How to handle comic strips, a proposal?

I’ve been thinking a bit on comics and the like today, and wanted to throw out some ideas on how to handle these in BookBrainz


comics should typically be organized into series, like xkcd, K-ON!, or Garfield. if each strip has a number (like xkcd), these should be added to the number field. I don’t know how feasable this would be for all comic series tho (especially daily comics that’ve run since 1978, like Garfield), which is why I’m favoring the title formats mentioned below


some comics have individual titles per strip, like xkcd, Three Word Phrase, and possibly Homestuck. if so, these should be used as is. some examples I’ve recently added:

most comics won’t have a title per strip (including most all newspaper comics), including Garfield, Blondie, and Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! for these, the title field should probably follow a regular pattern, whichever of these might apply: [series title, strip number] or [series title, date] (based on the MusicBrainz style guide, mostly Titles and Broadcast programs, also related is a ticket for denoting an untitled entity). some examples I’ve recently added:

for clarity, a comma should be used to split the series name from the date or number (unless the series name ends with punctuation), and date format should be YYYY‒MM‒DD (or as much specificity as is possible, like if a strip is released monthly). I think we should use the named publication month for cases where there’s a discrepancy between that and the actual publication date (I know magazines are often released before the printed month)

these are just my ideas, if y’all have any improvements or suggestions, feel free to leave them below~


one thing I realized after posting the above, this does make comic collection editions (like Garfield at Large) difficult to add works to without better tools (edit: unless we allow for collection works in situations like these)

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another potential issue is how to handle the titles for translated comic strips (which might have different dates, especially in the case of translated Manga)… we could simply use the date of the translated comic’s release (if known and different from the original version), unless y’all have a better idea? I might prefer using the date of the original version for consistency, but that could get confusing real quick (either way, actually)

(also high five to @KatGrrrl for all the work they’ve put into K-ON! already~)

I think this is the way to go, since we treat translated works as independent works.

I think we also need a new format type for the editions: comic or comic book? (we also need something like “dimel novel” by the way.

I typed the below paragraph before realizing you might be talking about edition formats, not edition group types

I think these could technically fit in the current types, actually, a comic collection like Garfield at Large or a manga volume feels like a paperback book (I think they’re often called a trade paperback), a comic book is very magazine-like, and comic strips would be put into newspapers or magazines (or perhaps some sort of online format for webcomics? e-book? doesn’t sound quite correct)

that said, more types and formats are definitely a good thing~


an issue with using translation dates for manga is that manga translations often aren’t serialised and are only released as collected volumes. k-on! for example, this would cause 13 works to have the same title.


But the collection also exists in Japanese, or am I wrong?
If this is the case, we just have to create a work that comprises the 13 original works (they can be added via “is part of”) and add a translation just for this large work.

I believe it was originally published strip-by-strip in a monthly manga magazine, but I do believe it was collected into volumes in both English and Japanese

also, I thought collection works are discouraged in general? I mean, I’m all for them, but I seem to remember discussion trending against them


Not if they are part of a frame work. Many novels had been first published as a serial in newspapers. There’s not a big difference


This really looks great to me. It’s basically what I had in mind when I worked on the work types, but I haven’t read many comic strips.

As for collection editions, I think that’s what they are: collections of works, not works themselves. Of course only a super-fan will be able to add all the works correctly to the edition, but that’s what would make it useful, something no other similar database can do.

Also, I’d like to point out you don’t have to add the works to make the edition worth-while. Adding one of these collection editions to BB, you can already add all the meta-data you can add in the other book DBs, you just also have the option to discriminate what works are included – if you are able to do it.


I’d say yes to both of you. Collection works should be discouraged in general, but an exception is stories within a frame narrative, even if they can sometimes be published separately, because splitting them would mean dismissing that narrative. But that’s nor really the case here.