Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Comics/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

This archive page covers approximately the dates between 5 May 2005 and 26 May 2005.

Post replies to the main talk page, copying the section you are replying to if necessary. (See Wikipedia:How to archive a talk page.)

Please add new archivals to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Comics/Archive03. Thank you. Hiding 19:36, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

List of Marvel Deaths

I've recently wrote an article about the term Marvel Death. I started a list of long-running comic book characters that have been killed-off and then returned and ones that have been killed-off permanently. Any help filling out these lists would be much appriciated --Rorschach567 22:53, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The article is at comic book death. —Lowellian (talk) 16:12, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

Runaways (comics)/Runaways (comics) (issues)

These pages seem a bit of a mess, and don't seem to match any other comics articles for format I've seen in Wikipedia. - SoM 14:35, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Why the heck are there two pages? I'm just going to merge them. --Kross 22:07, May 12, 2005 (UTC)
I didn't merge it because it's a horrible mess which is entirely composed of lists. It needs to be turned into prose (and User:Brown Shoes22 (formerly User:, apparently)'s edits tidied up for spelling and proper wikification before it even bears thinking about. - SoM 22:45, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Two small suggestions re: info accessibility

I haven't been involved here lately, but I did find myself peeking in and cleaning up a couple of articles today. One thing I notice is that the comics-stub category has become so large and diverse that it discourages one who wants to browse for items that they might like to edit. I'm wondering if there is a way to subdivide the stubs: maybe one category for artists, another for titles, another for publishers--it'd be nice if you didn't have to sift through three or four screens worth of lists.

My other thought is that it is time to archive most of the material on this talk page. --BTfromLA 20:04, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree. It does depend on how far you want to go though - Marvel-Comics-stub and DC-Comics-stub are obvious, there's enough Beano characters on there that you might want to do a DC-Thompson-comics-stub, and then there's comics-creators-stub... All logical enough, but how far do you want to go? - SoM 20:30, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
As I don't expect to be terribly active here, I'll leave the knotty issue of sub-diving the categories to you all. I guess that my three nominees above, plus perhaps a fourth for characters might be managable, and as you say, Marvel and DC categories would serve a clear purpose.
Have you folks discussed limiting what constitutes an independent article? It seems a bit daffy to me that the Avengers members category alone has 51 separate articles. --BTfromLA 00:10, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Well, there are >50 members of the Avengers, aren't there?
I tend to think that (as long as they're not substubs, it's fine. Space and time are available: this is not a paper encyclopedia. Multiple articles on the same character might be going a bit far, like The Cat (comics) and Tigra, unless they're completely seperate versions of the character (as in rebooted versions - e.g. Captain America and Ultimate Captain America, who, while they have certain similarities aren't the same character). SoM 14:09, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yours is a legit POV, and probably the way things will go. My concern is with managing the info--I wonder whether there might be benefits to consolodating very short related articles into a single article. Even given the space availabilty, does every character merit an article, or would it make more sense to provide a survey of a title? And does every scrap of information really deserve to be included in Wikipedia?--is the aim to present useful, concise introductions to subjects (with links and bibligrahies to further sources), or a catalog of every known fact? (I'd say the former.) The mind boggles at the thought of this same approach being applied to all of literature, with separate articles for every character of any significance who appears in any book. Seems to me that at a certain point it becomes over-cluttered and difficult to manage or navigate. --BTfromLA 18:03, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • I think I'm inclined to agree with BTfromLA here, in that maybe it is worth developing a common approach to superhero books and the members of, and trying to fold information in onto fewer pages if possible. Something to think about. Do all the characters in novels or films get mentions, or just the notable ones? And should we archive this page? Hiding 21:54, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Entry title standardization

I've seen that many comics entries have "(comics)" behind it (ex.: Apocalypse, but others don't. I've also noticed that at least one Poison Ivy has the name of the character's main foe incorporated into the entry title. Would it be better to standardize all the comic entries, so that they all have "(comics)" behind them? Or delineate it even further, such as having "Poison Ivy (DC Comics)," "Scarecrow (DC Comics)," "Iron Man (Marvel Comics)," "Hellboy (Dark Horse)," and so on? 20:31, 11 Mar 2005 Dr Archeville

Please sign your posts with ~~~~, huh?
And I think the way it's done now FTMP (name if available, name_(comics) if it's not, break it down further if need be), is fine. I've moved Poison Ivy to Poison Ivy (comics) now, BTW. SoM 16:09, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The rule of thumb: keep it as simple as possible. Use the name itself (Green Arrow) unless that leads to ambiguity, and then follow with "(comics)" (Robin (comics)), then by publisher (Captain Marvel (DC Comics)), then more specific if necessary (The Sandman (DC Comics Silver Age)). Usually community consensus is pretty easy to achieve in tough cases. -leigh (φθόγγος) 05:48, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (comic books). —Lowellian (talk) 16:15, May 12, 2005 (UTC)


