Discussion Forums - Graphic Novels & Manga

Topic: Graphic Novel Question

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Ivy M. (Luvbug) - ,
Subject: Graphic Novel Question
Date Posted: 3/22/2008 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2005
Posts: 502
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I always thought that a graphic novel was one that had the story drawn in pictures simulare to a comic book but in a paperback binding.  I ordered an Elf Quest book that was marked as a graphic novel but when I got it it was just like any other paperback book...no pictures at all.  Am I wrong in my definition of a graphic novel???  

Ivy

Date Posted: 3/23/2008 11:14 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 471
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You're right, a graphic novel is supposed to have pictures, like a comic book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic_Novel

Since ElfQuest is a GN series, the book you got was probably mislabeled GN too.

Date Posted: 3/23/2008 6:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2007
Posts: 429
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I agree with bluestar.  It is supposed to be like a comic book, but a lot of novels on pbs that have graphic novel characters get labeled as graphic novels even though they are not graphic novels

 

Shannon

Ivy M. (Luvbug) - ,
Date Posted: 3/23/2008 10:44 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2005
Posts: 502
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Thank you for your help.  I am new to graphic novels and was begining to think that I was wrong about my expectations of what I should be getting.  I will read the Elf Quest book that I got but I would really have liked it better if it had been a graphic novel. 

Ivy

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 3/24/2008 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Generally, in my area, books such as you received ARE called graphic novels, text-only paperbacks often based on the characters and/or storyline from an anime or manga.  The "primarily pictures with text" comic-format paperbacks that you were seeking are generally called manga.

 

From Wikipedia: 

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. It suggests a story that has a beginning, middle and end, as opposed to an ongoing series with continuing characters; one that is outside the genres commonly associated with comic books, and that deals with more mature themes. It is sometimes applied to works that fit this description even though they are serialized in traditional comic book format.

 

In the publishing trade, the term is sometimes extended to material that would not be considered a novel if produced in another medium. Collections of comic books that do not form a continuous story, anthologies or collections of loosely related pieces, and even non-fiction are stocked by libraries and bookstores as "graphic novels" (similar to the manner in which dramatic stories are included in "comic" books). It is also sometimes used to create a distinction between works created as stand-alone stories, in contrast to collections of a story arc from a comic book series published in book form.

Date Posted: 3/28/2008 12:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 2,125
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Actually, some of the books being published right now have no "comics" in them.  Some of the slayers stuff is just a graphic -novel-.  Stress the novel.  :)

Ivy M. (Luvbug) - ,
Date Posted: 3/31/2008 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2005
Posts: 502
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Sianeke: 

If I am understanding what wikepedia is saying then they are discribing a novel that has characters that would have been in a comic book at one time and they are now being written into a novel at this point.  I would not concider these types of books Graphic novel...to me they are just a novel or paperback book. 

The word graphic to me means drawings/pictures and/or special affects like in a movie.  This is what was confusing me so much when I got the book in the mail that was a novel and did not have any kind of graphics in it and therefore I asked for some help clearifying the definition of a graphic novel.

 

 

Sianeka - ,
Date Posted: 3/31/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2007
Posts: 6,630
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Heya, Ivy.  I thought the same thing as you when I first started getting into these, it seems to make sense -- graphic novels have graphics, right?  As opposed to regular novels...  But I have seen more and more in my area where the primarily text-based books are called graphic novels and the image-based books are called manga.  So, I'm not at all surprised that you ordered a "graphic novel" book and received a text-based book that is more like a paperback than a comic book in paperback format.  Called a Graphic Novel to distinguish it from the image-based ElfQuest manga books out there.

To you and I, all manga should be graphic novels, but we should be aware when we are ordering these that not everyone has the same logic.  And that some parts of the country consider graphic novels to be paperback novels based on anime/manga characters/storylines.

Date Posted: 3/31/2008 5:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,350
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Manga is Japanese graphic novels, just like anima is Japanese animation.  Is "animae" going to start referring to live-action films? I can see it being spread to meaning that style not just from that country, but not all graphic novels are manga!  For example, the Marvel/DC/etc American are graphic novels, but they aren't manga.

Wikipedia is not always accurate, and I disagree fairly strongly with it in this case.

I was really upset recently when I received a Vampire Hunter D novel and it was a novel.  Such things have NO business being in the GN genre.  While I can somewhat understand when listers get to pick the genre and having graphic-scenes-described books show up in the GN genre, the publisher-picked genres being completely misleading really irritates me.

I actually filed a request to have GN removed as a genre tag from the book because it is inaccurate.  Not sure if it'll go anywhere--but I pulled very Vampire Hunter D novel off my WL as well. I don't have a good way to see if any of them are actually graphic novels and don't want any more text versions.  I'm just glad I didn't have the Kenshin all-text book show up off my WL.  I found it in the store and rolled my eyes and put it back.

Date Posted: 6/8/2008 12:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 68
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Kayote, I certainly agree - "manga" refers to Japanese comic books specifically.  The term "graphic novel" may be evolving (according to the (admittedly suspect) sources at Wikipedia) into something a little different, but it has and does (and will continue to) most commonly mean "thick volume collecting previously published comic book material" or "thick volume of original comic book material".

IE: comic books.

As for checking out what you are getting in advance, like the Vampire Hunter D books you pulled off of your Wish List... perhaps you can scout a site like Amazon.com to check before adding to or removing from your WL?  They generally have pretty clear descriptions and often preview pages as well.

Best of luck!

Subject: Vampire Hunter D Graphic Novels
Date Posted: 11/30/2008 4:11 AM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2008
Posts: 105
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If you're looking for the pictured Vampire Hunter D novels, you'll want them published by DMP (Digital Manga Publishing) instead of the Dark Horse publisher which are the text only novels...

There are only currently 2 (pictured) graphic novels available, with the 3rd one due out in May of 2009, they currently are following the storylines of the novels.

My daughter has all of the VHD novels and the 1st graphic novel which I have read all of them but the last novel since it's a 4 part one so I'm waiting on the next book to come out so I can read it complete...

Subject: newtype
Date Posted: 9/2/2010 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/7/2006
Posts: 523
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I have a Newtype magazine dated Oct 2005 in great shape with poster still attached. I would love to trade it for a credit. I didn't know if I could post it with the books or not.

Date Posted: 11/22/2010 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2008
Posts: 148
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Since this is already up here, I'm curious to get clarification from people who read more of this genre than I do.  I was wondering what you all consider the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel.  Do you consider an issue a comic book and the whole thing a GN?  (Example being one issue of Sandman vs. Sandman:  Preludes and Nocturnes)  Or does comic just imply superheroes?  As far as the graphic novel having no pictures, maybe that's just in manga right now, because I'm a big Fables reader and the Fables novel that came out was considered a fantasy novel, not a graphic novel.