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Graphic novels only

Dutch bookstores didn’t sell a lot of comics until quite recently. This changed when the term graphic novel came along, giving comics a new aura of serious art. It’s a sort of hype now in the Dutch comic arena. Some publishers are using this word to upgrade the books they would formerly market as comics (strips in Dutch). The general idea: graphic novels are literature and comics are not. In the Netherlands comics are still perceived as low culture and mainly made for children. Bookstores don’t want to miss the boat but are sometimes not too well informed. So they order any comic book that’s been labeled graphic novel by its publisher, no matter how good or how bad it is. As long as it’s a hardback a few inches thick. The use of the term graphic novel as a marketing tool has caused quite a stir among Dutch comic creators.