Posts posted by Walt Grogan
36 minutes ago, Steven L. Dasinger said:
You can double click on any of the rows to be taken to that specific Title.
Steven, thanks for that! I had tried using the row selector's pop-up menu hoping a choice would have been there but never thought of double-clicking the row selector. For what I was trying to do, an Advanced search ultimately turned out to be the better option.
Thanks for answering my other questions as well!
So, are ComicTitles, MagazineTitles, BookTitles, and, I assume, NewspaperTitles literally four different tables in the DB?
I wanted to find all titles by a certain Publisher. Once I determined that what I was looking for were Magazines, I chose Publisher from the Find drop-down and entered "ICG". The list came back very quickly (as seen below):
At this point, I was at a loss as to what to do. I wanted to select a title and jump to it, which didn't seem possible. I tried to print out the list of titles that were returned as references for looking them up, which didn't seem possible.
Ultimately, I opted to do a Find > Other... > Advanced Find Search using the following query
MagazineTitles.Publisher = 'ICG'
which returned what I wanted, which was a list of Items.
So my questions regarding the results of performing a Find > Publisher are these:
- What is the purpose of performing a Find > Publisher?
- How does the column, Overall Title, differ from the Title column?
- What is the purpose of the # column in the results?
- What is the purpose of the three custom checkbox columns as well as the unnamed checkbox column at the end of the row?
And here's an additional question, if you don't mind:
If I want to find all Items by a publisher and those items cross more than one Content Type (i.e Comics, Magazines, Books), I would have to do three independent searches, correct?
I just want to be sure. Are you suggesting that any content corrections be sent directly to the support team rather than posting them here to expedite issues?
I have to say, I still think this is one of those weird ComicBase oddities, of which there are a few. Hold up a copy of Who's Who and nobody outside of the moderators in this forum are going to say that it's a magazine and hold up a copy of Savage Tales and again nobody outside of the CB moderators is going to say it's a comic book -- the same for hardcovers and trades. And, honestly, ICCL about how CB affects Atomic Avenue. I'm using CB to catalog my collection so I find these oddities frustrating -- but there's really no one else in the game.
1 hour ago, Mark J. Castaneda said:
Typically that message is linked to some sort of internet blockage on your end (firewall or internet security software). You may need to setup a program exception for ComicBase if you use internet security.
I don't think that's the problem, @Mark J. Castaneda. I was able to upload both comics and magazines prior to and after I tried the newspaper. The newspaper upload consistently failed.
I've made the assumption that ComicBase is primarily an organizational tool originally focused on comics which has expanded to magazines, books, and, apparently, newspapers, as well. As an organizational tool, I would understand its primary function to categorize a collection. As a tool, CB should be very clear on what its terms mean.
For instance, the term comic book generally indicates the size of the publication hence the need for comic book bags, boards, and boxes. Magazines are sized differently from comic books and treasury editions are sized differently. I don't know about you but when I'm organizing my collection, I would rarely store an issue of Amazing Heroes in a magazine-sized box nor could I put an issue of Comic Book Artist in a comic book-sized box except for the one issue you describe, which I also have in my collection.
I do agree that the content of Amazing Heroes is different than that of your average issue of Superman whether it's Golden, Silver, Bronze, or Current but content type is purely an attribute of its size. Amazing Heroes is a comic book-sized magazine but it's also not a magazine-sized magazine which means that I wouldn't find it in a magazine box while Heavy Metal is a magazine with graphic novel content which I wouldn't find in a comic book-sized box.
This problem could be mitigated by simply adding format as an attribute of the issue or by removing the distinction in ComicBase of Comic Book, Magazine, Book, or Newspaper by making it a type of the item (although, I agree that it may be too big of a change).
The problem which using content as the deciding type in ComicBase is that it causes tools in useful things like Add by Barcode... to fail.
Without seeing the schema differences between Comic Books, Magazines, and Books, I don't know why they're treated differently from one another since they all share many of the same attributes. But these differences are frustrating because one has to guess as to what ComicBase has decided to type a particular item as.
EDIT: To further my point. If someone had never seen an issue of either Fifty Who Made DC Great or the comic-book sized issue of Comic Book Artist, they could erroneously think that both were magazine-sized since they are typed as magazines. And that is not clear.
1 hour ago, Steven L. Dasinger said:
The problem is if you are going by 'comic book size means comics' just about every book (Absolute, Omnibus, just to mention a few) would be in Books since they are not comic-size. And items like Savage Sword of Conan (the b&w version) would need to be in Magazines since it is magazine size.
Going on size just wouldn't work very well. Which leaves content.
