Comic Books and Graphic Novels in their Generic Context. Towards a Definition and Classification of Narrative Iconical Texts.

  • Andrés Romero-Jódar
Keywords: iconical language, iconical discourse community, comic book, graphic novel, comic strip, illustrated novel


In current criticism on comic books and graphic novels there is a recurrent use of the terms ‘comic’ or ‘comic book’ to refer both to the language employed by these texts and to the different subgenres that use this language. Comic strips, comic books and graphic novels share the common characteristic of employing the same iconical language. Nevertheless, they are different texts that should each be placed in their own context in order to understand their generic specificities. Their contextualisation will help avoid the confusion produced by the indiscriminate use of the term ‘comic’. This article aims to offer a proposal for the assessment and classification of the different types of texts that exist under the umbrella terms of ‘comics’ and ‘comic books’, with a view to placing them within what can be called the ‘iconical discourse community’.

Author Biography

Andrés Romero-Jódar
Universidad de Zaragoza