Names in Jerry Bails' Who's Who

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Tips on Importing Data from Jerry Bails' Who's Who Into the GCD

by Ray Bottorff Jr October 2, 2021


Who's Who History

The Who's Who was originally a paper publication during the 1970s, being released in four volumes over the decade. In the 1980s, Jerry came across one of the first personal home computers, which he called "Lucy". This computer gave him abilities to manipulate the data and record information that using sheets of paper and index cards would not allow him to do. But there were limitations. With its low memory, Jerry had to make compromises to what he had to do with the data from its original paper form. The biggest of these were how he handled the names. In the paper Who's Who, Jerry generally used the fullest version of the name that was credited in comic books, along with the nickname and an alias or two. So, someone like Julius Schwartz was listed as JULIUS (JULIE) SCHWARTZ [JULES BLACK] in the paper Who's Who.

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Jerry's "Lucy" computer provided him an opportunity to break out the name into separate fields for the primary name, name changes, maiden names, pen names, nicknames, and so on. To help speed up the ability of his computer to sort the thousands of names, the primary name Jerry used for the creator would be the shortest version of the name possible, so Schwartz became Julie Schwartz as the name header for the Who's Who. The rest of the Who's Who data from the paper database was moved into its own fields like this:

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By 1990, Jerry moved his Who's Who data from his "Lucy" computer to a Macintosh, whose computing power allowed him to create new scripts and abilities to organized the data. In fact, the above screen shot was made possible because of the importing of the data into the Mac computer which eventually became the online version. Even with this change in computing power, the names did not change in the Who's Who. When the data went online in the late 1990s, what we see there is often a legacy carry-over from the original "Lucy" computer. While for most creators this is not a problem, it has resulted in some Official GCD Creator Names not matching well in how the name was usually credited in the comic books themselves. Many, including Schwartz, has gone through the process in which the GCD Official Creator Name was changed from the original Who's Who imported name to the name most used for the creator in comic book credits OR the preferred name the creator wished to be known as. These kinds of changes can be requested by anyone working with creator credits by asking if you can make the change on the GCD-Main email discussion list. Just list the reasons why and usually folks understand the need for the change and if there is no dispute for the change, you can proceed changing the name in the GCD. Subscribe to the GCD mailing lists here:

How to Enter the Information Into the GCD

The Who's Who header name has already been imported into the GCD as the GCD Official Name. In the case of Schwartz, he had already been changed from Julie to Julius as an official name before import, so that did not need to be adjusted. Also, the Who's Who only dealt with American comic books. So, any international creators listed are only listed if they had known credits in American comic books. They will also only be spelled as they were in the American comic books, often not including accent marks and usually only an English spelling of the name, especially those whose language is not based on the Latin script. 小池 一夫 is famous for his Lone Wolf and Cub comic from Japan. But in the Who's Who, he is only listed as Kazuo Koike:

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It is OK to add the English only information if that is all you have from the Who's Who, though this should already be in the database from the original importation. But what about the other types of names?

Pen Name

When editing, here is an example on how to add a pen name.

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With pen names, the Given Name and Family Name fields are not filled in. The rest is filled in as needed. The Official Name can be checked if the Official Name is a Pen Name. Often this is found with international creators outside North America.

Name at Birth

Birth names can be or cannot be an Official Name. And a main difference from a pen name is that the Given and the Family Name fields can be filled in.

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Name at Birth should always be the longest known name or the full name as it was at the time of birth (if known). It is possible that someone only has a Given or Family Name, like Julius Schwartz had. Many are born with middle names, so that is included with the Given Name. Creator Jim Smith was born James Dean Smith which is his Name at Birth.

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Initials can be a part of a Name at Birth if the rest of the name the initial represents is not known.

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If someday the T. in David T. Wenzel becomes known, the above name is now a Common Alternate Name and a new name is added as a Name at Birth.

