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Glossary

2 Color
A comic that is printed in only two colors, most commonly black and one other color, on interior story pages and sometimes also on the cover itself. The tint of the paper stock on which the comic is printed does not count as a color.
3-D Effect
A novelty comic book where the cover and/or story artwork simulates a three dimensional image. Commonly the effect is created in the comic books by having the black line artwork extended out of the panels and/or borders to partially mimic the standard 3-D processes. Many modern comic books use detailed computer coloring to render the drawings "3-D" like with increased detail and depth. Technically, this is not 3-D in the traditional sense.
4 Color
A standard color comic book, whose palette is derived from the combination of CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK) inks in various percentages and mixtures. Combining these inks produces secondary hues through a subtractive color system involving reflected light. For example, blue is a combination of cyan and magenta where red is a combination of yellow and magenta. Older comics were often printed in flat colors, due to crude printing processes and the lower quality of the newsprint paper employed. This is no longer the general case. You will often see the gold or silver ink used on some covers (notably the gimmick covers prevalent in the late 1980s to 1990s) referred to as a "fifth ink" because it is added to the four standard inks.
Activity
A standard Story Type used to describe puzzles, models, paper dolls, or any other page that encourages reader interaction.
Ad
A standard Story Type used to describe advertisements. Indexing advertisements is considered to be optional in the XOWComics.com dataset though strongly encouraged for all editors moving forward.
Adapter
An individual who creates a comic book script from a story originally told in another medium (e.g. a prose story or film). For most indices of adapted stories, the adapter will be credited as the primary scripter. If the story contains writing credits for both the writer of the original material and the writer of the comic script, this may be indexed in the Script field as: Original Writer (original story); Comics Writer (adaptation)
Advertisement
(see Ad)
Album
The standard European term for a book-format comic. May have either trade paperback or hardcover binding.
Alternate Cover
Some comics are published with different versions that contain the same interior contents, but have differences in the covers. The different cover versions may be distributed in approximately equal amounts, or be distributed to different markets (e.g. the newsstand and direct markets). In other cases, one cover version may make up the majority of the books sold. This is referred to as the "standard" cover, and covers that differ in some way from it are referred to as alternate covers. Alternate covers usually feature different artwork than the standard cover, but may instead have more minor changes, such as a differently colored logo or special cover text. Some alternate covers are released exclusively through certain mail-in offers or licensed collectible houses, while others can be bought off the racks of comic book stores. Alternate covers frequently have lower print runs than an issue's standard cover, and therefore are sold for a higher price; similarly, retailers can sometimes choose from among alternate covers when ordering an issue, but usually the distribution is allocated by the publisher. Some companies letter their alternate covers (e.g. A,B,C, etc). Some companies change the final 3 numbers of the Direct Edition UPC bar code slightly for an alternate cover. Other companies let the number directly following the issue number in the Direct Edition UPC bar code signify the number of covers available (e.g. 2 for two alternate covers, 3 for three alternate covers, etc.). Comics that are published with alternate covers are usually indexed as a single issue with multiple cover lines and multiple cover images.
Ashcan
A comic printed in small numbers, often to secure trademarks for, or to preview material from, regular comics that have yet to be released. In the 1940s, ashcans were produced exclusively as a means for a publisher to establish its claim to a comic book title or character. The name "ashcan" came about because most copies weren't circulated outside the office of the publisher and ended up in the trash when they were no longer needed. In the collectability craze of the early to middle 1990s, ashcans were revived by major publishers as a means to generate interest in new projects; unlike the black and white, frequently photocopied ashcans of the past, these ashcans were professionally printed and distributed to comic book shops. Some minicomics are also called ashcans, or their format referred to as the "ashcan format", which generally refers to American "letter" (height: 27.9 cm [11 inches]; width 21.6 cm [8.5 inches]) or ISO "A4" (height: 29.7 cm, width: 21 cm) sheets folded in half.
B & W
A story, or an entire comic, that is published using only black ink on interior story pages.
Back Cover
(see Backcover)
Backcover
A standard Story Type that may be used to describe the back cover of a comic, unless one of the other Story Type field terms describes the content of the back cover more specifically. If the back cover is part of a wraparound cover or an interior sequence that continues on to the back cover of the comic (e.g. a story that ends on the back cover), it should not be indexed separately.
