Glossary of Comic Book Terms

When talking to comic script fans it can sometimes feel like they are speaking another lyric. Trade paperback book ? Variant screen ? Retcon ? Splash page ? It can all get a bite confusing for person raw to comic books. This Glossary of Comic Book Terms  aims to help those unfamiliar with the comic record slang so that they can join in the conversation .

Creative Roles Within a Comic Book Creation

All of these people collaborate together to make a comic book. I would consider all of these people storytellers in one way or another .

  • Writer – The writer writes the story and has the overall vision of how the story will go. They write the dialogue and how the story will progress.
  • Penciler – This person takes the script and draws the comic. They draw the comic in pencil which then gets inked and coloured later on.
  • Inker – The inker inks over the pencils that the penciler drew. Sometimes this is digitally but often it is with actual ink. The inker can also be known as the finisher – especially when they have added additional detail to the art which the penciler has not provided.
  • Colourist – This person gives the comic colour. This used to be done with coloured ink but nowadays this is done digitally to allow for a variety of different styles.
  • Letterer – The letterer will take the script and place all the dialogue, word balloons, thought bubbles, sound effects etc into the comic in the intended places.
  • Editor – The editor makes sure that everything is good to publish in a comic. They will check for spelling mistakes, art problems and will also co-ordinate with other collaborators to make sure story elements will not interfere with other comic books.

Comic Book Formats

Single Issue This is the serial magazine-style format of a comic. by and large, 20-32 pages of a history but sometimes can be more, with some being up to 100 pages. These are by and large numbered in chronological order eg. Issue # 5 .
Prestige Edition – These are comics that are by and large 48-64 pages long that have a slender spur.

Digital Comics – Editions of comics that can be viewed on computer screens, tablets or mobile phones .
Digital First This is where a amusing is released in a digital format first then late in print .
Collected Edition –  This is where multiple single issues are collected to create a unharmed fib or rig of stories, frequently collecting 5-6 single issues .
There are many kinds of collected editions including…

  • Trade Paperback (TPB) – This is the most common kind of collected edition where it is usually collecting 5-8 single issues. It is in a paperback format and can be often referred to as a “trade”. Read here to find out if reading in trade paperback is for you.
  • Digest – These are collected editions that are smaller in height and length. The most popular comics in this format are All Ages comics and Manga.
  • Hardcover (HC) – Similar to a Trade Paperback but the cover has a very thick stock just like a hardcover novel. Sometimes these collected editions can collect more single issues than Trade Paperbacks, with 12 issues common.
  • Omnibus – These are very large hardcover collections. These collections can can be 25+ singles issues collected. Often these collect entire series or a creative run on a comic series.
  • Graphic Novel – Often a fancier term for collected edition but can also be used to describe an OGN. Essentially any comic that is bounded like a book. Some people use the term graphic novel to make the comic book medium sound more serious.
  • Original Graphic Novel (OGN) – This is a comic book that comes out in the trade paperback/hardcover format without being in the serial single issue format beforehand.

Variant Cover – A variant cover is an alternative cover charge of a single offspring. Most of the time it includes the art of a different artist and are often fewer of these available. More information on variant covers .
Incentive Cover – A variant cover in which the retailer has to order x total of a brood to redeem the discrepancy cover. For exercise the retailer might need to or 10, 25, 50 or possibly even 100 of the regular cover to be eligible to order the discrepancy .
Limited Series/Mini-series – This is a comedian serial that has a set total of issues. Most normally it is 6 issues but it will often change depending on the history. The serial has a begin, middle and an end .
Maxi-series – A maxi-series is a longer mini-series by and large 12 issues or longer but frequently each publisher has a unlike definition. Often mini-series of 12 issues duration has been referred to as maxi-series .
Annual – An over-sized especial of a comic script that is released in addition to the regular comics in that series .
One-shot – A narrative that is contained to a individual issue .
Webcomic – Comics that are made for viewing on the Internet This could be in a comedian deprive format or as an ongoing narrative .
Mini-comic – A comedian that is smaller than the ceremonious comedian book size. broadly, these comics are handmade with a DIY ethos and have small print runs .
Zine – Self-published and often handmade comic or cartridge holder. I talk more about zines here .
Floppies – A gull term for the single issue amusing. Called so as it is used with diskette paper .

Comic Book Grading Terms

I don ’ thymine truly go into the collecting side of comics on this web site, but if you ’ re looking to purchase comics online then it is commodity to know what these terms mean .
Mint Condition – The amusing is perfective in every way and has no damage or blemishes .
Near Mint (NM) – It is very close to perfect .
Very Fine (VF) – It is close to mint but will have very minor damages or blemishes .
Fine (FN) – Has some wear but that is more noticeable than a Very Fine imitate .
Very Good (VG) – A use comedian book which has detectable wear .
Good – Has a lot of wear but is still okay for reading .
Fair – Has a distribute of wear – more than a good copy .
Poor – A very discredited comedian .
Key Issue – A frequently very collectible comic. Key issues tend to have events in them – such as first appearances or deaths – and are high in demand on the junior-grade grocery store ( eg, eBay or at auction )
inheritance Auctions has a bang-up guidebook and more contingent on these terms and how they align to a score out of 10.

