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Author Topic: Spotting reference wiki-site?  (Read 2803 times)

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Offline srca1941

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Spotting reference wiki-site?
« on: December 02, 2013, 11:31:05 PM »
Here's an idea. It may be more than we want to develop here, but I'd like to see someone do it. How hard would it be to create a wiki-site for Golden Age artists where bio data, credits, spotting tips, and (most importantly) samples of their work could be posted? It seems like every time I try to ID a story that I am unfamiliar with, I gather a list of possibles from Who's Who, and then have to track down half a dozen or more books to try and find good samples of someone's work. It's very hit and miss and all to often I come up with a bad ID because I don't have good source handy to properly check. Having this would be a tremendous resource to spotters, and those who want to train to be spotters.

-Eric

Digital Comic Museum

Spotting reference wiki-site?
« on: December 02, 2013, 11:31:05 PM »

Offline Yoc

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 09:49:03 AM »
It's something only those who know who is who could do - ie JVJ, tilliban, etc.
I suspect it's more to do than almost anyone has time to produce.

Offline bchat

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 07:15:31 AM »
Here's an idea. It may be more than we want to develop here, but I'd like to see someone do it. How hard would it be to create a wiki-site for Golden Age artists where bio data, credits, spotting tips, and (most importantly) samples of their work could be posted? It seems like every time I try to ID a story that I am unfamiliar with, I gather a list of possibles from Who's Who, and then have to track down half a dozen or more books to try and find good samples of someone's work. It's very hit and miss and all to often I come up with a bad ID because I don't have good source handy to properly check. Having this would be a tremendous resource to spotters, and those who want to train to be spotters.

-Eric

I'm surprised something like what you're suggesting doesn't already exist in some form.  The sites that focus on GA comic book creators are certainly helpful in getting started with gathering information, but all too often I have to go "outside the box" if I really want to learn anything useful about the lesser-known artists, many of whom had careers in other forms of art that comic fans either over-look, know nothing about, or simply ignore.  It's almost as if there's this attitude of "well, if it isn't in a comic book, who cares?"

Offline srca1941

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 09:04:52 AM »
I used to think a site like this was far fetched, and now look at it! Who would ever have thought, even 10 years ago, that it would be possible to view so many public domain Golden Age books? Much of the information for an artist/spotting site is out there, it just needs a home and content contributors to help make it happen. Here's the way I envision it:

1) It would be a combination of Wikipedia and Jerry Bails' Who's Who.

2) After the site is set up, users would add artist entries like Wikipedia pages. These would then include bio data, perhaps a photo of the artist, known credits (general credits like Who's Who, not story specific ones like the GCD), spotting tips, and samples of their work from different points in their career and/or different genres.

3) When a comic page is uploaded as a sample image, comments can be added by anyone to either point out important traits, dispute the credit, or share any other pertinent information.

The hard part would be the setup and maintenance. Although as I was typing this, I had a thought; could this be incorporated into Wikipedia somehow? The site architecture exists, we wouldn't have to worry about maintenance. Really the only thing that couldn't be done in a Wikipedia-based project is sharing the sample images with discussion comments.

-Eric

Offline tilliban

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 11:49:19 AM »
That is a fabulous idea - in general.
But when it comes down to realize it, certain problems arise.
First you'd need many sample pages per artist - and from each of their "periods".
Using Wikepedia would be probably best, but as I know them, they're very touchy with pictures.
Afraid to infringe copyrights. And you will infringe copyrights!
Of course it's only sample pages, shown for historic reasons, but tell that to a spineless company lawyer (on Wikipedia's party).

What JVJ and I are doing is punching data into GCD - adding and correcting entries.
Art spotting will never be easy, and with a new database not that much easier.
If you really want to know something about an artist (or if you are comparing styles) you'll always have to pull two or more books and flip through the pages. You have to dig deep, man.
And with those legions of obscure GA artists, too many question marks remain.
Sorry for painting a bleak picture here.
Who on earth is that interested in art spotting, by the way?
I'm imagining five people using that wiki-site.
 ???

Pre-code horror aficionado and propagator of ACE comic books.
I run a number of websites about pre-code horror. Please follow the links.

Offline Yoc

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 07:25:56 PM »
Oh I don't know about that last part T.
There are a lot of people out there buying original art and collecting artists.
The idea of an art-spotting site sounds Amazing but the sheer work involved is scary!
It would be great if a site like GCD with their already incredible database expanded beyond just the covers and started sharing artist examples sortable by title or by date.

