Report - Genre Committee

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GENRE COMMITTEE REPORT (12 April 2012)

Only the officially-sanctioned genres will be allowed in this field. We assume that this will be accomplished through the database (by a pulldown menu, for example).

We assume that the keyword field will be used for more specific information than will be captured in the official genres and that some of the information currently in the genre field will be moved to the keyword field.

We recommend that in the future genres may be added to the official list based on their number of uses as keyword and their qualification as a genre.

The aspect of age-appropriateness, previously reflected in such genres as Adult, Children, Teen, and reflected in many terms listed in lists of manga genres, is not in fact an aspect of genre. We recommend the addition of a field for publisher-supplied target age designations.

We defer any recommendation on whether some sequence types should not accept genre identifications.

Though a majority of the members of the committee thought that all stories could be assigned at least one of the first four genres (adventure, drama, humor, non-fiction), the majority of the committee also thought that the user should not be required to first choose one of the first four genres.

While it is the intention that stories associated with a particular feature be assigned a genre consistent with the other stories of the feature, genre can also be assigned to stories that are not a part of a feature at all, as with the majority of the stories in the anthologies listed below as examples (Tales from the Crypt, Metal Hurlant, G.I. Combat, and Sweethearts.


Recommended Genres

  • Adventure: This genre consists of works characterized by an emphasis on physical and often violent action, exotic locales and danger.
    • This genre includes action.
    • See also animal, aviation, car, crime, detective-mystery, fantasy, horror-suspense, jungle, martial arts, science fiction, sports, spy, superhero, sword and sorcery, war, and western-frontier.
    • Examples include Bob Morane, Indiana Jones, Tintin, Captain Easy, and Terry and the Pirates.
  • Drama: This genre consists of works containing events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results on a human level.
    • This genre includes melodrama, soap opera, joho, and ryori.
    • See also erotica, fashion, medical, and romance.
    • Examples include Box Office Poison, Love & Rockets, Mary Worth, and A Tale of Two Cities.
  • Humor: This genre consists of works that are primarily comical or amusing
    • This genre includes pantomime and demenziole.
    • See also anthropomorphic, children, domestic, military, satire-parody,and teen.
    • Examples include Mutt and Jeff.
  • Non-Fiction: This genre consists of works purporting to present factual information.
    • This genre includes fact and real life.
    • See also biography, history, math & science, and nature.
    • Examples include Ripley's Believe It or Not.
  • Animal: This genre consists of works featuring animals essentially acting like real animals.
    • Example keywords include dog, horse, and cat.
    • Examples include Lassie, Rex the Wonder Dog, and Inubaka.
  • Aviation: This genre consists of works centered on flying planes or other flying machines.
    • Example keywords include jets.
    • Examples include Airboy and Steve Canyon.
  • Car: This genre consists of works featuring automobiles, race cars, trucks, etc.
    • Example keywords include hot rod, NASCAR, and trucks.
    • Examples include Hot Wheels, Speed Racer, Michel Vaillant.
  • Crime: This genre consists of works featuring realistic stories centering on the commission of a crime or crimes and those who commit the crime or crimes.
    • Example keywords include gangsters and prohibition.
    • Examples include Stray Bullets, A True Crime Story, and Torpedo.
  • Detective-Mystery: This genre consists of works featuring realistic stories centering on the solving of a crime or mystery and those who solve the crime or mystery.
    • Example keywords include private investigator and whodunnit?
    • Examples include Charlie Chan, Roy Raymond, and P.C. 49.
  • Fantasy: This genre consists of works set in worlds where magic or the supernatural predominate over the material, scientific world.
    • Example keywords include mythological and fairy-tale.
    • Examples include Pixies, Fables, and Kelly’s Eye.
  • Horror-Suspense: This genre consists of works intended to terrify, frighten, shock, mystify, or otherwise hold the reader in tension or dread. Stories in this genre are often concluded with an ironic plot twist.
    • Example keywords include monsters and supernatural.
    • Examples include The Walking Dead, Jack O’Justice, and non-Feature stories from Tales of the Crypt.
  • Jungle: This genre consists of works featuring stories primarily set in the world’s jungles, rainforests, or other equatorial wildernesses.
    • Example keywords include Africa.
    • Examples include Tarzan, Nyoka, and Saber - King of the Jungle.
  • Martial Arts: This genre consists of works featuring stories centered on characters who use the fighting styles developed in East Asia and similar fighting styles.
    • Example keywords include kung fu, karate, and judo.
    • Examples include Master of Kung Fu, Street Fighter, and Jimmy Chang.
  • Science Fiction: This genre consists of works featuring advanced scientific, futuristic, or extra-terrestrial elements.
    • Example keywords include cyberpunk, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, and mecha.
    • Examples include Star Wars, Dr. Who, and non-Feature stories from Metal Hurlant.
  • Sports: This genre consists of works featuring athletic activities.
    • Example keywords include baseball, Olympics, and tennis.