Well, I would argue the opposite. Savage Sword of Conan is a magazine and all your other examples are books whether they are hardcovers or trade paperbacks.
8 hours ago, Gregory Hecht said:
It isn't a question of size or physical format that makes something eligible for the Comic Book category, it is a question of what the content is.
I understand but it's counter-intuitive to every other aspect of comic collecting. No one buys bags, boards, or boxes based on content. Supplies are based on size. In fact, ComicBase's own Add by Barcode... breaks down precisely because of this. If I scan 100 comic books and a comic-sized "magazine" happens to be in the pile, and I don't notice that beforehand Display items after saving is essentially useless and especially frustrating if I want to make changes like indicating which box my comics, er, magazines, er, comics are going in. There are so many good things but the ones that I just mentioned and the unwillingness to acknowledge suggestions that would make it better are a few of the things that make ComicBase so frustrating to use.
I won't argue but I'd disagree with the statement that it will make more sense in the long run especially since there are no fields that indicate the size of the format. I can't imagine anyone outside of some ComicBase users thinking Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe is a magazine especially when Who's Who in the DC Universe is magazine-sized. That said, I've long since given up on making heads or tails of the choices made in ComicBase or making suggestions and just accept that it's just the way it is.
It all seems kind of arbitrary. Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe although comic-sized is typed as a magazine, I guess because it's text with illustrations vs The Amazing World of Superman which is typed as a comic book although it's tabloid-sized even though it is a combination of text with illustrations and comic stories.
3 hours ago, Mark J. Castaneda said:
The majority of content usually dictates where we would categorize a title.
So, to be clear, the magazine-sized Savage Tales is considered a comic book while the comic book-sized 50 Who Made DC Great is considered a magazine. Got it.
This question is in regard to creating a new comic or magazine. Is the type (comic book or magazine) dependent on the physical format of the medium (e.g. size) or its content? And what if the content is mixed ala National Lampoon. I've seen it go both ways in ComicBase and was wondering if there is a preferred standard.
I came across this the other day. I was entering a loose issue of what I thought was Continuity Publishing's Armor #2 (June 1986). It does show up under Armor in the Find list. However, it also shows up under The Revengers as The Revengers #2 (June 1986). Issues #1 and #2 are also listed under The Revengers, too. One more thing to throw a twist into this... the indicia of #2 lists the issue as The Revengers™ featuring Armor™ and The Silver Streak™ #2 (June 1986).
In one of those rare cases, the GCD lists the issues under Armor rather than the indicia. It seems one of the locations should be cleaned up. The only concern is that if The Revengers is removed, someone will recreate it if they look at the indicia.
Here's the problem with comic-sized books and magazines not being typed as comics... if you are Adding by Barcode and you scan a comic-sized non-comic, it will destroy the Save list when finished. If you're scanning 50 or more books when this happens, it's incredibly frustrating. That said, I'm not advocating for the type that should be applied to Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children (heck, I don't know off the top of my head if it has a barcode) rather I'm indicating what can happen if a comic-sized non-comic is in the middle of the pile of comics. If would be great if Add By Barcode could reject anything that's not the first scanned type or at least indicate the type of a scanned item so it could be removed.
I mention this because switching something from comic to magazine or book or vice-versa can have consequences.
42 minutes ago, Mark J. Castaneda said:
Question Walt... have you already broken up the title into multiple titles in your database yet?
I haven't but I'm happy to do so. Are you suggesting that after I do it, I should submit them or simply keep them as local tables?
22 minutes ago, Robert A. Weinberg said:
Walt, I do understand where you are coming from being an almost 20 year user of CB. I also have many thousands of comics. If I get what you are saying, since I have several hundred boxes that are labled/printed with the CB titles now, changing them would be a nightmare of work for me. So for me, keeping it the way it is fine, though I wish it could have been addressed much earlier in CB editions. I'm sure you have noticed this, but in case you haven't, if you search a title an then use the arrow keys to move up or down, you can very easily see the years the title was published.
Hi, @Robert A. Weinberg--
Thanks for pointing out the years published in the Find dialog. It's a workaround to be sure but it helps.
And I totally understand your point about existing labels and if I were in your shoes, I'd feel the same way. However, I and others have offered suggestions that would allow longtime users like yourself to not have to change existing labels while allowing users who haven't labeled inventory extensively like you have to have some consistency.
In another thread, I proposed adding a new column, DisplayTitle, which ComicBase could maintain. It would not invalidate the Title field or referential integrity while allowing users like yourself to maintain your existing labels. A user setting could switch between using one or the other.
@Fred Slotasuggested creating a user editable field to do the same thing but have it maintained by the user rather than CB but it would ultimately work the same way via a user setting. Either solution would help title organization moving forward.
