Reader Opinions Sought

Given that I don’t review many DC and Marvel titles, does it make sense to have separate sections for them by publisher, or should I rearrange things such that I have one “Superhero Comics” category? In the latter case, a number of the DC books (titles like Human Target and Scene of the Crime) would be moved into the general Graphic Novel Reviews group.

Just an idea I’ve been toying with, trying to put similar with similar. I know the publisher grouping is traditional for long-time comic readers, but I wonder what newer readers would find more helpful. What do you think?

19 Responses to “Reader Opinions Sought”

  1. Matthew Craig Says:

    Superhero Comics would cover an awful lot of things, wouldn’t it? Project: Superior, Invincible and the like? So it’s not like you’d just be bundling the Big Two off into some dank forgotten corner.

    Yeah, go for it. Why not?

    …unless you don’t want to bait the trademark pedants, of course…


  2. James Schee Says:

    I guess you could label it DC/Marvel Superheroes, to keep it from being a genre label. Otherwise you’d have to think about doing other genre classifications.

  3. Lyle Says:

    Considering where your focus has been recently, the division makes sense to me.

  4. David Welsh Says:

    I’m with Lyle. And you can always use multiple tags if a given book mixes things up.

  5. Mark Says:

    Sounds good. I think it’s a good representsation of the books to have a Marvel/DC superhero section and put the other DC books with the graphic novels. The only thing is that somebody who is new to your site and used to the publisher based system will likely look up books he is interested in by publisher. So it would make sense to put a remark or a link for the non-superhero books into the Marvel/DC superhero section.

    (it’s a shame things work like this with comics, one would never try to look up a novel or movie by looking for the publisher or production company instead of the authors, directors or actors)

  6. Mark Fossen Says:

    I think it works with your current system: Manga, Indy, and “Pervert Suits”. Most of your classification is my genre/feel, so I think that it would work well.

    And I tend to think that regardless of publisher, many Vertigo books are ‘Indy”.

  7. Rachel Says:

    I vote for a “superhero/action comics” section. Then again, I like reading reviews by genre rather than publisher. Hmm, but you don’t have “romance” or “western” categories. This would be inconsistent with your current nomenclature which seems more format oriented. Sorry, I’m not much help!

  8. mckenzee Says:

    Stick ‘em together, but call it Pervert Suits, as “Superhero” is wrongly trademarked.

    Become the Ruling Body!

  9. Barry Says:

    Throw ‘em into a Superhero category.

  10. David Horenstein Says:

    Since DC does publish books other then Superhero books, I wouldn’t list them exclusively as one genre.

  11. David Oakes Says:

    I am the last person to condone a Superhero Ghetto, but it’s not like you are breaking down Manga by publisher, even by “Big Two”/”Indy”.

    Of course, you aren’t breaking down Manga by Genre, either. And it’s not a Genre, it’s a Format. (Or is it a Geographical indicator? I am so confused.) Since you would then take the DCs that are not Superhero and move them to Graphic Novels, why not just make Format the, well, format? Indivdual issues that hit the stands once but are probably not available anymore go in “Monthlies”. Those collected into TPBs, and therefore likely available at “normal” bookstores, go into Graphic Novels, be they “Indy” OGNs (AKA “True Comics”), Vertigo collections (AKA “Acceptable Comics”), or the latest Infinite Crisis TPB (AKA “Corporate Crap”).

    As an added bonus, you don’t have to buy into the trademark on “Superhero”. And you don’t have to flip DC/Marvel the bird just to prove that you are so hip you don’t buy into the trademark either…

  12. John Says:

    Tough question! You could try a more Library-like approach, and categorize by genre. Although many publishers do specialize in one genre, not all do, and it might be interesting to read a review about one ‘romance’ comic, and be able to find more from there that relate to it.

    The problem is, how do readers look for books? Some only read graphic novels, others may only like Marvel books, and some may only follow specific writers like Rumiko Takahashi.

    A lot of head scratching on this one. Good luck!

  13. Johanna Says:

    Thank you very much, everyone, for your input. I’ve made the change now, including moving several non-DC/Marvel superhero titles into the category.

    If people have trouble finding things, I hope they’ll find the Search system easy to use.

  14. Lyle Says:

    The challenge with sorting by genre is that many comics mix genres.

    I’d say that, what you’re considering is sorting by “tribes” (or to put it more diplomatically, “appeal”). The biggest thing that separates manga from indy comics of matching genres is the audience who primarily reads them (and how the audience affects the publisher’s output).

  15. Johanna Says:

    That’s an excellent analysis, Lyle — I am considering more “what will work for my existing and potential readers?” than what’s academically or strictly accurate. And mostly, I want to make it easy on myself when I’m tagging new posts.

  16. David Welsh Says:

    Now I’m wondering if you should cross-list some manga titles with superhero reviews. There are books like Alice 19th where the protagonist has amazing powers and fights evil, so would it count?

    Obviously I’m just being difficult now. Though I get a giggle thinking of someone looking for Geoff Johns and finding Yu Watase instead.

  17. Johanna Says:

    That flashed through my mind as well (the cross-listing, not the giggling), especially when it comes to titles like Rurouni Kenshin. But no causing trouble!

  18. jingyang Says:

    At the risk of sounding slightly facetious, the whole point of computer filing is that you can tag any file with any number of different tags you choose. So really this debate all seems rather redundant.

  19. Johanna Says:

    It’s not a debate about tagging so much as a question of which labels and categories make sense to visitors.




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