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iancharcoal
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I realize this may be out of the current scope for SMC, but honestly it seems to be the most equipped to support it out of everything else I have seen online.

The titles are in the system with the publication months/years recorded. The information is already there.

I am thinking of a visual timeline you can scroll horizontally along, seeing events (story arcs), instances (deaths, first appearances), and the comics you have in your stash:

 

The multicolored tag symbols are supposed to represent any comics you have stashed for that particular month/year.

One benefit to this would be to see where a particular comic is located on the timeline.  Duh, right? But think about this:  You know that confusion you get when you pick up a backissue comic and you have a hard time placing exactly when the issue took place?

It would be great to see where that issue lies on the timeline, to compare its position with the nearby storyarcs.  Then this huge incandescent light bulb switches on in your head, heats up violently, and explodes from the surge of energy this timeline just gave you.  "Ohhh, now I know what all the characters are complaining about."

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This is awesome I have a few pages of my own work on this. If you
need hellp I will offer my service when I can. Marvel history is my
forte.

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nisav
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thats cool, i like it.

is there a general name for a chart like that? or just
timeline chart?

so would each event then have 3 tags then. 1 that
represents the whole event, 2 that represents thats what
you have stashed, 3 what you have in your wish list.

the multi colored tags, do they represent a different
title in that event for that month? what if its like DC
52, where they were being printed weekly or biweekly, how
would those multiple issues in one month would be
displayed, or would they?


Edited by nisav - 24 October 2011 at 6:13am



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iancharcoal
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The multicolored tags are up in the air, I initially just meant them to be any comic the user had stashed, not necessarily every comic that came out that month.

For titles like DC's 52 and the like which are printed more often than once a month, I think they should be represented correctly, so space would need to be made to have their own column of tags in the span of that month.

Concerning the name of the timeline, i'm thinking there would be at least two levels of the timeline that you could.

-universe level - shows the big storyarcs

or drill down to a more detailed level:

-Character/title level - shows the big storyarcs along with events related to a particular character or title

i can make some more mockups as needed if we get a better idea of how it should look

chipreece
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Neat! Great idea dude!

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ulyssesjasonnewcomb
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Am I correct in understanding this is a publishing timeline
with events superimposed?

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nisav
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iancharcoal wrote

The multicolored tags are up in the air, I initially just meant them to be any comic the user had stashed, not necessarily every comic that came out that
month.


the "any comic" part and a few other things you said are throwing me a bit...just to be clear...you mean any comic that the user has stashed for the single event that is being
viewed.

so the user would pick an event, which would then display a timeline just for that one event. it would display all titles/issues that are part of that single event.

i found a tool that i think would work great for this. here is an example they put together which i think works great for this, so instead of tags and stuff, we would display
the actual cover image. and the timeline can be configured in multiple time frames, so adding the weekly stuff should be possible, would just probably need to use the in store
date, instead of the publish date, since they will all have the same publish month and year.
http://www.simile-widgets.org/timeline/examples/compact-pain ter/compact-painter.html

they have others examples if anyone is interested in checking them out
http://www.simile-widgets.org/timeline/examples/index.html


iancharcoal wrote

-Character/title level - shows the big storyarcs along with events related to a particular character or title



we would have to do multiple separate time lines.
so there could be one for a title, which just displays all the issues of that title basically.
one for a specific character which gives a timeline of all the appearances, deaths, etc.
one for a specific event, which we have been discussing, which displays all the issues in that event.

or did you mean something even more detailed like....event + character....which displayes all the issues in the event where character x appears.



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nisav
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JasonNewcomb wrote
Am I correct in understanding this is
a publishing timeline
with events superimposed?


basically yes.   so you have an event and this displays all
the titles/issues that are part of that event in a
chronological order of being published.

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Hmm, I don't like that. A left and right time line is too rigid for something as fluid as comic book event time lines. Especially when it comes to time travel stuff and publishing schedules that are delayed and messed up.

Here's what I propose. An interactive "mind map" of comic book events.

Choose an event - click it - it shows you a wider view of the books associated with that event with their publishing dates attached. Sort of like this. http://lifehacker.com/5188833/hive-five-five-best-mind-mappi ng-applications

That way you don't run in to the problem of time "jumps" when you are trying to synch up two conflicting horizontal time lines. Plus, no need for multiple time lines for separate titles and what not. To find out more about the event you just navigate a different branch of the spider map or zoom out to see how things connect together.