Bar Code
Comics may have two different types of bar codes. American mass market serialized periodicals will usually have a UPC bar code box containing either two sets of 5 digits or one set of 6 digits under the main bar code. Mass market periodicals in other countries will usually have a thirteen digit EAN bar code, starting with 977. Books will usually have a Bookland EAN code box. This contains a thirteen digit EAN bar code, starting with 978, as well as the ISBN for the book. American mass market paperbacks may have two bar code boxes: a UPC bar code for newsstand retailers and a Bookland EAN code for bookstores.
Baxter
A brand name for a type of high quality, non-glossy, smooth white paper introduced in the early 1980s, used at first almost exclusively on comics available only through the direct market.
Bio
A standard Story Type used to describe a prose biography of a comic creator or other individual. A biographical or autobiographical sequential art comic story may be indexed as a Story Type of Story.
Biography
(see Bio)
Black and White
(see B & W)
Bookname
The series name field that is used to record the official name of the comic book series. This should be taken from the indicia, if possible. If the comic does not have an indicia or does not have a series name in the indicia, the official name may be taken from a title page or the cover of the publication.
Bookshelf Format
(see Squarebound)
Breakdown
(see Layout)
Cameo
A character appearance in a publication that is less than one page in length.
Cardstock
Cardstock is paper that masses between 110 and 300 grams per square meter. This is the sort of paper used for playing cards, trading cards, and the binding of paperback books. It also may be used for the covers of squarebound or saddle stitched comics, especially for deluxe editions. Actual thickness levels used vary between nations and publishers. Cardstock used for covers may be glossy on one or both sides.
Character
Person or entity that participates or appears in a story. The Characters field is used to record the name(s) of characters that appear within the story.
Character Appearance
(see Character)
Chromium Cover
A cover printed using an exclusive reflective foil, producing eye catching colors and tones. Other types of foils are also used. May be used on trading card inserts placed in some comic books.
Cloth Bound
(see Hardcover)
Cloth-Bound
(see Cloth Bound)
Clothbound
(see Cloth Bound)
Colophon
In comic books, this is usually used as a term for a publisher's logo. In books, this may refer to publishing information located at the back of the book or on the copyright page.
Colorforms
A brand name for a line of plastic sticker figures. These were usually sold independently, but some comics featured colorforms depicting comic book superheroes as cover enhancements.
Colorist
The cover line and story line field that is used to record credits for coloring, separations, painting, 3-D effects, and greytones.
Colors
(see Colorist)
Comic Book
A book or serialized periodical that consists of 50% or more of comic, whether from manual artwork or computer generated or computer enhanced art.
Copyright Page
(see Indicia)
Country
The primary country a publishing company resides and operates within, or the primary or main country a comic book series is distributed within.
Cover
A standard Story Type used to describe the front cover of a publication, or both the front and back covers if the comic has a wraparound cover.
Cover Enhancement
Any addition made to a cover beyond the standard 4 color printing on glossy paper. For examples, see: Cardstock; Chromium Cover; Colorforms; Diecut Cover; Foil Cover; Gatefold Cover; Gimmick Cover; Glow in the Dark Cover; Hologram Cover; Textured Cover
Cover Reprint
A standard Story Type used to describe a reprint of cover art (with or without text) on an interior page of a reprint collection.
Creator
A writer, artist, or editor involved in the production of comic books.
Crossover
A term that does not have a strictly defined meaning, and usage of the term has evolved over time. The original meaning referred to a serialized narrative that had chapters published in multiple comic book series. Some individuals also use the term to refer to an appearance by a character from one ongoing story in another story where that character does not normally appear. This may also be referred to as a "guest appearance" or "guest star". The term may also be used to describe a series that has explicitly been set up to bring characters from two or more different stories or series together in one story.
Die-Cut Cover
(see Diecut Cover)
Diecut Cover
A cover with a unique cutout design stamped into it, uniform among all copies printed. Comics with diecut covers often have a second "cover" that can partly be seen through the holes of the actual cover.
