Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Comics

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WikiProject Comics (Rated Project-class)
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WikiProject Manual of Style
WikiProject icon This page falls within the scope of WikiProject Manual of Style, a drive to identify and address contradictions and redundancies, improve language, and coordinate the pages that form the MoS guidelines.

RFC: restructuring of the Manual of Style[edit]


Editors may be interested in this RFC, along with the discussion of its implementation:

Should all subsidiary pages of the Manual of Style be made subpages of WP:MOS?

It's big; and it promises huge improvements. Great if everyone can be involved. NoeticaTea? 00:34, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

Primary sources used for content[edit]

I think an addition/alteration should be made to the Project's MOS page. I'd like to request responses on two separate points:

1. Primary sources can be used for the purpose of sourcing the content of a work, such as its date, plot and credits. This is why plot summaries of articles books, TV shows, movies, etc., typically do not carry citations, and is explicitly indicated by the MOS pages of projects on those media, specifically WP:TVPLOT and WP:FILMPLOT (both of which quote WP:PSTS). Here's a snippet from TVPLOT:

Since TV episodes are primary sources in their articles, basic descriptions of their plots are acceptable. WP:PSTS says, "...a primary source may be used only to make descriptive claims, the accuracy of which is verifiable by a reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge... Do not make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims about information found in a primary source."

I'd like to add a similar passage to the Comics MOS page. Any objections?

2. Also, the section on Citations says,

"In general, any statement for which a citation has been explicitly requested by another editor should be provided with one as well."

This is wrong. What if a newbie editor who doesn't understand policy comes along and requests a citation for the publication date, plot info or credits of a comic book? Nightscream (talk) 01:07, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. By default, the credits for a comic book should be assumed to be sourced to that comic book, at least for anything post 1970. We do not need a ref after a mention that an artist worked on SwordGuy #327 that sources it to SwordGuy #327. And yes, this has actually been a point of contention from a purposely-contentive editor at Steve Lieber. --Nat Gertler (talk) 03:34, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

In other media section[edit]

Can it be worked on to create a paragraph discussing this section (or sometimes pages) regarding what should or should not be included? In my personal opinion, these sections should only be limited to actual appearances, not just mer mentions or slight references in passing. It could be modeled after the already existing "Popular culture" guideline here. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 20:46, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

This isn't really a meaningful post out of context, so it's surprising that you haven't explained why you think it's a problem that needs to be solved or why it keeps coming up. This has been a recurring issue at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Comics, particularly regarding the TV and movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which have mentioned characters that have not yet been depicted on screen. Sometimes it's worth including in the character's article, sometimes it isn't, but the fact is that even mentions of a character have brought a lot of secondary source commentary as there's a lot of interest in the expansion of the MCU and the incorporation of more from the original comic book source materials. So a simplistic prohibition of the sort you're seeking is not only a bad idea that would often disregard how sources treat the subject, but it's also an idea without consensus. postdlf (talk) 21:37, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I basically agree with you Favre1fan93 on this (if you couldn't tell by all the related threads I've started on WT:COMICS), but I wonder if such an inactive talk page like this is the best place to start it - although an RFC could bring more attention to this issue. (talk) 21:51, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I apologize for not providing the context for which I was posting here. However, I still think there is some benefit to having something regarding this, beyond the (mainly) isolated incidents regarding MCU mentions. What if a character is just mentioned in an animated TV series, or is referenced in a comic-themed video game (this instance came up recently on the project talk)? It would be nice to have something where we can point to, that says something along the lines of "Are a number of secondary sources talking about this? Does it have importance given its context for which it appeared?", things like that. And through this guideline, I'd like to create a consensus for the matter, because at the moment, I feel it is a lot of varying opinions. - Favre1fan93 (talk) 22:04, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
That seems reasonable to me - I would say start an RFC to attract some responses. (talk) 22:09, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Proposed rewording for instructions for disambiguation[edit]

Difficult to say what the outcome is here. The first proposal was clearly a no consensus. The second proposal appears to have unanimous support for change, but there is no consensus for which version of the change is preferred. I suggest someone be bold and edit the MoS to change to one of those, and if that's reverted, have another RfC which is a straight choice between the two. Number 57 19:08, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Proposal 1 (withdrawn)[edit]

  • This proposal has been superseded by Proposal 2 below.

