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Item lookup not working for older comics that dont have a barcode

patricia Bowyer

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I am having some difficulty trying to enter my comics which are older and do not have a barcode.

Am using 'item lookup' on my mobile app (vi IpHONE), but maybe I'm not entering title correctly?

What is the proper naming convention to use when searching for items without a barcode?

All I can see is to use either title (proper naming convention?) or item number.

Is there any other way to search?

For example, I cannot find : The Amazing Spider-Man, #96 from May.

The same problem for : Starring the Fantastic Four, #51 and #59.

Thanks for any help. I have viewed the 'Entering your collection' video, but no answers there.


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As you type the title into the Item Lookup text box in the mobile app, you should be getting some suggested title matches from the app as you enter more letters.  

Keep in mind that although ComicBase (on the computer, not the mobile app) displays titles like "The Amazing Spider-Man" it actually stores that title as "Amazing Spider-Man, The".  So typing "The Amazing Spider-Man" vs "Amazing Spider-Man" into the mobile app will give you different title suggestions.  I tried the latter and the first Amazing Spider-Man title pops up pretty quickly as a suggestion.  I assume that this is the comic that you are looking for.

There is no title in the database that begins with the phrase "Starring the Fantastic Four".  I'm guessing that the title you are really looking for is "Marvel's Greatest Comics" which is a reprint title that included the words "starring the Fantastic Four" on the cover logo for quite a few issues.  If this is the issue #51 and this is the issue #59 that you are looking add to your database, you are in fact looking at issues of Marvel's Greatest Comics.  

For most comic titles, the best place to check for the title is the indicia, the fine print that includes publisher and legal information.  The indicia is usually at the bottom of the first inside page or the bottom of the last inside page for recent comics.  For several decades (roughly mid-60's through early 2000's at least) the indicia was predominantly at the bottom of the first page.  Prior to the mid-60's, it was not uncommon for the indicia to be on the inside front cover.  Some fairly old ComicBase articles about indicia and comic titles in the database can be found here and here.  

Hope this is helpful!

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On ‎10‎/‎9‎/‎2020 at 6:52 PM, Mark J. Castaneda said:

After you do some scanning through the mobile app, hop on your computer and launch ComicBase. Go the Internet Menu>Check for New Sales and Purchases - this will sync what you added through the app into your database on the computer.

Hello to G Hecht and thank you re Issue with Item Lookup. I have seen the autocharacter reduction as I type what I'm looking for, and tried to find the Spider-Man both using 'The' at the beginning of the title and without, was not able to find what I was looking for either way.

I did also find the additional 'filters' list in the CBase on my computer (for adding new Comics) , so was able to add a couple of issues I was struggling with, but even with this tool, I am not finding what I'm looking for.

Quite frustrating, actually, and I have hundreds of issues to enter for my collection.

Thank you very much for your prompt reply, and the information about the indicia- I did look at both front and back pages for issue # 119, for Marvel Comics Group, Fantastic Four, but did not see the 'title' information on the front or back page.

Q-- (Not to mention hating to open the plastic sleeve protecting the comic, does the integrity of the plastic sleeve have any affect on value?)

Tried searching on Storyline: Three Stand Together.. Or Die! and that didn't help either.

Q- Wish there was a way to search by both Primary character AND item number, this might really reduce search time. Is this possible?

I have also read the articles you referred me to, thank you.

--Another Q please: I CAN find some issues on 'Atomic Avenue', but doesn't seem to be a way to just click on that and then add to CBase-- is this possible?

Sorry for all the newbie q's, but having decided it's time to get this enormous project going, it's a little tough to keep bumping into walls or no results.

I appreciate your help, have a great weekend.

~ Pat





Edited by patricia Bowyer
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Hi Pat --

To get to the indicia, you'll need to open up the comic.  That means you'll have to take it out of the plastic sleeve.  The short answer to one of your questions is that the condition of the comic itself is what counts, not the condition of the plastic sleeve.  For the *vast* majority of comic books (and certainly all of the ones from the early 1970's and older) the comic would not have come with a plastic sleeve at the time that it was originally purchased from the store or newsstand, it would have been added later on by whoever wanted to save the comic as part of a long-term collection.  

The cover blurb also doesn't always match the actual storyline.  Again, that will be inside the comic itself, usually on the first page.  What is on the cover doesn't always match the official title of the story, and it is the official story title that is tracked by ComicBase.  

I have attached some photos to this post that might be helpful for you.  

Regarding searching by both primary character and item number:  that would probably be less easy than you might expect.  Since many titles get relaunched with new issue numbering and many primary characters get multiple spin-off titles, that might not be very helpful.  For instance, there are dozens of comics with the issue number 20 *and* with the "Spider-Man" name somewhere in the title... and even more that include Spider-Man but which don't have his name in the title.  

