Comic book vs. comicbook

In today's How to Review Toys the OAFEnet Way column, I said that things like comicbook and videogame are one word, which (surprisingly) is the thing most people seem to be taking issue with. Not my bald-faced bragging, not the denigrating of British grammar, but comicbooks and videogames. So why do we use that style, instead of the quote/unquote "proper" way?

It all goes back to Stan Lee.

Stan once wrote in the "Stan's Soapbox" column that used to run in every Marvel comic regarding his preference for the term comicbook over comic book, and the reasons for it. Namely, a "comic book" is literally just that: a comic book - a book that is comical. Christopher Moore's Lamb is a comic book, but it is not a comicbook. Justice League is not a comic book, but it is a comicbook. Atomic Robo is both a comic book and a comicbook, because it's funny as hell. By combining the words "comic" and "book" into one compound word, you create a specific, definitive term. Why should comicbook be different from briefcase, smokestack or playground?

In a similar vein, this is a videogame:

And this is a video game:

As you can see, they're not the same thing.

And if you think that it's wrong to change standardized grammar just because you decided to, consider that "teenage" and "teenager" were officially "teen-age" and "teen-ager" until 2009, and that bullseye is still properly spelt "bull's-eye." Official rules always lag behind real-world usage, and so we're doing our part to help set the improved standard. That's why we always spell it comicbook. In Stan Lee's own words, "Anybody who writes comicbook as two words is no friend of mine!"

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