I thought it would never catch on. It’s a terrible term. They’re not novels; most of them are memoirs, in fact. ”Graphic” implies an illustrated novel; that’s not what it is. I just thought people would say, ”It’s a comic book, why are you trying to trick us?” But it worked: ”Graphic novel” now means something very specific. People hear those two words and take them to mean a type of book that is generally correct. I give up—it works. The branding guys won.

Daniel Clowes Clowes Encounter: An Interview with Daniel Clowes; Mother Jones