The current WikiProject Comics Manual of Style reads:

"When disambiguation is needed use (comics), or (company) where that is not appropriate."

This should be reworded to make it clear that (comics) is a fallback when something more general is not available, especially in the case of characters. Perhaps:

"When disambiguation is needed and a more general disambiguation such as (character) is not applicablesufficient use (comics), or (company) where that is not appropriate."

Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:15, 28 April 2014 (UTC)


Note: Please place rationales in the "Discussion" section so they can be discussed

  • Support as nominator per rationale below. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:15, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Project MOS should supplement the site-wide MOS. Would also be fine with "is not sufficient". AIRcorn (talk) 08:30, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: "(comics)" is a sufficient disambiguation for all comic book-related content; characters, groups, locations, objects, etc. If a particular incarnation of a comic book-based character becomes notable in its own right then it should have its own article such as Batman in film Symbol support vote.svg or Superman in film Cscr-featured.svg.--TriiipleThreat (talk) 10:50, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per TriiipleThreat. BOZ (talk) 12:04, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per TriiipleThreat - Favre1fan93 (talk) 15:22, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: It makes sense for "character" to be the default when a particular character has an firm presence in several types of media. As I stated below, each article requires its own consensus and the actual scope of the article should be taken into consideration, using "comics" instead where that is appropriate. It also makes a difference whether we are talking about the character itself or an eponymous series. This guideline should not be mistaken as trumping the need for consensus on each article. Nor is "sitewide consensus" an absolute that dictates the titling for a particular article; only actual policy does that. Taking these things into account, I support modifying the MOS here. Naturally, we will continue to argue about what is appropriate for each article. --GentlemanGhost (converse) 20:13, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per TriiipleThreat. Fortdj33 (talk) 22:57, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per TriiipleThreat. postdlf (talk) 23:46, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - Curly Turkey's proposal is more in accordance with WP:TITLE policy criteria, and normal WP:DISAMBIGUATION guideline practice. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:17, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose It ain't broke. Why fix it? --BDD (talk) 16:42, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
    • @BDD: The current wording is being cited as the rationale for page moves from (character) to (comics), wasting time and effort, and violating policy. Curly Turkey (gobble) 20:45, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
As long as the (comics) name is accurate, those moves are maintaining consistency with other articles, which is one of our core naming criteria. I don't see how that violates policy. --BDD (talk) 21:01, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
@BDD: Consistency is also broken, as (character) is accepted as the norm for characters in every other medium across Wikipedia, and the content of many of these articles is not limited to comics. It is a violation of policy for local consensus at WP:COMICS to enforce such moves and circumvent global consensus. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:15, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I do like consistency, but as long as disambiguators are consistent within a topic, I think it's a fool's errand to try to standardize them all. This comes up in sports fairly frequently. With titles like Foo Barson (tennis), every now and then someone comes along and says, "Hey, he isn't a tennis!" But what would the benefit be to changing it to Foo Barson (tennis player), and applying it to all disambiguated tennis players? That's unclear to me, as is the benefit from this proposal. --BDD (talk) 21:33, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
That's actually a mischaracterization. This argument is made about cases where "a [whatever]" is actually grammatically possible, e.g. "a baseball". The vast majority of WP disambiguations describe the topic, not the over-topic of the topic: "Mike Smith (physicist)", not "Mike Smith (physics)", "The Big One (song)" not "The Big One (music)", etc. This is for good reason, and "Mike Smith (baseball)" clearly illustrates why since Mike Smith is neither a baseball nor a brand of sporting goods. Cases like "Mike Smith (tennis)" should be normalized to "Mike Smith (tennis player)" because they simply make more sense that way and the usage is more consistent. Attempt to mock this idea by suggesting people want this because Mike Smith is not "a tennis" is a blatant straw man fallacy. This is all relevant here because "Mike Smith (comics)" is an unhelpful disambiguation for reasons that never have jack to do with "is Mike Smith 'a comics'?" nonsense. The real questions is "WTF does that mean? Is Mike Smith a superhero secret identity? An artist? A publisher executive? A graphic novel title? A...?" Any pattern of disambiguation that leads to more questions is a very poor pattern of disambiguation.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  01:57, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
