How to add serialised comics and manga?

When adding serialised comics and manga as a work, is each chapter added as a separate work?


Welcome KatGrrrl,
This depends on the medium in which the individual chapters appeared.
If it’s a book or a magazine, then yes.
If it was also published as a complete story, you can add the individual chapters as well as the complete story as “works” and link them with “'chapter” is a part of “complete story”.

Manga are often published in magazines first, then as books:

If each chapter is its own work then that’s gonna be a lot of work:

I’m speaking in general because I don’t know enough about manga, but I think we can make an analogy to other kinds of works: is it like a novel published serially (like in the 19th century), where you need to read all chapters to make sense of the story (one work)? Or is like Sherlock Holmes (or other kind of adventure) stories, where the stories can be published in a book and have some continuity, but are also self-contained (multiple works)?

Maybe different manga are written differently? As long as you understand the general rule, you can make your own informed choice. Hopefully we will have more manga readers joining in, then you could discuss specific rules about manga.

to my knowledge, there’s at least two different kinds of manga (tho there’s probably more)

  • 4koma: a pretty close analog to the English (or at least American) audience would be like a comic strip, 4 panels read in order and individually published in like, a magazine or something. examples from my library include K-ON! and Hetalia (or Hetalia: Axis Powers in the states, among many other names)
  • chapter by chapter publication (don’t know the proper term for these): more like a comic book (tho still published in a magazine-like format alongside chapters from other manga). each publication has several pages of continuous story, each chapter feeds into the next. an example from my library is SPY×FAMILY

I have added both K-ON! and Hetalia to BookBrainz as editions, but haven’t created works for them as of yet, as I wasn’t sure which way to split these collections of 4koma, or if they should be split at all. thinking about it now, in my mind it might make sense to allow having works for each strip (or chapter) and also the collection of these into a volume

also adding, I’ve also added entries for the collection of Axe Cop, which was published similarly, page by page (roughly) as a webcomic. this should likely get a similar treatment as 4koma manga (and perhaps collected western comic works, like Calvin & Hobbes and Garfield)

A manga series as a single work makes sense in definition terms as a work is defined as “a distinct, notable literary creation”. However with how Bookbrainz is currently designed, individual chapters as works seems so much more practical to me. Because then you can have the chapters listed on volume and magazine editions, which chapters have translations, who translated which chapter etc.

I’ve since added the first volume of the English translation of SPY×FAMILY to BookBrainz, and I think I agree that a chaptered manga makes sense to add this way SPY×FAMILY: Vol. 1 (Edition) – BookBrainz

I don’t know of any database that treats chapters as their own works. Only in file-sharing context I’ve seen something like that.

Not even MusicBrainz creates works for chapters of an audiobook.

I think the term “chapter” is a bit misleading here.
It’s simply about parts of a “work” that were published separately. This can be a short story that is part of a novel, a poem that was part of a play, or “chapters” of a manga story that have been published in different editions.


I don’t have much to add here, but what @indy133 said makes sense to me. Chapters of a novel only make sense as a part of a larger work; but I get the feeling (from what I read here) that may not be the case for manga “chapters”, it seems many (some? all?) are basically self-contained stories, so that would be a work by our definition.

On comic strips, which @UltimateRiff alluded to, I feel each strip really is its own work. Eventually we will have to find a system to identify those, and it will be a lot of work (too much?), but I really see no other option; the same strips can be published in different periodicals and collected in different books in different order. Probably the same is true about the 4koma manga.

Don’t think this is true at all.

A book is generally published with all of its chapters at the same time, and chapters are supposed to be read in sequential order. A book can have a sequel, where the above is repeated.

A manga is generally published chapter-by-chapter, at separate times, and chapters are supposed to be read in sequential order. A manga can have a sequel, where the above is repeated.

Manga chapters are not self-contained stories, unless dealing with “bonus chapters” (おまけ) which are relatively extremely uncommon.

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I wouldn’t quite say they’re self-contained, at least not in most cases, but they are individually published one-at-a-time in magazines and now manga services like Shonen Jump+

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