Common Alternate Name

A Common Alternate Name is any name credited to that creator that is a variation on the Official Name or the Name at Birth. David Wenzel and Dave Wenzel are Common Alternate Names of the Name at Birth, David T. Wenzel.

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With Common Alternate Names, the Given and Family Names fields are allowed to be filled in.

Changed Name

A changed name is a name that was legally changed from the Name at Birth. The most common reason this happens is due to marriage when the spouse either adopts the name of their other spouse. Other people add the other spouses name in a hyphenated fashion to their Name at Birth. Louise Simonson spent much of her early career as Louise Jones, as she was married to Jeff Jones at the time. Later she married Walter Simonson. Bails recorded this change as such:

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And in the GCD it was recorded as:

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A Changed Name can or cannot be an Official Name as well. When Bill Loebs and Nadine Messner married each other, they both decided to hyphenate their last names to William Messner-Loebs and Nadine Messner-Loebs:

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The Given and Family Name fields can be added to Changed Names.

Studio Name

I won't cover in detail on Studio Names here, because these were handled differently by Jerry in his Who's Who. You can find the details here on the GCD's wiki on how to add them to the database: However, some Studio Names did NOT get imported into the GCD when all the other creator names were imported. So, it is very likely if an old Studio Name shows up for a creator or a credit, it is in the Who's Who already. If you search the Who's Who here: and you find a Who's Who entry, make sure to include its Who's Who URL into the Who's Who field for that creator.

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Most of the work still needs to be done is to add a Relationship between all the Creators in the Who's Who and the Studio in the GCD. I will cover the Relationship field in later posting, but I would ask that when you create this link to remember to include the information regarding the dates this took place (if listed) and what work was done exactly (pencils, inks, colors, letters, editing, production, ownership, and so on, if listed). This information will never appear in the GCD in and of itself and will be lost if it is not imported in with the relationship. Creator Fred Schwab is listed in the GCD working at multiple studios over time:

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And here is the Eisner and Iger Studio example in the GCD as a relationship, including information about years and type of work done:

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House Name

The Who's Who does list what we term as House Names. With a House Name, Jerry knew it was not a real person, but someone working under that name. Probably the most famous House Name was in pulp magazines (with some carryover in comic books), Kenneth Robeson, used on Doc Savage stories. Walt Disney and Walter Lantz could be considered House Names in comic books, but the ubiquitous use of the names in the comics for their characters has caused the GCD to balk at making them official House Names (hundreds of creators could end up being tagged with either person's name if it were). Charles Nicholas is a famous example of a House Name, who interestingly enough, would later be used as a change name by a comic book creator. The creators who worked under the name are attached to this House Name. Details on the rule for this are found here:

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Ghost Name

Most examples in the Who's Who though is through Bylines. Bylines are names credited to certain features as the creator of that feature. Usually, Bylines are fixed to one feature or recurring name used on types like Text Story. Often, they are not considered to be a real person's name. HOWEVER, there has been a few cases where a listed Byline in the Who's Who was later discovered to be a real person. But until they are discovered to be otherwise, all Byline names in the Who's Who are to be listed as Ghost Name following the rules found here: Often Bylines will look like this in the Who's Who:

