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[rec.arts.comics] REVIEWS FAQ: Technical Guide

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Archive-name: comics/reviews/technical
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   Version 2000.02, last updated February 12, 2000
   Copyright 1995-2000 by Katharine E. Hahn

   Kate the Short,  (

Subject: Table of Contents Purpose / Charter * Keywords * Posting Problems Crossposting Criteria * Examples * Credits
Subject: Purpose / Charter The purpose of this newsgroup is to review comic books, comic strips, political cartoon compilations, comic-review publications, and the like. It is not meant as a discussion forum, nor as a place to advertise comics and related publications. Newly-issued single comics are what you'll see most of, but that does not mean that those are the *only* materials which may be posted here. Other products that are considered reviewable include: Comics books, strips, political cartoons, and their compilations; Movie/TV/prose adaptations of comic-book characters and stories; Biographies or histories of characters, pros, and the industry; rec.arts.comics.creative "issues" or "titles"; Industry-related publications and magazines; Subscription companies and services; Archival/collecting materials; Cataloguing software; and Comics conventions Things that are NOT reviews will be considered off-topic in this group. Advertisements, large binaries, SPAM, general announcements, and discussion and followup posts are not permitted and will be rejected. If a post begins with "Re: " then it is treated as a followup and will be returned. Additionally, reviews of things that aren't on-topic for will be returned.
Subject: Keywords Posts are most quickly posted if they follow a basic Subject Keyword format. Right now there are three standard Keywords that the bot looks for, as well as checking the newsgroups line: CAPSULES:, REVIEW:, and PREVIEW. Other subject-line keywords may be arranged with the moderator. For example, here's the suggested Subject line format for a review: REVIEW: TITLE #nnn (any other information the author includes) REVIEW: SUPERMAN #800 Quick Picks reviews It's nice to put the review/column title last and the comic title first, because then all of the SUPERMAN #800 reviews can be listed in alphabetical order on a newsreader. Please note that it's best to give *some* hint of which titles you're discussing in your review; don't just say "Mark's Reviews 11-2000". When you follow up to a review, delete the stuff you aren't directly commenting on, including the other person's .sig file. Place your response after each section you're commenting on, instead of at the very top or very bottom of the post. Leave white space after each paragraph. That makes it easier to understand what you're responding to, and makes your posts and responses a lot easier to read. Make sure that your followups are only going to the newsgroups where the reviewed book or product would be discussed. Thanks.
Subject: Posting Problems Every once in a while, you'll have a review which seems to get lost in the system. This happens for a variety of reasons. First, is a moderated group. Reviews have to be approved so we know that they aren't spam or mega-crossposts. Second, every once in a while your server may have problems sending out messages. Check to see if your posts to other newsgroups have made it out. As of December 7, 1999, the following robo-moderation script is in place: 1) If the posting has a Followup-To:-header (FUT-header) that points anywhere but (racr), nothing is changed. 2) If the FUT-header points to racr and some other group, racr is removed from the FUT-header. 3) If the FUT-header points solely to racr or is not there at all, the robomod looks at the Newsgroups:-header. 3a) If the Newsgroups:-header points to racr and some other groups, racr is removed and the FUT-header points to the other groups. (Meaning: If you crosspost your review to racr, rec.arts.comics.misc (racm) and rec.arts.comics.vertigo (racv), the FUT-header will point to racm and racv.) 3b) If the Newsgroups:-header points solely to racr, the FUT-header will point to racm. If you have any questions about the moderation, please direct them to the moderator, Peter B. Juul ( If you tried to post and cannot, either use a different account or post a short, polite message to rec.arts.comics.misc asking if Peter's been receiving any of your emails. For all we know, it could be his system that's temporarily down...
