H.W.Fluks at research.ptt.nl
Wed Feb 23 17:41:34 CET 1994
Here's my proposal for a Disney-comics Database format.
This message is over 200 lines long, but I just read that Don Rosa is not a
member of this list, so he can't complain about the length...
A unique STORY CODE is assigned to each story. The first letter of the code
denotes the publisher (see our ftp file 'story-codes' for more explanation):
USA - King Features Syndicate, daily newspaper strips:
'Y' + newspaper strip letter + space + date
'Y': an arbitrary letter; 'K' (King Features) is already in use
for Disney Comics; 'D' (Daily) for Denmark...
newspaper strip letter: D = Donald, M = Mickey, S = Scamp
date: in the form yy/mm/dd, e.g. 94/02/28.
Mickey Mouse sequels have a number in stead of a date; the start- and
ending date vary, depending on the reprint.
USA - King Features, sunday strips:
'Z' + newspaper strip letter + space + date (yy/mm/dd)
In my Dutch index, I used a week number in stead of the date. That
way it is easier to see if strips are missing. But I don't think
it's a good idea to keep using it.
USA - Western (Dell/Gold Key)
'W' + space + series code (4 characters, left aligned) + issue number
(max. 4 characters, right aligned) + '-' + position number in the comic
(2 digits). Total length always 12 characters.
W OS 1234-01
W BDDUS 1-01
W WDC 456-FC
We can make a list of Western series abbreviations (see Crone's index)
I propose either 'OS' or 'FC' for the Four Color Comics/One Shots.
Denmark - Gutenberghus / Egmont
'D' + 2 spaces + 4-digit code, or
'D' + space + 5-digit code
USA - Disney Studio's
'S' + space + 5-digit code (4-digit codes from 1963-1972 will be preceded
by a '6' or '7')
Holland - Oberon / Geillusteerde Pers
'H' + space + 5-digit code (a code like H 8302 normalized to H 83002), or
'H' + space + normalized code (for codes from 1978 or earlier; see Dutch
For the other publishers, we use mainly the codes they deliver themselves,
maybe with some normalization:
USA - Gladstone (AR)
USA - Disney (K)
We have two kinds of files in the database: story files and issue files.
The story files list everything about the particular stories, the issue
files list specific information about the issues, and contain references
to the story files. Both kinds of data files are in a readable form, so
that data entry can be done in a "user friendly" way with an ascii editor.
Apart from the database files, there are the 'list' files. These are files,
generated from the database files, with information in the form that most
people want it. List files could be:
- Carl Barks list with reprints
- Gladstone/Disney list
- Gottfredson list with reprints
- Gerstein's K-index
(Our 'don-rosa' and 'van-horn' lists will not be generated from the database,
because they have a lot of extra information that doesn't fit (?))
These files contain one line per story with information that can be used
in the various lists, and zero or more lines with extra information that
will not be accessible for other lists (e.g. exact dates for pencilers/
inkers in the Mickey Mouse newspaper files).
- story code (12 characters)
- number of entire pages (2 characters should be enough...)
- indication for number of broken pages:
space = none, '+' = somewhere between 0 and 1 (need we be more exact?)
- (start) date, in the form yy/mm/dd
This can be used in (MM) newspaper sequels (where the dates are not in the
It also can be used for the delivery dates of Carl Barks' stories (as
mentioned in my Dutch Barks index).
(I don't think we need the issue dates of Western's comics. Or do we?)
- end date, only used in (MM) newspaper sequels
- creator codes (3 characters) for:
plotter (spaces if equal to writer)
inker (spaces if equal to artist)
- title hero (2 [or 3?] characters. DD, US etc. We'll need a list of
Disney characters. I like Tryg's abbreviation for Gyro: GY is better than
the GG or GyG we used so far.
- title tag (2 characters):
T: original title
R: story has no original title, title of one of the reprints given
D: story never had a title, some "official" Gladstone description given
O: story never had a title, the indexer gives an own description
H: Dutch title or description (I plan to create H-lists and D-lists from
my Dutch index, but I don't plan to translate all the titles! If a
story is reprinted in the USA, that title can be listed. Or should
we list both?)
- title or description
I know Per prefers additions like 'in' and quotes, as in:
T:DD in "No Such Varmint".
I myself prefer a title without any additions, and all lower case, like:
T:no such varmint
It seems desirable to separate the title hero from the (rest of the) title.
That would mean titles like:
T:in "No Such Varmint"
which I think makes less sense.
How shall we do this?
Is it OK to put Tryg's information about occurring characters here, or
should it be a separate entry? Remember: we only have that information
for a very limited set of stories. It seems not suitable to reserve
a special field for this in all story-files.
In the first conversion, the current files like 'gladstone-disney.index'
will be used as issue files, since we can't have all the printed stories
in story files (for instance because we don't know the exact code, or
because it's a cover).
So, issue files can contain complete story information, or a reference
to a story, or a mixed form, e.g. when the number of pages or title etc.
are different in the reprint.
We have one problem with the Western comics, where Story file and Issue
file have an overlap (see the current Crone files). WE can keep these files
and use them both as Story files and as Issue files.
- issue code. We already have well-defined codes for Gladstone and
Disney comics, but maybe we should normalize them: the issue numbers
always right aligned, e.g.
- story position number. In the Gladstone-Disney index, this is a letter,
like a, b, etc.
In Crone's Western list, it is a '/' and two digits (because
issue code + position number == story code).
- an indication whether the comic has been indexed completely: a '*'
indicates that some data (like exact title and position number) may be
(In Crone's Western list, the 'position number' also has a '*' in that
- story code.
- number of pages, if not the original
- title, if different from the original (this should hardly occur)
- USA scripter, if == David Gerstein (?) 8-)
- additional remarks
Current issue files (to be transformed):
- swedish (from Crone's list, and maybe from the NAFS(k) list on ftp)
- danish (only if Ole wants to do it...)
That's it for now. Let the reviews begin...
(Meanwhile, I'm gonna make some test databases and try some programming in
Harry PTT Research ()_() Dutch Disney comics freak
Fluks Leidschendam (_) H.W.Fluks at research.ptt.nl
"Yeah... I've _heard_ of coral barques!"
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