A graphic novel is made up of comic styled content rarely using any words but a lot of pictures. The term “graphic novel” is broadly applied and can include fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work. This type of novel was originally created in the 1940’s and 50’s. The definition is – a fictional story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book.
The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck is the oldest recognized American example of a comic subsequently published as a ‘novel’ in 1828. The genre grew in popularity from the 1920’s through to the late 1960’s, when American comic book creators were becoming more adventurous with the form. While, in continental Europe, the tradition of collecting serials of popular strips, such as The Adventures of Tintin became popular.
Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin’s Blackmark (1971), was a science fiction/sword-and-sorcery paperback published by Bantam Books and described as the very first American graphic novel. It was a 119-page story of comic-book art, with captions and word balloons, published in a traditional book format.
In response to criticism regarding the content of comic books, and to the establishment of the industry’s self-censorship, Comics Code Authority an underground alternative comix movement was created in the 1970’s. The term “graphic novel” was intended to distinguish it from the traditional serialized nature of comic books, with which it shared a storytelling medium. One term used was that graphic novels introduced the concept of graphiation, which was a newly coined term used to describe graphic expression or visual enunciation.
The definition of a graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. However, the term is not strictly defined, though Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition is “a fictional story that is presented in comic-strip format and published as a book”, while its simplest definition is given as “cartoon drawings that tell a story and are published as a book”
Obviously, some will say these are not ‘novels’ in the traditional sense at all. One such author, Alan Moore believed: “It’s a marketing term…that I never had any sympathy with. The term ‘comic’ does just as well for me…The problem is that ‘graphic novel’ just came to mean ‘expensive comic book’ and so what you’d get is people like DC Comics or Marvel Comics – because ‘graphic novels’ were getting some attention, they’d stick six issues under a glossy cover and called it graphic novel under the action hero’s name.
However, the term ‘graphic novel’ is broadly applied to include non-fiction, anthologized and fiction works and is distinguished from the term ‘comic book’, as this refers to comic periodicals.
Richard Kyle, a fan historian coined the term ‘graphic novel’ in 1964 and the term gained popularity in the comic community from 1978 and especially with the start of the Marvel graphic novel line in 1982. The book industry began using ‘graphic novel’ as a book shelf category in 2001. Most comics historians agree that the first real ‘graphic novel’ was Will Eisner’s A Contract With God and Other Tenement Stories published in 1978. Decidedly adult in its images, themes, and language, Eisner’s book spoke to the generation that had first grown up with superhero comics in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
I found a fascinating link regarding the history of graphic novels. Take a look: http://libguides.marymede.vic.edu.au/graphic_novels/history
The definition of fan fiction or fanfiction is stories created by fans of original works of fiction rather than the original creator. Since the advent of the Internet it has become a popular form of fan labor. It is not commissioned or usually authorized by the original work’s creator or publisher, and is rarely professionally published but rather qualifies under ‘fair use’. Attitudes differ by the original authors and copyright owners of these original works to fan fiction ranging from indifference to encouragement to rejection. Copyright owners have occasionally responded with legal action.The term “fan fiction” came into use in the 20th century.
Fan fiction is both related to its subject’s canonical fictional universe and simultaneously existing outside it. Most fan fiction writers work is primarily read by other fans, such as Spockanalia (1967) based on Star Trek, which was mailed to other fans or sold at science fiction conventions. It is interesting to know that women dominated fan fiction initially in 1970 by 83% and increasing to 905 in 1973. Due to the accessibility of the Internet it is estimated fab fiction comprises one third of all content in regards to books. In 1998 the site Fanfiction.Net came online allowing anyone to upload any fandome content onto it’s not-for-profit platform. This practice came to be known as ‘pulling-to-publish’. In 2013 Amazon.com established Kindle Worlds enabling certain licensed media properties to be sold in their kindle store. The terms included 35% of net sales for 10,000 word plus or 20% for short fiction from 5,000 – 10,000 words but with restrictions on content, copyright and poor formatting.
Around 1960-1970 in Japan dōjinshi began appearing where independently published manga and novels, (known as dōjinshi), were frequently published by dōjin circles. Many were based on existing manga, anime, and video game franchises.
Today there are a multitude of fan fiction internet sites for all sorts of genres from comic heroes to romantic couples to TV shows. It is a growing ‘genre’ and a vehicle for many authors to showcase their work.
Please welcome Jeremy, a prolific writer from an early age. A perfect match for today’s word – Voluminous – definition: 1) a. having or marked by great bulk or volume : large b. having much material; 2) filling or capable of filling a large volume or several large volumes.
a) Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?
I have a love for most, if not all, of my characters, even the nasty ones. I would say my favorite at this point is the main protagonist I’m creating for my current work-in-progress. His name is Koran, and he is a slave who is forced to fight for the Yhiss Empire, ruled by a snake-like race called the Yuan-ti. He inspires me to be a better person, and I don’t know if I’d be as strong as him if I were subjected to what he has to endure on a daily basis.
b) Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I love developing my characters! Also, I enjoy organizing elaborate battle scenes. Who doesn’t love the besieging of a castle-fortress, or a flashy sword-fight?
d) Have you got a favorite place to write?
I usually do most of my writing on my laptop, and though I have an office, I tend to do most of my writing while sitting on the couch, with the TV on in the background.
e) Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I plan and outline a great amount of my stories. In fact, I have a rough outline for at least my first 9 books or so for the series I’m working on. However, I always leave plenty of room to adapt to scenes, and to the flow of the book, as I write it. The planning is just a guide.
f) What inspires your stories?
I daydream a lot. I was daydreaming about my current work-in-progress a couple years ago, long before any of it ever landed on paper. I would say one element that seems to inspire me the most is music. There is a group, called ‘Two Steps from Hell’, that creates music generally used for movie trailers that has inspired many battle scenes for me.
h) Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?
Not really, although I’ve always liked to create stories, whether by writing, or making comic-books (my drawing is absolutely terrible).
i) Do you have any pets?
I have had dogs and cats in the past, but at this time, I do not. However, my wife and I are looking at getting a beagle puppy, or maybe a basset-hound.
j) Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?
I am currently a member of “Writer Unboxed”, “Fantasy Writers”, and “Connecting Comic-Book Writers and Artists” groups on Facebook. I am also a member of the “Internet Writing Workshop” (IWW), which is a critique group that operates through e-mail mailing lists, moderated by Penn State.
k) What age did you start writing stories/poems?
I started writing in grade school. I wrote tons of short stories as I was growing up. When I was in high school, I teamed up with a friend of mine, who was an amazing artist, and we created a comic-book series called DIRESWORD. He did all the artwork, and I wrote and organized the plot and dialog for the series. We released an issue around the school once a month for three years, finishing with the 36th issue.
l) Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?
I don’t have anything published yet. My current work-in-progress is the first project I intend to try to publish.
m) If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?
I would want to meet either Ed Greenwood or R.A. Salvatore, authors in the Forgotten Realms series, and avid Dungeons & Dragons players. I enjoy the game, and I think it would be fun to play a game with them.
n) If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?
That’s easy. St. Louis, Missouri, or a nice suburb in the area. I am a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan, and my family took numerous trips to St. Louis when I was growing up, to go to games. The city is special to me, and holds a lot of memories.