Friday, August 12, 2005


I'm not sure how the topic first came up, but hubby-Eric and I were talking the other day about starting an Oz wikipedia. One just devoted to Oz in all its forms. There would be entries for each character, each book, the various comic book series, the places, the various toys and dolls, the Oz club and its personalities, the Oz conventions, and so on. The problem is, neither Eric nor I have the first clue how to set up a Wiki, nor are we sure we'd want to invest the time and effort into making sure it didn't get defaced, like so many Wikis do, and cleaning up after pranksters.

Still, it would be one heckuva way to get all that information out there.

Which led me to start thinking about the complaint I voiced while reading Wonder Woman awhile ago: As an aside, I have LONG thought that comic books would be very well served by having "update" websites available. For instance: the Wonder Woman update page would have a cast list (who is Jonah? Who is Ferdinand? Who are the other folks there when Diana returns? Who is Lyta? What are the names of the Amazons we see?) and a couple of paragraphs covering the current general storyline. It would be updated the week a new issue comes out with information from the previous issue. The thing is, fans could do this, but if DC wants to get readers interested, they should have something like that available themselves on their website, so everyone would know where to look for it. Maybe as part of the on-line DC Who's Who that I think they should make. Anything that makes their titles easier for a new reader to get into ought to be something they embrace, which naturally means it will never happen.

Ok, so DC is not likely to ever make something so useful, and even if they were to make it, the chances of it getting updated on a regular basis would be low to nonexistent.

But what if it were a Wiki?

Yeah, there are already Wikipedia entries on Aquaman, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and DC Comics, but I'm talking about something slightly different. I'm talking about a Wiki that gets a reader up-to-date on the current titles that are out, not just the characters. So there would be a Wiki entry for Aquaman, but there would also be one for Justice, and another one for, say, New Avengers. And one for Usagi Yojimbo. And one for Amelia Rules. And one for PS238. And one for True Story, Swear to God. And any other title that someone takes the time to enter in as a current book.

Crucial information, like when the last issue came out and when the next issue is due out, along with publisher, price, and order codes could be front and center. Information on current creative teams could point to comic book creator bios (nothing fancy... a list of the creator's other works would do for a start). But the key to making this Wiki different would be a summary of "the story so far", going up to the issue before the one that is currently on the stands (so that people will be inclined to buy the current issue to be completely up-to-date, right?). Characters that might be unfamiliar to a casual reader could be explained, either in the entry itself or in linked entries (like, who the heck is Koryak? Who is Esther? What is Sub-Diego?).

The detail in the Wiki would depend on how rabid the fans are, but there could be some great information even if only comic book bloggers contributed. It might be difficult to maintain, as I've noticed that the Aquaman entry on Wikipedia tends to get vandalized a lot... I'm sure a general comic book wiki would be a target for many pathetic losers who have too much time on their hands. But given a large enough group of people who check it every day to maintain... it could be done.

*sigh* I'd contribute to such a project, but I wouldn't be willing to create it, which makes it a pipe dream. Heck, I even hesitate to post this as a suggestion, since I know I won't create a Wiki. But I am curious to know if anyone else thinks a "Comic Book Wiki" that emcompasses all comic books currently being published (and maybe eventually just all comic books) is a good idea, or if it's already being done and just needs to be promoted, or if it's a stupid idea and I should just shut up and stick to linkblogging.

So, whadya think?