Report - WhosWho Committee

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Proposal for technical requirements for Creator Records for Grand Comics DatabaseTM

(Migrating and Expanding Who’s Who data)
2/7/2012-18/2012

Here’s what I’ve gleaned from our discussions. All data to be recorded in fully relational tables of a schema suitable for the information. Further implementation details should be left to the Tech team.

Data Storage

1. Name: All known names for a creator should be recorded. These should be flagged by a Name_Type.

2. Name_Type indicates the various types of names, using the following list. Multiple Name_Types could be checked per name.

  • GCD Official Name – The name chosen by the GCD as the official, authoritative name for an individual or other creator entity. Each Creator Record should record ONE ONLY. This shall be the artist’s name as we determine most representative of their comic work. To begin with, we should use their name in the current Who's Who, if available. As situations warrant over time, we may modify these based on other criteria we may adopt. This GCD Official Name may be given to an individual, collaboration, shop, or other documented creator name. We will also need to decide on a GCD Language Of Record standard for this, to properly record names known to be written in multiple languages.
  • Pen Name - any known signature, alias, abbreviation, or collaboration
  • House Name - signature worked under
  • Shop Name - name of shop or studio worked for
  • Changed Name - due to legal change (including marriage or gender change)
  • Given (birth) Name – first name and any other legal names other than family name
  • Family Name – surname
  • Other Language Name – name as used in comics as spelled in characters other than our officially adopted language of record. Probably should have a 2nd field attached, giving the ISO language codes for this.

3. Name_Source: The data source for each Name should be recorded. ALL Source fields would likely be unformated text because sources could vary considerably and could include full citation name, date, and other information. Multiple sources may be recorded.

4. Source_Type: The data source type for each Name_Source should be recorded. This same list can be used for any of the various Source fields noted below. Typical sources include:

  • Comic signature
  • Comic credit
  • Interview
  • Legal document
  • Creator questionnaire
  • Creator’s records
  • Publisher’s records
  • News citation
  • Book citation
  • Internet citation
  • Other media citation

5. Name_Relation: A KEY should be created to connect any GCD Official Name to any other Name, to allow proper connection of aliases, shop memberships, etc. Multiple relations may exist per each GCD Official Name. A GCD Official Name may be connected to another GCD Official Name using a Relation_Type.

6. Name_Relation_Source: The data source for each Name_Relation should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

7. Relation_Type: The type of relation, chosen from the following list. NOT all name pairs need a Relation_Type, as some will be implicit in the Name_Type chosen.

  • Similar Name – Name that could easily be mistaken for the Name in question, such as similar spellings, or actual duplicate name for disambiguation.
  • Owner – a shop or studio owned by some other Name
  • Employee – a shop or studio worked for by some other Name
  • User – for someone who used a House Name
Example of names, types, relationships and languages:
Name = George Frisk, Name_Type = GCD Official Name
Name = George Leland, Name_Type = Given Name
Name = Frisk, Name_Type = Family Name
Name = GLF, Name_Type = Pen Name
Name = Frisky, Name_Type = Pen Name
Name = Lou Kappa, Name_Type = House Name
Name = Leland Frisk, Name_Type = Changed Name
Name = Story Works, Name_Type = Shop Name
Name = Youri Jigounov, Name_Type = GCD Official Name
Name = , Name_Type = Other Language Name (ISO code = Russian)
Name = Irv Smith, Name_Type = GCD Official Name
Name = David Nielson, Name_Type = GCD Official Name
Name = Jorge Frisk, Name_Type = GCD Official Name
Name = George Fisk, Name_Type = GCD Official Name
George Frisk>Name_Relation<George Leland, Relation_Type = null
George Frisk>Name_Relation<Frisk, Relation_Type = null
George Frisk>Name_Relation<GLF, Relation_Type = null
George Frisk>Name_Relation<Frisky, Relation_Type = null
George Frisk>Name_Relation<Lou Kappa, Relation_Type = User
George Frisk>Name_Relation<Leland Frisk, Relation_Type = null
George Frisk>Name_Relation<Story Works, Relation_Type = Employee
George Frisk>Name_Relation<George Fisk, Relation_Type = Similar Name
George Frisk>Name_Relation<Jorge Frisk, Relation_Type = Similar Name
Irv Smith>Name_Relation<Story Works, Relation_Type = Employee
David Nielson>Name_Relation<Lou Kappa, Relation_Type = User
Youri Jigounov>Name_Relation< , Relation_Type = null

8. Birth_Year: For individuals, the birth year. For other named entities, the first year of their operation. For legal name changes, the year of the change.

