Comics vs Graphic Novels (or, This is Why I’m Currently Punching You in the Junk)

By now you are probably aware that I have strong opinions about…well, pretty much everything. This includes the terminology people use for their reading material.

I see a lot of people using the terms comic and graphic novel interchangeably and this bugs the shit out of me. Is it technically correct? I guess. But words HAVE MEANINGS, and I’mma teach you the proper way to use these terms today to avoid being on the receiving end of an internet cock/boxpunch from me.


Okay, so.  Is the book you’re reading:

  • Floppy and bound in the center with staples?  This one is easy.  That’s a comic (fucking dur, amirite?).
  • A large paperback or hardback collecting five or more issues of a monthly (or whatever the publication schedule) series?  Guess what?  THAT IS A COMIC.  Yes, it can also be referred to as a Trade Paperback or Compendium or Collection or Anthology, BUT it is still a COMIC.
  • A self-contained story with a set end that is NOT part of a larger overall arc?  That is a graphic novel.

If I hear ONE MORE PERSON talk about how they’re “reading the Walking Dead graphic novels” I’m going to lose my goddamn mind.


And just because you’re too much of a pretentious douchebalrog to admit you’re reading COMICS doesn’t make it any less a comic.

Now, maybe you’re not calling it that because you’re an asshole at all.  Maybe you just didn’t know.

Maybe this is what you’ve always heard people refer to them as.

All right, that’s fine.  It pains me, but that’s fine.

But now you know the difference.

To sum up:  Know your terminology and I won’t have to lose my shit.





sandman comic