CHAPTER   6

What Is a Comic Book?

Make mistakes. Make great mistakes, make wonderful mistakes, make glorious mistakes. Better to make a hundred mistakes than to stare at a blank piece of paper too scared to do anything wrong, too scared to do anything.

—Neil Gaiman

Before getting into terminology, which is minimal, let’s examine the standard formats in which “comic books” appear:

•  MONTHLY COMIC BOOK: the best-known format, fairly standardized (at the moment) at six and a half inches by ten inches, center stapled. Quality can vary, but paper and coloring are vastly better now than in the old newsprint, four-color days of comics. Story content in the mainstream book runs around twenty-two to twenty-three pages, though the actual length of a book ...

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