Digest
A publication that is the size of small "digest" magazines (e.g. traditional size approximating TV Guide in the United States). (height: 14.6-15.6 cm [5.75-6.125 in.]; width: 11.4-12.4 cm [4.5-4.875 in.])
Direct Edition
A version of a specific issue of a publication intended for direct market retailers. (see Newsstand Edition)
Direct Market
Specialty comic book shops which buy comics from distributors or directly from publishers in a non-retrunable manner.
Distributor
An individual or business that carries out the transport of comics from publishers to retailers. Distributor information can sometimes be found in the indicia of comics, and American Newsstand Editions usually have a distributor logo next to the cover price.
Dust Jacket
A removable paper cover designed to wrap around the binding of a book or publication.
Edition
A version of a specific issue of a series published with specific contents. If second or later printings have the same contents as the first printing with no major changes other than a statement of the printing number in the indicia or copyright page, they are usually considered part of the same edition and do not usually have separate notation. Printing dates may be listed in the cover line Notes for an issue. Versions of an issue of a publication that have different publishers or changed contents are different editions and are considered separate issues.
Editor or Editing
Individual or individuals that manage the creation of a comic book issue or story. If an entire issue has the same editor(s), the editor(s) may only have be credited in the cover line. If specific stories in an issue have different editors, individual editors are credited for each story. Story line editor credits may also be used if a story in a reprint collection has a different original editor than the editor of the issue or collection.
Embellisher
A word sometimes used merely as a synonym for inker, but also used to denote an inker who has served as finisher over rough pencil art.
Embossing
Use of a die stamp in the printing process to create a raised or relief marking on the cover.
Engraving
An impression made into a comic book cover to create an illusion of depth.
Fanzine
An amateur publication devoted to comic books fandom. Fanzines that contain comic stories as 50% or more of their content may be indexed as discrete comic book publications.
Feature Character
A synonym for feature when the story line encompasses a single, dominant character or individual.
Fill-In
A single story or issue within a series produced by different creators than the stories or issues preceeding and following it.
Filler
A standard Story Type used to describe a short, sequential, art comic story that is not a regular recurring feature of a periodical that has continuing features. (see Story)
Finisher
(see Layout)
First Issue
The first issue of a seriesis defined by publication date, not numerical order or issue number. For instance, if a "0" issue was published after issue "1", then issue "1" would be the first issue (this happend in the 1990s with many Marvel series).
Flashback
A depiction of earlier events within a comic book story. These are not always indexed separately from the story, but may be mentioned in the Notes field. If a summary of earlier events is presented as a text piece separate from the story, it is usually indexed as a separate Story Type of Recap.
Flat Colors
A comic book with very limited nuances to the colors within the black ink outlines.
Flip Book
A comic book which contains two distinct story lines that start at opposite ends of the book. Each story is "flipped" upside down compared to the other story. Also referred to as "tete-beche".
Foil Cover
A type of cover enhancement featuring reflective foil stamped onto part or all of the cover.
Format
The physical structure of a publication. Current indexing provides for a format of a series to denote the most common format for issues within the series; individual issues also have a format for differences that may be published for individual issues within the series. Information listed here may include:
color: 2 color; 4 color; 3-D; B & W; etc. size: digest; magazine; standard golden age US; standard silver age US; standard copper age US; standard modern US; tabloid; or measured size (height in cm X width in cm); etc. binding: hardcover; saddle stitched; squarebound; etc. paper stock: Baxter; glossy; Mando; newsprint; smooth white; etc.
Gatefold Cover
This is a cover that has a foldout leaf on the front cover or on both the front and back covers. The gatefold usually has printed material on both sides, so both sides of the foldout portion of the cover are counted as extra pages or partial pages.
Genre
The genre is an attribute of a story that is used to record the major kind of writing style for a given feature. The fenre is usually used to record the recurring styles found in all stories that share a given feature, not all of the styles that may occur within each individual story. For example, an individual superhero story that contains humor or romance material would not have those listed as the genre unless that was a recurring element of all stories with the same feature. Stories that do not have a feature (for example, stories in horror anthologies that don't have any ongoing continuity) will have the contents of their genre based on the content of each individual story. A feature or story may have multiple genres. Multiple genres are separated by a semicolon and space (e.g. superhero; funny animals). A list of standard Genres is available here: goo_ http://www.comics.org/docs/genre.html
Gimmick Cover
A colloquial term for a cover featuring some type of cover enhancement. These may include chromium, colorforms, diecut, foil, gatefold, glow in the dark, hologram, or textured covers.