hello, I was wondering that if there are several superheroes (or villains) with the same name and are on the same page, which one do you use for the superherobox? I uploaded the first apperance issue of the second clayface (detective comics #298), since most readers are more familiar with him than the first clayface I think. But I'm not sure if it's okay. Wareware 02:43, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • A very good question. Should there be 5 Superherobox's for Green Latern (Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardener, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner), 3 for Clayface (Basil Karlo, Matt Hagen, Preston Payne), 3 for Flash (for Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, and Wally West), 3 for Robin (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake), 2 for Wildcat (Ted Grant & Yolanda Montez), seven or eight for Starman, 4 for Marvel's HateMonger, and etc.? Dr Archeville 15:53, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • I think you should deal only with the lineage & commonality on the main page and (to use the various Flashes as an example) link to Flash (Jay Garrick) Flash (Barry Allen), Flash (Wally West), etc for the actual bios, where each could have their own superherobox, among other things. Starman (comics) sort of does this, although "Starman (DC Comics Golden Age)" and "Starman (DC Comics Modern Age)" are bad titles, being as they are far too long. "Starman (Ted Knight)" and "Starman (Jack Knight)" would be better, and allow for the other six or seven Starmen. SoM 14:48, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Hmm, I think that if they're significant enough, they should each get a box. For example, I just put three boxes on the Thunderbird (comics) article. However, I'm starting to get into weird cases. If a character is different enough in two different alternate universes, should we create two infoboxes? For example, The affiliations for Mimic (comics) in the Earth-616 universe and in his Exiles universe are vastly different, and even the affiliation color is different. For now I have him listed in all of them, and I have his color as "neutral", but this doesn't seem ideal to me. For the Blink (comics) page, someone has noted where her affiliations are only relevant for one AU, but that doesn't seem like it will work for Mimic... AUs make everything a little strange I guess. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 21:59, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)
      • Well, putting one for James Proudstar on the Tbird page is silly, since his bio's really at Warpath (comics) (and I moved the stuff accordingly)
      • More generally, I still think that, if they ARE different versions (like Marvel's "Ultimate" characters, or the various Legion of Super-Heroes reboots), and each version is significant (i.e., non-cameos), giving them different articles is the best idea. That said, until we get a naming scheme sorted for these intra-company situations (other than the Ultimate line, where you can simply prefix the name with "Ultimate", e.g., Ultimate Iron Man), I'm loathe to do that in cases where the versions share a name (e.g. Brainiac 5), and/or where one version is notable in the context of a larger article, but not on their own (the Blink example - I'm the one who put them both in the same SHB. I've got a semi-ongoing edit war at Aurora (comics) over something similar, since there are two MU versions of the character right now...) - SoM 00:05, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

DC Focus needs help

The descriptions of the various DC Focus titles in that article are taken directly from DC's marketing materials. Could somebody who is more familiar with those comics replace them with more NPOV (and non-copyvio) descriptions? Gwalla | Talk 01:03, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Is anybody familiar with these titles? Gwalla | Talk 03:15, 4 May 2005 (UTC)
Doubt it. They all got cancelled in less than a year for having pitifully low sales. - SoM 13:33, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

Warren Publishing

Just added an article since i did not see one.

I added a category link for Comic book publishers. Hiding 18:33, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Alpha Flight in list of X-Men?

Should Alpha Flight really be included in the list of X-Men allies? Their only real link is Wolverine. They are not a team of mutants and are not associated with Xavier's school in any way.--Eagle-Man 22:39, 2005 Mar 26 (UTC)

They're as much X-Men allies as the Avengers are X-Men allies. They have worked together (and against each other) a fair number of times. --Pc13 11:52, 2005 May 17 (UTC)

The things I do for Wikipedia...

Not only do I now own a (second-hand! cheap!) copy of the first issue of Rob Liefeld's Supreme, I have actually read it. *whimper* --Paul A 07:56, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

And what exactly does Wikipedia have to do with masochism? :P --Kross 03:04, Apr 25, 2005 (UTC)

I read it in the hope that it would illuminate the proper article on Supreme that I still intend to one day get around to writing. (That will now have to wait until my broken spirit is healed.) And I deny that it was masochism: if I had continued on to read the second issue, though... --Paul A 08:24, 10 May 2005 (UTC)

Ha! Hilarious. :) —Lowellian (talk) 16:17, May 12, 2005 (UTC)

Nomenclature issue

Hey guys, I'm new to this WikiProject, but I'm interested in helping out however I can. First, I was hoping to contribute an article on a kind of weird topic, and I don't know what to call it. In the silver age of comic books, there were a disproportionate number of gorillas on the cover of comic books, and there was an unexplained phenomenon by which comics with gorillas on the cover would sell better (this may be partially apocrphyal). Eventually the phenomenon became self-explanatory, as certain collectors specifically seek out comic books with gorillas on the cover (i know, weird). There are quite a few tribute sites to this phenomena (See this), and even our own Promethea article indicates that the "Weeping Gorilla Comix" meme is a tongue-in-cheek reference to this phenomena. What do you guys think would be a good title for this article? Gorillas on comic book covers? Comic book gorillas? Nothing is really sounding great to me, so I was just throwing this out for ideas and I figured this would be the best place to get topical feedback. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 21:55, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)

Ha! It is really funny when you see them all collected together! For a title, how about Gorilla cover art (comics) ? ike9898 21:22, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)
The disambiguation in the title seems unnecessary, don't it? Gorilla cover art? --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 21:55, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)
Oh, it wasn't just in the Silver Age. See's Everything's Better With Monkeys section. More fun than a barrel of... oh, you know. grendel|khan 20:16, 2005 Apr 28 (UTC)
That site is awesome. Apes in comic books? --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 21:08, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)
I'd go with Gorillas in comics. Possible future unusual article. grendel|khan 18:07, 2005 Apr 29 (UTC)
My Lebenswerk is finally complete! Thanks to grendel for for the name suggestion. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 16:32, May 17, 2005 (UTC)

Copyright status of covers.

