The Term 'Graphic Novel' Has Had A Good Run. We Don't Need It Anymore.
Coined in an era when comics were considered 'junk' culture, graphic novel is a hoary, meaningless, and often completely inaccurate term. Comics are comics; stop apologizing for them.
Hey Glen, did you hear? Last night, March: Book Three by Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell — the final book in their graphic novel trilogy about young Lewis’ experiences in the civil rights movement — won the National Book Award for young people’s literature!
I heard! It’s fantastic! Both the fact that it won, and the comic itself, which is a deeply moving, eye-level, feet-on-the-ground account of the era that shows just how much hard, punishing work it took to change America. Lewis and co-writer Aydin take time to dig into the kind of small, human moments of pain, anguish, doubt and fear that history books tend to breeze past. And Artist Nate Powell makes sure you feel all those emotions — as well as moments of joy and soaring triumph.
It ends up offering far more than a how-to on civil disobedience — ultimately, it’s a why-to: a searingly hopeful testament to the power of protest, and a celebration of the young people who sacrificed their safety to make the country a more just place to live.
Yeah, I figured you’d be happy. I know you’re a graphic novel guy, so.
… It’s not a graphic novel.
That’s the second time you called it a graphic novel. Stop calling it a graphic novel. It’s not a graphic novel. For one thing, it’s non-fiction.