Glossy
Paper that has a shiny, "slick" surface produced by coating the paper with a thin coat of varnish.
Glow in the Dark Cover
A type of cover enhancement, produced by printing a cover with phosphorescent inks.
Graphic Novel
A term commonly used to describe a comic story of sufficient length to be published as a book, in either squarebound or hardcover binding. It is usually used to refer to a story that is first published in book form, but is sometimes used to describe a book containing reprints of material from serialized periodicals. The term has also been used to describe comic trade paperbacks that are oversized or have a higher quality binding than most.
Grey Tones
(see Greytones)
Greytones
Grey tones used by an artist in place of color to enhance the palette of B & W stories. Tones can be added in a variety of ways, by applying such films as Zip-a-Tone, by using special art board like Craftint, by using ink washes, or simply by lessening the percentage of black ink in the printing process.
Group Penname
A pseudonym used by several artists working together.
Guest Appearance
(see Crossover)
Guest Star
(see Crossover)
Half Title
(see Title Page)
Hardcover
A book bound with a stiff, "hard" cover, comprised usually of heavy cardboard covered with a cloth, paper, or plastic coating. May also be referred to as "cloth bound".
Hologram Cover
A cover with a hologram embedded in it. A hologram is a special printed foil that produces a three dimensional image that can be seen without the use of special glasses (eee 3-D Effects). The hologram usually does not occupy the entire surface of the cover. Holograms have also been used on trading card inserts in some comic books.
House
A group of companies publishing comics out of a shared editorial office, usually with a shared imprint. One reason for this may be that a publisher has set up multiple companies with overlapping ownership to take advantage of tax and/or distribution regulations. This was a common practice for American golden age publishers. Another reason may be that a publisher has changed its legal name due to changes in ownership or corporate policy.
ISBN
The International Standard Book Number for a publication that is not a serialized periodical. This is a unique, 10 digit code number assigned to every book published since 1970. It can usually be found on the copyright page or colophon of a book, and may also be printed on the cover or dust jacket. Between 1967 and 1976, an earlier numbering system referred to as the Standard Book Number (SBN) was used by some publishers.
ISSN
ISSN is the standard abbreviation for International Standard Serial Number. This is a unique, 8 digit code number that is assigned to serialized periodicals. It may be found in the indicia.
Indicia
The indicia is the publisher's official statements in a publication, normally containing the complete name of the publication, date, publisher's address, copyright notice and the names of the main editorial staff. Books may also indicate the authors' names and will have an ISBN and/or a National Library identification number, while periodicals may specify their ISSN. Indicia for periodicals may also detail publishing frequency and subscription prices. The indicia is usually found at the bottom of the inside front cover or at the bottom of the first page of a serialized periodical. Sometimes it is printed at the bottom of the inside back cover or, more rarely, at the bottom of an interior page of the publication. Books (i.e. hardcover, paperbacks, or trade paperbacks) often do not have an indicia, but the information can be found on the copyright page instead, which is usually on the back of the main title page; this page is also called the "verso". Additional information may be found in a colophon at the back of the book. Some books or periodicals do not have either an indicia or a copyright page, or the indicia may not include some or all of the information normally found there.
Inker or Inks
The person who goes over pencil lines with india ink or some other opaque ink in order to make them dark enough to print clearly. The inker often contributes significantly to the artwork, adding and removing details, which may lead to being credited in some comic books as embellisher.
Insert
A standard Story Type used to describe items packaged with or attached to a comic book, such as 3-D glasses or trading cards.
Inventory Code
(see Job Number)
Issue
A single numbered and/or dated unit of a serialized periodical or series.
Job Number
A unique code number assigned to each art job by some publishers; art jobs may consist of more than one story, especially for fillers. These numbers are often useful for tracking reprints, especially international reprints, where the title of the story may be translated into a different language. Job numbers may also be referred to as an "inventory code".
