Women and Autobio Roundtable Quick Terminology

I use the word “cartoonist” to describe someone who writes and draws comics.

“Alternative comics”: a phrase used to describe, mostly in the 1980s and 1990s, non-superhero comics (which were referred to as “mainstream” comics, usually published by Marvel and DC, although I think these terms have shifted meaning), usually written and drawn by one person, usually autobiographical or “literary.” (“Indie” is a bit more amorphous.)

For the purpose of this roundtable, I am going to use the word “lit-comics” to mean realistic, non-escapist, mostly character-driven comics. (I know this is reductive.) I may use the term “art-comics” to describe art-first, non-narrative comics a la Paper Rad, etc.

Young adult (YA) The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association (ALA) defines a young adult as someone between the ages of twelve and eighteen. Authors and readers of young adult (YA) novels often define the genre as literature as traditionally written for ages ranging from sixteen years up to the age of twenty-five, while Teen Fiction is written for the ages of ten and to fifteen.

There is also the term “Middle Grade,” which refers to 8-12-year-old readers, or Tweens! The book world is always changing. –RT

I may use the word “graphic novel” to refer to the format, although that term is problematic too.

*If you define these terms differently, or prefer to refer to your work in another way,  we should bring that in into the talk.


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