@BDD: The current wording is being interpreted as a mandate to move articles on media franchise characters such as Hulk (character) and Wolverine (character) to Hulk (comics) and Wolverine (comics), "fixing" what was never broken. The proposed wording is not an attempt to enforce any standardized disambiguation, but to discourage these time-wasting, policy-breaking moves. You'll probably want to see Propoal 2 below, which makes this intent much clearer. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:46, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
I believe you're mistaken, or perhaps misreading the page histories. (Incidentally, this may be partially my fault, as I moved Wolverine before I was an admin and seem to have neglected to move the talk page archives along with it.) Wolverine (comics) has long been a stable title. It was moved in January 2013 to (character) but moved back in March, both times as a result of consensus from an RM. See Talk:Wolverine (comics)/Archive 7#Renaming article and the logs for the page. Wolverine (comics) has been the title for over ten years; we had Wolverine (character) for a bit under three months! Hulk has never been the subject of an RM (until now, though it's a different question), but Hulk (comics) has been around over 12 years. Hulk (character) was the title for a few hours (!) in 2010. Again, see the page log. --BDD (talk) 22:16, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
@BDD: If the Wolverine move were simply a matter of consenus that (comics) was more appropriate for reasons XX, YY, and ZZ, that would be one thing, but that is clearly not the case—the rationale is explicitly "The standard is to have (comics) in the title, not (character)"—this Project's MoS simply cannot mandate such a thing (and technically doesn't, but is being misrepresented as doing so). Will we next have to undergo RMs for articles like Tintin (character) now that it has been pointed out that it's not following the "standard" and Tintin (comics) is free and ready for such a move? Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:15, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support: because "(comics)" is clearly not a sufficient disambiguation for all comic book-related content, much of which refers to more than one thing (titles, characters, etc.), and much of which is not only in comics media. Disambiguations like " (character)" make more sense except where the character has separate articles for comics vs. movie version, and so on. The preference of this wikiproject for using a terribly unclear disambiguator, " (comics)", which often raises more questions than it answers, is not a policy, and a WP:LOCALCONSENSUS here does not override wider consensuses that, e.g., disambiguations should make sense and that the normal pattern for them is to have them refer to the topic, not to the over-topic of the topic: "Jane Garcia (musician)" not "Jane Garcia (music)", thus "Jane Garcia (character)", "Jane Garcia (comics character)", "Jane Garcia (comic book)", "Jane Garcia (graphic novel)", "Jane Garcia (artist)", "Jane Garcia (comics artist)", "Jane Garcia (publisher)", "Jane Garcia (fictional ship)", whatever on earth it is that the hopelessly vague "Jane Garcia (comics)" might refer to. The rationale I give here applies equally to either of the revised options of the RfC/poll below.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:31, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
    • While I'm thrilled to see another "support", the situation with comics creators is a lot more complicated than you're aware, especially in the assembly-line comic book world. Jeff Smith (cartoonist) and Jack Davis (cartoonist) are easy to disambiguate with "cartoonist" because they handle all the chores of comics creation, but in the superhero world there is a division of labour—fine if someone did nothing but artwork, but so many have had different roles over their careers: Al Feldstein doesn't need disambiguation, but he's an example of someone who has taken on the roles of writer, artist, and editor, usually not at the same time, or at least not every combination at the same time. Then there are "plotters" who are not necessarily writers, pencillers, inkers, colourists ... who again often take different roles throughout their careers. And then there are those artists such as Frank Miller (comics) who have handled all the creation chores, but whom their fans would be mortified to have called a "cartoonist" (the industry doesn't rake in enough to deal with these fans' psychological issues). "(comics)" isn't perfect, but it's the best we're likely to get. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:46, 4 May 2014 (UTC)