Other Comic Book Terms

Panel – A jury is one of the boxes on the page of a amusing book .
Splash Page – When a panel consists of the entire foliate .
Two Page Spread – When the comedian record art spills over into two pages .
Manga – japanese comics. These comics are read properly to left, opposed to left to right like western comics. Discover more about Manga .
Manhwa – Comics that originate from Korea .
Anthology – These are comics that contain multiple curtly stories from multiple creators. One of the most successful of the format is 2000AD .
Zero Issue – Usually an offspring set before issue # 1 that acts as a prelude to the independent series .
Creator-Owned – This means the creator owns the work that they create. This besides means that the publisher doesn ’ thymine own the rights to the characters or narrative but just the right to publish it. The most successful creator-owned comic at the moment is The Walking Dead .
Solicitations – A block of text, generally accompanied with shroud images, which details upcoming comic book releases that have been supplied by the publisher. I go into greater contingent on amusing book solicitations here .
Indie – by and large referring to an independent publisher who publishes comics independently from a big corporate entity .
Continuity – This is where a comedian book ’ randomness narrative has a past which might besides be shared within a universe of a huge array of other comic books. The majority of Marvel and DC Comics ‘ comics involve continuity in one direction or another. This allows characters like Batman and Superman to exist in the lapp universe .
Retcon – Short for “ Retroactive Continuity ”. This is when a past event in a share universe or a character ’ second past is changed retroactively. This can be done to add raw elements to an existing story that allows for future stories. It could besides be used to update a character eg : in the first place Tony Stark ( Iron Man ) was wounded in Vietnam but Marvel comics retconned this and nowadays it is in Afghanistan .
Crossover – This is when report elements of two or more comic books come together to create one storyline across multiple titles .
Event – This is a crossover fib on a by and large larger scale than convention. Often these events include many more comedian script characters from a share universe coming together. besides, the consequence of the storyline often affects ongoing titles for months and sometimes years to come. Find out more about event comics .
Pre-Crisis/Post-Crisis –  This refers to a period in DC Comics ’ history set either before ( pre ) or after ( post ) a comedian called Crisis on Infinite Earths, which was released in 1985-6. Without going into excessively much detail, Crisis on Infinite Earths acted as a boastfully houseclean for DC continuity with twin universes disappearing and characters getting modern updates. many comics fans use the term Pre/Post-Crisis as a way to describe characters and stories on either side of this fib as due to the big changes that it created .
Pre-Flashpoint – This refers to DC comics between the 1986 and 2011 before the Flashpoint storyline. The conclusion of Flashpoint allowed for some housecleaning of DC Comics continuity and paved the direction for the New 52 era .
New 52 – This is the era of DC Comics between 2011-2015 in which DC Comics did a voiced boot of their solid line. All of the comics went binding to issue # 1 and there were many changes done to their histories. Some franchises had more changes than others. Superman and Wonder Woman had many changes made why Batman and Green Lantern left relatively uninfluenced .
Back-issue – A former exit of a unmarried comedian. Back issues are a month or older and not the latest issue .
Back-up Feature – This is a short floor in the binding of another comedian book. Often these will feature a secondary coil fib of the character, a newly character that the publisher is testing the water with, or a quality who isn ’ metric ton popular enough to warrant their own series .
The Big Two – This a term used to refer to Marvel and DC Comics. Used as they ’ re the two publishers with the largest market partake .
LCS – An acronym for local Comics Store/Shop. This acronym is much used in comics journalism .
Run – This is a number of consecutively published comics of a series by a writer and/or artist. For exemplify, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby ’ s run on Fantastic Four lasted 100 issues .
Off-Panel – It ’ s the things that happened between the comic panels which the subscriber didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate see. It ’ s the comics version to the movie terminus off-screen .
Onomatopoeia – The sounds effects that you see in comics ( eg. BOOM, POW, BANG etc )
Comixology – A popular on-line marketplace/app for digital comics.

Story Arc – An widen or continuing storyline that spreads over multiple issues or smaller stories of a comedian koran. Can besides be known as a narrative bow .
Diamond – This is the shorthand list for the Diamond Comics Distributor. Diamond is the major allocator of comic books and graphic novels .

Am I missing any Comic Book Terms?

If you believe that I am missing any terms feel free to let me know and I will add them to the list .

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