A Graphic Novel is a collection of comic book issues usually reprinted in better quality on better quality paper. It is much more expensive than regular comic books due to its extended amount of pages. The term "Graphic Novel" can also refer to comic books that have a more adult-oriented theme.
Person 1: Have you ever read "Watchmen" by Alan Moore?
Person 2: Yeah, I think it's awesome. It set the new foundation of the term "Graphic Novel" along with Frank Miller's "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" and Will Eisner's "A Contract with God."
"Graphic Novel" is basically a comic book. Graphic Novel is the term mainly used by adults to make comics seem less childish
Person A - You like the Sin City graphic novels?
Person B - Dunno I just watched the movie!
what hipsters, idiots, and the media use to attempt to sound high brow about reading/discussing comic books, but in reality is a term describing a specific format of comic book. that form being an over-sized self-contained single original story (as opposed to a typical single issue or collection of old single issues).
proper: hey, did you read the new Will Eisner graphic novel? you know the one that actually says graphic novel on it and everything?
improper: X-Men is my favorite graphic novel!