I noticed the new copyright template Template:Magazinecover. I'm thinking of changing over the covers of individual comic issues from Template:Bookcover to this one, since they're periodicals, not exactly monographs. Trade paperbacks and so forth can still go under Bookcover, since they're books, with ISBNs and such. I think this is a mite more accurate, and hey, accuracy is always a good think. So, thoughts? Is there any reason we might want to actually create Template:Comiccover for issues of individual comics? Fine-grainedness is a good thing in copyright tagging, right? Do folks have particularly strong opinions about this? I think creating a new template might be worthwhile if we're going to have a significant number of comic covers... grendel|khan 21:42, 2005 Apr 28 (UTC)

It's done. Please use {{comiccover}} for all your single-issue comic book cover illustration needs. (Trade paperbacks, I'm going to say, go under {{bookcover}} as they've done up until now.) I'll be moving whatever I run across under that template. grendel|khan 16:59, 2005 Apr 29 (UTC)

Comic Book infobox

I was working on an article of a book belonging to a series, one of Enki Bilal. And after seening the superhero infobox, I've made a first draft of Template:ComicBookBox. And the instructions for it also. Could resist myself of not doing it, but what really wonders me is the difference between amerika comics and european comic books. Very interesting --Goanookie 18:09, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Looks like a good start. The template discussion is already ongoing at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Comics/templates. The only changes I might suggest are making the Author and Scenarist fields "Author(s)" and "Scenarist(s)", and add information on the publication frequency (bimonthly, monthly, intermittent, limited miniseries, etc.) --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 04:27, May 2, 2005 (UTC)
I'll do those changes, but I was wondering if comic books have an ISBN number. And after discovering that what I call a comic book, is called a graphic novel. So a template for graphic novel will be made. --Goanookie 14:21, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

I see several major problems with this box as it stands:

  1. It's too wide. {{Superherobox}} is already too wide, probably the widest infobox on Wikipedia, and needs to be cut down. Adding another TWO of the same width isn't the best of ideas.
  2. What does "Scenarist" mean? Rename or remove.
  3. Authors - is this a complete listing of writers and artists to have worked on the book (the box might get scarily long) or current listing in the case of ongoing books? And if the latter, what about cancelled/completed comics that have had multiple writers/artists?
  4. Leading on from that, is this ONLY for ongoing comics?
  5. ISBNs - no, comics don't have them.
  6. Publication frequency is often variable, between writer/artist lateness and occasional fortnightly issues of monthly comics.

I think this needs some serious rethinking. - SoM 17:53, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

I concur with SoM. Scenarist links to "screenwriter". I think you mean artist. (Usually split into pencilling and inking in American comics, but we can be fuzzier about it and specify when necessary.) And, of course, many books are published serially before being collected into what we call a "graphic novel"---some in predefined limited series, like Watchmen, others in a more open-ended format, like The Sandman. And indeed, I shudder to think of what this box might look like for Action Comics or Detective Comics. We need a much clearer purpose for this box before we thrust it into service. I mean, what is the overriding purpose of it? We don't have infoboxes for prose novels, because we don't need them. What's the burning need for comic book infoboxes, when the information is so varied as to strongly resist being laid down neatly? grendel|khan 21:57, 2005 May 2 (UTC)

I agree with khan, we don't necessarily need an InfoBox for comics. However, in many cases this might be convenient for most cases:
  • Many comics (series, graphic novels or whatever) keep writer/artist tandem. In other cases, we can keep the cell blank
  • Most of the time the comics has a single publisher
  • There are comics with ISBN numbers (like Watchmen)
PS: I took the liberty to adapt it (see Template: ComicBookBox). Lvr 10:19, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

New to project

I am new to the Wikipedia Comics project. I added a superhero box to the Johnny Quick page. I imagine most of my work will be with Golden Age/JSA related characters, but I may branch out a bit. Happy to help or to get advice...thanks. KHM03 13:24, 6 May 2005 (UTC) (talk)


See /templates#Superteambox - SoM 17:47, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

I like it. I have made some suggestions and changes. See: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Comics/templates. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 18:12, May 6, 2005 (UTC)

Stubs and Organisation and Valid Articles

I know SoM went through the comics stubs and sorted them, and I've just been through and weeded a few more out, but there's still 404 articles in Category:Comics stubs, even though the page itself reckons there are only 195. Not sure how you update that. Hiding 13:45, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Hit "next page". The tally given is for that page only, unfortunately. - SoM 22:14, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Ah, cheers. Hiding 22:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

I noticed DC-Thompson-stub was talked about, which could reduce the page further, but I was wondering if perhaps British-Comics-stub might reduce it better, catching other stubs that aren't DC published. Not sure which way people want to go there. Also wondered if Newspaper-Strips-stub might not be another stub of value, although there might be a better name for it than that, there's probably 40 stubs that could be accomodated there rather than on the main page, and I would imagine it would get populated quite quickly. That would probably bring comics stub down to around 200-250 stubs. Hiding 13:45, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