9. Birth_Year_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the year is uncertain or not.

10. Birth_Year_Source: The data source for each Birth_Year should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

11. Birth_Month: For individuals, the birth month. For other named entities, the first month of their operation. For legal name changes, the month of the change.

12. Birth_Month_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the month is uncertain or not.

13. Birth_Month_Source: The data source for each Birth_Month should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

14. Birth_Date: For individuals, the birth date. For other named entities, the first date of their operation. For legal name changes, the date of the change.

15. Birth_Date_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the date is uncertain or not.

16. Birth_Date_Source: The data source for each Birth_Date should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

17. Death_Year: For individuals, the death year. For other named entities, the final year of their operation. For legal name changes, the year of the change.

18. Death_Year_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the year is uncertain or not.

19. Death_Year_Source: The data source for each Death_Year should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

20. Death_Month: For individuals, the death month. For other named entities, the final month of their operation. For legal name changes, the month of the change.

21. Death_Month_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the month is uncertain or not.

22. Death_Month_Source: The data source for each Death_Month should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

23. Death_Date: For individuals, the death date. For other named entities, the final date of their operation. For legal name changes, the date of the change.

24. Death_Date_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the date is uncertain or not.

25. Death_Date_Source: The data source for each Death_Date should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

26. Other_Dates: Other date ranges for other names (not legal names) would be supplied by our existing recorded credits at the story sequence level.

27. Whos_Who: For each name, provide a link to the same name in the old Who’s Who, if available.

28. Birth_Country: For individuals, the country of birth. For other named entities, the country of their initial operation. For legal name changes, the country of the change.

29. Birth_Country_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the location is uncertain or not.

30. Birth_Country_Source: The data source for each Birth_Country should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

31. Birth_Province: For individuals, the province or state of birth. For other named entities, the province or state of their initial operation. For legal name changes, the province or state of the change.

32. Birth_Province_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the location is uncertain or not.

33. Birth_Province_Source: The data source for each Birth_Province should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

34. Birth_City: For individuals, the city or locale of birth. For other named entities, the city or locale of their initial operation. For legal name changes, the city or locale of the change.

35. Birth_City_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the location is uncertain or not.

36. Birth_City_Source: The data source for each Birth_City should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

37. Death_Country: For individuals, the country of birth. For other named entities, the country of their initial operation. For legal name changes, the country of the change.

38. Death_Country_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the location is uncertain or not.

39. Death_Country_Source: The data source for each Death_Country should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

40. Death_Province: For individuals, the province or state of birth. For other named entities, the province or state of their initial operation. For legal name changes, the province or state of the change.

41. Death_Province_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the location is uncertain or not.

42. Death_Province_Source: The data source for each Death_Province should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

43. Death_City: For individuals, the city or locale of birth. For other named entities, the city or locale of their initial operation. For legal name changes, the city or locale of the change.

44. Death_City_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the location is uncertain or not.

45. Death_City_Source: The data source for each Death_City should be recorded. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources may be recorded.

46. Portrait: We should record one image per creator. Self-portrait if available; if not, a photo; if not, a portrait by another artist.

47. Portrait_Source: We should record copyright and source information for each portrait. The same list of Source_Types could be used.

48. Schools: We should record the schools creators attended. This will be limited to schools where they received some training in their artistic profession, and would not include unrelated schools. Multiple schools per creator may be recorded.

49. School_Year_Began: We should record the year each school attendance was begun.

50. School_Year_Began_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the year is uncertain or not.

51. School_Year_Ended: We should record the year each school attendance was ended.

52. School_Year_Ended_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the year is uncertain or not.

53. Degrees: We should record degrees received by creators, and which schools these were from. Multiple degrees per creator may be recorded.

54. Degree_Year: For each degree, we should record the year received.

55. Degree_Year_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the year is uncertain or not.

56. School_Source: The data source for the various school-related data. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources per school may be recorded.