Language
An attribute of a series that is used to record the language that the series was primarily published in.
Last Issue
The last issue of a seriesis defined by publication date, not numerical order or issue number. For instance, if a "1,000,000" issue was published before the end of a series, then issue "1,000,000" would not be the last issue (this happend in the 1990s with many Marvel series). For a one shot, the last issue will obviously be the same as the first issue. If the series is currently ongoing, this field may be left empty.
Layout
Sketches or rough pencil art done by one artist as guidelines for another. A writer or editor may also provide such guidelines, in which case the slightly different term "breakdown" is often used instead. Layouts are often done directly on the art board on which the penciller will work from; sometimes, especially when "breakdowns" are involved, the roughing out is done on another, smaller piece of paper. The artist who works over the layouts may handle the inking as well as the pencilling, in which case he or she is often called the finisher; some finishers do very little tightening up of the pencils before moving on to the inking.
Letterer or Letterist
An individual or mechanism that adds text captions and speech balloons to a comic book story. If no specific individual or studio is credited for computer or other machine lettering, the term "typeset" may be used.
Letters
A standard Story Type used to describe letter columns.
Limited Series
A comic book series intended to run a predetermined number of issues. Publishers often use the term "miniseries" for a short to medium length limited series (usually less than six issues, although limited series with up to 12 issues have sometimes been called "miniseries"). Publishers may also use "maxiseries" as a term for a longer limited series (normally around twelve issues), and "microseries" for very short series (2-3 issues), although these are less common terms. None of these terms has a standardized definition for number of issues.
Magazine
A term used to describe comics that are similar in size to a "standard" mass market magazine. (height: 26.5-28 cm [10.5-11 in.]; width: 20.5-21.5 cm [8-8.5 in.])
Major Discontinuity in Issue Numbers
A disruption in numbering that persists for more than one issue, resulting in a set of issues with numbers lower than those that preceeded them. Single issue disruptions, such as "0" issues, "-1" issues, "1,000,000" issues, etc., are not considered major if the prior numbering resumes with the following issue. Note that a reset of issue numbering accompanied by a change in volume numbering is not considered a discontinuity.
Mando
A brand name for a type of high quality, non-glossy, smooth white paper introduced in the early 1980s, better than newsprint but not as good as Baxter.
Mass Market Paperback
A softcover book sized to fit into newsstand paperback racks. (height: 17.1-17.8 cm [6.75-7 in.]; width: 10.2-10.8 cm [4-4.25 in.])
Maxiseries
(see Limited Series)
Microseries
(see Limited Series)
Minicomics
Self-published sequential art publications using small formats similar to fanzines or ashcans. Actual sizes may vary. Usually printed in small numbers on photocopiers, folded into a small size, stapled and sometimes trimmed. A recently coined term to distinguish publications of this type from predominantly textual fanzines.
Miniseries
(see Limited Series)
National Library identification Number
A number used to identify a book's classification for shelving purposes in national libraries. Each country has its own specifications. In the past, the most commonly used system in the USA was the Dewey Decimal system. Most book publications are now assigned a Library of Congress Catalog Card Number (LCCN). In most books published in the USA, the Dewey Decimal number and/or the LCCN can be found in the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) on the copyright page, usually on the verso or reverse side of the title page.
New Format
The proprietary term used by DC Comics for its line of comics printed on paper that was better than newsprint but not as good as Baxter or Prestige Format books.
Newsprint
Lower quality, off-white, acid-pulp paper, subject to yellowing and brittleness with time. It is used to print newspapers and was used to print traditional American newsstand comics.
Newsstand
Refers to general magazine retailers that buy comics from distributors in a returnable manner.
Newsstand Edition
A version of a specific issues of a publication intended for newsstand retailers. (see Direct Edition)
Notes
Pertinent details and information about an item recorded that does not directly pertain to other storage areas already available (e.g. a noteworthy attribute of a particular issue should have it notated in the Notes field). Notes may also be used to augment other information that is already stored with the item.
