This came up in an answer to one of my other questions. I've been in stores and seen paperbacks called "graphic novels." Is there a difference between graphic novels and comic books -- other than in length?

  • 14
    "Graphic novel" is a more palatable term for grown-ups ashamed of liking comics...
    – Andres F.
    Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 13:46
  • 1
    Seems like whenever the publisher decides to collect a complete series of a more "adult" comic, it is called a "trade paperback" and is considered a "graphic novel". I'm not sure about this though. Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 9:10
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    In the UK, about 15 quid. Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 16:21
  • 1
    You could argue that a "graphic novel" is more likely to be standalone (i.e. a whole story), or that they contain stories that are more "adult" in nature, but really Andres F. has it right -- it's often a euphemism for "comics". Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 23:12
  • 2
    Same question elsewhere with a more detailed answer : literature.stackexchange.com/questions/771/…
    – Autar
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


In my experience the difference can be a number of things, depending upon the publisher and book store:

  • Length (graphic novels are longer),
  • Issue rate (comics are issued weekly or monthly, one-offs or compendiums are graphic novels), or
  • Target audience (graphic novels are aimed at adults, comics at the teen and afficionado markets).

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