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I use the above example to take a moment to discuss the use of the "cf" in the Who's Who. The terms "cf" or "cf." is an abbreviation of the Latin word, conferatur or confer meaning compare. A word of advice, "cf" DOES NOT NECESSARILY mean that this byline are these creators. All Jerry is saying is to compare the work listed under this Byline just in case it is one of these creators. It is just as possible it is not one of these creators. It is possible too that Thomas Brown might be an actual person. This "cf" note should be added to the Notes field for the Thomas Brown creator entry. I write it like this (though you can say it in your own writing), "Jerry Bails' Who's Who suggests to compare the work of either Robert Turner or Jerry Gale to the work listed under the Thomas Brown byline." If the "cf" notation has been determined to be either incorrect or the byline is actually a real person, you should include the note still, but change it to something saying the Who's Who suggested these creators as possible creators to compare to, but we now know now it is not the case. Something along those lines in order to avoid someone trying to add this information incorrectly at a later date, Most Ghost Names will be due to creators who are known to have worked for other creators OR worked uncredited on a comic book story. Right now, there is no ability to link Ghost work to companies or title or features, only to creators. Such work would have to be noted in the Bio field for the creator. For those who worked for another creator, how to set that up those listings are explained here: Al Smith spent a lot of years acting as a Ghost Artist (well, ghost creator as he also did the writing, and probably coloring, and lettering too) on the comic strip Mutt and Jeff for Bud Fisher. Smith was not credited on the comic until 1954 after Fisher died. So, any work before that year identified as Smith's work is a Ghost Artist credit. Bails listed Smith's work as an assistant, which he also was, but never credited as such either:

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Syndication credits will be covered in a future installment of this newsletter. Smith's credits ended up in the Who's Who in two ways using Ghost Name rules, 1) as a relationship (in this case including details of the relationship found elsewhere than the Who's Who), and 2) as another name for the creator, seen here as Ghost Name, using the name he worked under for the Ghost Name:

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Used By Pen Names

You may run into a designation such as this in the Who's Who:

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Often creators working together will create a pen name in which they are both credited under. Sometimes this is done for fun, or the sense they are operating as a studio, but mostly it is due to creators not wanting to alter an employer they are doing work elsewhere. There is no official rule to handle these, but I will tell you how I do it, and it makes sense in light of what both Pen Names and House Names are handled. I add the pen name as a Pen Name type for each creator. Most of these will have a Who's Who entry of their own and they might already be imported. If not, you will need to create one and list it as a Pen Name type:

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Then I make a relationship attaching each creator to the Pen Name using "User Of":

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And it shows up when approved like this under the Pen Name as Used By:

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And like this under the creator as User of:

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I believe this will cover most all of the items related to Names in the Who's Who regarding their importation into the GCD. Let me know if I missed anything and I can include it in an updated version of this newsletter. I welcome any updates, corrections, typo fixes, grammar issues, and corrections to anything that might not be clear in my explanation. Those too I will update as needed.

Joint Names

Joint Names of two creators working under a single name. In my original I had said to record them as pen names, but we now have joint names for that.

Removing the "To be confirmed against the Who's Who entry." Note from a Creator's Record

These tips are limited to looking at Who's Who creator data, and how to determine that it has little or no importable data remaining. Determining this will allow you to justify the removal of the "To be confirmed against the Who's Who entry." note.

I did not cover what to do if X sub-field in the Who's Who has X data. Those will be done with their own newsletter on what to do with that information. In fact, such data tells you automatically you cannot remove the note until the data is manually imported into the GCD.

To be confirmed against the Who's Who entry. You are looking to import data from a creator entry in the Who's Who into the GCD and you see this in the Notes field for that creator:

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What to do when you see the above note? When the original import of Who's Who data was set up, it was discovered that not all the data within could be automatically imported into the new fields of the GCD. This was for a number of reasons including (but not limited to), formatting issues, the way the new creator entry was set up, and data inconsistency in the Who's Who itself. It became clear the bulk of the Who's Who would have to be added to the GCD manually. To identify creators that needed to be checked to see if data had to be imported manually, a note was added to each creator's Notes field which said, "To be confirmed against the Who's Who entry." If you look at a creator that has a Who's Who link and that note is missing, it is likely that it has since been checked and determined that all Who's Who data has been or could be imported into the GCD. A quick note, this is not always the case. Early on in handling this, some indexers deleted this note regardless if it had data or not to be imported. This has happened on and off when newer indexers inadvertently remove this note before making sure Who's Who data has been imported into the GCD. It does not hurt to double check, just in case. Once in a blue moon, that note needs to be added back to the Creator's NOTES field due to non-imported data.

