These General Guidelines listed below are some of the standards for the site that users could only find previously by searching through the forums. They address some common problems that crop up. I have written them up here for the benefit of all ComicBookDB contributors. I will be adding to the General Guidelines over time, so please use this thread to provide feedback as to what items could use clarification and what you would like to have added to the list. I would like to write up a complete walk-through for the site one of these days, but until then these General Guidelines and the Help Page
will have to do. And as always, please use the forum to ask any questions for which you can't find the answer.
Please use the Search function.
Many new users create duplicates of titles and issues that are already in the database. Some books have official titles that include punctuation or other elements that may not show up in an initial search. For example, the comic book WildC.A.T.S will not appear if you type "Wildcats" into the search box. In a case like this, you can search the publisher or a prominent creator involved in the title to find how the book has been entered into the database. At this point, most of the titles from the last 30 years from most major publishers have been entered into the database. If the book has been printed in the not too distant past and was not self-published, please try a few different search methods (title, creator, publisher) to ensure that it is not already present before you add it to the database as a new entry.
Titles are listed according to the indicia.
Indicia is the small print legal information that appears in every comic book, often on the title page or recap page. Indicia ranges from a full paragraph of legal information to a simple statement of copyright and date of publication. Some examples are displayed below:
Books in the database are listed according to what the indicia states the title to be. In some cases, this conflicts with the title on the cover. If the cover title differs from that listed in the indicia, please make a note in the Notes field for that title stating as such. Differences can be as small as a change in punctuation. In many cases, the adjective on the cover is not in the indicia. In rare cases, an argument can be made for listing a book by the cover title rather than the indicia. For example, the complete run of Uncanny X-Men is listed under that title even though it did not become the official title in the indicia until issue #142. Due to the sheer number of X-Men titles that have been published and the general public's identification of Uncanny X-Men as the main title, it was decided to list the whole series as one entry despite the differences in indicia. But the general rule is to list a book according to the official legal title that is displayed in the indicia. Certain exceptions to this are listed below under the header "Annuals, Specials, and Collected Editions".
Please make your listings as complete as possible.
If you are adding an issue to the database, please take the time to fill out as many of the available fields as possible. If you have an older book with no credited creators, please use the placeholder (Unknown Creator) rather than leaving the field blank. If the book is colored in black and white or graytones, please use (Story is monochromatic) or (Graytones).
Do not enter books until they are released.
Please do not enter new issues and titles into the database until they are on sale to the public. Much can change from the time a book is solicited to the time that it hits the shelf at your local comic shop. To ensure that the information in the database is accurate, we ask that users do not enter books based upon solicitation info or upload promo cover images. Uploading solicitation images can create confusion in the long run, causing users to wonder if the slightly different cover of the solicitation image (moved logos, changed type) is a variant of the final printed version that they hold in their hands. Take it as a rule of thumb to not add an issue unless you have a physical copy in your hands.
Do not use solicitation info or jacket copy for synopsis info.
Information from solicitations and jacket copy is subject to the copyright of the publisher. Please do not transcribe this text and enter it into the Synopsis field. Information from other websites is also subject to the copyright of the respective creators. It is relatively easy to reword this data so it is not a direct swipe. If you do not feel up to the task, then just leave the field blank.
Do not use info from company handbooks or copy from wikipedia for character bios.
As with the synopsis information discussed above, character bio information created by comic book publishers or websites other than ComicBookDB is subject to copyright protection. Please do not copy and paste information from other websites or transcribe character information from books such as the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe or DC's Who's Who.
Annuals, Specials, and Collected Editions.
Annuals, Specials and Collected Editions are normally listed with the parent title. Annuals are always listed with the ongoing title that is being published at the time that the Annual sees print. Specials are usually also listed with the corresponding ongoing title unless the indicia specifies a subtitle. For an example, the first Ms. Marvel Special is listed as an issue of the simultaneously published ongoing series. However, the second special has an official title in the indicia of Ms. Marvel Special: Storyteller and so it gets listed as a separate title.
Collected Editions are listed under the title in which the issues being collected were originally published. This is the largest conflict with the 'List according to the indicia' rule that exists in the database, as many TPBs have titles that differ from the title of the original series. The only time a collected edition gets listed as a separate title is when it collects issues from more than one title. A TPB like Operation: Galactic Storm or the Complete Age of Apocalypse will get their own title because they collect storylines that ran through a number of different titles.
A Brief Guide to Problem Reports
Most information in the database is editable by anyone who signs up for a free account. If you see incomplete information, or something that has been entered incorrectly, please feel free to take the initiative to fix it yourself.
One thing many new users have difficulty with is removing creators or characters from an issue. In the relevant editing menu, all you need to do is control-click (command-click on a Mac) on the creator or character that needs to be removed. This will unselect the name in question while leaving all the other names in the list still selected.
Some editing powers are reserved for the site's administrators. If you see something that you cannot fix, please submit a Problem Report. On the Title level, the link for submitting a Problem Report is at the bottom of the page underneath all the issue numbers. At the Issue level, Problem Reports are accessed in the Toolbox to the right of the page.
When submitting a problem report, please provide as much information as you can that is pertinent to the the situation. If you are reporting a duplicate entry, please copy the original Issue/Character/Title listing url in the Problem Report. Any information you can provide that streamlines the process makes things much easier.
Some things that only admins can do:
- Change an issue number
- Change the name of a variant issue
- Move an issue to another title
- Add Title Continuity links
- Delete duplicate entries
- Edit character quotes