UK-comics-stub is a good idea, if you want to propose it @ WP:WSS/Criteria. Comic-strips-stub might be a harder sell if there's only 40 or so, since that's at the lower end of the guidelines, but it's probably still worth proposing. - SoM 22:14, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I'll get on that tomorrow then. Done, see Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Criteria I'll have a proper count up of comic strips related stubs and see how many there are before I propose that one. My feeling is single panel cartoons would also be best placed on a Comic-strips-stub, but I'm a bit worried comic strip is misleading in that case. Thoughts? Hiding 22:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Category:UK comics stubs is created. I've moved the a's and b's across so far. Okay, I've moved them all across.--Hiding 14:47, 24 May 2005 (UTC)(edited 21:39 (UTC))'
Depends what you mean by "single panel cartoons". If you mean caricatures/political cartoons, I'm not 100% sure where they fall. If it's an ongoing series like Calvin and Hobbes that happens to be told as single panels, certainly.
  • I was thinking of things like Marmaduke, single panel gag cartoons, basically, the father of us all, as it were. Hiding 22:09, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
BTW, there's an inactive Comic strips WP linked on the project page here. That may or may not make a difference on the acceptance of the stub. - SoM 19:15, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  • How do you mean? Should I join it? It would seem pretty pointless to be the only member, but I guess then I'd have autonomy! :) Hiding 22:09, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

I also think it might be worth trawling through the stubs on a monthly basis to check they are sorted properly, might be something we could do in collaboration? Hiding 13:45, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

I'd be fine with that - SoM 22:14, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Cool. Anyone else?Hiding 22:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

And where do people think Transformers stubs and stubs regarding comics published by DC or Marvel imprints should go, especially Wildstorm or ABC stuff go? Should the Transformer ones stay on comics-stub or go on Marvel-Comics-stub? And likewise for Wildstorm related stubs. Hiding 13:45, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

I don't have a clue what to do with the TF stubs, honestly, beyond the fact that, since it's not only cross-media, but cross-publisher within comics, they shouldn't be MCSed. My inclination is that a transformers-stub would be a good idea for the cartoons, toys and comics alike, but I have no idea how many candidates there are. It'd probably need a WikiProject of it's own to get off the ground, barring a huge amount of stubs.
  • Yeah, I agree, but it's not something I'm looking at taking on if I'm honest. Hiding 22:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Fair enow - not as if I have any plans to either :) - SoM 19:15, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
The others - some WS stubs seem to have been DC-stubbed. I'm not so sure that's a great idea, not least since some, including the ABC books, are cross-publisher (having been published by Image before DC bought WS - the same applies to earlier buys like the Fawcett and Charlton characters). I've left them as a general rule, leaving them either comic-stubbed or DC-stubbed as I find them, but I think this needs to be sorted at some point. - SoM 22:14, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  • That was my feeling, and I also left the ones I saw. I'll try and have a sort through of DC-Comics-stubs and Marvel-Comics-stubs this week. The only ones I did move to DC-Comics were vertigo related stubs, as I feel they are DC related. Hiding 22:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, there's a hefty crossover there, so that makes sense (after all, many Vertigo characters were at one point plain DC characters, and probably still count as being in the DCU) - SoM 19:15, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  • My thoughts exactly. I left the Epic stuff that was published by Epic out of Marvel too, not sure what others think, that stuff was creator owned, but I'm not sure if people would look under Marvel for it or not. Hiding 22:09, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Also stumbled upon John Walker (comics), which is listed as in need of attention, and to my eye should probably be a redirect to Captain America. Hiding 13:45, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

I think a move to USAgent would be smart, being his current (and most long-standing) name, plus it has more links to it, and fits with the general desire to go with codenames where it won't create confusion. However, first it needs some prose and to lose one or two of those images, or it goes straight onto the speedy-delete pile. (Done) - SoM 22:14, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Good job! Hiding 22:50, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Heh. Ta, but most of it was done by Gtrmp an hour & a half after I expanded it into a decent stub :) - SoM 19:15, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Well then good job to Gtrmp too. You know I read that arc as it came out, where Walker takes over as Cap, made me feel quite old seeing it again.

Ghost World

Should the Ghost World article point to the movie or the graphic novel? It currently points to the movie, whereas I would have thought it would point to the graphic novel, but before I start moving stuff around I thought I'd see what others thought. Hiding 22:12, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Is there an article for the graphic novel? If so, move Ghost World to Ghost World (movie), and make Ghost World a {{disambig}} page. If not, *shrug* - SoM 22:42, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Even more confusing, the image given is for the graphic novel, not the movie. Move the movie stuff into Ghost World (movie), and make the Ghost World article about the graphic novel. No need for a disambig page. There is precedent at Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 15:24, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
There appears to be an article for the graphic novel at Ghost World (comic). If you want it moved to Ghost World, you'll need to go through WP:RM. The disamb option is, at least, simpler. - SoM 18:17, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
I'd prefer to go with Ghost World being the graphic novel, Ghost World (movie) being the movie, and Ghost World (comic) becoming a redirect. If no one has a problem with this, I can execute the move myself, as I have deletion priviledges. However, if people have concerns, we can debate it on WP:RM, just let me know either way. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 18:29, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
I agree with your take, DropDeadGorgias. Hiding 20:35, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
OK, since there don't appear to be any objections, I'm executing the batch move now. --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 21:15, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
Ah. Didn't realise you were an admin. - SoM 21:42, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Gateway (comics)

Can someone take a look at this page? It's pretty ass ugly, but I'm not totally sure how to reorganize it. --InShaneee 17:00, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Ugh, that page is a mess. It also looks like it's a copyvio from this article (now dead, but here's the google cache: [1]). --DropDeadGorgias (talk) 17:37, May 19, 2005 (UTC)
The same user made a copyvio paste to Bishop (comics) at the same time (that one was caught weeks ago). I've "templated" it, but somebody needs to write a replacement article (as I recall, the original article before the paste-job wasn't much to sneeze at...). -leigh (φθόγγος) 18:35, May 19, 2005 (UTC)

Graphic novelist Category

Okay, I decided to create a Category:Graphic novelist, which I've already been told is wrongly named, and I was probably a bit unilateral in doing it and should have sought consensus here first, for which I apologise, but since it's incorrectly named there's a chance to debate the merits of it and decide what to do with it, I figure.

