Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Graphic novels

Briggs - Ethel and Ernest
Newsweek has an article on how graphic novels have become mainstream. Should've appeared much, much earlier, in my opinion - Persepolis and Jimmy Corrigan have been major novels for a while already.

Since the article mentions the major American artists - Art Spiegelman (Maus), Daniel Clowes (Ghost World), Alan Moore (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) - might I recommend the understated work of the Brit Raymond Briggs? When the Wind Blows is perhaps one of the sweetest, saddest graphic novels I've seen on the topic of coming to grips with nuclear catastrophe. And Ethel & Ernest shows just how powerful nuanced personal history can be as a means of describing social history.



This post brings up a question I've been pondering lately (especially since the movie Sin City came out):

What's the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel?

Aren't they the same thing? Or does a graphic novel just have more pages?


I think some publications are both... but I would say a graphic novel has a more 'adult' audience. Sort of an iffy definition.

According to this link, other differences include that major bookstores carry graphic novels, and graphic novels don't have a shelf life in the way comic books do.


There is no difference between a graphic novel and a comic book other than the scope of the idea contained in a single format (as in a graphic novel). Comic books are chapters of a graphic novel, in my view, each telling a part of a whole. I think graphic novels are conceived as a whole from beginning to end, however, and comic books are parts of a sprawling mass of storylines that have no single idea to unify them.


Post a Comment

Create a Link