Covers FAQ

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Why have covers?

We have both thumbnails and larger scans attached to our indexes for reference and identification purposes. Having covers completes the indexed data, it's a nice trip back on memory lane, and it's a great resource for foreign indexers covering their foreign language editions of the books.

Where do the images come from?

A lot are scanned by members of the team from personal collections, some are sourced from news. These are quality checked, then retouched, trimmed and rotated if necessary. Most are now submitted through visitors to the website. If you wish to submit a cover, we prefer that you have made the scan yourself. If you submit scans from another source, please obtain their permission first.

The following websites have asked us NOT to use their cover scans:

How should I scan covers? What settings should I use on my scanner?

The minimum scan size is 400 pixels wide in "portrait mode" (i.e. a normal cover). For odd formats, the shortest side should be minimum 400 pixels. Maximum size depends on your internet connection - we are happy to receive 2000x3000 scans but these might result in server timeouts while the upload is taken place. If that happens frequently to you it might be better to use smaller sizes. Your comic-book should be scanned at 100% @75-200dpi. 75dpi gives a scan close to the minimum requirements (approximately 450 pixels wide), 200dpi gives a larger and better scan. Although we appreciate large scans, there is no real need to go beyond 200 dpi, and a sweet point between quality and size lies at around 150dpi.

The book should be scanned without any bags or other plastic casings to avoid reflection. The scan should be perfectly straight and trimmed, i.e. no borders around the book. Some post scan rotation may be needed as not all scanning software do this automatically. Save the image as JPEG format, with approximately 70% quality. If in Photoshop, quality settings 5 to 8 is OK.

How do I submit covers?

Search at the website http://www.comics.org for the comic you want to submit. Each series has a section called "Cover Status". If the cover you want to submit isn't on the website, the Cover Status should show that issue as white. Click the number of the issue and, if you are logged in, you will be taken to a page asking for the name of the file to upload. Click the "Browse" button to find the cover on your local computer.

More detail on scan standards, how to upload flip or wraparound covers, variant covers, and replacing existing cover scans is at Adding Covers.

Are there alternate ways to submit covers?

If for some reason you can't submit covers as outlined above, feel free to contact the editors via the Error Tracker at http://errors.comics.org (report an error of type "cover scans"). Covers can be attached to the error report after it is submitted or, alternatively, one of the editors could contact you with an email address that the cover can be sent to. An editor may also contact you with a street address that a disk of cover scans can be sent to.

If you have a large collection of covers we do not have there might be other ways to bring them online. Please contact us using the address given on our front page.

The cover I submitted got marked for replacement or deleted, how come?

There are three major reasons why we delete covers. One is, the cover you uploaded was the wrong cover. Sometimes there are different series with the same or similar names or dates. The other is that there was a "watermark" on the cover, such as from Mile High Comics or Ebay. We don't accept watermarked covers because the watermark can make art identification more difficult and the original scanner probably watermarked the cover because they didn't want other people to use their scan. Third, the cover is not from a printed, physical copy of the book. We do not allow digital representations of covers, such as those from publishers' websites or from web comics. Such representations often do not match the printed copies in colors, barcodes, text, or other details.

Sometimes we just mark a cover for replacement. This is usually because they aren't cropped properly (i.e. there is white space around the cover) or the actual comic was damaged (i.e. writing on the cover).

If you notice a watermark on an existing cover, please submit a deletion request, making a note in the comments of the exact location of the watermark, since it can be difficult to notice for someone not familiar with the book. Alternatively, you can submit a replacement cover if you have an acceptable scan.

Why are there some series that do not allow cover scans?

Some books that contain comics are not considered comic publications for our purposes. Cover scans will not be accepted for any issue that has not been indexed with at least 10 percent comics, though if the cover has comic material it may be indexed.

I have a cover to a comic you don't have listed. What do I do?

Please see the Series Skeleton Requirements to get the info to us to add a missing series.

I have a cover to a comic you already have, but mine looks better than yours. What do I do?

Replacement covers can be submitted via the 'Edit cover' link present on the issue page, the 'Edit covers' link on the large cover view, and the 'Add/replace cover' link under each cover on a series cover gallery page. If you are replacing a cover, please make sure that the cover you upload is really better than the one that is already there. If in doubt, for example if the colors just differ slightly and it is a matter of taste, monitor and scanner calibration, we keep the current cover and reject the replacement.

Can I get all the covers from a specific series sent to me? How can I easily download all the covers in the database?

Due to copyright reasons, we don't re-distribute the covers in any way. We can display them here on the website due to Fair-Use rules of copyright, but we are unable to distribute them in any way. Everyone knows that nobody can stop you if you click on each cover you want and save it to your computer. We claim no copyright to either the images or the scans. An acknowledgement of the fact that they came from the GCD would be nice.