It doesn't happen much anymore, but in the olden days when someone would find out I was a comic artist they would usually reply with "I love comics! Especially PEANUTS!"
So they would think Comic Strips, which, although sharing similar storytelling are completely different than comic books.
Breaking it down sometimes helps.
Graphic Novels - These are like movies. Usually with a beginning a middle and an end, sometimes with three acts. Characters are introduced, put into situations and there is usually a resolution to those situations.
Comic Books- These are like ongoing TV Shows, they tell you a little bit of a longer story one episode at a time. They may never have a resolution because they are ongoing.
Comic Strips- These are like stand up comedians because (for the most part) they come in, tell you a joke and walk away.
I don't read comic strips-- mostly because the digital edition of my newspaper doesn't include them and I can't be bothered to hunt any down. I'm sure there are good, maybe even great, comic strips being produced today but I don't know what they are.
Ones I would recommend though are now being collected in complete editions.
1 - The Complete Calvin and Hobbes -- @ $50 on Amazon. C&H is possibly the greatest comic strip of all time, although I know a lot of Terry and the Pirates fans would argue with that.
2- Bloom County The Complete Library -- @$60 on Amazon. Bloom County is a close second. I LOVED This strip through high school as it was published showing a full week's worth in the back of Worcester Magazine and it was the only reason I grabbed WM every week.
The strip doesn't hold up quite as well as Calvin because it often gets very political which makes it dated.
3- THE COMPLETE DICK TRACY -- several hardcover volumes @$30 each. If you've never read DICK TRACY during World War II you are really missing out. I have the set that runs from 1941 - 1950 and creator Chester Gould was really on his game during these.
4- THE COMPLETE PEANUTS - several hardcover volumes @$30 each. The early Peanuts are really good and the early 60s is the golden age for Charlie Brown and company.
5- TERRY AND THE PIRATES - several hardcover volumes just like the two above. Terry and the Pirates is an adventure strip with some great characters done by a great cartoonist named Milt Caniff. Well worth checking out.