What is the GCD?
The Grand Comics Database (GCD) is an ongoing international project to build a detailed comic-book database that will be easy to use and understand, and also easy for contributors to add information to it. This fully searchable and sortable database includes information on creator credits, story details, and other information useful to the comic-book reader, fan, collector, and scholar.
If we are able to take this project to its ultimate conclusion, the database will contain data for every comic book ever published in every country around the planet. It is available to all over the internet at the GCD home page.
Note that currently the GCD is effectively a database for "comic books", rather than a database for "comics", because it is limited to books and periodicals (of any size or binding). The Grand Comics Database currently allows indexing of publications containing at least 50% comics content without restriction. We also allow indexing of publications containing less than 50% comics with the following restrictions:
- the series or issue shall have a "not 50 percent comics" flag set,
- only comics sequences may be indexed,
- cover scans will not be accepted for any issue that has not been indexed with at least 10% comics, as determined by the database. However, if the cover has comic material it may be indexed.
We are currently in the process of exploring how to add newspaper comics to our project, and other kinds of printed comics such as magazine cartoons may follow. At this time, web comics are outside of our Charter, largely due to a lack of any consensus on how we would go about indexing non-physical comics.
This is not a commercial endeavor, and will not become one. Indexing the sum total of all comic books is a huge project. Without heroic effort, it can't be done by one person or even a small number of people. Our operating principles are designed to allow a large number of people to collaborate in a simple and easy way to achieve our ultimate goal. Many hands make light work, and many hands will be required for this.
Is the GCD a commercial entity?
No. The GCD is strictly a non-profit, non-commercial, fan-based volunteer effort.
When was the GCD started?
The GCD was started in 1994 by Bob Klein and Tim Stroup. Jon Ingersoll, Tim Tjarks, and Gene Reed joined shortly afterward. The project started as an offshoot of the Amateur Press Association for Indexing (APA-I) mailing group. Originally the GCD data was exchanged on computer disks. Soon Jon Løvstad of Norway joined up and GCD access on the Internet was born. The website continued to be hosted by Jon until October 2009 when a new website was created.
Tim Stroup's original announcement first appeared on the Usenet group rec.arts.comics.misc on 1994-03-31 15:55:15 PST.
What is a "member" of the GCD? Do I have to become a member to get access to data from the GCD?
The GCD Charter states the three ways to qualify as a member of the GCD.
- Submitting a requisite number of new and/or corrected indexes or cover scans, as specified in the current operating guidelines. This is determined by the accumulation of Indexing Measuring Points (IMP). Read more on how IMPs are awarded.
- Performing an administrative task, such as coordinating reservations, administering submissions, maintaining web sites, etc.
- Serving in any capacity or performing any task deemed worthy of membership by a majority vote of the board, including but not limited to providing regular assistance or background information that further (i) or (ii) above, creating or maintaining software tools, and serving as an active member of a temporary sub-committee.
Membership in the GCD was previously required in order to be able to download GCD data files for personal use. This requirement has been dropped, and anyone may now browse the website or request the GCD data files strictly for personal (non-commercial) use. More info is available under Data Distribution.
Membership in the GCD is not a requirement for joining and participating in the GCD-provided mailing lists - anyone may sign up and participate in the list discussions. There is currently one direct benefit for GCD members - eligibility to vote in Board elections. GCD members also benefit from the knowledge that we are contributing to a free, non-commercial resource that is regularly used by comics fans and researchers of comics history.
To find out whether you have qualified for membership, email us at GCD Contact.
Whom do I contact for more information about the GCD?
For more information about the GCD, email the GCD Contact Email.
Whom do I contact to report problems with the website?
As of October 2009, problems can be reported via our bug tracker.
I would like to use data and/or cover scans from the GCD. Who owns the copyright to these items?
A: GCD Data - The GCD is an original compilation and database which by reason of the selection and arrangement of its contents constitutes an intellectual creation as defined by Copyright Law, and is protected as such. The selection and arrangement of data of each contribution, as well as any original research or writing contained in the contribution, is copyrighted jointly by those who did the original work and the GCD. The data can be used according to our Data License. Dumps of the database are available at http://www.comics.org/download/, if you currently do not have an account with us you will be asked to register first.
B: GCD Cover Scans - All cover images are copyrighted by their respective current copyright holders. Copyrights are typically held by the publisher on work-for-hire properties, by the creator(s) on creator-owned properties, or by a third party in the case of licensed properties. Copyright details at the time of publication can usually be determined from the indicia of comics, but may have changed since that time. The GCD does not track changes in copyright. Due to legal concerns, we do not distribute the cover images or otherwise make them available except as seen in our pages.
More information can be found under Data Distribution.
Does my country have a local GCD chapter? How do I start an international chapter?
National GCD chapters exist for the following countries:
GCD Deutschland: http://www.comics.org/?lang=de
GCD The Netherlands (also incorporating Flemish publications): http://www.comics.org/?lang=nl
GCD Sweden: http://www.lysator.liu.se/gcd/
To start an international chapter for another country, contact the GCD Board through the GCD Contact email.
They will be more than willing to offer any help and assistance needed. However, be forewarned:
If you do wish to start a GCD chapter, you will be considered not only the liaison between your country and the GCD proper, but you will also be the main Coordinator of data for your country. It may entail a good bit of work. We would recommend that you take upon this task only if you truly enjoy indexing comics and helping others do so as well.
Hope you find our project interesting and exciting. We do, and we hope you will join us in creating the Grand Comics Database!