    • Examples include Joe Palooka, Strange Sports Stories, and Roy of the Rovers.
  • Spy: This genre consists of works featuring spies, secret agents, and secret service agencies.
    • Example keywords include espionage, thriller, and political.
    • Examples include Man from U.N.C.L.E., Modesty Blaise, and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Superhero: This genre consists of works featuring the adventures of costumed crime fighters, who may also battle alien or supernatural menaces, similarly costumed and/or powered criminals, or other antagonists bent on conquest, often with the aid of specialized and/or superhuman abilities or unique weapons and gadgetry. Also include stories of non-costumed characters who otherwise fit the definition, particularly if they are often referred to in story as super-heroes, and also to stories featuring super-villains.
    • Example keywords include team and pulp.
    • Examples include: Superman, The Phantom, and Marvelman.
  • Sword and Sorcery: This genre consists of works featuring stories of epic or heroic fantasy, violent conflicts, often with elements of romance, and usually elements of the supernatural.
    • Example keywords include enchanted swords and post-apocalyptic.
    • Examples include Conan, Axa, and Elric.
  • War: This genre consists of works featuring armed forces in combat, or related, activities during wartime.
    • Example keywords include Revolutionary War, World War II, navy, army, and frogmen.
    • Examples include Willie and Joe, Charley’s War, and non-Feature stories from G.I. Combat.
  • Western-Frontier: This genre consists of works primarily set in the American frontier during the 19th or early 20th century and often featuring cowboys, Indians, ranchers, etc., and other period stories in a similar style, set in other times and places.
    • Example keywords include Native Americans.
    • Examples include Red Ryder, Lucky Luke, and Jonah Hex.
  • Erotica: This genre consists of works with sexually explicit content whose primary purpose is to elicit sexual arousal.
    • Example keywords include hardcore, softcore, gay, and hentai.
    • Examples include Tijuana Bibles, Little Annie Fannie, Sally Forth, and Dragon Pink
  • Fashion: This genre consists of works centered on fashion and the fashion industry
    • Example keywords include models.
    • Examples include Katy Keene, Barbie, and Cloth Road.
  • Medical: This genre consists of works centered on medicine and the medical profession.
    • Example keywords include nurses and doctors.
    • Examples include Rex Morgan, MD; Linda Carter, Student Nurse; and Black Jack.
  • Romance: This genre consists of works centered on love and related personal relationships.
    • Example keywords include soap opera, dating, and wedding.
    • Examples include Johnny Love, and Dance ‘Til Tomorrow, and non-Feature stories in Sweethearts.
  • Anthropomorphic: This genre consists of works featuring characters acting like humans which are not human.
    • Example keywords include Disney and funny animals.
    • Examples include Donald Duck, Corky the Cat, Cerebus, and Milk and Cheese.
  • Children: This genre consists of works featuring children (approximately age 12 or younger) as the primary protagonists, often having to act more reasonably and resourcefully than their age, in the absence of adult figures.
    • An example keyword term is kid gang.
    • Examples include Little Lulu, Peanuts, and Dennis the Menace.
  • Domestic: This genre consists of works centered on life in and around the home.
    • Example keywords include family and sitcom.
    • Examples include Blondie and The Simpsons
  • Military: This genre consists of works featuring armed forces outside of combat, or related, situations.
    • Example keywords include army and coast guard.
    • Examples include Sad Sack and Steve Canyon.
  • Satire-Parody: This genre consists of works using irony, sarcasm, ridicule and the like to comment on, denounce, or deride social conventions, human relationships, or other literary works (including other comics).
    • Example keywords include pastiche and social commentary.
    • Examples include: Mad’s Spy Vs. Spy, Cerebus, Sid the Sexist, Fighting American, and normalman.
  • Teen: This genre consists of works featuring teenagers (approximately 13-19 years of age) as the primary protagonists, particularly in stories that deal with their coming of age or maturing into the beginnings of adulthood.
    • Example keywords include pop music, high school, and school life.
    • Examples include Dick Cole, Archie, and Kare Kano.
  • Biography: This genre consists of non-fictional works depicting the actual events and experiences of a real person’s life or real persons’ lives.
    • Example keywords include memoir and autobiography.
    • Examples include American Splendor, Political Power, and Wonder Women of History.
  • History: This genre consists of works relating actual events from history.
    • Example keywords include American history and World War II.
    • Examples include Hop Harrigan’s History of Aviation and Picture Stories from American History.
  • Math & Science: This genre consists of works relating information about the mathematical disciplines or the hard sciences.
    • Example keywords include astronomy and algebra.
    • Examples include Science Says You’re Wrong If…, and The TRS-80 Computer Whiz-Kids.
  • Nature: This genre consists of works relating information about the environment and the natural world.
    • Example keywords include ecology.
    • Examples include Nature’s Notebook and Ma Nature’s Curiosity Shop.
  • Religious: This genre consists of works centered on a particular religious tradition or reflecting a particular religious point of view.
    • Example keywords include mythology and propaganda.
    • Examples include Picture Stories from the Bible, The Crusaders, and Amar Chitra Katha


