Dear friends in the world of theater journalism:
"Comics" and "cartoons" are not bad words. Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist. She is not a graphic novelist. In fact, she has not yet written a novel of any kind, to my knowledge. She is most famous for her long-running newspaper comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. She has also created two memoirs in comic book form, Fun Home and Are You My Mother. It is okay to call them comic books. It is ok to call them graphic memoirs. It is not accurate to call them novels (graphic or otherwise), because they are not fiction. If you wouldn’t call Frederick Douglas’s autobiographies novels, please don’t call Alison Bechdel’s memoirs novels either.
Because words matter.