What To Call the Comic Book? There's a crisis in comic book nomenclature, and only you can help.
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What To Call the Comic Book?

Comic books: Or maybe you'd like to see them called something else? Just not "monthlies," please. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Oh, sure: Those of us who read them just call them "comic books." But those who produce, distribute and sell them tend to call them something else.

The industry needs to distinguish the single issues of ongoing titles that come out every Wednesday (i.e., classic comic books) from their heftier cousins: the graphic novels, anthologies and bound collections of single issues that eventually get published in trade paperback format.

The thing is, they can't agree on what to call those single issues. Currently, different publishers and retailers toss around at least five different terms for the classic, three-staple funnybook.

This will not stand.

The time for humoring such higgledy-piggledy laxity in the nomenclature is over. Let's help the comics industry out.

After the jump: The five most commonly used terms, why none of them are any good, and how you can help.

Take a look at the five most popular terms below. Pick one, or come up with one of your own in the comments.

Your Choices, Feeble Though They Be

1. "Single issues"

Would seem to make the most intuitive sense, but since when is that a hallmark of industry jargon? Also: Considerably less than snappy. We can do better.

2. "Floppies"

No, seriously. "Floppies" actually has its proponents, but I'm against any taxonomy based on What It Does When You Shake It.

By that logic, hardcover books would be "Nothing Muchies." And I shudder to think what you'd call hamsters.

3. "Pamphlets"

Carries a breathless, self-important tone, and frankly that's something we comics types could stand to do with a bit less of, thank you very much.

As a general rule, the impulse to conflate Stan Lee with Thomas Paine should be resisted.

4. "Periodicals"

Well, it's direct. But too redolent of card catalogs and repressive school librarians, I think. Reject.

5. "Monthlies"

Mmmmno. Because of the inevitable tittering. "I stopped getting monthlies last year."

Clearly we need better options. Let's see what you've got.