  • Sitewide consensus is that disambiguation should be as general as reasonable—when there is more than one "Schloing", "Schloing (band)" is preferred to "Schloing (rock band)" except when there are two bands in different genres named "Schloing".
    In the cases of articles that are specifically about comics—say, Louis Riel (comics), which is about a specific book, and not a media franchise—"comics" is the most reasonably general disambiguation.
    On the other hand, Hulk (character) redirects to Hulk (comics), even though (a) (character) is more general; (b) Hulk, the character, is a long-established media franchise, in movies, TV shows, etc etc.; and (c) the article is under both {{WikiProject Comics}} and {{WikiProject fictional characters}}.
    There are precedents for this: there is no Tintin (comics) (the series is at The Adventures of Tintin), but there is Tintin (character). Outside WP Comics (character) appears to be the norm in these situations. Curly Turkey (gobble) 21:15, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
To be fair on the Hulk redirect, a quick scan of that article suggest that it actually has very little on non-comics uses of the Hulk; while the fact that it has been adapted to other forms gets two sentences in the lede, searching for "television" and "movie" and "film" through the article finds me one paragraph on reaction to the Ang Lee movie. There is no mention of David Banner. So I suppose the question is whether, in the general case, these articles 1) really are about the character in a cross-media sense, and 2) they do not more frequently need to be disambiguated from similarly-named character in other media (much as, say, Rocky (character) would still leave you wondering if it meant Rocky Balboa or Rocket J. Squirrel). --Nat Gertler (talk) 22:07, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
@NatGertler: If there are two "characters" called "Rocky", then further disambiguation is warranted—there are well-established conventions for that (check out The Sleepers (San Francisco band) and The Sleepers (Chicago band)). The further disambiguation is only done when necessary—there's obviously no necessity when the more general title redirects to the more specific one, as in the case of Hulk (character).
(And isn't it suspicious that there is no mention of Lou Ferrigno in the Hulk article? Kinda tells you there's a lot of work to be done on it to meet the standards on comprehensiveness.) Curly Turkey (gobble) 22:35, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
Obviously, not everyone agrees with this idea, as evidenced by the recent discussion at Talk:Hydra (Marvel Comics). The policy is "Usually, titles should be precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but no more precise than that." (WP:AT) The scope of the articles in which this project takes an interest varies; some are wholly focused on comic books, some are more broadly focused on several types of media. So, to my mind, it needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. I don't think that we ought to say that "character" is the preferred term of disambiguation, because in some cases, it won't be. Perhaps we could change the wording to give the option of "character", "comics", or "company" depending on the scope of the article? --GentlemanGhost (converse) 22:41, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
@GentlemanGhost: The argument given there was that Hulk (comics) falls under WikiProject Comics, and that the WP:CMC guideline states only (comics) or (company) as acceptable disambiguations for articles under the Project. Of course, this interpretation contradicts policy. What is necessary is not a longer list of options that this Project agrees to "allow", but clarification that this Projects supplementary MoS does not override the sitewide MoS—that the Project-specific disambiguations are not default disambiguations.
The spirit of the current wording is that we prefer "comics" to other terms ("comic", "graphic novel", "comic book", "graphic album", "sequential art", etc). It was never meant to mandate "comics" over something more general, and it was never meant to override (only supplement) sitewide guidelines. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:05, 28 April 2014 (UTC)
@Curly Turkey:Alternatively, instead of "is not applicable", we might say "is not precise enough." Every term which is more general would naturally still be applicable, much like the example of "band" vs. "rock band." Rock bands are a subset of bands, so both terms are applicable. But in some situations, merely using "band" may not be precise enough. Also, for the specific example of Hulk (comics), on the face of it, I would think that would be a great example of an article which might be titled "Foo (character)" instead of "Foo (comics)." The character has a well-established history—indeed a life of its own—in media besides comics. Of course, it sounds like the article doesn't reflect that and is limited in scope to mostly the comics medium. But I am inclined to your argument that it ought to cover more, at which point a name change would be appropriate. --GentlemanGhost (converse) 00:48, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
As long as the wording doesn't put the idea into people's heads that the disambigs here should be the first option, I'm more or less fine with it. I'm afraid that "is not precise enough" likely would encourage those who are not familiar with the rationale behind having general disambigs to find something ever more precise: "Oh, this isn't just comics, it's a graphic novel ... but not just any kind of graphic novel, it's a ..." As a comics fan, I'm sure you're more than familiar with the obsessive hairsplitting comics fans are naturally drawn to.
How about "is not sufficient"? Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:59, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
That would work for me, but of course, I'm hardly the only opinion on this. :-) --GentlemanGhost (converse) 03:52, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
  • (Replies to TriiipleThreat's oppose rationale)
    1. The proposed wording is only a clarification of the established sitewide consensus—that we begin with a generalized disambiguation and then narrow it down when that's not sufficient. You are challenging not simply the wording but the sitewide consensus itself—that we should start more specific, and only work backwards to a generalized version if the content warrants it. You'll have to explain to the community why WikiProject Comics should be the lone exception to the general consensus—local consensus simply does not have the power to override it (that's policy, as you know).
    2. When and how content should be forked into separate articles can only be determined by the content of those articles and the editors working on them, and not mandated here—such a radical departure from accepted norms that another RfC would be required.