Subject: Crossposting Criteria If you will be crossposting your review to a non-rac.* newsgroup, like,, or, *please* make sure that your review fits that newsgroup's review criteria. Crossposting is fine, and is even encouraged, but please make sure to read the FAQs of those groups so your reviews won't be rejected. Followups should be set to three or fewer discussion groups, either within the r.a.c.* hierarchy or within other *appropriate* hierarchies, not including the .reviews or .info newsgroups. *** FAQ FOR REC.ARTS.BOOKS.REVIEWS URL: An essential read for anyone interested in crossposting book reviews to (such as prose comics novels, coffee table books, biographies, and the like). *** WELCOME TO REC.ARTS.SF.REVIEWS URL: While I am not sure if this document is currently updated, its Guidelines still stand. Individual issues of continuing comic books ARE NOT subject matter for r.a.sf.r. "Series-within-series," or full runs of such comics, are. Limited series (in whatever "format") ARE appropriate subject matter for r.a.sf.r. The Subject line of r.a.sf.r postings MUST include the title of the work and the creator's name. *** Other Information The current practice for posting movie reviews to is to list the subject as REVIEW: TITLE (year); a quick glance at other reviews in the newsgroup should provide all of the information you need. The current practice for posting Star Trek reviews to the newsgroup is to use these keywords: TOS for the Original Series, TNG for Next Generation, DS9 for Deep Space Nine, and VOY for Voyager. Comics would also have the keyword BOOK added to them, as in REVIEW: [TOS BOOK] STAR TREK #6 or the like. Reading the newsgroup will give you more examples. The and newsgroups prefer that bibliographic information be included in the addbib format (available in UNIX or just type it) so that it can be easily accessed from the archives. It can be appended to the bottom of a review post as follows (an asterisk [*] denotes a required datum): %H Header commentary, printed before reference * %A Author's name (use a separate %A line for each) * %T Title of article or book * %B Anthology/collection title for individual stories/articles %E Editor (of book or series) * %I Issuer (publisher's name and imprint) %C City (place of publication) * %D Date of publication * %G Government order number (use this for ISBN) %P Page number(s) (use for page count) %S Series title %V Volume number %O Comments/etc. (use for format/price, ordering info) %J Journal containing article %K Keywords
Subject: Examples Here are some examples following the usual formats for the reviews. Followups are set to the most appropriate rac.* newsgroup; you can add other appropriate newsgroups as needed. ACTION FIGURES: Subject: REVIEW: Spawn action figure series Item: Spawn action figure line Also to: rec.arts.comics.other-media,, alt.comics.image Follows: rec.arts.comics.other-media Include: Names of figures, manufacturer. Size of figures, accessories included. Packaging, cost, etc. BIOGRAPHIES: Subject: REVIEW: COMIC BOOK HEROES, by John Jones Item: Comic Book Heroes quasi-biography Also to: rec.arts.comics.misc, (mod), rec.arts.books Follows: rec.arts.comics.misc Include: TITLE by author. Publisher, publisher address. Online publisher contact info (if any). Whether it has photos, illustrations, index, maps, notes, etc. Number of pages, $cost and binding. ISBN number. etc. CARTOONS: Subject: REVIEW: X:TAS Dark Phoenix Saga Item: X-Men Dark Phoenix Saga (Cartoon Version) Also to: rec.arts.comics.other-media, rec.arts.animation, Follows: rec.arts.comics.other-media Include: Title, network/studio, airing time, video cost, voices, etc. COMICS (SINGLE-ISSUE): Subject: PREVIEW: Marvel's Star Trek Comics Item: Star Trek comic book Also to: rec.arts.comics.misc, (mod) rec.arts.startrek.misc Follows: rec.arts.comics.misc Include: Title, issue number, publisher, writers, artists, colorists, editors, cost, pages, etc. COMICS (ARC/MINISERIES): Subject: REVIEW: STAR WARS DARK FORCES #1-4, by Marcus et al Item: Star Wars miniseries Also to: rec.arts.comics.misc, rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc, (mod) Follows: rec.arts.comics.misc Include: