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Graphic Novels Collection

What is a Graphic Novel?

What is a Graphic Novel?

From, The term graphic novel is not strictly defined; however, in general, it is a full-length story told in comic book style, with graphics and artwork. While comic books consist of an ongoing series with continuing characters, graphic novels follow a narrative structure, with a beginning, middle, and end. Each individual novel could be a stand-alone work or part of a series.

What is the Difference Between a Graphic Novel and a Comic?

From, A comic book is simply a story told using sequential panels of images. In America, the dominant form of comic book is the comic periodical, a magazine type book that averages about 22 pages in length. Whereas the comic book periodical blossomed by telling short stories, the graphic novel used the comic book format to tell long-form stories, like a novel.

From, “Although "comics" encompasses both comic books and graphic novels, a comic book is properly a magazine with volume and issue numbers. A graphic novel is properly a single publication . . . .”

Major Types of Graphic Novels

(from the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library) Like traditional novels there are endless ways to categorize different graphic novels. There are as many genres and sub-genres as in traditional fiction and non-fiction. The following are only a few of the most predominant categories.

Manga: The Japanese word for "comic" but in the US is used to descript Japanese style comics. Manga is read from top to bottom and right to left as this is the traditional Japanese reading pattern. Though, technically Manga refers to Japanese comics, many think Manga refers to a style rather than the country of origin. Titles: Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist

Superhero Story: Superhero graphic novels have taken the most popular form of comics and turned what were once brief episodic adventures into epic sagas. Superhero comics are dominated by a few mainstream publishers Marvel, DC, and Darkhorse. Titles: Batman: Dark Knight Returns, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Astrocity

Personal Narratives ("Perzines"): are autobiographical stories written from the author's personal experiences, opinions, and observations. Titles: Fun Home, Blankets, Lucky, The Quitter

Non-fiction: are similar to perzine's in that they are written from the author's personal experience, but the author is generally using their own experience to touch upon a greater social issue. Titles: Pedro and Me, Maus, Persepolis

Keywords and Search Headings

To locate all of the graphic novels, comics, and manga in the Highline College Library's collection of resources, please click on the link below.

Additionally, you can search for the following keywords & subject headings to find graphic novels, comics, and manga in OneSearch (Primo):

  • graphic novels
  • comics
  • cartoons and comics
  • comic books, strips, etc. 

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