Friday, August 21, 2009

Graphic Novel, is it?

The Graphic Novel is the fastest growing literary form, but there has been mixed opinions about the term since it was first used in 1977 by Will Eisner to describe his A Contract with God. So, curious to see how the professionals felt about it, I asked sixteen assorted comics writers, artists, and publishers the same question: What's your opinion of the term 'Graphic Novel'?

Neil Gaiman said:

It is at moments like this Pádraig, that we remember what Dr Johnson said on the subject:

As far as I can tell, GRAPHIC NOVEL was a term coined by YAHOOS specifically to pester, irritate and lykewise get the GANDER of MASTER EDDIE CAMPBELL, such that SMALL BOYS and STREET URCHINS are said to shout it at him in the street (Viz,
Here Comes Master Campbell, Have you written or drawn another Graphic Novel today?). Persons of QUALITY do not utter it, preferring such terms as BIG COMICAL BOOK ALL BOUNDEN TOGETHER WITH A THICK SPINE or even A COLLEXION OF PAGES WITH PICTURES AND WORDS PRINTED IN SUCH A WAY THAT BOOKESHOPPES CAN SELL THEM TO THEIR PROFIT.

Other, more serious, opinions can be found in this blogpost, from people like Bryan Talbot, David Lloyd, and Dave McKean.


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