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Appearances in ComicBase

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Appearances in ComicBase


ComicBase has the facility to record appearances in the appearances field. This involves flipping through a comic book and recording each character (or team?)– separating each with a comma and a space.

Why would this be useful?

I can think of three reasons and all involve searches:

·         Sales: I sometimes get asked what comics I have got in stock with for example Iron man. It would be useful to quickly find a list of all the comics I have with him in them.

·         Reading: I might want to find all the comics with for example Iceman appearing in and then read them in order to see the character’s story and development through the years.

Obviously for this to work I would want Marvel editions only excluding re-prints and foreign comics appearances.

·         Buying: I might want to own all the appearances of my favourite character for example Wolverine so that I can collect or read them all. Again I would not be interested in foreign re-prints.

Comic Base used to list appearances on the issue screen under the writers and artists and clicking on a characters name used to bring up other issues with that character in.

Also I think we used to be able to search on appearances, I am not very good with the search function and am not certain if this is still possible.

Recording appearances is fraught with difficulty.

To illustrate let us imagine a comic containing the X-Men: Iceman, Wolverine, Kitty Pryde.

In the appearances do we list their codenames or real names or both?

Do we list the X-Men as a team in the appearances?

Is Iceman to be listed as Bobby Drake (Iceman) or Iceman (Bobby Drake) or Iceman, or Bobby Drake or some combination of these?

Is Bobby Drake even right should we be calling him Robert Drake?

Let’s take Wolverine.

Do we record him as Wolverine or Logan or James Howlett or Patch or Weapon X or a combination of these and do we use brackets e.g. Wolverine (Logan) or Logan (Wolverine)?

Kitty Pryde:

Kitty Pryde or Katherine Pryde or Kate Pryde. Codenames include Shadowcat and Sprite. Multiple combinations are possible. With or without brackets?

Then we have had characters who have shared the same codenames for example Thunderbird in the X-Men. Thunderbird 1 and Thunderbird 2?

Then we have characters from different realities so for example Wolverine from the Ultimate series of X-Men comics. The Age of Apocalypse versions of X-Men characters.

Then we have time travel. Remember when the original X-Men came to the current X-Men time and had their own series  - do we record these the same as we recorded them the first time around?

I won’t ramble on any longer, I for one would like some guidance about this issue so that data quality around this issue can be improved and may be hyperlinks/searches in Comicbase for characters come back and become useful.

Possibly a subject for Comicbase livestream or Comicbase TV?

Thanks for reading people.

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In the old Forum (accessible with the Forum Archive tab at the top), a few style guides was created.

List is a list of links to all of them: https://atomicavenue.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2523

This is the specific link to the one on appearances http://www.atomicavenue.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2464

They are a little old, but still valid.

 Not sure if they answer all of your questions.

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Three more dilemmas have arisen since reading the ComicBase archives:

1) When a character is impersonating another i.e. The Skrulls or Mystique impersonating for example Iceman.

2) When a character is a clone

3) When a character is seen in a dream/vision/flashback

The complications deepen!

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The only thing I will add is that CB is not meant to be a complete and all-incompassing database to list characters and all there many variations. More of just an idea of the characters that are in the issue. For myself, I would try to keep it as simple as possible which isn't always possible, with writers/publisher ret-conning the ret-cons of previous ret-cons.

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