My reasoning was to try and tidy up the fault line we thought we had with European creators not quite fitting in in the categories we already had, since they work mostly in albums, which translate better to our graphic novels than they do comic books, and also to recognise the term, which is gainer wider usage as we speak, google has about 10000 hits. I tried defining it as to do with artistic intention, but apparently that's to subjective, so I narrowed it down to being those who create graphic novels, but now the argument is that it just duplicates comic book artist and comic book writer, which I don't think it's doing.

The reason I think it is different is because it is there to categorise those who create graphic novels, using Eddie Campbell's manifesto as a touch stone, but also wider usage. Will Eisner, Posy Simmonds, Ian McDonald and Raymond Briggs are all people who I don't believe to have touched a comic book, but are defintely graphic novelists. Jason is another who I don't think has touched a comic book, at least not an english language comic book. There are probably more. I also think the distinction the category makes is an important one, because I think the usage of it by scholars and the press is one that we also make when comparing the carpenter to the cabinet maker, or the artist and the illustrator. Note, I am not wishing to belittle any artist's worth, merely reflect a distinction which the wider world is making, and one which I believe is worth noting, especially in a paperless encyclopedia.

Anyway, I'm done. For usage of the phrase, here's a few quick links:


My thought is that you haven't really clarified your thought. Campbell's manifesto is great, but it doesn't spell out any criteria for categorizing artists; it's a manifesto for artists, not for critics, and it more or less admits that the term is silly and impossible to define. Are you just looking for a particular level of artistic seriousness? Then I don't think that's a job for Wikipedia. Or are you talking about format—books as opposed to serialized issues? Then you're opening up a can of worms with regard to collections of stories, etc. (And two of your examples of "people who I don't believe to have touched a comic book", if a comic book is a serial magazine, are wrong: Eisner did plenty, and Jason had the short-story series Mjau Mjau. And the majority of Posy Simmonds' work is in newspaper strips.)
So this is still a very loosely defined term, people are still arguing over its definition, and for us to choose which artists to label with it seems like POV to me. No one considers "novelist" or "playwright" to be a value judgment, because in almost all cases everyone agrees that X is a novel or a play script. We have similar problems with "comic book" vs. "comic strip" vs. "cartoon", and "cartoonist" vs. "comics artist", but at least in those cases the criteria have to do (vaguely) with things like publication format, number of panels, etc. rather than artistic intention. Just because the term is gaining wider usage doesn't mean there's any clear and NPOV way for us to use it, any more than we should go around categorizing politicians as "liberal".
Finally, I'm not sure how the creation of another category is supposed to better accommodate European artists. I think the current division into writer and artist categories is a problem for people who do both, but that's just as true in America and Japan. Hob 10:26, 2005 May 21 (UTC)
I understand some of your points, I've been having an internal argument along the same lines for the last five days. First, to clarify, I'm not talking about format, I'm talking about artistic intent. I don't agree that categorising artistic intent is not a job for wikipedia, since there already exist categories for other artists based on their chosen medium, from artisans to stained glass artists. Each of those is categorised upon artistic intent, so why should that stop us here?
"Stained glass artists" is a category based on a medium: it's very easy to determine whether an artist is working in stained glass as opposed to, say, pottery. With "Poets" and "Dramatists", there's a little more ambiguity since some works might fall into both forms, but still, there is a general consensus in most cases. I think there is not a consensus on your definition of "graphic novel". More below... Hob 21:22, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
Whether there is or isn't a consensus on my defintion of graphic novel is something of a judgement call, no? However, that's me being slightly disingenuous. There is consensus that the graphic novel exists. If one can identify a graphic novel, it is fairly reasonable that one can define a graphic novel, and thus identify a graphic novelist and thus define it.--Hiding 11:06, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Wikipedia policy makes it plain that if we are unsure, we should not add an article to a category. I am sure that those listed are graphic novelists, having produced graphic novels. With this wikiproject we have an opportunity to debate borderline inclusions and build consensus. Other editors will also have an opportunity to create consensus, as will those of the future. It is also worth noting that all your considerations and concerns apply to the Category:Graphic novels, which has caused no such debate.
I can only speak for myself. Others may add their own points of view or even change their minds on the subject. I only recently noticed that the graphic novels category had been added, and I think the same issues do apply to it. More below. Hob 21:22, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
If the works themselves are categorised, does that not make the argument that we can not possibly know who the graphic novelists are slightly redundant, since a quick précis of the Category:Graphic novels will tell us? As for the issue of POV, whilst it is admirable to present information as neutrally as possible, we must not escape the fact that information is inescapably a POV, just one that has achieved consensual scope. The question of POV I guess, is whether the category is objective, is attempting to be critical, or is attempting to present original research. I am of the opinion that if the category only includes those that the critical community outside wikipedia, (probably drawing on mainstream press, comics related publications of critical or scholarly value and online variations), have labelled as graphic novelists, then those accusations are avoided, since it will not be the wikipedean's judgement that causes categorisation, but rather his/her desire to reflect that categorisation in the world.
