Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Personal Comics Database?

Ok we're crossing into SUPER-nerd territory w/ this discussion but I've been wondering lately if there was something quick and easy to replace the excel spreadsheet I've been using to track my collection (I'm an anal list maker I know). Whatever I used need to be fairly dynamic/automatic (w/ as little as possible actual work on my part). It would be a nice plus if I could log cover screen shots too (can't get that easily in my excel SS).

I did some research and stumbled across a few recommended alternatives, the champions of which seem to be conceives and Comic Collectorz. ComicBase def seems phat (it has a built in database of some 250,000 comics, movie clips from comic movies, etc.) but it's 149 beans for the "standard" edition and a whopping $299 for the "archive" or premium ed. Wowsers. Ok that one's out. Let's look at Comic Collectorz (more attractively priced at $39.99).

Comic Collectorz is def a sweet piece of software kit - even though 50% of it is way overkill for my needs. It allows you to store just about everything you ever wanted to about your comics (even who you lent it to) and add cover screen shots etc. Cool but a bit too manual. You have to add each comic in (you can quickly enter runs tho) and if you want a cover screen shot you have to go find it, save it, and link it manually, etc. Way too time consuming for me. But Collectorz makes a suite of tools (for cataloguing Comics, Books, Movies, Music, etc.), and the demo I installed had them all so...

Enter "Book" Collectorz. Book Collectorz is almost identical to Comic Collectorz, but allows you to automatically search numerous online book shops/libraries like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble (hell even the Library of Congress) for your titles, and when found, check a box and add them to your collection - complete w/ all available data AND cover shots. Nice. I catalogued my entire TP collection (about 25 books -- hey I've only been back 4 months!) in about 15 minutes w/ ZERO data entry by me (except typing the names of things I wanted to search for).

Now I've got everything I ever wanted to know about all the TPs/HCs I own, all searchable and sortable - even exportable to text file, HTML, excel, or my work-provided PPC. Extra nice. You can even keep track of who you lent books to, where you bought them, how much you paid for them, and tons of other stuff I'll probably never use - if it suits your fancy.

What's the catch though if you choose Book Collectorz over Comic Collectorz? Amazon and these online databases don't have floppies (at least any that I have found) in their databases (since they don't sell them typically) so you're only going to be cataloguing your TP's and HC's w/ this.

Luckily that's enough for me because I only "collect" my TPB's and HC's, and just kind of read and give away/throw away my flops. Not to mention how far I am from having the time and/or discipline to go through my collection and type everything in... Not by a longshot - I'm not THAT dedicated. I definitely needed something automatic and I think I may have found it. Cool. B+.

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09 August, 2005 17:38, Blogger Christopher Green said...

You know, it sounds like a great idea, but there's no way in hell I'm ever going to shell out that much cash for it.

10 August, 2005 11:29, Anonymous Kurt said...

I'll probably check all of these out - as a software guy I'm always interested in this stuff, if purely from an architectural standpoint - but none sound like they hit the mark exactly.

I've had this idea for a while that I would write a web based service that would allow users to automatically value all or parts of their collections and then have some kind of a exchange listing where they could list items from their collection they want to sell and items they're looking to buy. And of course all of the standard collector software niceties would have to ne there as well. I figure an annual fee of around $20 would be about right but I'm not sure there's enough potential customers to support the cost to build.

10 August, 2005 11:52, Blogger zilla said...

kurt wild but i had the exact same thought. i'm in IA now but i used to be a developer myself. just don't think i'd have the time... def give book collectorz a try though - it's SO easy (and perfect if you collect primarily TPs and HCs like me).

11 August, 2005 09:16, Blogger Shane Bailey said...

Damn, I was hoping you'd find a solution that didn't involve a lot of manual work for the singles as well. I still haven't found anything.

11 August, 2005 09:24, Blogger zilla said...

tell me about it. if they could make the comic collectorz tool as easy to use as the book collectorz - i'd be in heaven. can't they just hook up with TAFW or Mile High Comics or someone else w/ a vast online database w/ cover shots and details????


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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel