Well, it looks like the Grammar Police will finally take some action. Last week they made a proposal to revoke the literary licenses of people who constantly use the the wrong “there” in there writing. There licenses would be torn up and there fingers would be taped together, or better yet, Crazy glued together. There serious about this and are confident that this one step will improve the quality of the stories that we read. I believe that this is a good first step, but in step to, they should go after those who use the wrong to, to! Next they could go after the people who write “Wah Lah!”, problem solved.
Great read! I particularly appreciated the non-fiction graphic novel conundrum.
On the other hand (sorry – this is going to be a bit long), as a long time comic fan I have to respectfully disagree with what ultmately you settle upon for the definition of graphic novels: “A graphic novel is a complete work of fiction in the comics form which, if printed, is long enough to be bound as a trade volume, so with a glued or sewn spine.” You yourself identify that nowadays “graphic novel” is really more of a marketing term. A collection of previously released, single issues of comic books bundled into a larger grouping is a “trade paperback,” really. To qualify as an actual graphic novel, the work in question needs to have aways been always intended as a single, standalone piece of work. The Watchmen for instance has been consumed in its trade paperback format so exclusively that most of its readers are unaware it initially existed as a limited, monthly comic book series. I’d even object when people described it as a graphic novel.
It does seem like the “comics” description you outline could have considerable utility in this area.
Thanks for a great article!