57. Creator_Roles: The roles that creators functioned in are already recorded at the story sequence level. Nothing new is needed here.

58. Art_Influences: We should record the Name of artistic influences for creators. Only creator self-identified influences will be documented. Multiple influences per creator may be recorded. If the influence name is in our database, we should link to that name. For names outside our database, we could simply record text.

59. Influence_Source: The data source for the influence data. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources per influence may be recorded.

60. Memberships: We should record societies and other organizations related to their artistic profession that creators held memberships in. Multiple memberships per creator may be recorded.

61. Membership_Type: We should record the Type of membership held, such as: member, president, treasurer, or other officer. Multiple types per creator per organization may be recorded. We may wish to record a list of Membership_Types in a table to be chosen from when recording Memberships.

62. Membership_Begin_Year: For each membership, we should record the beginning year of the membership.

63. Membership_End_Year: For each membership, we should record the ending year of the membership.

64. Membership_Source: The data source for the various membership-related. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources per membership may be recorded.

65. Awards: We should record any awards and honors a creator received. Multiple awards per creator may be recorded.

66. Awards_Year: For each award or honor, we should record the year received.

67. Awards_Year_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the year is uncertain or not.

68. Awards_Source: The data source for the various awards-related. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources per award may be recorded.

69. Bio: For each creator, we should record a short biography (1-4 paragraphs) noting highlights of their career. This might include a list of characters they created. This would be written by our indexers, not copied whole from another source.

70. Bio_Source: The data source for the various awards-related. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources per name may be recorded.

71. Sample_Scan: We should maintain a limited number of scans of original art for each creator, possibly one or two.

72. Notes: Short notes about a name. A good use of this would disambiguation information for identical names, or explanations of other data.

Non-comics work

We should record the non-comics work of comics creators. I believe the following fields will capture the same scope of data that the Who’s Who did, expanded for the digital age.

1. Work_Type: This will record the type of work performed.

  • Book
  • Magazine
  • Newspaper
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Movie: including videos
  • Live Show: including theater work, speeches, and other performances
  • Advertising
  • Fine Arts: including sculpture, painting, musical composition, furniture, installation art
  • Web Comics
  • Internet Article
  • Other: This might include things such as packaging, games, architecture, or industrial design.

2. Publication_Title: This will record the publication title if a physical publication, the title of a play, movie, television, radio, or live show series, the name or client of an advertising campaign, name of a fine art piece or internet site, or feature of a web comic.

3. Employer_Name: This will record the name of the entity that paid for the work.

4. Work_Title: This will record the title of the individual work, such as the title of an article or web comic story, episode of a show, illustration in an ad campaign, or blog entry.

5. Work_Year: This will record the year of the work. There may be multiple years recorded.

6. Work_Year_Uncertain: Indicator for whether the year is uncertain or not.

7. Work_Role: This will record the role taken, chosen from an appropriate list of possible roles. The list should include:

  • Owner
  • Employee
  • Art Director
  • Artist
  • Editor
  • Animator
  • Writer
  • Set Designer
  • Actor
  • Voice Actor
  • Assistant
  • (and way too many more for me to figure out at the moment)

8. Work_Link: This will record a link to either the work or more information about the work, such as the person's entry in the IMDb, a WorldCat search for a creator, or a link to a web comic site. Multiple links per work may be recorded.

9. Work_Source: The data source for the various work-related data. The same list of Source_Types could be used. Multiple sources per work may be recorded.

10. Work_Notes: Short notes about a work. A good use of this would be disambiguation information for identical work item titles, or explanations of other data.

The roles that creators functioned in are already recorded at the story sequence level. Nothing new is needed here. Because we intend to add comics that appeared in non-comics media (magazines, books, newspapers) to our database in the future, there is no need to do anything special for that information at this time. All the usual information on creator roles, years, features, publications, etc. will be recorded in our normal formats.

Items still to be determined by the Board

1. Determining criteria for the GCD_Official_Name. To begin with, we could use their name in the current Who's Who, if available.

2. Determining a GCD Language Of Record. A single language should be chosen, so that names known to be written in multiple languages can be properly represented.