This would, of course, require development on CB's part and I hope it's something they take up after the 64bit upgrade.
The other problem is the burying of a title under another title which makes it difficult to find when it doesn't have a UPC code (e.g. Justice League Spectacular under Justice League America).
That's a more difficult problem to solve and I don't have an easy answer for that one. The label unfortunately reads Justice League America Spectacular rather than Justice League Spectacular as it is in the indicia.
My biggest frustration with CB is trying to locate an issue that doesn't have a barcode and whose title doesn't come up in Find. I have to assume that it's already been indexed and then I have to play a guessing game as to what title it is hiding under. It's not fun and slows down the entering of older titles.
5 hours ago, Steven L. Dasinger said:
#2 is what most of this thread is about. But to bring up #1 as 'proof' or 'evidence' that since they are changed, that #2 type of titles have to change, also, isn't a good argument.
I use to be a Database Administrator. I prefer consistency but also realize when something gets into production, it is hard to get that consistency when the benefits don't out-weigh the time/cost to do the work.
Thanks for your reply. It's not that that titles have to change, it's that they can change. What #1 shows is that titles can change even for something as simple as a stray space or to correct an article placement, while #2 seems to be locked in amber especially for something like the Metal Men mini-series -- even though changing it would make it easier for all collectors to find. While I would prefer the year of release in the title rather than Series 1, Series 2, etc., I'd be find with it just to bring consistency. Don't get me wrong, I applaud the grammar and article corrections of #1, but I find it baffling that there is a reluctance to apply organizational standards to titles in a program designed to organize a comic book, book, or magazine collection.
I think that this is the main frustration of myself and my fellow users.
Thanks for listening,
I’d love to see the Marvel UK Spider-Man Comics Weekly comic broken apart as it’s an all-in-one container title where ancillary titles continues its numbering and that makes finding any of those titles a nightmare 💀 -- because the various issue indicias don’t list a title name and the ComicBase title description doesn’t break down any of the contained titles (and I'm not advocating for that).
I've been avoiding posting corrections and bringing up issues like these because I feel like TPTB at CB are finding me a PITA but the following problem bit me in the butt again today as I was trying to find Super Spider-Man #277.
When I initially tried to find Super Spider-Man #277 to enter it into CB, I didn't have a label maker so I couldn't put a label on it. After getting a label maker, I was going to add one to the issue, so I had to find it again in CB. There's only one obscure way to find it in the CB database and that way is below the radar of anyone looking for the title. Since I was unaware that I could have queried the Notes field to find a note that identified the issue where the name changed (which seems like a roundabout way to do it), I, instead, went to http://comics.org to look it up and track it back to the original title, Spider-Man Comics Weekly, to find the issue catalogued there. I found it frustrating to leave ComicBase, go to an unaffiliated web site to gather information, and return to ComicBase so that I could find this title but I would have found it equally frustrating to have to go to Find -> Item Fields -> Notes on the off chance that it was identified and identified under that field.
Back in January, 2022, I contacted Pete to alert him about this and we had an email exchange about this problem. I suspect his suggested solution fell through the cracks, and that's okay, I'm sure there's bigger fish to fry in CB Land, but it's issues like this where I find ComicBase the most frustrating and it all has to do with organizing data -- which should be ComicBase's strongest suit.
So, after finding the title again and putting a label on it -- it looks crazy -- the title reads Super Spider-Man #277 (remember, no title in the indicia inside) yet the label reads Spider-Man Comics Weekly #277 -- that seems counter-intuitive to any kind of sorting. [see attached image].
Thanks for reading this far! Here's the original email exchange between Pete and I on this issue:
Walt to Pete (Jan 26, 2022):
Thanks for considering my question today in the LiveStream. So here's the problem. I wanted to index my issues of Marvel UK's Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain comic. While it has indicia, there is no title, issue number, or week of release. Everything that identifies the issue is on the cover only. For example:
SUPER SPIDER-MAN AND CAPTAIN BRITAIN
Week Ending Oct. 19, 1977
I tried to look it up in ComicBase to no avail. I didn't want to add a new title and thought that it may have continued its numbering from a previous title but there was no way for me to figure that out in ComicBase. I went to comics.org where I looked up Super Spider-Man. There was a lot of merging with other titles and numbering continuation.
The GCD lists the following under Super Spider-Man:
Cover title: "Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes" issues 158 to 198.
Cover title: "Super Spider-Man and the Titans" issues 199 to 230.
Cover title: "Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain" issues 231 to 253.
Cover title: "Super Spider-Man" issues 254 to 310.
