Comicbook Dictionary

Term Definition
ALBUM Comic book in Europe (typical comic album is 48-page hardcover).
ANIME Japanese animated cartoon
ANNUAL A book or publication that is published once a year.
ARRIVAL DATE Markings on a comic book cover made by the newsstand dealer or distributor denoting the date the book was placed on the newsstand. Usually in pencil.
ARTWORK Original paintings of comic book art.
ASHCAN A publisher's in-house mock-up of a proposed new title. Usually consisting of a black and white cover stapled to an existing book; a half-sized (4" x 5"), typically black and white, promotional copy of a comic book. Originally, ashcans were produced to claim trademarks.Today, ashcans are produced more as a promotion than to gain guardianship of intellectual property.
BALLOONS The container of the text-dialogue spoken by character.
B&W Artwork done in black and white.
BD Bande Dessinee - comic book in French.
BI-MONTHLY A book published every two months.
BI-WEEKLY A book published every two weeks.
BLURB Copy which relates to a title.
BONDAGE COVER A book cover with a bondage scene, usually female.
BORDER The outline of the page.
BRITTLENESS The final stage of paper deterioration.
BUBBLES The little connecting circles on thought balloons.
CAMEO Situation, when a character briefly appears in one or two panels.
CAPTION Copy in which someone is talking to the reader.
CBG Comic Buyers' Guide, a weekly newspaper.
CCA Comics Code Authority.
CCA SEAL A emblem placed on a cover of the comic showing approval by the CCA.This practice began in April-May 1955.
CENTERFOLD The two folded pages found in the center of the book, where the staples can be seen.
COLORIST The artist that applies color to black and white pen and ink drawings.
COMIC CODE AUTHORITY A committee formed in 1954 by the major publishers to set up guidelines for acceptable contents for comics.
COMICS Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence (from the book "Understanding Comics - The Invisible Art" by Scott McCloud.
COMIX Independent, non-mainstream comics, such as Yummy Fur or Desert Peach.
CON A comic book convention.
CREDITS Text where the authors are listed.
CRISIS The Crisis on Infinite Earths (usually).
CROSS-OVER Situation when a character or storyline crosses over to another strip or book. (see also x-over)
CSN Comic Shop News, a free weekly hype sheet dangling plotline.
DANGLER An unresolved plot-line or mystery which an author has apparently forgotten about, since it hasn't been mentioned in a long time.
DEBUT The first time a character ever appears.
DOUBLE COVER A binding process error in which two or more covers are bond to a single book.
FAN-BOY/FAN-GIRL A rabidly devoted fan, often said to be "drooling". Thiscan be used in a general sense, or a specific sense, such as X-Men fanboy,Sandgirl, Image fanboy, etc.
FANZINE A fan club publication put out by amateurs.
FILE COPY A comic originating from the publisher's files.
FIRST APPEARANCE When a character makes it's first ever appearance.
FLASHBACK Recalling an earlier story.
FOUR COLOR a) The series published by Dell called 'Four Color'. b) A printing process involving three colors and black
"THE FOURTH WALL" Originally used with reference to stage sets, this term refers to the imaginary wall between the characters and the audience. "Breaking the fourth wall" refers to comics in which the characters are aware that they exist in a comic book, sometimes for the purpose of humor.
FOXING The small orange and brown spots found on the pages and coversof comics.
FUMETTI Comic book in Italian.
FURRY An anthropomorphic animal, such as Mickey Mouse.
GESTURE Human movement of expression.
GOLDEN AGE The period of comics beginning June, 1938 with Action #1 and ending in 1945 with the end of World War II.
GRAPHIC NOVEL Term created by Will Eisner; comic book with high quality storyline and artwork.
GUTTERS The space between panels.
HEADLIGHT Protruding breasts.
HENTAI Manga-term, abnormality, sexual perversion. Used also to describe a certain class of anime or otaku.
INDICIA Text, showing who, when and where is publishing the magazine, usually found on the bottom of the first page.
INFINITY COVER A cover scene that repeats itself into infinity.
INKER The artist that does the inking for a comic.
INTRO When a character makes it's first appearance.
JLA, JLE, JLI, JLUTB The popular DC super-hero groups "Justice League of America", "Justice League of Europe", "Justice League International", and for those tired of them, the hypothetical "Justice League Up-the-Butt".
LETTERER The artist that applies letters to comic book artwork.
LOGO Title of a comic book as it appears on the cover or title page.
LSH Legion of Super-heroes (a DC comic book).
MANGA Japanese comic book.
MARKET VALUE The price for which a comic may be bought from a dealer for.
MARVEL CHIPPING A defect occurring on Marvel Comics during the 1950s and 1960s caused by a trimming process that causes a ragged edge around the cover.
MECHA Manga-term, just about anything mechanical: weapons, vehicles,robots, but usually not items like pencil sharpeners or ceiling fans.
MILE HIGH A large NM-Mint collection originating from Denver, Colorado. Originally Edgar Church's collection.
ND No Date for comic.
NN No Number for comic.
OAV/OVA Original Video Animation: an anime direct to video release, anime made only for the video market.
OHOTMUDE Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition.
ONE SHOT When only a single issue is produced of a title, or when the titleis changed with each issue.
