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Comic Books or Magazines ... How to Decide?


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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.

Best,
Walt 

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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.

Edited by Walt Grogan
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9 minutes ago, Walt Grogan said:

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.

Yes, correct on both counts. 

It has caused some consternation amongst users as things like Who's Who and OHOTMU have been moved over to the Magazine category, but in the long run I think it will make more sense.  And (finally!!!) Atomic Avenue now handles magazines (and books) much more easily than it used to, so selling "formerly-comics-but-now-magazines" items is much easier than in the past.  

There will always be items that seem like they have a foot in both camps, but you can always post here on the boards to get help in sorting it out from the HC editorial team and from other CB users.  

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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.

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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.

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3 minutes ago, Walt Grogan said:

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.

There may well be items that were cataloged in ComicBase prior to the creation of the Book and Magazine categories that have escaped (so far) a move to the appropriate category. 

In the case of The Amazing World of Superman, that contains articles but also several comic stories.  More than half of the pages are comics, so I assume that is the reason why HC decided to keep it in the Comic category.    

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1 minute ago, Walt Grogan said:

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 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.  

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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2 hours 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.

Plus things like Amazing Heroes and even one issue of Comic Book Artist were comic sized, but they are clearly magazines and not comics. 
 
As you say, categorizing by size leads to obvious problems. 

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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.

Edited by Walt Grogan
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  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Best,
Walt

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