One Shot
(see One-Shot)
One-Shot
A series consisting of a single issue. While some one-shots may be squarebound instead of saddle stitched, a one-shot of significant enough page count or heft will probably be considered a trade paperback and/or softcover graphic novel instead of a one-shot comic book.
PSA
A standard Story Type used to describe a note or situation of interest to the general public. This is usually an advertisement or an editorial promoting awareness of a group for the betterment of the public at large.
Page Count
An individual count of the total pages for an issue or an individual story. Pages are counted on both sides. If a page count greater than just the cover is stored with the first story of Story Type "Cover" within an issue, it is then the total page count for the issue including both sides of the front and back covers. Dust jackets do not add to the total page count for a book, because they are designed to be wrapped around the cover binding rather than be separate pages. Gatefold covers usually have printed material on both sides, so both sides of the foldout portion of the cover are counted as extra pages or partial pages. Page counts do not apply to Inserts designed to be removed from a comic (such as 3-D glasses or trading cards), so the field may be designated as "n/a" for these. If a story is smaller than a full page, the page count is expressed as a decimal instead of a fraction.
Painting
Detailed color artwork usually produced by a single artist or a primary artist with assistants. A painter is often credited in the Pencils, Inks and Colorist fields as: artist’s name (painting).
Panel
A single drawing within a comic book story. More modern comic books seem to blur the concept of panels, even to the extent of doing away with separate panels on a page or having a panels that spans multiple pages.
Pen Name
(see Penname)
Penciler
A person that draws artwork using a pencil. Penciled artwork may be very detailed or very sketchy. Rough pencils are usually called layouts or breakdowns.
Pencilist
(see Penciler)
Pencils
An attribute of a story used to record credits for pencilers, layouts, finishers, and painting. It should also be used to credit the photographer for a story of Story Type "Photo Story".
Penname
A pseudonym used by a single artist.
Perfect Bound
(see Squarebound)
Photo Story
A standard Story Type used to describe a sequential art story that uses photographs instead of drawings. Also known as "fumetti".
Pinup
A standard Story Type used to describe a standalone illustration that is not part of a story.
Plotter
Person(s) that devise the scenario of a story.
Prestige Format
The proprietary term used by DC Comics for its squarebound or bookshelf format comic books.
Price
An attribute of an issue for the cover price of the comic book. The price is recorded in the primary currency of the nation where the comic book was published. For example, a ten cent comic from a country with a dollar currency should have a price of 0.10 or $0.10. The currency symbol is optional if a single price is listed. If a comic has multiple cover prices for different countries, this may be recorded by specifying the currency code next to the price: "2.50 USD; $3.25 CAD". Comic bookss with non-decimal cover prices (e.g. pre-1966 Australian and pre-1970 British comics) are shown in this format: "2/6 for two shillings, six pence". If a comic does not have a cover price, the attribute may be stated as "n/a", with comments in the notes to indicate the reason. If the comic book was distributed for free, the cover price should be stated as 0.00, with comments in the cover notes to indicate it was free.
Print Run
The number of copies produced in a specific printing. If this is known, it may be recorded in the notes.
Printer
An individual or business that carries out the physical production of comic books.
Printing
Copies of an edition of a publication printed at relatively the same time. Printing dates may be recorded in the notes, if known.
Profile
A standard Story Type used to describe a prose article giving character or story setting backgrounds for a feature.
Promo
A standard Story Type used to describe promotional material for other publications or merchandise, often from the same publisher. This can include house advertisements, previews, and editorial material about upcoming publications.
Promotional Item
(see Promo)
Public Service Announcement
(see PSA)
Publication Date
An attribute of an issue denoting the publication date of the issue. This is taken from the indicia, if possible. If the indicia does not contain a publication date, the information can sometimes be obtained from the cover, distributor catalogs, or publisher shipping lists. If a publication date is obtained from one of these sources, it should be reported in square brackets to indicate information that is not in the comic book, and a note on the source of the data should be added to the notes. If the publication date is unknown, the copyright date may be reported instead, with a note stating as such. If the publishing date in the indicia is obviously wrong (e.g. if a monthly publication has the same publishing date as the previous issue), the date in the indicia should still be listed, with the correct date in square brackets and an explanatory note stating such. It is worth remembering that many publishers of serialized periodicals use publication dates that differ from copyright and/or shipping dates. In these cases, the "official" publication date from the indicia is the date used to denote the publication date.
