This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments or questions on this topic should be made in a new Senate Hall page rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. Advanced Jedi Training Droid 6(Talk to my master) 00:34, June 18, 2013 (UTC)
I have a question about the "publication date" in comic book infoboxes. I've noticed that while most of the Dark Horse comics have the exact date the comic came out, the Marvel series uses the cover date. I'm guessing this is because the exact release date information is unavailable to most editors. However, I have a crazy large collection of comic book trade magazines from the 70s and 80s, and I can put together a near-complete list of the actual release dates for the Marvel series.
Here's an example: The first solicitation for a Star Wars comic, from "The Comic Reader" (and it's awesome).
It identifies the release date of Star Wars 1 as April 12, which is a lot different than the "July" cover date. In fact, the comic predates the film's release (as is confirmed in the original issue's letter page), and I think that would be important to note in the article. As you may know, most comics and magazines put on a later cover date than when the book is actually released.
I bring this up here because I would like to go through the original Marvel series and replace the cover dates with the actual publication dates, both to be more accurate, and secondly to bring it in line with the Dark Horse comics (example) and just about every other Star Wars publication. However, I don't want to see these changes reverted by people who simply see the date on the cover and assume I'm wrong.
I could consider adding two dates, with one being the release date and the other being the cover date. There is precedence for two dates for reprints, but most articles for the Dark Horse books ignore the cover dates, probably because they're only found in the indicia, not on the actual cover. So I welcome any thoughts on how to format this. I will source the release date to the "The Comic Reader" or whatever other trade publication I use, and I hope that wards off those who would revert the changes. Thanks. —Unsigned comment byRpmdkc (talk • contribs).
I think this is a great idea. You're right, though, the cover date should be preserved in some fashion. I'm not sure how to do that, but hopefully others will chime in. I also just wanted to add that I read in an interview with Dan Wallace that the made a similar decision in Star Wars Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle to use publication dates for Marvel Star Wars, not cover dates. It might be easier for you to just use that book as a reference. Good luck! ~Savage 13:15, February 28, 2013 (UTC)
Would be good Behind the scenes material. Rokkur Shen (talk) 13:35, February 28, 2013 (UTC)
I had no idea Year by Year was that detailed. I just ordered it. It raises more concerns, though. It uses shipping dates, while the dates I have are on-sale dates. For instance, Year by Year would say: "April 1: Marvel Comics' Star Wars #37 (cover date July) ships." Key word there is ships. That's when it would leave the publisher, go to the printer, then on to the distributor, and be shipped out to grocery stores and newsstands across the country. That process normally took three weeks (lowered to two once comic shops started popping up a few years later).
My date for Star Wars #37 would be April 22. I'd hate to use something different from a published reference book but, 1) there's a clear difference and 2) Year by Year isn't complete, unless there's an index. Maybe I can use all three dates. It would looke like:
Would that be too much? I can confirm I have an on-sale date for everything Marvel published except for three issues of Pizzazz and one of the Marvel Super Special reprints. I also have publishers summaries from issue #73 on. (I'm probably the only one fascinated by this stuff.)--Rpmdkc (talk) 19:52, February 28, 2013 (UTC)
I would say the shipping date info, while interesting, is less useful. If we add that, it might be akin to having the date the manuscript of a novel was received by Sue Rostoni/Jennifer Heddle. But the on-sale and cover dates are both useful. Though I find it interesting that the cover date is so far from the ship date; normally they're just 2 months off (a book on sale in April usually has a cover date of June). The Marvel wiki only uses cover and on-sale dates (though, for older books, often only uses cover dates). Taral, Dark Lord of the Sith-Just shy, not antisocial: You can talk to me!- 19:44, March 5, 2013 (UTC)
I have completed adding all the available dates to all 107 issues and 3 annuals. I also added an explanation about the different dates to the main series article. I was also able to add the publisher's summary from issue 73 onward, when Marvel started printing them. I will add dates to Droids, Ewoks and Return of the Jedi shortly, and I will also go through the year pages (1977, 1978, etc.) and correct the dates to reflect the on-sale dates. Thanks all for your input, and let me know if there are any questions. (Taral: I'm pretty sure DC and Marvel cover dates went from three months ahead to two months ahead in 1988/1989.)--Rpmdkc (talk) 20:07, March 19, 2013 (UTC)
I think it's all important, yes. Read my new section on the main article for complete info, but some regions of the country got the comics as soon as they shipped, while others got them three weeks later. Things also changed over the course of the series as more comic book shops opened. The dual dates is just how comics were released back then. Every Marvel publication in the 80s lists two dates for all their comics. In any event, I already did all the work, the dates are all sourced, and it's only one extra line in the infoboxes (and the shipping date is only available for half the issues), so I certainly don't see any reason to remove it.--Rpmdkc (talk) 22:10, March 20, 2013 (UTC)