Recommendation of Other Genres

  • Adult – removed, partly replaced with erotica
  • Adventure (action) – renamed adventure
  • Autobiography – removed
  • Bio – renamed biography
  • Celebrity – removed
  • Detective – renamed detective-mystery
  • Fact – renamed non-fiction
  • Family – renamed domestic
  • Funny animals – renamed anthropomorphic
  • Gags – removed
  • Horror – renamed horror-suspense
  • Humor (comedy) – renamed humor
  • Monsters – removed
  • Occult – removed
  • Period – removed
  • Political/propaganda – removed
  • Satire – renamed satire-parody
  • Sitcom – removed
  • Soap – removed
  • Western – renamed western-frontier


Other Genres Considered

  • Barbarian
  • Adaptation
  • Undergrounds
  • Mythology
  • Countercultural


Committee Notes on Specific Genres

Here I present additional notes for the Board with the intent of pointing out our thought process or where we had trouble arriving at a consensus. These are in the order we discussed them, not alphabetical.

  • Adventure: We discussed keeping Action as part of the name of this genre, but rejected that notion.
  • Drama: We discussed whether this was an appropriate name for this genre, as Drama is usually associated with acting in some way or another. We are using this term in the sense of fiction without other specific genre qualities; that is, generic fiction.
  • Non-Fiction: This is a replacement/modification of the current Fact genre. Part of the reason was that Non-Fiction does not imply a judgment as to the facticity of the story. Some on the committee objected that non-fiction is not a genre. Technically, non-fiction does not have genres, but subjects, but for purposes of the GCD we are ignoring that distinction.
  • Erotica: This is a replacement/modification of the current Adult genre. We discussed the original “adults only” meaning of the genre tag, particularly for things generally referred to as undergrounds, but eventually decided those functions would be more appropriate in the keyword and target-age fields.
  • Satire-Parody: This is a re-naming of the current Satire genre.
  • Western-Frontier: We discussed the possibility of separating Frontier out as a separate genre, but rejected that notion. We added Frontier to the name to better reflect the existing definition.
  • War: We considered the possibility of changing this genre to War-Military, primarily to include features like Sad Sack, but decided on tagging non-combat features and stories with a separate genre.
  • Detective-Mystery: The name of this genre was changed to reflect the many write-in genres used to indicate the mystery-side of this genre.
  • Aviation: This was added on the basis of current write-in uses, over some resistance. We discussed whether use of aviation should be prohibited with war, but rejected that idea.
  • Anthropomorphic: We voted on this name change from funny animals and whether they should be two separate genres.
  • Children: Discussion here was primarily on establishing an age range, particularly in distinction from teen.
  • Domestic: This to some extent replaced family. Also suggested was family life
  • Fashion: This was another new genre suggested by the number of write-ins and added by a majority vote.
  • Biography: We discussed eliminating this, but settled on combining biography and autobiography.
  • Nature: This and the following two tags were added to fill out the sub-categories of non-fiction.
  • Fantasy: We discussed horror, occult, fantasy, and monsters at one time, eventually deciding to eliminate occult and monsters, while changing horror to horror-suspense. There was some hesitation to eliminate the two and a suggestion to change occult to supernatural.
  • Spy: Considered changing this to espionage, but no support for that idea.


Current Genres Recommended for Elimination

  • Political/Propaganda: The things formerly categorized under this genre would be now be tagged with non-fiction, religious, or other tags. They could also additionally have in the keyword field such things as political, promotional, etc.
  • Gags: The things formerly categorized under this genre would now generally be tagged humor, though they may be tagged with other genre tags.
  • Sitcom: The things formerly categorized under this genre would now generally be tagged humor, though they may be tagged with other genre tags.
  • Soap: The things formerly categorized under this genre would now generally be tagged either drama or romance, though they may be tagged with other genre tags.
  • Celebrity: There was no support for keeping this genre.
  • Autobiography: No one objected to folding these back under biography.
  • Period: Decided better used as keyword.


Suggested Genres Not Included

  • Barbarian: The general response was that other genre tags handled these types of stories.
  • Adaptation: Though used frequently as a write-in, not a true genre, and a reasonable keyword.
  • Undergrounds: Growing out of the change of adult to erotica, we could not agree on what makes the group of works called this a genre.