Publisher
The person or business that contracts with creators, printers, and distributors to produce and distribute a comic book. A publisher may be a single corporation or division of a corporation, or a publishing house made up of multiple corporations with overlapping ownership. If a comic book is published by its creator(s), it is referred to as "self-published".
Publisher Notes
A textual attribute of publishers containing notes specific for the publisher. In particular, this should contain specific corporate name(s) of a publisher, usually listed in the indicia. Publishing houses may use several different corporate names simultaneously or at different times in their history.
Recap
A standard Story Type used to describe a text piece, separate from a comic or artistic story, recounting what has happened in previous stories in the same narrative or feature.
Relief
A raised impression on a comic book cover that gives the illusion of three dimensions.
Reprint
An attribute of a story that is used to record other publications that contain the same story or artwork. If a story, cover art, etc., has previously been published in a different publication, this is stored as: from Series Name (Publisher, Series Year Began) #Issue Number (Publication Date) If the story, cover art, etc., was reprinted in a later publication, this is stored as: in Series Name (Publisher, Series Year Began) #Issue Number (Publication Date)
Saddle Stitched
A printer's term that refers to a comic that is stapled on its fold. Also called stapled.
Script
An attribute of a story that contains credits for writers, plotters, scripters, adapters, and translators. It usually contains "none" or is empty for covers and pinups, unless dialogue, text captions or a sequential artistic story is present on a cover.
Scripter
The person who writes the dialogue, captions and usually the sound effects for a story. The scripter may be the same person as the plotter. Scripting can be done before a story is drawn ("full script") or after the story is drawn ("Marvel style").
Self-Cover
A cover printed on the same paper stock as the interior pages.
Self-Published
(see Publisher)
Separations
Preparation of 4 color artwork for printing as separate CMYK plates.
Sequential Art
This is a synonym for "comics", a story telling technique using multiple pictures, with or without text captions and dialogue.
Serialized Periodical
This is a series that has more than a single issue.
Series
A publication, normally issued in successively numbered and/or dated parts or issues with a consistent series name and publisher, and with no major discontinuities in issue numbers if numbered.
Series Year Began
An attribute of a series that is the year that a series was first published. This should always be a four digit year, unless the date that the series started publication is unknown or more than one series with exactly the same series name and publisher started publication in the same year. If the year that a series was first published can be estimated, this may be shown as "1945?". If more than one series has the same series name, publisher, and year of first publication, the different series may be designated with capital letters: 1945A, 1945B, etc.
Series Year Ended
An attribute of a series that is the year that a series was last published. This should always be a four digit year, unless the date that the series finished publication is unknown or the series is still being published. If the series is not currently published, and the year that the series was last published can be estimated, this may be shown as "1945?". If the series is currently being published, this attribute must be empty. For a one-shot, this field will be the same as the series year began attribute for the series.
Smooth White
This is a term for high quality white paper without a glossy coating.
Softcover
This is a term for "paperback" books that have a flexible paper binding.
Squarebound
A printer's term that refers to a comic book that has a flat spine with signatures of pages glued into its binding, as opposed to the more common saddle stitched comic books. There are several different binding techniques used to produce squarebound books. Books produced using the most common and least expensive technique are referred to as "perfect bound". Some publishers use the phrase "bookshelf format" for squarebound comics, while DC Comics uses the proprietary term Prestige Format.
Standard 3-D
A novelty comic book where the cover and/or story artwork simulates a three dimensional image. This effect is obtained by separating the left and right eye-channels, usually by overlaying each one using magenta/red and cyan/blue inks in the printing process (green ink later replaced the cyan ink). When these comics are viewed through anaglyph "3-D glasses" with red and blue (or green) filters on different sides, a three dimensional image results.
Standard Book Number
(see ISBN)
Standard Copper Age US
The range of sizes that most comic books published in the USA from the early 1970s to the late 1980s fit into. (height: 25.4-26.4 cm [10-10.375 in.]; width: 16.5-17.5 cm [6.5-6.875 in.])
