W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-vocabs@w3.org > August 2014

Comics again (was Re: progressing VisualArtwork)

From: Dan Scott <dan@coffeecode.net>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:27:08 -0400
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@google.com>
Cc: W3C Web Schemas Task Force <public-vocabs@w3.org>, Paul Watson <lazarus@lazaruscorporation.co.uk>, Henry Andrews <hha1@cornell.edu>
Message-ID: <20140819192707.GB22811@denials.laurentian.ca>
On Tue, Aug 19, 2014 at 12:41:36AM -0700, Dan Brickley wrote:
>4. Comics, another long-in-progress area. Many aspects of describing
>comics are addressed by periodicals. But comics are also quite
>naturally visual artworks. See recent comics-as-periodicals thread,
>Specifically would it make sense for a single thing to be considered
>simultaneously a ComicIssue per
>draft, and yet also a VisualArtwork? Here's an example from the comic
>discussion in periodicals wiki:
> <div vocab="http://schema.org/" typeof="ComicSeries"><span
>property="name">TRUE BLOOD</span>
>   <div property="about">TRUE BLOOD chronicles the backwoods Louisiana
>town of Bon Temps... in a world where vampires have emerged from the
>coffin and no longer need humans for their fix.</div>
>   <div property="publisher" typeof="Organization">Publisher: <span
>property="name">IDW</span> (<a property="url"
>   <ul>
>     <li property="hasPart" typeof="ComicIssue">Issue <span
>       <div property="author" typeof="Person">Author: <span
>property="name">Michael McMillian</span></div>
>       <div property="artist" typeof="Person">Art by: <span
>property="name">Beni Lobel</span></div>
>       <div property="colorist" typeof="Person">Colors by: <span
>property="name">Esther Sanz</span></div>
>       <div property="coverArtist" typeof="Person">Cover by: <span
>property="name">Michael Gaydos</span></div>
>       <div property="letterer" typeof="Person">Letters by: <span
>property="name">Neil Uyetake</span></div>
>       <div property="editor" typeof="Person">Edits by: <span
>property="name">Beni Lobel</span></div>
>       <div>Date published: <meta property="datePublished"
>content="2013-05">May 2013</div>
>       <div property="hasPart" typeof="ComicStory">
>         <span property="description">Jason discovers the reason for
>           Amy's sudden ability to go out in the daylight, but does
>           his best not to think about it.
>         </span>
>       </div>
>     </li>
>   </ul>
> </div>
>Could this ComicIssue (issue 13) usefully have VisualArtwork properties?

I'm not sure that the current proposal for VisualArtwork
(https://www.w3.org/wiki/WebSchemas/VisualArtwork) offers much of use
for comics. Let's look at the Grand Comics Database (GCD) for an
example: http://www.comics.org/issue/35505/

* "artform" is unlikely to be used
* "surface" is unlikely to be used
* "colorPalette" doesn't map at all to GCD's simple boolean "Color" property
* height / width / depth (which are already offered by Product) might be
  useful for describing printed copies, although the Grand Comics Database
  surfaces human readable descriptions like "Standard Modern Age US" for
* "materials" could work for GCD's "Paper stock" property, I guess (and
  to repeat http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-vocabs/2014Apr/0063.html
  this should be "material" to follow the singular norm)

So of the potentially useful properties for comics, there's nothing
artwork-specific about them. I could certainly imagine a product listing
on Etsy offering variants made with different materials (silk vs. satin
vs. polyester) that shouldn't require the use of VisualArtwork to

Where comics would really benefit (and the preceding example helps make
this clear) would be from adopting Role and emphasizing that the
"creator" and "contributor" properties can make use of Role to specify
that "contributionRole" is "inker", or "penciler", or "cover artist", or
"colorist", or "letterer", to avoid having to define all of those roles
(and more) as separate properties.  This would be of general benefit to
CreativeWork instances such as Movie and TVEpisode and other such works
that have many different contribution roles that one wants to

And on the other side, similar to the discussion about characters in the
VideoGame proposal, comics would benefit from having something like a
"character" type with a domain of Person (because fictional) so that the
characters appearing in a given comic could be listed. Except, of
course, Snoopy and Woodstock aren't really people I guess. Curse you,
Charlie Brown!

>While we're at it, how would it look from an e-commerce perspective?
>--- not entirely hypothetical, since that page has schema.org markup,
>see http://any23.org/any23/?format=ntriples&uri=http%3A%2F%2Fstore.hbo.com%2Ftrue-blood-comic-issue-13%2Fdetail.php%3Fp%3D444005&validation-mode=none

Heh, it's not hypothetical, my wallet can certainly attest to
the reality :) Did you detect anything missing from the Offer / Product
types in use on HBO? It looked okay from a quick glance here
(potentially pointing at digital vs. print copies of a given comic)?

>I've a feeling we discussed this before but I couldn't find it in the
>mailing list archive: do we consider the entire issue an artwork, or
>just each page? I think we'd want to allow both levels of detail, and
>we have everything that's needed for doing so. We now have isPartOf /
>hasPart to use when multiple creative work entities also compose a

Well.. the cover is usually a separate work; the contents may contain
one or more stories (depending on the form of the comic), each of which
might have been worked on by a different combination of contributors. I
generally wouldn't look at each page as a separate piece of artwork,
though, unless perhaps the originals were being auctioned off separately
(in which case the work has been transformed; certainly not the typical

I'm happy to see that some of the rough proposals for cover art from 
has happened (http://schema.org/image has a range of ImageObject and URL
now, although the description still reads "URL of an image of the
item."), so if we added coverArt as a property (either generally to
CreativeWork, or specifically to media types such as Book / Movie /
MusicAlbum / Comic that are most closely associated with cover art),
then much of what Comics needs would be addressed.

All that said, we really need to update the Comics & Periodicals
Synthesis to reflect the new realities of Periodical & Role, and ask
Henry Andrews (CCed) and Peter Olson (will point here) to take another
look to ensure that the needs they have outlined are met by the

Received on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 19:27:38 UTC

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