  • Curly Turkey (gobble) 12:30, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
      1. "(comics)" is sufficiently general.
        • You haven't explained why WP:CMC should be the only WikiProject to be granted this exception from the sitewide norm, or why attempts to conform to that norm should be discouraged. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:26, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
      2. I wasn't proposing any changes just reiterating that when an incarnation of a character or other such comic book-based entity is deemed notable per our existing standards then it should receive its own article thus negating the need for a different disambiguated name. Until such time, the scope of the article is usually primarily focused on the base "comics" version.--TriiipleThreat (talk) 14:29, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
        • There's is nothing in the link that has anything to do with the scope of articles, or that suggests in any way that an article on a character should focus on the medium in which it first appeared. Such decisions are editorial decisions that should not be handled by a MoS in the first place, and is unrelated to this RfC. I'll repeat: this RfC is about a proposed change in wording to conform to existing guidelines. If you want ot change the guideline itself (which can't be done at the level of a local MoS), you'll have to launch a separate RfC. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:26, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Again, I am not nor am not proposing any changes. The fact of the matter is that we are currently discussing comic characters, other derivative incarnations can be deemed notable or not based on their own merits.--TriiipleThreat (talk) 09:09, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
  1. "We" are discussing no such thing—we are discussing a proposed clarification of wording of a single passage so that it conforms to well-established global consensus to avoid future misunderstanding and conflict.
  2. Whether "derivative incarnations" should or should not be spun off into separate articles is not something that can be predetermined by any WikiProject (no WikiProject can OWN any article). There is nothing like consensus for that at any level of Wikipedia, and it is something that cannot be determined locally, at the WP:CMC level. It's disturbing that someone could be so determined to use this WikiProject to circumvent global consensus. Curly Turkey (gobble) 09:35, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
All articles are judged against WP:GNG.--TriiipleThreat (talk) 10:28, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
How on Earth is that related to anything that's been discussed on this page? Curly Turkey (gobble) 10:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
See above. I'm growing bored of this circular discussion. I've stated my opposition, carry-on without me.--TriiipleThreat (talk) 11:09, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @TriiipleThreat: Waitaminnit—waitaminnit—you're not seriously suggesting that WP:GNG says that noted appearances of characters in different media are mandated to be segregated into separate articles, are you?! And you're not seriously polluting an RfC about precision of disambiguation with this horse manure, are you?! Curly Turkey (gobble) 11:14, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Gentlemen, please, dial it back a notch. I can't see how this line of discussion is helping anything. BOZ (talk) 14:13, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I agree that "(comics)" is sufficiently general. Per WP:TITLE, article titles should be "precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but no more precise than that". Therefore per WP:NCC, "(comics)" should be the default disambiguation for all comics-related articles, unless something more specific is required. Fortdj33 (talk) 23:07, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
@Fortdj33: The issue is that the guideline is in conflict with higher-level guidelines established with a far broader level of community consensus. As per Wikipedia:Consensus#Levels of consensus: "Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale. For instance, unless they can convince the broader community that such action is right, participants in a WikiProject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy or guideline does not apply to articles within its scope."—which is policy, not mere guideline. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:26, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
Curly Turkey, with all due respect you are arguing against yourself. You acknowledge above, that there is a community wide consensus for article titles to "begin with a generalized disambiguation and then narrow it down when that's not sufficient". WP:NCC already follows this policy, by using "(comics)" as the general disambiguation for all comics-related articles, which was decided by consensus. Using "(character)" or "(Marvel Comics)" would be more specific, not less. Fortdj33 (talk) 00:43, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
@Fortdj33: I can't follow your argument how a character article disambiguated with (comics) could possibly be less specific than (character). How can moving that to (character) restrict the scope of the article? A character such as Tintin (character) can appear in multiple media. Further, (Marvel Comics) is not restricted to comics, as the flood of Marvel movies in recent years attests. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:18, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Further, you keep ignoring that, as per Wikipedia:Consensus#Levels of consensus, local consensus cannot trump sitewide policy—plus, the local consensus was to prefer (comics) to (comic), (graphic novel), (sequential art), etc, and not to mandate (comics) as disambiguation even when a more general disambiguation is sufficient (which the Project simply cannot do). Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:21, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
@Curly Turkey: Even though I agree with you about changing the wording, I have yet to see evidence that the broader Wikipedia community has said that they prefer "character" to "comics." So far, it seems like it's mostly you (and now me). Are there discussions about this which have taken place which we should be aware of? (FWIW, I'm not being flippant, I'm just asking.) --GentlemanGhost (converse) 00:50, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I've never insisted that "character" was preferred to "comics", only that something more general is preferred to something more specific. Even at the "Hydra" discussion I never insisted on "character", and neither does the wording I've proposed does insist on "character".
