I am often asked the question: “What’s the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel.”
Loaded question. A histoy of debate and academic pronouncments that fill books…literally. And I’m not even going to step into it. I don’t think there’s enough room on the internet. I will say the easiest way to describe the difference is that historically comic books came out on a monthly basis with a continuing story. A soap opera more or less. Most graphic novels are a single story. And that’s as deep into this debate I want to get.
Of all the books out there on the subject I think Paul Gravett’s aptly titled: Graphic Novels – Everything You Need To Know – is one of the best.
It includes some of the debates and definitions but he basically presents work from dozens of titles in the GN world. Through visual osmosis you begin to perceive some of the methods (content, structure, style,abstraction) that help define many graphic novels . It also introduces you to wonderful work you may not have seen before.
As for Earthling! it’s coming along nicely. I have a deadline for the complete first draft coming up. Along with that I am trying out some page layouts and doing additional character designs. I haven’t jumped into all the location designs yet. But I think I will do them as I would for an animated project where you design the entire space and compose the drawings to take best advantage of any given ‘stage’.
I’ll post some more pictures when I have time.