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.
Which graphic novel character is your favorite?