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

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

   * 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 

   * 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

   * 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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