If you’re new to the world of comic books, there’s one question that you’re probably asking above all the rest: What’s the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel?! Well, we here at Nerd Assembly wanted to provide you with a guideline to distinguish between these two terms. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems!
This is the traditional way to read American comics. These books look like a thin magazine and are published on a monthly basis. A single comic is also referred to as an issue. The root of comics is in this style, and home to the major superheroes that you know and love.
There are three types of graphic novels: compilations, single stories, and hybrids.
These are comic books. No joke, they are exactly what was mentioned above, only they’ve been combined into a single book, usually in order to tell a story that spanned over several issues.
The Dark Knight Returns
Superman: Red Son
These are more like novels that just happen to be told through pictures.
They look like graphic novels, but they act like comics. These usually take longer to make, so each issue usually takes around 6 months to a year to be released.
Y: The Last Man
The Walking Dead
Anything from Dark Horse Comics
See, that wasn’t so bad! Now, these are the types of comics found in your typical, American comic book store, but there are a couple other, international terms that are important to know.
These are the thin, Japanese comic books from which many anime shows find their source material.
Yu Yu Hakusho
This term refers to comics or animations created in the French/Belgium area. The literal translation is “the drawn strip,” but they’re also known as Franco-Belgian comics. These comics differ from their American counterparts in many ways: they’re produced and published by individuals instead of companies, they’re usually between 48 and 64 pages in length, and they can take anywhere from six months to two or more years to make per installment. But just like American comics, they’re a huge part of popular culture in this region.
Well, there you have it, your straightforward guide to the world of comic books and graphic novels. Of course, now would be the time to tell you that comic books rarely play by straightforward rules. There are always exceptions, always someone breaking the mold, but that’s what makes this particular breed of nerdom so much fun. So get out there, and start reading!