My curiosity was sparked by some arguing on Slashdot pertaining to comic books. This is not a new issue, but I am curious what the general consensus on the forums is. There is contention amongst fans and even writers of comic books about the use of the term "Graphic Novels" to describe certain comics and trades. From Wikipedia:
Some in the comics community have objected to the term "graphic novel" on the grounds that it is unnecessary, or that its usage has been corrupted by commercial interests. Writer Alan Moore believes, "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 of whatever worthless piece of crap they happened to be publishing lately under a glossy cover and call it The She-Hulk Graphic Novel...."
Author Daniel Raeburn wrote "I snicker at the neologism first for its insecure pretension — the literary equivalent of calling a garbage man a 'sanitation engineer' — and second because a 'graphic novel' is in fact the very thing it is ashamed to admit: a comic book, rather than a comic pamphlet or comic magazine."
Writer Neil Gaimen, responding to a claim that he does not write comic books but graphic novels, said the commenter "meant it as a compliment, I suppose. But all of a sudden I felt like someone who'd been informed that she wasn't actually a hooker; that in fact she was a lady of the evening." Comedian and comic book fan Robin Williams joked, "'Is that a comic book? No! It's a graphic novel! Is that porn? No! It's adult entertainment!'"
Some alternative cartoonists have coined their own terms to describe extended comics narratives. The cover of Daniel Clowes' Ice Havendescribes the book as "a comic-strip novel", with Clowes having noted that he "never saw anything wrong with the comic book". When The Comics Journal asked the cartoonist Seth why he added the subtitle "A Picture Novella" to his comic It's a Good Life, If you Don't Weaken, he responded, "I could have just put 'a comic book'... It goes without saying that I didn't want to use the term graphic novel. I just don't like that term".
What do you think about term "Graphic Novel"? Is this a case of using fancy words that display insecure pretension or does the term better suit certain works than "comic" or "trade"?