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Data Structure for Issues

Issues are, as expected, the individual comic books, including both periodical Issues, one-shot Issues, bound volumes and single-bound collections. Though there is usually significant variation in the attributes of different types of anthologies, bound collections and comic books, the approach taken within XOWComics.com is geared primarily towards the singular concept of a comic book as a single entity.

Screenshot An example Issue Detail page is shown to the right. Many of the expected attributes of information you would expect to see to denote an individual comic book Issue are available.

An Issue must be associated with one and only one Series in the XOWComics.com site. Optionally, an Issue may be associated to any Brand that is in the same Publisher as the Series the Issue is within. Also, an Issue may be associated to any Indicia Publishers that is in the same Publisher as the Series the Issue is within. These restrictions maintain consistency and integrity within the data in the XOWComics.com site.

Issues may have multiple Issue Images associated with them. For the vast majority of Issues in the XOWComics.com site, at least one Issue Image is available. For Issues that have alternate covers, multiple Issue Images may be associated with an Issue. Issue Images may also consistent of scans of original artwork, prints and pinups from the Issue, even splash pages and character biographies from the Issue. Captions and Notes with each of the Issue Images often denote the differences between individual Issue Images within a single Issue.

An Issue has a number of attributes that the XOWComics.com site tracks. These individual attributes are as follows:

Publication Date (month and year only being displayed)
Variant Name
On Sale Date (year, month-year, or month-day-year displayed)
Indicia Frequency

Note: for Volume, Indicia Frequency, ISBN, and UPC/EAN, a note will be displayed in italics if the data indicates no value is present in the Issue.

An Issue can contain details relevant to other data within the site. The following is a listing of these items:

Indicia Publishers
Issue Images Count
Content Items Count

Issue Numbers are not always sequential. It is not uncommon for Issues Numbers within a Series to be sequentially incorrect when compared to numerical order. Issues within a Series are actually stored in a particular sorted order that is directly related to no other data within the XOWComics.com site, allowing for editors of the data to set the unique sort order of Issues within a Series to match the actual sequential publishing history and storyline of a continuing Series of Issues. Sorting tools available on every Issue Detail, List Content Items page allow editors to sort the Issues by any criteria displayed, so this added "sort order" feature for Issues within a Series is just another advantage of the XOWComics.com site.

Volumes are often taken from the indicia for individual comic book Issues. Sometimes the Volume is inferred from the publishing history of the Series itself, even as it applies across separate Series in the XOWComics.com site.

The Title is a title or name to help in the identification of an Issue. This is a contrived name, commonly pulled from the key text on the cover or title page of an Issue.

Pages are just a counting of the total number of pages of a publication. The Pages includes every single side of every single page presented, including the cover. So, for instance, for just the cover of a standard, saddle-stiched comic book, there are four (4) pages; dustjackets are counted as two (2) pages only, as the "inside" of a dustjacket is not intended to ever be viewed. When the Pages is not certain, the interface in the XOWComics.com site will display the value for the Pages in italics.

The Publication Date for an Issue is always displayed as only a month and year. Internally, editors actually set a particular Publication Date, though, down to the day. This allows for the proper sorting of lists of Issues when sorted by the Publication Date, especially when multiple Issues in the same Series are published in the same month and year.

The ISBN is the International Standard Book Number (9, 10 or 13 digits) assigned to the individual publication Issue. Depending on the year and location of publishing, it may instead be the SBN code commonly used in the United Kingdom before the mid-1970s. All ISBNs consist solely of numeric digits, possibly the last digit being the letter 'X'. Digits in the ISBN may be separated into groupings by either a dash '-' or a space. For editors, the interface allows the entry of spaces and dashes but they will be stripped upon saving of the ISBN for compatibility with the ISO specifications for ISBNs. Note, ISSNs are not the same as ISBNs and should not be entered or available in the ISBN field; rather, if provided, ISSNs may be available in the Note field.

The UPC/EAN is the UPC (UPC-A, UPC-E, or GTIN-12) or EAN (EAN-13 or GTIN-12) assigned to the individual publication Issue. All UPCs/EANs consist solely of numeric digits. Digits in the UPC/EAN may be separated into groupings by either a dash '-' or a space. For editors, the interface allows the entry of spaces and dashes but they will be stripped upon saving of the UPC/EAN for compatibility with the GTIN specifications for UPCs/EANs. Note, ISBNs and ISSNs are not the same as UPCs/EANs and should not be entered or available in the UPC/EAN field.

The Price field is a listing of one or more Prices for the Issue when original made available for sale. Any individual Issue may have more than one Price, and each is shown as the numerical monetary value with the appropriate currency designators. A Note may also be attached to individual Prices to indicate particular printing variants, distribution methods, etc.

The Indicia Frequency is the publication frequency for Issues in the Series as it is listed in the indicia of the individual Issue. As a Series progresses, the frequency of publication may change, hence our tracking this value for each individual Issue. It is not uncommon for there to be a Note within a Series indicating a common publishing frequency for Issues in the Series.

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