Standard Cover
(see Alternate Cover)
Standard Golden Age US
The range of sizes that most comic books published in the USA between the 1930s and the 1950s fit into. (height: 25.4-26.4 cm [10-10.375 in.]; width: 19-20 cm [7.5-7.875 in.])
Standard Modern US
The range of sizes that most comic books published in the USA since the 1970s fit into. (height: 25.4-26.4 cm [10-10.375 in.]; width: 16.5-17.5 cm [6.5-6.875 in.])
Standard Silver Age US
The range of sizes that most comic books published in the USA during the 1960s fit into. (height: 25.4-26.4 cm [10-10.375 in.]; width: 17.5-19 cm [6.875-7.5 in.])
Staple Bound
(see Saddle Stitched)
Stapled
(see Saddle Stitched)
Story
A standard Story Type used to describe a standard sequential artistic comic story that is not a filler.
Story Type
An attribute of a story indicating what sort of item is being indexed in a specific issue. The standard "Story Types" include: Activity; Ad; Backcovers; Bio; Cover; Cover Reprint; Filler; Insert; Letters; Photo Story; Pinup; Profile; Promo; PSA; Recap; Story; Text Article; Text Story
Synopsis
An attribute of a story containing a short summary of the plot of a story. This is usually left blank for covers.
Tabloid
A comics publication published in a format similar to a small newspaper. (height: 35-40 cm [14-16 in.]; width: 25-30 cm [10-12 in.])
Text Article
A standard Story Type used to describe a page that is primarily text, with or without illustrations, that does not fit the description of the more specific terms Ad, Bio, Letters, Profile, Promo, PSA, Recap or Text Story.
Text Story
A standard Story Type used to describe a prose story, with or without significant quantities of artwork or illustrations.
Textured Cover
A type of cover enhancement that produces a finish that is not smooth and flat. This may be done by using inks or coatings containing additives to produce a special texture. Other techniques that add "texture" to a cover include: die cut covers; embossing; engraving; foil covers; premium gimmicks like Colorforms attached to a cover; relief
Title
An attribute of a story containing the name of a story. If a story does not have a title, this may be listed as [untitled], or the story may be identified by quoting the first line of dialogue in the following format: ["It was a dark and stormy night..."]. The square brackets indicate that this is not an actual title taken from the story. Other Story Types of material present in comic books, such as covers or pinups do not usually have titles, and the field may be left blank for these.
Title Page
A page or pages containing the title of a book or story. A book's main title page usually lists the series name, creator(s), and publisher, and may be used as the source of indexing information if this information is not available in an indicia. The back or verso of the main title page is usually the copyright page. Books may also have a "half-title" page. This is a page that may appear before or after the main title page, and contains only the title of the book. Main title pages and half-title pages may stored as stories of Story Type "Text Article". "Story" or "chapte" title pages contain the title of a specific story and may also contain the name of the feature and artwork. Story title pages are included in the page count for the story and such should be noted in the notes.
Trade Paperback
A publisher's term for a softcover book that is sold through book trade outlets, primarily bookstores but also selected specialty stores such as comic book stores.
Typeset
(see Letterer or Letterist)
Typesetter
(see Typeset)
Underground
Adult "hippie" comics published in the 1960s, usually with sex, drugs and rock & roll themes.
Valiant Vision
A novelty comic book where the cover and/or story artwork simulates a three dimensional image. This effect was introduced by Valiant Comics in 1994. This was an alternate form of 3-D that produced a 4 color image readable without glasses, but special glasses enhanced the experience. Technically, the method was based on a prism principle, making red objects appear closer than blue objects.
Variant Covers
(see Alternate Cover)
Vignette
Small portrait art insets on the cover of a comic book, separate from the main cover art image. These are usually used to list the features of an anthology comic that are not depicted in the main cover art image.
Volume
Consecutively numbered issues of a serialized periodical. If issue numbering for a series starts over again with a change in volume number, this is not usually considered a new series that needs a whole new series for storage and organization.
Wraparound Cover
A cover that has artwork extending from the front cover onto the back cover as part of the same image.


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