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Graphic Novelists Eschew Term “Graphic Novel”

In the nomenclative tussle of Graphic Novel vs. Comic Book, two of the genre’s highest profile creators prefer the latter term. “I don’t like ‘graphic novel,’” Persepolis author Marjane Satrapi told the Wall Street Journal recently. “It’s a word that publishers created for the bourgeois to read comics without feeling bad. Comics is just a way of narrating–it’s just a media type.” She added that fellow cartoonist Chris Ware feels the same. “He says [the term 'graphic novel'] sounds like Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” said Satrapi.

The WSJ interview also revealed that Satrapi, who co-directed the film version of Persepolis that shared that jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival and last night was bested by Julian Schnabel‘s astoundingly beautiful The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in the Golden Globe category of best foreign language film, initially had no interest in making her book into a film. “I thought it was the worst idea,” she said. “But they give you enough money and you can have a studio–you have to be crazy to say no.”

Elsewhere in Chris Ware-related news, we’ve learned that Dave Ball of Dickinson College and Martha Kuhlman of Bryant University are at work on editing a collection of scholarly essays about the Chicago-based contemporary graphic novelist/comic book artist/cartoonist. Subtitled “The Cult of Difficulty,” the book will aim to address such questions as “How does Ware’s work intersect with advertising culture, web sites, graphic design, and packaging?”

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