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rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks FAQ: Glossary

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   Frequently Asked Questions

   Version 2001.01, last updated January 2001
   Compilation Copyright 2001 by Katharine E. Hahn

   Kate the Short,  (

Subject: Table of Contents If your newsreader has a search/go-to command, you can quickly page through this FAQ by searching for any of the Contents as spelled. A plus sign in parentheses (+) indicates a change to the contents listed since the last FAQ update. The RACMX Glossary: ABBREVIATIONS FOR MONTHLY MARVEL COMICS COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS
Subject: ABBREVIATIONS FOR MONTHLY MARVEL COMICS Abbreviations for discussing the various titles are hardly standardized, but if you need some the following are all serviceable and properly behaved, well-suited to be inserted into any needful post: AF = Alpha Flight Cable = Cable DP = Deadpool Excal = Excalibur GenX = Generation X MutX = Mutant X NM = New Mutants Unlim/XMU = X-Men Unlimited UXM = Uncanny X-Men Wolv/Wolvie = Wolverine XFac = X-Factor XFor = X-Force X-Men/Unadj = X-Men In general, the main confusion comes between Uncanny X-Men and X-Men, mainly because up until a few years ago, Uncanny was just called "X-Men," there being no actual title called "X-Men" to confuse it with. If you're talking about Uncanny, use it consistently and clearly in your post--the other possibility is calling X-Men "unadjectived X-Men," but nobody really wants to write "unadjectived," so give yourself a break and call Uncanny Uncanny (or UXM), and X-Men just X-Men. You'll get used to it as you go along. Another thing to remember is that xbooks is a newsgroup, while the X-books are the comics. To help prevent confusion, this FAQ recommends calling the comics X-titles, or to put the dash "-" in X-books when talking about the comics as opposed to the newsgroup. You may also call the newsgroup racmx (pronounced "rack-em-ex).
Subject: COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS The Net is a place of lazy typists. In their perpetual search to say as much as possible with as few keystrokes as necessary, many abbreviations, terms, and words that are quite mystifying to the uninitiated are used. Here, then, is a glossary of some terms commonly used around the 'Net, as well as some more specific to xbooks: * FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. You're reading one. We hope you're enjoying it. * :-) : A smiley. Can appear in many different forms or directions, but the basic idea is that of a smiling face, turned on its side. Used to express a gentle joke or "no hard feelings" on the net, where the lack of body language and voice tone often leads to misunderstandings. (g), shorthand for "grin", and (s), "smile", are also used. * 616: This is an identifier from Alan Davis' stint on Excalibur. Roma, in her role as the omniversal guardian, and the people working under her adopted a numbering system for the multiple parallel Earths that exist throughout crosstime. The mainstream Marvel Universe and its associated continuity are numbered "616" - Earth 616, Captain Britain 616, and so forth. Often used when comparing the mainstream Marvel continuity to that of alternate timelines. * AOA: Age of Apocalypse, Marvel's 1996 alternate-reality crossover for the X-titles. * BOB: Bob Harras, former group editor of the X-titles, current editor in chief at Marvel, and source of much annoyance to some xbookers due to his perceived ineffective ways. The term BOB apparently had its origins when far too many xbookers watched too many episodes of "Twin Peaks." Many people on xbooks differentiate between BOB, the symbolic icon of All That is Bad in the X-titles Since (whenever--fill in your favorite date), and Bob, the hard-working editor who presumably is doing the best job he can under the present circumstances. * canon: A term taken from the humanities, meaning the approved sources (or of them). Xbooks convention considers only the comics and the OHOTMUDE canon; other things like letters pages and Wizard articles are considered enlightening but not Truth. Collectible card games are considered extremely unreliable. Your milage may vary, but that is racmx custom. * dino: First used, puportedly, by the irascible Mike Ellis, "dino" is a term that he supposedly borrowed from the mudding environment of the Internet. It is now used as an identifier for X-readers who feel more at home with X-titles the less grim, gritty, and pocket-stuffed the costumes are. * fanboy: One who must insanely consume all possible crossovers and tie-ins to their dedicated icon, and who cannot accept that any other comic company could be putting out characters as totally cosmic as the ones they collect. * DOFP or DOF*: Days of Future Past, and its related storylines Days of Future Present, Days of Future Yet to Come, Days of Future Tense, and Wolverine: Days of Future Past. The first was the original (UXM #141- 142), and set up the others. DOFPresent