Comics vs Graphic Novels
Comic and graphic novel have always been in high demand as a medium of telling a story with the help of pictures, graphics, or cartoons as you may prefer to describe them. Interestingly, comics have always been considered fit for kids and adults scoffed at the idea of reading them. The latest buzz around graphic novels clearly illustrates this valid point as they seem to carry more mature content and have bee designed to being into fold of readership a vast segment of the society that has been interested in comics but has feared being ridiculed by others for reading kid stuff. Let us find out if there is any difference between comics and graphic novels.
Comics cover a wide variety of means of expressing a story through pictures and include comic strips, newspaper strips, comic books, caricatures, web comics, and more. Traditionally though, comics have been used to convey a sequential story with the help of graphics and there is a predominance of pictures over text. Most of the story is expressed with the help of pictures, intermittently taking help of word balloons to help the reader understand the story in a better way. Words are used to expand the pictures rather than being a primary medium of expressing the story which is the case with novels or any other literary work.
Comics appeared as a mass medium in the 20th century when newspapers published cartoon series in their Sunday editions though it was soon made available on a daily basis sensing the popularity of these strips and also because they helped in improving the sales of newspapers. Soon publishers got the idea and cheap paperback comic books made an entry into the market. Historically, comics had characters that were either humorous or adventurous that provided a kick to the reader, especially the kids. With the launch of Action comics and Superman making his appearance, comics became extremely popular among the people, a tradition that continues till today.
In Japan, comics have traditionally been called manga, and the subject of comics has been varied from kids to adults to romance and even with sexual overtones. When the same technique was used to make animated films, it was referred to as anime in Japan.
The term graphic novel has been coined to refer to hard bound books that contain pictures and a little text to convey a story that has a beginning and also the end in the same issue. It looks and feels just like a comic book, the only difference being its thickness and hard cover. Also the subject matter is mature and more suitable for adults with less thrust on humor and adventure than is the case with comics. This means graphic novels are targeted towards adults and deliberately try to dissociate themselves with comics that have a juvenile content and are lighter on the reader.
There are many who have criticized the term saying it is an excuse to differentiate them with comic books and merely a marketing idea. They are just a ploy to sell books that are more expensive while trying to use the same method of telling a story.
Difference between Comics and Graphic Novels
Talking about differences, comic books are usually thin and have a paperback while graphic novels are thicker and hard bound. You can get comic books for as little as $2-$4, while an average graphic novel could cost more than $10. Another difference is that while comic books are mostly serialized and the story spills over to another issue like a magazine, while a graphic novel is complete in the sense that it has a beginning and ending. The subject matter is another notable difference with comic books mostly centered around funny or super hero characters while graphic novels tell more mature, adult oriented stories.