Offline narfstar

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 07:44:10 PM »
 CB+ has an artist showcase for that purpose. Not big yet but can be added to.
http://comicbookplus.com/?cid=1511

Offline Yoc

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 09:22:10 PM »
Very nice!
GL with developing this resource Narf!

Offline srca1941

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 09:47:57 PM »
Very interesting Narf. It has possibilities... Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder how hard it would be to modify the code for that section of the site to include some of the features I mentioned (or something like them). That is of course if the CB+ people would be interested in doing so...

-Eric

Offline MarkWarner

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2013, 07:53:10 AM »
Well as it happens ... I have plans for something very similar next year and it's all ready to go!!!

Maybe a slight exaggeration ... what I have got set up is "comicmarking" which is used to set up "collections". There is just a solitary one there now for SOTI. Basically it means you can create archives on the fly.

But next year I am planning to reel out LOTS of them, one of the sections of which will be artists. But I had planned for "Best of ..." which is not the same as "a good example of" and as Tilliban says time is a factor. As an aside a problem I have is I haven't a clue about who anyone is or what is good or bad .. so I am pretty stuck lol. But I was going to put a call for help out prob mid-Jan.

A question. Apart from representative work would you not want some sort of these are "eyes" .. "legs" ... "action"  Sort of narrow down the artist that way. A bit like the identify a font or bird ... but a tad more complicated!  So you say right looking through my typical guns this one looks like Biro drew it ...  hmm but looking at the hands this looks more like the Baker's on of file. But I just guess that would just not work???


Offline srca1941

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2013, 10:07:16 AM »
Artistic traits are certainly a component of what to look for in spotting, but they're just puzzle pieces. The way an artist draws noses, ears, hands and eyes can all be tells, but then there is also figure drawing, panel layout, and other spotters may have other things they consider. It can be a fun skill to learn, and, I think, an important one. It's also challenging.

There are good resources out there already Who's Who is the best reference, but it isn't issue specific, has omissions, and sometimes some errors. Still, it's the first place I look. The GCD is also good to check as a guide, but is rife with inaccuracies. It's been improving in recent years as access to this material has gotten easier, but there is still much to do. Some sort of wiki-site, or editable artist files on this site or CB+ would go a long way toward educating/training would be spotters.

The way I see each page/file, there would be confirmed samples of a person's work from various points in their career (either signed work, or confirmed by a knowledgeable party who would take credit [or blame!] for the attribution), and then "suspected" samples submitted by other spotters/spotters-in-training. These would be noted as unconfirmed samples to either be confirmed, denied, or left as a "possible" credit later on. Using DCM's site architecture, this is how I'd structure it:

1) Home Page level: Artist Category
2) 1st Category level: Artists broken down by name, i.e. A-C, D-F, etc. However it would be decided best to break them down. I have an excel sheet of Who's Who data with nothing but credits from 1959 on back. Lists of names could be pulled from that to at least give every artist a skeleton section. It would also be useful to have a "shops" with just a listing of who is known or suspected to have worked in what shop and when. I have a sheet for that as well.
3) 2nd Category level: So an "A-C" category would then be broken down by artist. The A's would start off like this: "A., H."; "A., J. K."; "A., V. P."; "A. A."; "Abby, Harold"; "Abel, Dave"; "Abel, Jack"; etc. This would be akin to our company level pages (i.e. Fawcett Comics)
4) Artist level: So, if we use Jack Abel as an example, his page would have bio information/Who's Who credits at the top, then a listing of samples. This would be akin to the title pages we have for books (i.e. Whiz Comics).
5) Sample level: Within the artist level, people would contribute samples. These could be whole stories for public domain work, or a page, or samples of pages for non-public domain work. These samples should fall under the "fair use" clause as they are for review purposes. This would be akin to our individual issues level. The samples could then be downloaded, previewed online, and commented on, just like any fill book or archive on this site. Information needed for samples would include the year of the sample, the book it came from, whether it is confirmed/signed or unconfirmed, and who the spotter was.

Setting up such a section would be the largest effort for site admins; creating listings for each artist, copying bio/credit data, but after that, the project would be like everything else on DCM or CB+, user created/supported.

-Eric

Offline MarkWarner

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2013, 02:19:25 PM »
Or I could just do Plan A  .... "Best of (name here) " tag a few of their stories and job done .... lol

Offline narfstar

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Re: Spotting reference wiki-site?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2013, 01:34:34 PM »
No need to be best of. My samples are signed examples. They give a known work to use as reference. Others can add examples just use the same name with a 2 like second issue. I have some others that I need to get ready to put up. There is a lot more that could be done but there has to be someone with the time and inclination to do it. Body parts do often give a tell. Molno and Rocco have similar distinctive noses at Charlton.