TITLE, number of issues, publisher, writers, artists, colorists, editors, cost, pages, etc. COMICS (STRIP): Subject: REVIEW: Mr. Boffo Item: Mr. Boffo daily strip Also to: rec.arts.comics.strips Follows: rec.arts.comics.strips Include: Title, writers, artists. Publisher/syndicate, frequency of publication (daily/Sunday), etc. COMICS (WEB): Subject: REVIEW: Pat's Web Cartoon Item: Pat's Web Cartoon Also to: rec.arts.comics.misc Follows: rec.arts.comics.misc Include: Title, writers, artists. Site location. Size of comic. How often it changes, etc. COMPILATIONS: Subject: REVIEW: BLOOM COUNTY: BABYLON, by Berke Breathed Item: Bloom County: Babylon trade paperback Also to: rec.arts.comics.strips, (mod), rec.arts.books Follows: rec.arts.comics.strips Include: TITLE by author. Publisher, publisher address. Online publisher contact info (if any). Whether it has photos, illustrations, index, maps, notes, etc. Number of pages, $cost and binding. ISBN number. etc. CONVENTIONS: Subject: REVIEW: Wizard World Chicago Comicon Item: Chicago Comics Convention Also to: rec.arts.comics.misc, alt.comics.fandom Follows: rec.arts.comics.misc, alt.comics.fandom Include: Convention name, contact addresses and phone numbers, place time and dates of event, daily/weekend pass rates, events usually included. Available lodging and cost, available parking and cost, availability of food, usual attendence figures, etc. CREATIVES: Subject: REVIEW: LNH #6: Creative Critiques Item: LNH rac.creative issues Also to: rec.arts.comics.creative Follows: rec.arts.comics.creative Include: Title, writer, frequency of net.issues, archive location, etc. FANFICS: Subject: REVIEW: Heroes Re-Reborn Item: stories Also to:, rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe Follows: Include: Title, writer, frequency of net.issues, number of chapters. Archive location, etc. MAGAZINES: Subject: REVIEW: WIZARD Magazine Item: WIZARD: The Guide to Comics Also to: rec.arts.comics.misc Follows: rec.arts.comics.misc Include: Title, publisher, editors, size, single/yearly issue costs, subscription info, usual columns/features, reliability, etc. MAILING LISTS: Subject: REVIEW: STRIPE Mailing List Item: Stripe Mailing list Also to: rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks, Follows: rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks Include: Name of list, request address, submission address, listowner. Average traffic daily, approximate number of subscribers. Web address, etc. MANGA: Subject: REVIEW: Oh My Goddess! Special Item: Oh My Goddess! manga comic Also to: rec.arts.manga Follows: rec.arts.manga Include: Title, issue number, publisher, writers, artists, colorists, editors, cost, pages, etc. MOVIES: Subject: REVIEW: BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997) Item: Batman and Robin movie Also to: rec.arts.comics.other-media, (mod), rec.arts.movies.current-films Follows: rec.arts.comics.other-media Include: TITLE, (year), MPAA rating, studio, running time, actors, directors, writers, video cost, etc. NOVELS: Subject: REVIEW: WHAT SAVAGE BEAST, by Peter A. David Item: Hulk novel Also to: rec.arts.comics.other-media, rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe, (mod), rec.arts.books, (mod), Follows: rec.arts.comics.other-media, Include: TITLE by author. Publisher, publisher address. Online publisher contact info (if any). Whether it has photos, illustrations, index, maps, notes, etc. Number of pages, $cost and binding. ISBN number. etc. SOFTWARE: Subject: REVIEW: WIZARD AbleSoft Collecting Software Item: Collecting Software Also to: rec.arts.comics.misc, rec.arts.comics.marketplace Follows: rec.arts.comics.misc, rec.arts.comics.marketplace Include: Title, publisher, cost. System type and requirements. Disks, manuals, other included materials. Possibility for additions or upgrades, etc.
Subject: Credits The Welcome Keeper would like to thank: * Peter B. Juul, for moderating, * Mike Chary, for contributing his Arrogant Guide to Reviewing, * Aardy R. DeVarque for critiquing everything under the sun for me, * and all the RAC'ers who made rac.* a welcome place to begin with. -- Kate the Short *

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