The Difference Between Comics and Graphic Novels

Learn about the differences between comics & graphic novels - from length & complexity to art form & audience.

The Difference Between Comics and Graphic Novels

A graphic novel is a complete story, with a beginning, middle, and end. It offers the kind of resolution you would expect from a novel, even if it is part of a series. This makes it longer and more substantial than a comic book, which is a serialized extract from a larger narrative. Comics have been around since the 1920s, when newspaper strips containing comics were collected and reprinted.

The satisfaction one gets from reading either a graphic novel or comic book depends on the individual. A key difference is that graphic novels tend to resemble real stories, while comics are clearly from another world. Graphic novelists have tried to separate themselves from comic book artists in the popular imagination. Single-panel comics have been published in newspapers since the mid-18th century, and comic strips became popular in the late 19th century.

A standard comic usually includes only part of a story, so one usually can't read or buy just one to learn the whole plot or discover the characters. There are also several comic book titles that are known for their violence and other adult themes. Popular comics include Batman, The Incredible Hulk, Superman, The X-men, Wonder Woman and The Fantastic Four. Most cartoonists like Art Spiegelman, Dan Clowes, Chris Ware and Jeffery Brown have said that they make comics.People often think that comics are aimed specifically at children or teenagers, although many adults also like the themes.

Despite the common view of comics as commonplace, some of these publications have been highly successful to the point of strongly influencing culture. Comics are serialized stories; most are relatively short and tell the story of the book's heroes and heroines over a long period of time. Even though comics are very popular, in general, many people tend to view them as an inferior art form, in part because they assume that they are largely designed for children or have simple themes.The division between graphic novelists and comic book writers is often comparable to the perceived difference between artists and artists. Like any other novel, graphics receive an international standard book number (ISBN), a 13-digit identifier used with books.

The most important difference between comics and graphic novels is that comics have stories that are less complicated and easy to understand, while graphic novels have big, complicated stories.

Will Isidro
Will Isidro

Typical thinker. Hardcore travel specialist. Incurable twitter fanatic. Total pop culture fanatic. Hipster-friendly tea buff.