Be patient!  Comics can admittedly be a very strange beast, but once you get the hang of finding the title info, you'll find that cataloging a collection gets much easier!  

     -- Greg





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Hello G.Hecht, and thanks very much for your reply. I understood where to find the indicia after your previous message, but the illustrations above are helpful to understand the rest of the page. Unfortunately, I am still not able to enter some of my comics in CBase, though I AM able to find them in Atomic Avenue.

I'm guessing this is not possible, but sure would be great if I could enter a book by clicking on the item in Atomic Avenue-- any chance of this working?

I do understand that a search which would allow 2 parameters (i.e., Character and issue#) could still return many, many 'hits', but then of course I'd like to see the ability to search on multiple parameters, more than 2-- : Character, issue#, Month , cover price, etc.

I'm too new at this to start seriously suggesting new features for future releases, but an example of my struggles may be helpful to your programming staff.

Not thrilled about having to take each book out of the plastic sleeve, would like to minimize handling, so will follow your steps as suggested in the meantime.

Thank you,



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What edition of CB do you have (Free, Express, Pro, Archive)? Depending on the edition, there may be some options on searching. For example, the Archive edition has an advanced find where you can do searches for multiple items at the same time (possibly, the Pro edition might have this but I am not sure and the product description isn't helpful).

If you can find the comic on AA, the same Title / Issue should be in CB. (And, unfortunately, I don't think the click on AA item to add to CB would work.)

If you can supply some information on the issues you are having problems with (a cover scan would help a lot), someone may be able to help you find them.


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Hello Steven,

Thank you for your reply.

I have the Pro edition, am new at this so not ready to go for the Advanced yet. From other replies I've received, it appears that I cannot search on multiple criteria at the same time.

Too bad the AA doesn't allow entering from their 'window', that'd be great.

-- I found it quite helpful today to enter via my laptop and use the 'other' Find option, using issue number- since results appear alphabetically, I can at least narrow down the time it takes to the letter grouping (i.e., looking for an Avengers issue is pretty quick once I get going, but it's really slow once searching for some mid-alphabet name)

Will see if I can scan in a cover scan for some that are stubborn tomorrow.

I'd hoped the scanner using iPhone would be pretty quick, but so far it's not. The most productive right now is the Find/Other with issue number, but even with a successful search, it still takes quite a bit of time to find and then enter.

Thanks again for your help, am plugging away with many, many more to get into the system.

Q- Do you happen to know if a better (i.e., not iPHone) scanner would be more efficient?

Best regards,



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Can you check this.  
In CB, press CTRL + F.
This will open a Find window (there are other ways to get this).
Next to Find is a drop-down box (in blue in attachment).
When you click on that to display the options, do you see Advanced Find (circled in red)?
If you do, we can use that to help find some of the issues.  If not, then you don't have Advance Find in the Pro edition.

I have a separate scanner that I use. Some printers are mulit-purpose and have scanning available, but not all have a flat-bed scanner. If nothing else, you can take a photo of the cover with your iphone.


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Hello again Steven,

I do not get what you have above when I click Ctrl-F, I only get a single field which allows me to enter Issue number, so evidently 'Advanced Find' is also not available in the Pro version.

I also do not see 'Advanced Find' in any of my tab options.

Having a problem getting a picture from my phone to laptop to share with you, so just going to describe a problem with 2 specific issues right now:

1) Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, #11 -I can find this at Marvel, but not in CB. This is #11, MAR, in a limited series of twelve issues according to the cover. Cover price .75 and looks like it was published in 1984.

2) #12 APR in the same series, all info as above except cover price on this one is $1.00.

I have tried to find these using every available parameter, no result.

Can you please help or tell me how to enter a comic that CB indeed does not have in their db?

Thank you,


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Yew, I can but I am not sure why you are having problems.  For example, typing "Marvel Super Heroes Se" in the Find box brings up a list with "Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars" as the first item. (Attachment 1)
Selecting that Title, and scrolling down the list you will find Item #'s 11 and 12. Attachment 2).

So, the question is, why can't you see this?
One possibility is you are only displaying items you own.
Click on the View drop-down box, and select Items to Show and see what is checked in the cascaded menu.  It should have All Items checked. (Attachment 3)

Another thing to check is click on the folder icon in the top right corner (or use CTRL + T) to get the Titles window. In the top left corner, next to Show, the All Titles should be selected. (Attachment 4)

Find Title 1.JPG

Find Title 2.jpg

View Options 1.JPG

View Options 2.JPG

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