But that categorisation in the world is still controversial and very inconsistently applied. I've seen the mainstream press use "graphic novel" to describe everything from a 30-page short story to a collection of a half-dozen issues of some superhero series. Many other critics avoid using the term - or, as Eddie Campbell does in his manifesto, continue to use it while admitting that it's a sloppy term of convenience. The problem is much the same as if we created a "Liberal politicians" category for every politician that anyone had ever claimed was a liberal. Hob 21:22, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
Fair point, so what's your suggestion? Many critics do use it, as do many artists. The one thing probably everyone agrees on is that it is a sloppy term.--Hiding 11:06, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
And we acknowledge that in the graphic novel article. That's as it should be. We also have an article on liberalism, but creating Category:Liberal politicians would be a fool's errand. That may be too extreme an analogy but can you at least see my point? A general feeling that things belong together, combined with a few obvious examples, does not necessarily make for a firm category. Creating a category is like saying "everyone knows what the X's are, and these are them." A short list of "notable X's", though it may imply a critical POV, does not imply that everything left out is not an X. Hob 07:00, 2005 May 25 (UTC)
Working from articles on the novel, art and sculpture I offer this definition of a graphic novel, (which, on the face of it, could very well be presented within the article Graphic novel), in the hope I can further clarify the intention.
A graphic novel is a narrative, told in pictorial form; the writer creator(s) of a graphic novel being a graphic novelist(s). The English word "graphic" derives from the Greek word graphikos, meaning "of or for writing, belonging to drawing, picturesque", whilst the English word "novel" derives from the Italian word novella, meaning "a tale, a piece of news." The graphic novel is typically more complex than either the comic book or the comic strip, and nor is it bound by the structure and rhythms of those formats. In most cases a graphic novel is about characters and their actions in everyday life, with emphasis on the pictorial representation of the narrative. The graphic novel is not an illustrated version of standard literature, but rather a new and separate art; an integrated whole, of words and images both, where the pictures do not just depict the story; they are part of the telling. Graphic novelists transmit expression through arrangement and juxtaposition of pictures to build a narrative, creating a graphic novel by the simple designation of a work in the sequential art/comics form as such.
Qualities of the graphic novel:
  • The intent is to entertain, at least partly.
  • To create a sense of motion, of action unfolding in the blank spaces between the panels.
  • To create the illusion of something actually happening before the reader's eyes.
  • The subject is all of existence, including the graphic novelist's own life.
  • The subject is familiar, credible and plausible, i.e. readers believe in the places and characters.
  • The story chiefly concerns the actions and relationships of the different characters.
  • There are a small number of central characters.
  • A single theme, however fragmented or tangential, eventually unites the events and characters.
  • Characters are more "rounded" — fleshed-out — than are the "flat," one-dimensional characters of comic books.
  • Documentation of events and experiences are more realistic and of greater relevance than those of comic books.
  • The narrative occurs in an identifiable time and place (setting).
  • Requires creative perception both by the artist and by the audience
  • Elusive
  • Communicates on many levels and is open to many interpretations
  • Connotes a sense of ability
  • Interplay between the conscious and unconscious part of our being, between what is real and what is an illusion
  • Any human creation within the sequential art/comics form which contains an idea other than its utilitarian purpose.
  • That which is created with intention to be experienced as art
Oh no... this is exactly what I was afraid we were getting into. Look, what you've done here is to define the already existing medium of comics—or sequential art or whatever you want to call it, but most artists call it "comics", totally apart from the format it's presented in—and then add on a set of criteria that are either based on a vague notion of quality (as if the definition of "novels" or "poems" could be rewritten to exclude bad writers), or are defined by opposition to the undefined straw-man of "comic books" (as if it were an established fact that "comic book" = "shallow"), or are in some cases entirely arbitrary (a small number of characters?) or incoherent ("connotes a sense of ability"?). I don't want to be mean, but in my opinion you've set yourself an impossible (in terms of the current chaotic state of the art) and inappropriate (for Wikipedia) task. Hob 21:22, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
I'm a little confused here, where you accuse me of rewriting the definition of novels so as to exclude bad writers. That is the wikipedia definition of novels, with the words changed in a minor way to reflect graphic novels. If any exclusion of bad writers exists, it was there already. the last part is just the wikipedia definition of art. I can however, see where I've made comic books look rather shallow. I think the problem again is that comic books mean different things depending on the weather. Aren't comic books historically shallow? The qualities aren't meant to be arbitrary, as the exceptions below points out. As to connoting a sense of ability, I think that implies the work is of a standard. I copied everything from Requires creative perception both by the artist and by the audience down from the wikipedia art definition. It was an attempt to prove the ephemeral quality inherent in all art.--Hiding 11:06, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Music and film are forms of art, but it would be odd and misleading to try to define them in such sweeping terms. It is just flat wrong to say that when people say "graphic novel" they mean "The subject is familiar, credible and plausible" or "There are a small number of central characters" or "It's elusive". (I personally don't like that part of the novel article—I think it works fairly well to distinguish early novels from even earlier forms of writing, but for modern literature it's way too simplistic and has little to do with what distinguishes novels from other forms now.) If you try to stitch together "novel" and "art" into a working definition of graphic novel, you're just building a Frankenstein's monster; there is just no reason to think that would work. I mean, if you wanted to define "pop music", you wouldn't try to define all the qualities of "popularity" and "music" and then edit them together; you'd look at the different ways people had actually used that term, acknowledging that they vary considerably and that the term is not just the sum of its parts. Please, please do not integrate that list into the graphic novel article or category - I feel much more strongly about this than the broader issue of the categories. The current article does a very good job of acknowledging the many conflicting usages and connotations of the term. Hob 07:00, 2005 May 25 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't dream of integrating it into the article unless I had sourced it elsewhere. However, I am interested in getting hold of the definition the BISAC definition of a graphic novel, and placing that in the article as another definition. I ultimately agree that the graphic novel is a damp squib of a term, but it's what the industry seems to be running with, and so we have to run with it here. However, is that definition of any use in the comics article? Seems a shame to waste an hours cut and pasting.Hiding 14:00, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
