Comic books and comic strips, both sometimes called comics, are, contrary to popular opinion, NOT merely a combination of literature and visual art. The vast majority of comics follow a linear narrative format wherein information of the narrative is derived from a conscious sequence recognition of the panels. Comic artist Will Eisner has described Comics as "Sequential Art", which emphasizes that the primary aspect of comics is the narrative flow between panels, rather than the combination of illustrations and text.
These narratives are predominately contained in monthly publications, for example as part of newspapers (in the case of comic strips) or as making up magazines or books that consist of many pages of comics (as in the case of comic books). A driving force in today's comic industry is the graphic novel (a single issue -- 5 or more times the pagecount of a monthly comic -- either containing a collection of monthly issues or an original story) and its presence in major bookstore chains. Comic strips are usually found in newspapers and have a lot less space than are used in comic books, and are often used to tell one joke, or a small part of a continuing story.