was an Annuals crossover, the next two were Excalibur stories, and the last was a Wolverine limited series. All of them deal with a dystopian future where Sentinels rule, and DOFP is where Rachel Summers and the Hounds came from. * IMO: In My Opinion * IMHO: In My Humble (or Honest) Opinion * IIRC: If I Recall Correctly * LS: limited series, sometimes known as a mini-series. * Lurker: An individual who reads the newsgroup, but for some reason chooses not to post. * MCP: Marvel Comics Presents, a now-extinct bimonthly title which featured four eight-page stories about different characters every issue. * nimbo: A person who is both a ninja and a bimbo. An invaluable term in discussing any book drawn by Jim Lee. * OHOTMU: Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Once upon a time, the OHOTMU was the penultimate source of Marvel trivia, history, characters, and backgrounds. Unfortunately, its recent incarnation skipped out on all the background stuff and just gave us fighting stats, which sorely annoyed the old OHOTMU fans. The OHOTMU is the Official Marvel guidebook on what characters can do what and why, and is usually invoked as a reference to settle various arguments. Very few long-time Marvel readers will accept the newest version of the OHOTMU as more definitive than the older two, however. The older one is also known as the OHOTMUDE (for Deluxe Edition). * PAD: Peter A. David, writer of stuff, who was once the writer on X-Factor (#70-#89). An infrequent poster on rac.misc, he no longer hangs out at xbooks after quitting X-Factor. * pastries: The traditional prize for any xbooker who gets his/her name in the subject of a post by another user. * rac: rec.arts.comics, now broken into many smaller groups, including rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks. Sometimes done as r.a.c. "rac" is sometimes used as an abbreviation of the term "rec.arts.comics" in any instance; like "rac.marvel.xbooks". Often used the same way as "rac.*", below. Newsgroups abbreviations are often capitalized or not depending on the whim of the typist; "RAC" = "rac" = "R.A.C.", for instance. * rac.*: Used as a general abbreviation meaning "all of the rec.arts.comics.* newsgroups". * racm: rec.arts.comics.misc, the main group of the rac. hierarchy. Also rac.misc. * racmp: The current abbreviation for rec.arts.comics.marketplace, which can't be racm because that's .misc. Also * racmu: rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe, where Spiderman, FF, New Warriors etc. belong. * racmx: rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks. * racx: Abbreviation of rec.arts.comics.xbooks, the original incarnation of racmx. * rac'ers: Netters who frequent any of the rac. groups. * retcon: Short for "retroactive continuity." For the full story on retcon, see the full rac. FAQ, posted montly on A retcon is the act of a writer "squeezing" something into past storylines when no evidence of it at all existed when those storylines were written. The best example of this in the X-titles is Cable. When Liefeld and Simonson created Cable, he had never been seen, mentioned, or listed in any Marvel comic before. Suddenly, he appears, and every mutant character who had been around forever is saying, "Ah, Cable, haven't seen you around for a while." Well, duh, he hadn't been invented yet. This mass infusion of history which had never existed before is a classic retcon. While "retcon" is usually used in a derisive, insulting sense, this is more due to the fact that most retcons are the tools of modestly- skilled writers working under deadline with an improper grounding in continuity and thus end up being badly handled, as opposed to any inherent fault in the idea of the retcon. * The Sledgehammer of Angst: Properly, "Fabian Nicieza's Sledgehammer of Angst! (TM)", this term originated in David Henry's infrequent reviews of X-titles on racx, and refers to the typically heavy-handed way in which that writer of X-Men tended to lay on the plot troubles and theatrics. While Nicieza laid down the Sledgehammer recently due to a change in his writing style, the term has entered general use in xbooks and is included here for that reason. * troll: A newsgroup poster who posts trivial or inflammatory material in order to irritate other posters and, hopefully, trick them into making foolish spectacles of themselves. Avoid responding to obvious trolls at all costs, no matter how tempting a target they make themselves. * xbooks: A common abbreviation of rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks. To keep from being confused with the actual comics themselves, xbookers are encouraged to refer to the newsgroup as xbooks, and the comics as the X-titles. * xbookers: Netters who frequent xbooks. * XTAS: A quick abbreviation for X-Men: the Animated Series. Can also be used to set apart XTAS characters from their "normal" comic counterparts: Rogue-TAS versus Rogue, for instance. * YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary. -- Kate the Short *

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