An International Glossary of Comic Terms

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

Bande Dessinée, Manga Kissa, Splash Page, and more

by Jennie Wood
A-Q | R-W

  • AmeriManga
    Manga-style comics created by American artists.
  • Ani-manga
    A term used to describe comics produced directly from the cels (frames) of animation.
  • Anime
    Animation originating in Japan.
  • Astro Boy
    Manga series and first TV series to embody the aesthetic that later became known as anime. An English-language version first aired on American TV from September 1963 through August 1965.
  • Bande Dessinée
    French term for "drawn strip."
  • Bleed
    When the comic art is allowed to run to the edge of the page, rather than having a white border around it.
  • Comic Con, ComiCon, or Comic-Con
    A convention of comic book dealers, publishers, creators, and fans.
  • Cosplay
    When fans dress up as characters at anime conventions.
  • Dessin Anime
    The French phrase that literally means cartoon. The term may have inspired the abbreviation anime.
  • Will Eisner
    An American comics writer known for his series The Spirit and for establishing the graphic novel as a form of literature.
  • Eshinbun Nipponchi
    The first manga magazine, created in 1874 in Japan by Kanagaki Robun and Kawanabe Kyosai. The magazine, with its simple drawings, was not popular and only three issues were published, but it did inspired the publication of other manga magazines.
  • Fanboy or Fangirl
    An extreme fan of comics, someone who proudly lives and breathes comics. Usually used as a pejorative term, although many fans wear it as a badge of honor.
  • Gekiga
    Japanese term for dramatic pictures. A realistic drawing style that is violent and emotionally dark.
  • Graphic Novels
    Book-length comics.
  • Japan Punch
    First magazine printed in Japan, from 1862 to 1887 by Charles Wirgman, a British cartoonist. The magazine was a huge influence on the first manga magazine, Eshinbun Nipponchi.
  • Kodomomuke Manga (or Anime)
    Manga (or anime) made for children.
  • la nouvelle manga
    French comics drawn in styles influenced by Japanese manga.
  • Manga
    The Japanese term for comics. In English-speaking countries, manga is a generic term for all graphic novels and comic books originally published in Japan.
  • Manga Kissa
    Manga cafés in Japan where people drink coffee, read manga, and sometimes stay overnight.
  • Manwha
    The Korean equivalent of Manga.
  • The Marvel Method
    A technique of writing comics made popular by Stan Lee in the 1960s where the writer and artist talk over a plot outline rather than writing a script. The artist draws the page and then the writer adds dialogue.
  • One Shot
    A one-issue only comic, also referred to as stand-alone issues.
  • Otaku
    A term used to describe diehard fans of anime and manga outside of Japan. The term has a negative connotation in Japan.
  • Panel
    Refers to one block or square on a comic strip or on a page in a comic book.

A-Q | R-W

  • Speed Racer
    The English adaptation name of Mach Go Go Go, the Japanese manga and anime series, which centered on auto racing. The series became a successful franchise in the U.S., spawning spinoff versions in print, TV, and film.
  • Splash Page
    A full-page drawing in a comic book, usually the first page of a comic or chapter. Credits and titles are often included on splash pages.
  • Star Blazers
    The first popular English-translated anime TV series with an over-arching storyline that required the episodes to be shown in order. First broadcast in the US in 1979, it paved the way for future plot-driven anime translations.
  • Osamu Tezuka
    A Japanese cartoonist, manga artist, animator, and medical doctor (although he never practiced medicine.) He is often referred to as the Japanese Walt Disney, the Godfather of Anime, or the God of Manga.
  • Trade Paperback
    Collections of individual issues of a particular comic series, not to be confused with graphic novels.
  • Yonkoma Manga
    Japanese equivalent to comic strips, generally consisting of four equal sized panels ordered from top to bottom.

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