All of these issues were indexed in ComicBase under Spider-Man Comics Weekly and double-entered again under Super Spider-Man and the Titans for the issues in that run (probably because the indexer didn't know where to look).
This problem ties into what you were talking about in today's live stream.
The following titles are all listed under Spider-Man Comics Weekly in ComicBase. Obviously, I don't have many of these, but this is an extreme example of cover titles changing while numbering is continued.
Spider-Man Comics Weekly #1-157
Super Spider-Man with the Super-Heroes #158-198
Super Spider-Man and the Titans #199-230
Super Spider-Man and Captain Britain #231-253 ( no title, number or date in the indicia)
Super Spider-Man #254-310
Spider-Man Comic #311-333
The Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #334-375
Spider-Man and Hulk Weekly #376-424
Spider-Man and Hulk Team-Up #425-449
Super Spider-Man TV Comic #450-499
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends #553-578
The Spider-Man Comic #634-650
Spidey Comic #651-666
Just something to consider while you are thinking about cross-referencing.
Pete to Walt (Jan 26, 2022):
Can you send me a shot of the cover/indicia page just so I can try to wrap my head around this one?
Walt to Pete (Jan 27, 2022):
I've included 4 scans: Cover and indicia page for the first issue of Super-Spider-Man and Captain Britain #231 and the same for the last issue #253. I also looked through each issue page-by-page and saw no other publishing information. It is possible the other titles have a more robust indicia? Possibly, but I don't have access to those.
Pete to Walt (Jan 27, 2022):
Wow—this is probably the most extreme version I’ve seen of the British style of “let’s just rename the poorly selling title every so often while keeping the number scheme going”, combined with an apparent allergic reaction to proper indicia or even trade dress. I wonder if the transitional issues included any context clues, e.g. The Rover announcing on the cover for a few issues “Includes The Whizzer” (or whatever comic was being folded into it at the time).
My gut reaction is that it ought t be busted into multiple titles—I guess it would depend on how frequently the transition happened, and how well known the overall series was to Brits, though. If it oscillated every several issues to a nearby name, I’d be inclined to overlook it (the “Captain America/Captain America and the Falcon” example), or if the title name was cyclical and relatively well-known (The Peter Parker/Spectacular Spider-Man example). As an American, however, I have to say I’d have had a hard time finding this one without some sort of title change.
Here's the cover for Super Spider-Man #277 as well as its indicia page.
As I said, I'd love for this title to be broken apart. And please, as always, take my criticism in the spirit its given which is to help, in a small way, to help improve the data in CB.
Thanks for your consideration,
On 7/2/2022 at 9:02 AM, Douglas W. McCratic said:
Did you find it? Did you find that a single space after the ellipsis in each title was removed? A SINGLE SPACE. We changed two titles for a single space in the title. How is this acceptable but it is somehow not acceptable to change titles as mentioned in this thread to fix them so that they make some kind of sense? We have discussed how it might inconvenience some collectors and prevent them from getting updates to the titles that they own. Why inconvenience some collectors for the sake of a single space in a title but not others to make huge corrections to make the db follow some sensible order?
Behind the scenes, I don't think they changed this title. Don't get me wrong, they may have and if they did, they should for other titles as well. I think what they may have done is simply trim trailing spaces in the query results which doesn't require actually changing the title, but I could be wrong.
I would love to see some appetite for anything that improves finding and organizing series in a comprehensive way whether it's managed by the user or by CB.
4 hours ago, Douglas W. McCratic said:
In addition to slowing things down, without the knowledge I now have from digging all over for information on these books, it doesn't make any sense. The original title was "Justice League" in 1987 but that became "Justice League International," which changed titles in 1989 to "Justice League America." The trouble is that the books in question were placed under Justice League America, throwing a word into the title that is nowhere on these books. I understand that these two have the same writer/artist as was on the main title at the time but finding it would be near impossible without knowing that or looking for the title.
Wholeheartedly agree, Douglas, but there doesn't seem to be much appetite to fix these things -- which seems pretty odd for a database program. I'll continue to point them out, but I'm not holding out hope that they'll be fixed.
Identification Label Information - Diminishing Returns
in Feature Suggestions
I print identification labels for my comics and magazines. And while I like the ability to include StoryLines and Creators at some point this information provides diminishing returns (pun intended) as the font size gets readjusted based on the amount of text that's included. Here's an example from The Official Legion of Super-Heroes #1:
This is nearly illegible. I think this may be at the limit before the data starts getting truncated. I have a couple of suggestions that might help this situation and it's regarding what information can be included.
These modifications could be done in a way that would not affect those who prefer the label as it currently displays.
Thanks for your consideration.