So, When Can You Remove the Note? First look at the Who's Who entry. If the information there duplicates information that can be added to the GCD through regular indexing, then "To be confirmed against the Who's Who entry." can be removed. For example:

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This one might seem to fit. All the Who's Who credits would show up in the database anyway when these comics are indexed. Nothing needs to be imported so the note needs to be removed right? Wrong. The Pen Name of R. Jones needs to be taken into account still. But, as it turns out, this is an easy fix. R. Jones can be added as a Common Alternate Name to the GCD creator entry at the same time you delete the note. To make sure the editor reviewing your work understands that all the data allowing the removal of the "confirm" note has been taken care of, copy and paste the entire Who's Who list into the Comments field upon submission. Explain briefly that this has been handled or will be handled once other submissions are approved. I find this helps editors understand what is going on. Here is an example:

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Below is an example of a Who's Who listing that has nothing to import into the GCD and the "confirm" note can be removed from the creator without any further action needed:

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Jerry Bails wrote his Who's Who for American Comic Book artists. This meant that many great comics strip creators never made his Who's Who. And if an international artist never worked in or had his work reprinted by and American publisher, then they too did not get a Who's Who entry. And if an international creator did make it into the Who's Who, often their credits would be segregated from the American credits. For the GCD, this does not matter. These Who's Who credits are credits that are or will someday be indexed for the GCD. Or at least, assume they will be. As a result, this creator can have the "confirmed" note removed.

What Fields in the Who's Who Usually Includes Items Indexable for GCD? I am going to list some of the sub-headers in the Who's Who that will have credits you can probably ignore inputting into the GCD since it might be added through regular indexing. I am going to try to avoid details since all Who's Who fields will be covered by me eventually (maybe, we shall see). So, the list includes:

Any publisher's listed in ALL CAPS. (See below for the exception.) Comics in other media. (Except for online comics. Or one-page prints. Keep in mind, there might be credits that are so rare they may never be indexed. Adding some of those to the Creator's Bio field is allowed and maybe a prudent thing to do.) British comics. Fan & trade zines. (Some of these may suffer the same problem as Comics in other media, they are so rare they may never be indexed in the GCD. The Creator's Bio field is fine to use here too. For fanzines that have skeleton data in the GCD, you can add the credit to the Issue level Notes field if you want to make sure it will be added in the short term.) There might be others too. Look at the creator's Who's Who entry and if it is something that looks like it could be indexed in the GCD, then that might be data you do not have to worry about (though maybe it might require a note in the Bio field, just in case). The Support Exception There is one type of credits in the Who's Who that you should NEVER assume their information is in the GCD. All credits marked as "Support". Jerry focused his Who's Who on artists and writers. When he first started making what would become his Who's Who in the late 1940s, this is understandable. It is not until the 1960s for some publishers and the 1970s for others, that comics regularly listed credits for colorists and letterers and various editorial workers. Even later, the 70s and 80s, when you began to see credits for people who worked in the office or on the corporate level for the company. By the 2000s you began to see those in production or design in the credits. The point is, over the history of comic books, this information was rarely recorded in the comic books and later only partially credited. Even today with independent publishers, some of these kinds of credits are not mentioned. Even editors do not get their work credited with many independent publishers. Information on publishers or owners of companies have been credited and not credited over the entire history of comic books. Because of the hit and miss nature of these credits DO NOT assume these credits are in the database or that they will be indexed. If found, these credits MUST be added to the creator's entry directly (ideally in the Bio field, as you are recording their work history), regardless if this work is credited in the GCD. You can never know for sure what is not there. You cannot remove the "confirm" note if these credits are not added to the creator in some fashion. I recommend that when you add this information to the GCD, consider giving tribute to Jerry and how he handled this data by using the word "support" in the language in the Bio field. For example, I took care of this information:

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And wrote this to record the support work:

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I think of it as a nice way to pay tribute to how Jerry recorded this information.

