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Later Printings and Variants

Douglas W. McCratic

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I'm not really sure where to post this as it touches a lot of different areaed to content and corrections because it involves later printings of books that already exist in CB that don't actually exist (read on, I made this really complicated).  It's sort of a technical issue as I believe my problem stems from the big update to CB 2021.  I'll try to map it out and see where we get.

I have lots of sketch cover variants, you know the blanks that were made to get the artist to sketch on.  Years ago, I started entering my sketches in Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #3.  Many of my sketches are CGC graded and I wanted to keep track of all of my sketches in CB and to have images of the individual sketches available.  I did this by using high numbered variants.  As an example, I have a Fallen Son #3 that got a 7.0 (ouch) from CGC.  My solution was that I would enter it as a 70th printing and put the scan into my database so that it was available in CB.  The picture number was 3-B-70.  I rationalized that no one would ever get up to a 70th printing so this should be safe, plus CB appeared to allow an infinite number of printings.  I didn't upload the books since they were mine and no one would benefit from all my personal sketches.  I did this with all grades but with the high grades where most of my books land, the first CGC 9.0 became a 900th printing, the second became the 901st printing and so on.  9.4 became 940th printing, 9.6 became 960th printing and continued.  CGC doesn't use 9.5 or 9.7 so I could use those to add additional 9.4s and 9.6s.  My 9.8s go up to 1021 printings to cover them all.  

As it currently stands, all my high number printings are still in CB but all the images are gone.  To make matters worse, I can't access these books to change printing numbers and bring them in line.  I assume it has to do with the high printings.  It appears that 50 is the highest printing CB now accepts.  I have no way to change the information on the books because I can't even open up the individual issue. I get the following message


Is there any way to get back to something similar to the way things were?  I really liked having my books in front of me on CB but I'm guessing that since the program didn't see the books in the Master DB, it deleted the images?  That's a whole different issue but in trying to reconcile my collection with the Unknown Items list, the images are gone meaning I'm digging through literal tons of books to try to guess what I meant when I entered the book originally.  I don't mind moving stuff around to bring it in line but not even having an image to compare makes it difficult at best.  Also, I number the FCBD variants in their title by the year they were released.  I copied the pictures and changed the numbers to fit my collection but now about 1 in 3 that I look at are gone.  Again, I assume because the issue number isn't in the Master DB?  Is this an action that can be halted? 

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Another example of the variants' images disappearing is the Secret City Saga (Jack Kirby's...).  I'm pretty sure #0-B is the platinum (or possibly Kirbychrome) edition and the gold edition is just gone.  I had images of all the books I had but now one is gone.  Contrary to the notes, #0-A isn't a Kirbychrome edition, it's the Red edition.  This also comes into play on Silver Star (Jack Kirby's...) with a platinum variant as well that simply no longer exists.  I have books that used to be in CB but are now gone and I don't have an image to go by to figure out what was what. 

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First, the images are (probably) NOT deleted. It is just having a problem matching the cover image number with the now non-valid Item # (due to printing high value limit). Or possibly your Picture file location got changed.

Go to the Secret City title, then Right click on the large cover scan area (top left corner) and select Show Picture File. See if the cover is there but just doesn't have a matching Item # in CB. You can also see the location of the Picture folder to see if it is where you expected. You can also check a Title with a (now) out of range Printing to see if the covers are still there.

Second, current, the highest value for Printing appears to be 500 (I tired to enter a Printing of 1023 and the system 'defaulted' it back to 500).

I would contact support and see if this was a mistake and will be fixed or if was a decision that can be changed. If either of those happens you database and cover images should be fine without doing anything. Then Change all the Item # Printings to something between the 1-500 range.

NOTE: You will also have to rename each and every cover image with out of range Printing values to match what you changed them to. This is true for any of the methods I mention below.

However, if HC doesn't fix this, you have a few possibilities (none of them are easy and will take time and effort (especially time)).

One, do you have an older copy of CB that can be installed (prior to the Printing being max value being changed).
If you do, I would A) Make a backup copy of your database (just in case), then B) install the older version of CB. At that point, you should be able to open/work with the large Printing values.

Two, If you can Export / Import data, I would Export your data, open it in a Spreadsheet (you could use a Notes or something but that is a little more difficult). In the Spreadsheet, change all the Item # Printing values to something withing the 1-500 range that seems to be the current limit.
Once done, I would open CB, Create aa New Database, run the most current Update, and then Import your corrected data.

Three (and this is an even longer process), Create a new Item # for each of the out of range Printings and set it to something between the 1-500 range. Once you have the new Item #, copy/paste any information you entered from the 'bad' one to the new one (Notes, Custom Fields, etc.). When done, delete the 'bad' Item #. Repeat this process for every out of range Item #.

Hopefully, this is something that HC can fix so you won't have to do any of the above.

PS There were changes made for Variations with the latest update. This may have accidentally impacted Printings so hopefully, it is an error that can be fixed without you having to make changes.

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No, the pics are all gone.  I put them in using the method described.  They're not in the file at all now which means a ton more time rescanning.  Everything is in the original default location as it has always has been.  None of the higher prints have a pic associated with them now but did in the past.  I really thought the upper end of printings was 50 as I have another book I set aside using that one.  Nothing special just an oddball book I wanted to keep my own scan for in addition to the regular edition.  I didn't think to check the pic on that one but will tomorrow.  

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Not too much to add to Steven's responses except to say that CB can definitely handle printing numbers above 50.  I submitted my Tolkein's Hobbit and LotR novels to CB.  All of those had print numbers above 50 and there have not been any problems with retaining them or the scans in either my database or the master database (as evidenced by Atomic Avenue's website).  

Is it possible that at least some of these scans were associated with a title that underwent some sort of a change?  Titles like Secret City Saga (Jack Kirby's...) often get entered into the database with incorrect ' or ... punctuation and that later gets corrected.  Is it possible that when the title got corrected by a weekly content update, the scans for the comics that aren't in the master database got left behind in the original, incorrectly titled folder?  If that happened, then you would have some of the symptoms that you report:  your personal scans aren't in the default location any more b/c the default location has changed.  

Certainly lots of FCBD issue listings have been shuffled around over time by title renamings etc.  Many of them have a very messy history in that sense.  So another reason that I am suspicious that this is related to the issue that you report.  

Try searching your computer hard drive for any files with the name "3-B-70" and see if that turns up your original scan.  If it does, then that would suggest that my supposition holds some water.  

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