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Copied from Valorum's guide's question on video game identification.


We seem to have a pretty regular number of story-ID questions specifically focused on finding half-remembered Western .

Our top tag is (with over 10,000 questions) and we already have an excellent guide to help people answer them in "How to ask a good story-ID question?" that users can direct querents towards.

What additional advice can we offer on writing a good story-identification question aimed at locating a specific Western comic book or graphic novel?

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Additional information that would be useful when identifying Western comics questions includes;

  • How was it released?

This is a really big one, as it can totally change the possible works it could be. Are you looking for an arc of a larger comic book series, a single issue, a graphic novel originally published in that format, or something else entirely? If it were a stand-alone graphic novel, I'd look in very different places from if it were a DC series.

  • Where was it released?

Where did you read it? Give countries, and be more specific if it seems relevant (e.g. they might have different comics for sale in Quebec than other parts of Canada).

  • What did the cover look like?

Try to describe the cover for us. What color was it? Who was on it? What sort of pose were they making?

  • Do you remember any specific dialogue or lines?

Are there any phrases you specifically remember? These are good for finding these, as we can look for them in potential matches to check if they’re likely right.

  • What language was it in? What do you believe it was originally in?

If, for example, it was in Inuktun, which only has 800 speakers or so and apparently was originally in that language, that would be very useful to know and narrow it down a lot. It also can change how we'll look; Jenayah mentions using Portuguese and Spanish keywords to find answers in a post describing how she finds answers to story identifications.

  • Do you know who published it?

Was it DC? Was it Marvel? If it was either, that eliminates a whole giant group of comics it could be misidentified as. If it was a smaller publisher and you know it, that narrows it down tons.

  • What genre was it?

Was it a superhero comic? Was it comedic?

  • Who was it aimed at?

Was it for kids? Was it very adult? If it was Marvel or DC and it was very violent and/or sexual, that's useful to know as it very much limits the years it could be from due to the Comics Code Authority's censorship.

  • What did the characters look like?

What did the characters look like? Describe their clothes, faces, skin color, etc.

  • What style was it?

What did it look like? Was it a Franco-Belgian ligne claire comic like* Tintin? *Did it look like a 1960s DC comic? Did it look like modern, computer-edited superhero comics?

  • Can you remember anything else about the comic?

Anything else? Was the author female? Because unfortunately so few DC and Marvel comic book writers/illustrators are women, this can narrow it down a lot.

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