graphic novels are becoming widely popular, especially with young adults.

What is the difference between a comic and a graphic novel?

Comics are serialized publications, while graphic novels are complex novels in comic strip format. Comic books usually contain superhero characters involved in episode-like accounts without a thorough chronology, ending in cliffhangers. Graphic novels have the typical book-like form, quality, and design. They have complex characters with elaborate dialogue bubbles and an intricate plot that implies character development and secondary stories aside from the central narrative.

What are the features of graphic novels?

Compared to text-based novels, graphic novels have the power to convey the storyline with the aid of illustrations, dialogue bubbles, and narration boxes. What otherwise would have been a lengthy text gets compressed into text blurbs and panels but enhanced by the power of illustrations. This way, the message retains its meaning.

What makes a book a graphic novel?

Graphic novels are stories narrated in panels with the aid of illustrations. The better the connection between the illustrator and writer, the more compelling and intellectually satisfying the book's message will be. Illustrations challenge the reader's imagination, allowing the reader to grasp things or concepts that would otherwise be difficult to imagine or understand. 

What is the purpose of a graphic novel?

Graphic novels appeal to reluctant readers who find it easier to progress through the pages with the help of illustrations. The highly visual content enhances the readers' experience and engages them into continuing with what proves to be a thrilling and rewarding experience. Since graphic novels are no longer just works of fiction, they are great for introducing difficult concepts to put into words and giving young readers a chance to understand complex ideas in a non-burdening manner.

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