OPEN LETTERS Letters drawn in outline, with space for color to be added.
ORIGIN The story in which a character's creation is given.
OTAKU Anime fan-boy or fan-girl. Generally good thing in America, apparently closer to being a geek in Japan.
OVER GUIDE When a comic book's price is greater than the guide's price.
PAGE A leaf of the publication or total area of the work.
PANEL A box which contains a given scene (also BOX, FRAME).
PATCH (see retcon).
PEDIGREE A comic book from a famous outstanding collection.
PENCILER The artist that does the penciling for the comic.
POD PERSON (or 'POD') A character who has been taken over by a new writer and/or editor and immediately acts very inconsistently with previous characterization, with no explanation given for the change, and no change noticed by other characters in the book. The term is from the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers,where aliens grew duplicates of people in giant pods. First use of 'pod' was in reference to the changeover after Keith Giffen left the JLI titles,concerning the characters Fire, Ice, Max, and Oberon.
POGS OR "MILK CAPS" Round, approximately 2.5 inches in diameter, and cardboard, pogs are the element of a game from Hawaii. While the game involves stacking the pogs and flipping another to knock them over. They have simply become another alternative to trading cards, bearing art and/or text concerning super-heroes.
POST-CODE Comic books that where published with the CCA seal.
POST-CRISIS events/history/characters in the DC Universe as they existed *after*the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
POST GOLDEN AGE Comic books published between 1945 and 1950.
POST SILVER AGE Comic books published from 1969 to the present.
POSTURE Attitude of the body.
PRE-CODE Comic books published before the CCA seal.
PRE-CRISIS events/history/characters in the DC Universe as they existed *prior*to the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
PRE GOLDEN AGE Comic books published before June, 1938 when Action #1 was published,and introduced the Golden Age.
PRE SILVER AGE Comic books published between 1950 and 1956 when Showcase #4 was published.
PRINTING DEFECT A defect caused during the printing of the book. These tend to lower the value of the comic book.
PROVENANCE When the past owner of the book is known, adding to the documentation of it's authenticity.
QUARTERLY A publication published 4 times a year.
RARE A comic in which only 10 to 20 copies are known to exist.
comic book REPAIR A repair of a tear, or centerfold with glue, tape or some other easily detected means. This does not change or add to the book's finish,and is considered a defect.
REPRINT Newspaper comic strips reprinted in comic book form.
comic book RESTORATION Any attempt to enhance the appearance of a comic book. Whether done by a professional or amateur the restored book can not be worth as much as an original book in the same condition.
RETCON To retroactively change the continuity of a character or title. Originally, the term "retcon" was used only in cases where the interpretation of "facts" from earlier stories is changed,but the facts themselves are preserved. A "patch" was the term used (taken from programmer's jargon) to mean an actual change, rather than merely filling in details. These days, however, "retcon" is used increasingly to mean changes to history as well as to retroactive continuity. So, to "retcon" is to change history, so that something that had existed in the continuity of the fictional universe, not ONLY doesn't exist now, but in the fictional history, NEVER HAS existed. This can be true of an event, of a character, or whatever.
RICE PAPER A thin type of paper used by restorer to repair covers and pages of comic books.
SCARCE A comic in which only 20 to 100 copies are estimated to exist.
SERIES COLLECTING Collecting issues in a single title.
SILVER AGE The period that begins in 1956 with the publishing of Showcase #4 and ends in 1969.
SILVER PROOF The actual size black and white print given to a colorist to indicate colors to the engraver.
SPINE The folded and stapled part of the comic book.
SPINE ROLL A defect of uneven pages and bowing of the spine caused by improper storage.
SPLASH BALLOON An outline around lettering done in jagged shape.
SPLASH PAGE The first page of the story, with a large introductory illustration.
SPLASH PANEL A large panel, usually at the front of the comic book.
SPOILER Any item which "gives away" information about a comic. Proper etiquette is to give a "Spoiler Warning" first, to allow people to avoid the spoiler if they wish to not have their surprise ruined.
SQUAREBOUND A glue bound comic book, resulting in a square spined cover.
STRESS LINES Wrinkles occurring along the cover or spine of the book.
comic STRIP Comics, published in newspapers, mostly 3-4 panels in horizontal layout.
STYLE The manner in which artist draws (or writes).
SUBSCRIPTION CREASE A defect resulting from the folding of comic books for mailing to subscribers,causing a crease in the center of the book.
SUPERHERO Phenomenon in American comic culture - strangely popular mutants and freaks, usually wearing tights and some highly uncomfortable costumes. Occupation - saving the world and (pseudo) destroying other similar creatures.
TAIL Pointer leading from balloon to speaker; sometimes also POINTER.
TECHNIQUE The manner in which art is rendered.
THOUGHT BALLOON The container with the text which represents what a character is thinking.
TIER Row of panels (left to right) on page.
TITLE The name of the story.
UNDER GUIDE A comic book that is priced less than the guide book price.
VERY RARE A comic book in which only 1 to 10 copies are estimated to exist.
WAREHOUSE COPY A comic originating from the publisher's warehouse.
X-OVER Situation when a character or storyline crosses over to another strip or book. (see also cross-over)
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