  • Per WP:PRECISION: "titles should be precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but no more precise than that."
  • per WP:NATURALDIS: "when a more detailed title is necessary to distinguish an article topic from another, use only as much additional detail as necessary. For example, it would be inappropriate to title an article "Queen (rock band)", as Queen (band) is precise enough to distinguish the rock band from other uses of the term Queen."
These are both from Wikipedia:Article titles, which is hatnoted with this: "This page documents an English Wikipedia policy, a widely accepted standard that all editors must normally follow. Changes made to it should reflect consensus."
The insistance that a WikiProject can mandate a level of precision article titling that conflicts with the letter and spirit of widely-accepted sitewide policy is not acceptable. The idea presented here is that "(comics)" should come first and the more general "(character)" (for instance) only allowed when it proves its necessary is the reverse of what sitewide clearly policy states—we simply do not go from one level of precision to a more general one, nor can a local guideline override sitewide policy. Curly Turkey (gobble) 02:12, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah, but that idea isn't presented in the MOS, even though it has been expressed here in the comments by some editors. Nowhere does it say that "comics" is preferred over "character". Rather, it says that when you are disambiguation titles for comics-related article, the preferred keyword is "comics." Editors ought to take into consideration that when an article's scope is broader than comics that a more general keyword might be needed, which is why I support the change in wording for the MOS. That said, I don't think this is a case of trying to overrule consensus, but rather a disagreement on how best to implement it. --GentlemanGhost (converse) 20:17, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
The interpration of the WP:CMC/MoS that (comics) is the default has been expressed by more than one editor here (Fortdj33: "'(comics)' should be the default disambiguation for all comics-related articles"; Dream Focus: "The standard is to have (comics) in the title, not (character)"), and was the rationale behind the move requests for Hulk, Wolverine, and Hydra. This interpreatation is being enforced, and reinforced through precedent and inertia, and time and effort is being wasted on unnecessary (possibly policy-breaking) moves. The proposed rewording is intended to clarify policy discourage this behaviour. Curly Turkey (gobble) 20:43, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, I've never understood why we have Wolverine at Wolverine (comics) when (for example) José Jiménez is at José Jiménez (character) and George Hayduke is at George Hayduke (character). Nothing anyone has said above explains it, either. However, changing the project guidelines means moving a whole ton of articles, and now that it's been proposed I have to admit that "This is the way everyone else does it" isn't by itself sufficient reason for such an undertaking. And when I hunted for a better reason, I came up short. I had assumed that there was a site-wide policy on naming fictional characters, but WP:Naming conventions (characters) clearly indicates that there is not. Curly Turkey provides a good rationale above, but there's an intrinsic flaw with it: "(comics)" isn't really any more or less detailed/precise than "(character)". They're just different ways of diambiguating; not all comics subjects are fictional characters, nor are all fictional characters from comics. In summary: I'm ashamed to say this, since I was the one who brought it up at Talk:Hydra (Marvel Comics), but I don't know if we have strong enough reason to prefer "(character)" over "(comics)".--NukeofEarl (talk) 18:02, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
@NukeofEarl: Did I propose a mass rename? No, I proposed a change in wording to the WP:CMC/MoS to reflect sitewide consensus to avoid having moves proposed based on "the WP:CMC/MoS said so". Curly Turkey (gobble) 19:25, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
To make this whole experience even more work, you would have to evaluate every comics character individually rather than do a mass-move with bots or a plugin or something. Sometimes there is more than one character (comics or other medium) known by a certain name, so we would literally have to hash this out with every single comics character currently using a disambiguator. And if we don't have a more solid rationale beyond "following the herd", that sounds like a lot of un-fun manual work. Unless we have a mandate from above stating "move everyone to (character) or else", I can't see a particular reason why we need to do this. BOZ (talk) 18:11, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
As for the specific example of Wolverine, it was actually moved last year (after a brief discussion) to Wolverine (character) and moved back after a much longer discussion. BOZ (talk) 18:11, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
"Conforming to sitewide policy isn't a lot of fun" isn't a very strong argument for WP:CMC to be the only WikiProject not "following the herd"—besides, it's no less fun than moving Tintin (character), Kick-Ass (character), Dilbert (character), Garfield (character), Astro Boy (character), Asterix (character) ... plus, the rationale for moving Wolverine back was "The standard is to have (comics) in the title, not (character)"—once again using a narrow interpretation of this local guideline as rationale for the move (rather than to solve any practical problem). How many times has that happened, I wonder, and how much "un-fun manual work" has it consumed with discussions and movings back and forth? It appears Hulk (character) was moved to Hulk (comics) in 2010.
Moving titles with (comic), (graphic novel), etc, in them to (comics) was no fun either, but eventually it was done (in fact, I did a lot of that work). Curly Turkey (gobble) 19:17, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, if the two sides are based on arbitrary reasons ("everybody else is doing it" vs. "it's a lot of work to make a big change"), then I prefer to stick with leaving things as they are. That's my position and I'm sticking with it. BOZ (talk) 19:41, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Following policy is an "arbitrary reason"? Please explain. Curly Turkey (gobble) 19:53, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Frankly, when you start talking about horse manure, you've really stepped in it. --GentlemanGhost (converse) 18:18, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Proposal 2 (tweaked to remove "character")[edit]

