Translation has played a paramount role in the development of comics cultures around the world, two defining moments being the Golden Age of North American comics around the 1930s and the height of Japanese manga in the 1990s. The graphic novel, though sometimes used simply as a more dignified synonym for comics, refers to a distinct, although closely related, form of graphic narrative. A distinction should be made between comics translation/localisation and the work of comics translators. The work of comics translators, with reference to the more restricted definition of interlinguistic translation, can be seen as a step of the overall process which concerns the production of translated/localised/adapted comics. Japanese comics have been translated in Asian countries since the 1960s, but remained practically unknown in the West until they started to be published in the United States, France and Italy in the 1980s, and from the 1990s manga flooded Western markets.