There are exceptions to each of these traits, and a work need not meet all criteria to be a novel. For example, Maus, by Art Spiegelman, tells its story using animals representing human archetypes and human concerns. Another example is the work that falls within the science fiction, or fantasy genre, which follows its own set of rules. They are believable only when internally consistent, meaning the rules of the fictional universe presented make sense within the graphic novel itself and are not subject to our reality. However the work will still explore and relate themes or ideas of value and substance, aiming to improve the reader's understanding of them through their presentation. Examples include Will Eisner's A Life Force and Dave Sim's Cerebus the Aardvark.
Cerebus is actually a very good illustration of the problem with your whole approach. Cerebus is a comic book. It was created and published in short serialized issues. Its readers have always called it a comic book. It has story arcs and collected volumes, but so do most superhero titles. The only way you can avoid calling it a comic book is to do as you've done and say "If it's good, then it's not a comic book, it's a graphic novel." Hob 21:22, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
Right. Let's clear just one thing up. I'm not calling it a graphic novel, and I'm certainly not saying "If it's good, then it's not a comic book, it's a graphic novel.". It is called a graphic novel in bookshops, press and libraries, because that's the format they've been sold it as. So what's going to happen is that a lot of people are going to be calling it a graphic novel, if they're not already, because in some sense Cerebus doesn't exist to them as a comic book. It's no longer being published as a comic book. So, how best should wikipedia reflect that? And for what it's worth, I know quite a few readers of Cerebus who refer to it as a graphic novel as well as a comic book. With Cerebus quite a few readers seem to see the comic book as referring to the monthly publication format and the overall 300 issues together being the graphic novel. Others call the collections graphic novels. I'm not the one making making any value judgement here, just to clarify. I'm not saying because it is good, it must be a graphic novel, not a comic book. I don't care what it's called, if truth be told. But, if it is called a graphic novel, is listed as a graphic novel on wikipedia, then I don't see why there should be a problem using it to define graphic novel. Cerebus is a noted example on the graphic novel page, that's nowt to do with me, so there seems to be a view that Cerebus is a graphic novel somewhere. Even the current editor of The Comics Journal refers to it as a graphic novel. Does wikipedia disregard that, or is it supposed to reflect that?--Hiding 11:06, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
And also, just because I called it a graphic novel, I see no reason why this invalidates calling it a comic book. One of the problems with all this defining stuff seems to be that a lot of stuff can be dual defined.--Hiding 14:52, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
The graphic novel is often contrasted with the comic book—the format being similar. However, the first comic books were of humourous intent, and had shallow, two-dimensional characters, quickly branching out into the pulp genres of adventure and detective fiction. Detective Comics and New Fun Comics are notable examples. Over the course of the 20th century, the superhero genre has come to be heavily identified with the genre in the United States, whereas in the United Kingdom it remains the province of humourous strips.
Again, that's what some people mean by "comic book". You are making a judgment call to redefine "comics" strictly in those terms. Hob 21:22, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
I think you are playing fast and loose with terms here. Please also note the key phrase 'heavily identified', which I believe equates to your some people. There is no judgement call in those words, as far as I can see. Rather than dismiss my words, I'd appreciate a counter example to help clarify your point. I believe it is a historical fact that the 'first comic books were of humourous intent, and had shallow, two-dimensional characters, quickly branching out into the pulp genres of adventure and detective fiction.' That's where the name 'comic' in the term comic book comes from. Please also note I am not defining 'comics' as such, but rather being deliberate in my use of the term 'comic book'. I can see I made a typo in stating "the superhero genre has come to be heavily identified with the genre in the United States", which should read "the superhero genre has come to be heavily identified with the genre pubishing format in the United States".--Hiding 11:06, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
That being said, I'll move on to address the validity of my examples. Eisner is not categorised here as a comic book writer or a comic book artist. The Spirit was a newspaper strip, and as you rightly say, Simmonds has produced numerous newspaper strips. These are not, sadly, comic books, which was my point. It seems lacking to not have a category which links these artists together on a basis of their having produced work in the same form.
Again, who decides what's "work in the same form" in such a diverse medium? As for your examples, I don't understand your point since I'm not sure why you think it's so important to define "graphic novel" in opposition to "comic book". However, it's inarguably true that Eisner produced comic books; I never said The Spirit was one of them. Hob 21:22, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