The intention of the above proposal was to clarify that the WPComics Manual of Style cannot override the sitewide Manual of Style or policies such as Wikipedia:Article Titles or Wikipedia:Consensus#Levels of consensus. Somehow some editors have seen the proposed wording as preferring or even mandating (character) as a disambiguation, when (character) was only provided as an example. I'll now propose another wording that (hopefully) gets to the heart of the matter. Instead of the current:

"When disambiguation is needed use (comics), or (company) where that is not appropriate."

I propose something like:

  • (1) "When a more general disambiguation is not sufficient use (comics), or (company) where that is not appropriate."

Or, to make the rationale behind the ever-aggravating seemingly-plural "comics" clearer:

  • (2) "When a more general disambiguation is not sufficient use (comics)—to signify the medium—or (company) where that is not appropriate."

Notified: @Aircorn:, @TriiipleThreat:, @BOZ:, @Favre1fan93:, @GentlemanGhost:, @Fortdj33:, @Postdlf:, @In ictu oculi:, @NatGertler:, Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics, Wikipedia:WikiProject Literature, Wikipedia:WikiProject Fictional characters, Wikipedia:Manual of Style, Wikipedia:Article titles.

———Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:46, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


Note: Please place rationales in the "Discussion" section so that discussion can be centralized

  • Support either (prefer (2)) as nom. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:46, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, preferring (1). GentlemanGhost (converse) 00:45, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support in spirit (preferring 2), but "(comics)" is a poor disambiguator". "Mike Smith (comics)" is an unhelpful disambiguation because it simply raises the questions "WTF does that mean? Is Mike Smith a superhero secret identity? An artist? A publisher executive? A graphic novel title? A...?" Any pattern of disambiguation that leads to more questions is a very poor pattern of disambiguation. We avoid disambiguations like "Mike Smith (physics)" for a reason (no matter how many tendentious blowhards insist on that pattern in a few sports and other areas, for now). I support the notion of this proposal, that this wikiproject cannot dictate a " (comics)" disambiguator where others make more sense. One fix at a time, I guess. I.e., my "support" here is for reducing this project's WP:OWNishness and should not be take as support for their " (comics)" thing in the first place. See my rationale for support of the original RfC/survey, above.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:32, 4 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, but I also have problems with the proposed wording, as it may reinforce the problem from the opposite side - from below. There are times when (comics) is too generic, and it should be further disambiguated when there are several related articles for the same character or series with the same title; but the current wording makes it look like (comics) would still be preferred in such cases. I'm looking at you, Wolverine (comics) and Wolverine (comic book). I would add some wording reinforcing the idea in WP:PRECISION that "titles should be precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, so (comics) should be further disambiguated if there are several comic articles with the same base title". Diego (talk) 21:03, 8 May 2014 (UTC)