3. Determining whether we want to add a Latinized transcription of a name, on the display side, to aid in pronunciation or searching.

4. Determining whether and how the GCD might sponsor creator questionnaires. Much of the Who's Who is driven by what the creators reported to Jerry in the questionnaires he sent out. This might also be a good source for us to use.

5. Determining whether and how the GCD might create and maintain a bibliography database, comprised of entries of sources of information on creators. Some of this data could be seeded from the Source data we will record for various information noted above.

6. Determining rules about what would and would not be allowed for Sample_Scans of art.

Example

Now, a test to see how the old Who’s Who data will be accommodated by this proposal. Who’s Who data is shown italics, our proposed data is shown bold.

CLARKE, BOB
Name = Bob Clarke     Name_Type = GCD Official     Name Notes = individual’s name, see also Bob Clarke (Shop)
Name = Bob Clarke     Name_Type = Shop             Notes = studio name, see also Bob Clarke (GCD Official Name)
Bob Clarke>Name_Relation< Bob Clarke               Relation_Type = Owner  
 
(This iteration of the name, as a Shop, will allow other artists to be listed as  employees of this shop, in their own records.)
 
    Name and vital stats
           CLARKE, ROBERT JAMES [1926- ] (artist)
    Name = Clarke           Name_Type = Family Name
    Name = Robert James     Name_Type = Given (birth) Name
    Birth_Year = 1926
    Birth_Year_Uncertain = NO
    Birth_Month = null
    Birth_Month_Uncertain = YES
    Birth_Date = null
    Birth_Date_Uncertain = YES
    (The fact that he was an artist will be captured from our normal credits.)

    Print Media (non-comics)
           Artist: Advertising
           Artist: Juvenile books
    Work_Type = Advertising     Work_Role = Artist
    Work_Type = Books           Work_Role = Artist     Work_Notes = juvenile books
 
    Commercial Art & Design
           Art Director: Advertising agency
           Studio Owner: Film strips late-1950s     > 57 58 59
           Toy packaging
    Work_Type = Advertising     Work_Role = Art Director
    Work_Type = Other           Work_Role = Shop Owner     Work_Notes = film strips
                                                           Work_Year = 1957
                                                           Work_Year = 1958
                                                           Work_Year = 1959
    Work_Type = Other           Work_Role = Artist         Work_Notes = toy packaging
   
    Additional biography
           Cartoonist PROfiles #50, 1981
    Bio_Source = Cartoonist PROfiles #50, 1981 Source_Type = Magazine
 
(All of the following information will be captured in our story sequence credits, either in the GCD, the proposed non-comics
 publications database, or the proposed strips database, as appropriate. There is no need to create any additional fields
 to record any of this data.)
 
    Syndication
           BELIEVE IT OR NOT (asst pen&ink/) 1943-44 for King Features Syndicate     > 43 44
           BELIEVE IT OR NOT (asst/) apprenticed to Robert L. Ripley pre-WW-II for King Features Syndicate
           THING [daily] (pen/ink/) 1970s     > 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79
    Assisted
           Robert L. Ripley [his apprentice] pre-WW-II
    A.C.E. COMICS
           SKOOL YARDLEY (pen/ink/) 1986-87   > 86 87
    EC COMICS
           MAD MAGAZINE~ (pen/ink/) 1955-87-  > 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
                                                72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89
    LITTLE, BROWN & CO.
           MAD ABOUT THE FIFTIES~ (pen/ink/) 1997 graphic album reprint     > 97
    WARNER BOOKS
           MAD JUMBLE BOOK, THE~ (pen/ink/) 1975 paperback reprint          > 75
           MAD WORRY BOOK, THE~ (pen/ink/) 1980 paperback reprint           > 80
 
(These artists will be listed as employees of “Name = Bob Clarke, Name_Type = Shop”, using Work_Role = Employee”, 
 in their own individual records.)
 
    ELDER, BILL
           Commercial Art & Design
                Film strips for Bob Clarke
    HICKEY, TOM
           Commercial Art & Design
                Film strips for Bob Clarke
    RICKARD, JACK
           Performing Arts
                Artist: Film strips for Bob Clarke

I recommend you try this exercise with one of your favorite creators and see if you can get the old Who’s Who data to fit this new schema.

(End of Report)