It doesn't actually state in your example that Eisner produced comic books, but rather comics. And I think if bookstores are racking this work and these creators together on shelves in the category "graphic novels", then they are the ones making the judgement, and wikipedia is reflecting that. Please can you show me how my reflection of what bookstores and libraries are doing is a judgement call? As for whether it is important to define "graphic novel" in opposition to "comic book", if you are trying to define the first, it makes sense to define it in reference to something. However, it is not important to me to define anything as anything. I can quite happily call everything a comic book and go to bed just as happy. The problem is these terms exist. Should we remove the term graphic novel from wikipedia?
Obviously I'm not expressing myself very well but I know I never, ever said we should get rid of the graphic novel article or pretend that the term is not used or is of no value. To me there is a big difference between saying "X is a term many people use for certain kinds of things" and "These are the X's". And I should have made this clearer: I'm not proposing to call everything a comic book. "Comic book" is a confusing and U.S.-centric term. (By the way, just to beat a dead horse: Eisner's Sheena, Queen of the Jungle appeared in Jumbo Comics - a comic book.) Hob 07:00, 2005 May 25 (UTC)
  • Ack. You win, then. Unless Jumbo was an anthology title? Hiding 14:00, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Actually, where on earth did the idea that I am making a value judgement come from? I'm simply trying to work with what's here already. There's a graphic novel dismabiguation tag. There's a graphic novel article. There's a graphic novel list, and a graphic novel category. What is it about a graphic novelist category that so displeases, that implies a value judgement when these other usages do not? I am quite happy to work whichever way consensus leads, but can we just have some consensus.--Hiding 11:06, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
I think at this point we're talking past each other and need to get other people into the act to get consensus - see below. However, the value judgments I'm talking about were not about the category itself, but the criteria you proposed, which quite clearly made Real Art a defining characteristic of the graphic novel - which I think is mixing form and value inappropriately, like saying that "films" are an entirely different thing than "flicks". Hob 07:00, 2005 May 25 (UTC)
  • Fair enough. Hiding 14:00, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
The point of making it easier to categorise European artists is based upon the notion that most Europeans produce work in a format more analogous to the graphic novel than the comic book, making them better categorised in a graphic novel category than a comic book artist/writer category. It is in reference to an older discussion on the archive page.
Most Europeans work in a larger format, but there are plenty of European albums that contain no more pages than would fit into two issues of a U.S-style comic, and are just as open-ended as any serial comic. Hob 21:22, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
The European format is defined as being a graphic novel on the graphic novel page, again, nowt to do with me.--Hiding 11:06, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I see that. I think it's a mistake; it would be better to describe specific characteristics of the Tintin books, etc., than to say flat out "they are graphic novels". Please don't take everything that appears in a WP article as gospel. (And in this case if you did, you'd have to rethink your serious-art criteria: Asterix is great, but it's only slightly more sophisticated than Donald Duck.) A lot of this stuff needs more work, that's what we're all here for. Hob 07:00, 2005 May 25 (UTC)
  • I agree. The reason I brought it up here is because I want to move within a consensual position. If this project can't build a framework, how are we going to correct entries? Hiding 14:00, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
To wrap up, I can't see anything on the category creation pages that precludes the creation of this category. The graphic novel is a major topic in comics at the moment, and is generating notable press coverage. A recent line of publications by Rosen Publishing Group is a series on Graphic Novelists. This implies people are familiar with the term, and also that there are people who wish to research the field. Spiegelman and Chris Oliveros have actioned a change in the book industry that means the Graphic Novel is now an official format/category. Libraries categorise graphic novels. It makes sense that creators of graphic novels be graphic novelists. It makes sense that wikipedia contains such a category. How will someone reading about graphic novelists in the press best find them in wikipedia? Will the category aid navigation? Will it aid research into the field? Will it help disambiguate between those who worked purely within the comic book, and those who produced graphic novels as well? Is it encyclopaedic to include this category or not? I'd say it is.
"How will someone reading about liberal politicians in the press best find them in Wikipedia?" Hob 21:22, 2005 May 23 (UTC)
I don't think you answered the question. Where is your alternative? Look, we can take this point for point and throw liberal politicians at each other until they become just as sterile as this argument, but I'd rather not, because it's time wasting and the nub of the argument gets lost. Can we just clarify one thing. If the categorisation of graphic novels exists in the world, should wikipedia reflect that? I'm not talking about how it should reflect that right now, let's just strip it down to basics and build from the ground up. What is the best way to proceed?--Hiding 11:06, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Well, whatever we do, I think we need consensus from more people than just you & me. One way to proceed would be to start over on a less cluttered talk page (like Category talk:Graphic novels) and boil this discussion down to what we think are the basic questions (like "Is there enough of a definition to work with?" and "Do we need a category or just a graphic novel article?" and "Are there alternatives?")... then invite comment via a request for comment. Hob 07:00, 2005 May 25 (UTC)
  • Excellent idea, and I will do that anon. I will also put the graphic novelist category up for deletion asap. Wonder if I can get it speedied.Hiding 14:00, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Oh? Well, if you're convinced... OK. I was actually suggesting that we invite comment first, on the "novels" category, but with one of the questions being "do you think having the 'novels' category means we should also have 'novelists'?"... and provide a link to this discussion. Hob 03:46, 2005 May 26 (UTC)
Ah. I misread what you said. Would the deletion of the category preclude the debate? I'd best set that debate up whilst the cfd is still live, and point people there. Hiding 06:40, 26 May 2005 (UTC)