  • The interpration of the WPComics MoS that (comics) is the default has been expressed by more than one editor (e.g. "'(comics)' should be the default disambiguation for all comics-related articles") and has been used as the rationale in move requests (e.g. at Talk:Wolverine (comics)/Archive 6#Renaming article: "The standard is to have (comics) in the title, not (character)") This misinterpretation is being enforced and reinforced through precedent and inertia, and time and effort is being wasted on unnecessary moves that do not conform with sitewide policy. The proposed rewording is intended to clarify policy and discourage this behaviour, and not to mandate for or against any particular disambiguation scheme. Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:46, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
  • The proposed addition in (2) serves two purposes:
    1. To make it clear that "comics" refers to the medium, and not to the plural of "comic"
    2. To make it clear that "comics" is preferred to other synonyms or closely related words ("comic", "graphic novel", "sequential art", etc), rather than to more general terms if appropriate—so that the MoS cannot be interpreted as, by default, requiring Tintin (character) or Mad (magazine) to be moved to (comics).
  • Curly Turkey (gobble) 23:46, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
  • I appreciate the goal, but I think it's still phrased confusingly due to inconsistency, at least as far as I understand it. We want to encourage having the actual string (comics) in the title (as in, say Panel (comics) to distinguish from say Panel (conversation) and Panel (electronics) and such... but I don't think we're generally encouraging the phrase (company); there may be some cases where that actual phrasing might be needed (to distinguish, say Dark Horse Comics (company) from Dark Horse Comics (comics title)), but I think in general we're trying to distinguish Daredevil (Lev Gleason Publications) from Daredevil (Marvel Comics). --Nat Gertler (talk) 01:07, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
    • @NatGertler: Well, there are a number of ways to handle that: for example (company name) or something. Curly Turkey (gobble) 01:22, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Wrong venue, and merge titles material to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (comics)[edit]

The form that article tiles should take is not a matter for the MOS (a style guideline for the content of articles), this is a matter for the Article title policy and its naming conventions (see also the disambiguation guidline), Therefore this talk page is not the place to hold RfCs on the titles of articles. -- PBS (talk) 03:00, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

PBS: The discussion was specifically about wording that appeared in MOS:COMIC. You're suggesting discussion of the appropriateness of wording that appears in MOS:COMIC should take place elsewhere? Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 03:09, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes this is a Manual of Style (MOS) sub-page guideline . It is not a naming convention guideline (a sub-page of the Article title policy. The MOS and AT are semi-detached. The Manual of Style worries about the sytle content, AT worries about the title of the article. While the two are often similar they are not he same and whether a page has a dab extension of (comic) or (character) or whatever is definitely not a style issue but one of titling. -- PBS (talk) 03:19, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Please, PBS, read this very, very carefully: this discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Comics was very specifically about wording that actually appeared in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style, and whether it should be kept or reworded in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Comics. You're suggesting that wording that appears in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Comics be discussed elsewhere than Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Comics? That's simply not credible. Curly Turkey ⚞¡gobble!⚟ 03:29, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I always read things with care! Yes "Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Comics was very specifically about wording that actually appeared in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style, and whether it should be kept or reworded in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Comics." I agree. "You're suggesting that wording that appears in Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Comics be discussed elsewhere than Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Comics? " No I am not. I am stating that anything to do with changing the rules on how an article is titled should be addressed to the talk page of the AT policy, or its naming conventions which explain and enhance (but do not contradict) the policy page. In this case the specific convention is Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (comics). -- PBS (talk) 03:53, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
After skimming thorough this MOS guideline and the Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (comics) I cannot see anyting in the naming convention that concents itself with the internal style of an article, however there is a very large section of this manual of style guideline that ought to be removed with any details that there is a consensus to keep merged into the Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (comics) -- PBS (talk) 04:03, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Right, this merge of naming conventions material out of this MOS page and into the comics NC page was proposed in May, unopposed. So, it should proceed immediately. Three months is way more time than necessary for objections to have been raised.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  15:21, 25 August 2014 (UTC)