Format

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Required field

Per a Policy Vote of December 12, 2012, there are now five separate fields that record various Format data. These correspond to the five elements previously recorded in the single Format field. By long-standing convention, the preferred entry method for all text-based information is to use the language the comic was published in. English can always be used as an alternate.

  1. Color (Color, 4 Color, Painted, 2 Color, Black and White)
  2. Dimensions (Standard Golden Age US, Standard Silver Age US, Standard Modern Age US; Digest; Tabloid, A3, A4, A5, 8.5" x 11", 21cm x 28cm)
  3. Paper Stock
    • Some of the more common paper stocks are:
      • a) Newsprint: A 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 for decades.
      • b) Glossy: Paper that has a shiny "slick" surface produced by coating the paper with a thin coat of varnish.
      • c) Bond: A high quality durable writing paper having a weight greater than 50 grams per square meter. Usually somewhat stiffer than paper used for computer printers and copy machines.
      • d) Baxter: A brand name for a type of high quality (non-glossy) smooth white paper introduced in the early 1980s. A generic term for such paper is "smooth white".
      • e) 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. A generic term for such paper is "smooth white".
      • f) Cardstock: A 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.
  4. Binding (Stapled, Saddle-stitched, Bound, Squarebound, Hardcover, Trade Paperback)
    • Binding terms are defined in part as:
      • a) Stapled: stapled through the top and bottom of the book
      • b) Saddle-stitched: stapled through the folded edge of the book
      • c) Squarebound: pages are glued along the edge and bound together by the cover. There are two common types and the term Squarebound may be used for either, as the difference is not always clear.
        • True squarebound comics are in signatures of usually 16 pages, or 8 leaves folded in half and bundled. A group of signatures is then glued into the cover and sometimes stapled. Most trade paperbacks are in this form.
        • Perfect bound are also glued into the cover, but as individual leaves. Most mass-market paperbacks are in this form.
  5. Publishing Format (On-Going Series, Limited Series, Miniseries, Maxiseries One-Shot, Graphic Novel, Collected Edition)
    • For Publishing Format, the following is suggested:
      • a) one-shot - intended as a standalone publication
      • b) limited series - intended as a finite series
      • c) ongoing series - intended as an open-ended series with no set endpoint
      • d) was ongoing series - a formerly ongoing series that has ceased publication


  • Since you may not know all five elements, or they may change over the run of the series, Notes may be necessary to help describe special cases for any of these Format fields. Special cases would be things like "started as a limited series and became ongoing", "started referring to #75 as the final early on", "was supposed to be ongoing, but was canceled after one issue", etc.
  • Page counts do not belong in any of these Format fields.
  • Note that at some point the Format fields will be associated directly at the issue level.
  • Also note that we do not split series due to a change in format, see Variant Issues, Point 8.


NOTE: Though the Policy vote that created these five fields did not state how to punctuate the fields, use of semi-colons to separate multiple values within a field is a longstanding GCD policy. The use of semi-colons instead of commas will facilitate breaking the fields into multiple fields if that is ever desired, such as separating cover paper stock and interior paper stock. Periods are not needed at the end of a list, because it is not a sentence.

Previously, this was a single field with five elements. The five elements were separated by a semi-colon. Most Series are still recorded in this method, and it is helpful to separate the elements into their new fields whenever working on a Series record.

(end of definition)


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