…”graphic novel” is an odd and imperfect term, I admit, since it sounds — to those unfamiliar with the medium — like it refers to a type of novel. But it’s the term we have — the “wrong and only name for it” (to borrow a phrase from David Hartwell in referring to another publishing category ill-served by reviewers). It’s now an official category in many bookstores. There are magazines and web sites and college classes on the form. It’s what these things are called.
(And again, I think this is a common linguistic phenomenon — that is, that a compound term will include items that won’t be within the realm of the root term. I don’t know the name for this, though, if there is one. Is there a linguistic in the house?)
Frug, Stephen. “On the Length of Graphic Novels.” Attempts (29 June 2008).
Followed by a discussion of single volume comics that require a bookmark.