Education and Degree Credits

Of all the Who's Who credits, listing a creator's education and degree information might be some of the easiest credits to migrate. For example, ALL the schools listed in the Who's Who have already been added to the GCD database and exist in their own drop-down menu. All degrees related to the arts are listed in drop down menus (those not directly related to the arts, like the Bachelor of Science or Master of Science degrees, are not in the drop-down menus. I will explain how to handle them later).

How to Add a Name

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This one is an easy entry to add. There are no dates to deal with, no degree information, nor information regarding majors or minors studied. When you go to the GCD creator entry, on the right-hand side are the two fields you will use, Add School and Add School Degree:

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Pratt is already in the drop-down menu, so all you do there is enter the name so it pops up and chose it. Since this has no dates, you check the "School year began uncertain:" and " School year ended uncertain:" checkboxes.

Adding School of a Creator

Of course, if Bails' lists dates, add them in the "School Year Begins" and School Year Ends" fields. If the Who's Who lists the information on what that creator studied at that school, but NOT does not list a degree, then that information goes into the Notes field. Make sure to fill in the Source Description and Source Type fields. Keep this in mind when dealing with School Names. Sometimes you will not find them in the menu. BUT they are there. Sometimes the name in the Who's Who is more informal than the Official School Name, which is what the GCD uses. Sometimes the name is misspelled, so you need to check for alternate spellings. And sometimes the name of the school changed over time, either due to changing school mission or merging of multiple schools together. Also keep in mind, do not be afraid to add information from other sources if it adds to the Who's Who data. Sources like Wikipedia can have further education information for some creators that can be added to the creator's school entries. Make sure you add the other source to the credits. It is OK, however, to just add what is in the Who's Who only. Here is an example of a school whose name in the GCD was different than the Who's Who:

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And how it comes up in the GCD:

Adding School Degree of a Creator

Here is an example of a degree listed in the Who's Who:

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In the case of Michael Teitelbaum, you still create a school entry, but you also create a school degree entry. You may wonder why they are separate and there is a reason why. It is possible to have your last day of school during one year and the next year is when you receive your degree. A family member of mine had her last classes in December of 2019, but did not receive her degree until the ceremony in May 2020. Also, it is possible to attend a school and not receive a degree. Separating these items is best solution for this sort of data. What you may notice is that the degrees this creator have is not directly related to the arts. Right now, GCD policy does not allow to add degrees for to the creator for these types of degrees. Any studies in the non-arts, even under B.A. or M.A. degrees or degrees that in of themselves is not an art degree, like Bachelor of Science cannot have separate Degree entries. So, all this information needs to be added to the Notes field under the School Name:

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This policy might be subject to change in the future, but that is where it stands right now. Just because the rule will not allow you to add non-arts degrees for creators does not mean you can ignore the information; you just place it someplace else. Even the notes like "magna cum laude". Also, uncommon degrees like M.C.L, you may need to look up online to define them because the Who's Who won't. Remember, most folks won't know the names of these type of degrees, so provide them the information. Here is the education information for Michael Gallagher.

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After you create the School Name information, you can now create the Degree, as this one is in Fine Arts.

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Within the School Degree information is a drop-down menu of degrees. Here I chose the one for B.A. and then added the rest of the information related to the degree in the Who's Who in the Notes field.

And that is it! Adding School and Degree information is one of the easiest things you can do in copying over Who's Who to the GCD. In no time you will catch on and will be able to do this easily.

And that is really it. This is one of those things that require practice. If you do these enough times, it will come naturally as to which items can be ignored and which you cannot ignore. You will understand what needs to added manually to the GCD and what does not need to be manually imported into the GCD.

And soon too, you will be the one adding and updating information to the GCD from the Who's Who! I thank you for your time and I hope this was of some help to you indexers interested in working on importing GCD entries from Jerry Bails' Who's Who!

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