Edited by JasonNewcomb - 24 October 2011 at 6:53pm



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nisav
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i don't understand how time travel affects this, since everything is generated based on the
date the comic was published, and not what its contents hold.

as far as schedule delays, most likely anything having to do with that even thats coming out
that month would be effected by the same schedule and anything coming out after it wont be
published until this comes out first. so i dont think schedule issues would have any real
impact.

the mind map doesn't give you an order or what took place
when as far as what issue comes before another issue in the
event. if you have more than one title then you have
multiple branches, but there is nothing that tells you how
the items in those two branches affect one another. which
issue in branch A comes before or after an issue in Branch
B.


Edited by nisav - 24 October 2011 at 7:11pm



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OK, the way you worded it I thought it was the other way around. I think as long as the main time line is of the even itself. That works.

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iancharcoal
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Concerning time travel:
Assuming they take place in the same timeline:

[--Event (past)--] _______ [--Event--]

I figured the word 'past' should be included, so viewers know that the comic telling that story actually came out at a later time. That's one idea for that.  Moving in/out of alternate timelines would be tricky, I'll keep thinking about that.  Worst case scenario would be a completely separate timeline.

nisav wrote
iancharcoal wrote

The multicolored tags are up in the air, I initially just meant them to be any comic the user had stashed, not necessarily every comic that came out that
month.


the "any comic" part and a few other things you said are throwing me a bit...just to be clear...you mean any comic that the user has stashed for the single event that is being
viewed.


Actually, I was thinking every comic they had stashed, regardless if it relates to the event. Within reason, no need to have a stashed Marvel issue appear in a DC's timeline. So the stashed issues would at least be related by universe

I checked out the example timelines, I almost prefer the look of the JFK assassination one because it doesn't have pictures.  And honestly I think it would be cool with pictures, I am just worried it would look too cluttered with images, lines of events/storyarcs, and instances.  I supposed if the timeline was stretched out enough or the pictures were small enough it would work fine.

nisav wrote

or did you mean something even more detailed like....event + character....which displayes all the issues in the event where character x appears.

I was not thinking that detailed.  What I was thinking about more was smaller storyarcs that people don't really care about or events that only affect one character, that people may not need/want to see when they are looking at a big picture timeline.  But if the user wanted, they could go ahead and toggle that title or character's events to the timeline.


Edited by iancharcoal - 26 October 2011 at 2:54am

nisav
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i think allowing to show all the comics, even for a
single publisher is way overkill. the amount of data
that would need to be processed would probably crash some
browsers.

i think this needs to be limited to single specific item.
you can view a specific title
you can view a specific event
you can view a specific character (even this i think
might have so much data in it for someone like batman
that there will be problems.)

to do something like all events for a specific publisher,
or even all events based on what is stashed. i think
would need to be summarized. so for civil war it
wouldn't display an item for every single month, but
instead a single line that represents the start and
end of the event in general,and then clicking on that would load a new
timeline for that specific event.


Edited by nisav - 26 October 2011 at 6:47am



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This sounds like a great idea but one that is going to end
up taking alot of time and space to maintain.

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nisav
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not really. its all about the data. as long as the issues
themselves are maintained we are 90% there. the rest is
just writing up some code to transform that data to
something that's usable by the timeline. thats why im
trying to figure out as many details as possible now so i
dont have to keep rewriting code.

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iancharcoal
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nisav wrote

to do something like all events for a specific publisher,
or even all events based on what is stashed. i think
would need to be summarized. so for civil war it
wouldn't display an item for every single month, but
instead a single line that represents the start and
end of the event in general,and then clicking on that would load a new
timeline for that specific event.

That sounds good. Ultimately this is what I was thinking a user could do:

  1. Choose a specific issue
  2. Select which events/storyarcs they would like to see on the timeline in comparison to that issue
    1. character specific
    2. title specific
    3. universe specific (displayed as the lines you mentioned earlier, such as blackest night or secret invasion)
      This would be the most "zoomed out" view so to speak of the timeline

And then also the ability to toggle different instances off and on, like:

  1. Deaths
  2. Births
  3. Resurrections
  4. First appearances
  5. And possibly custom notes (entries entered by us that could help explain things occurring at the time that aren't so quantifiable or recordable. Can't think of an example right now, so it may not be relevant)

Because of long standing histories like Batman, perhaps a certain year limit could be imposed for initial loading of the timeline?

And, as an afterthought, what about writers/drawers/inkers?  Would seeing their info on a timeline be beneficial or valuable to anyone?  I'm impartial, it just came to mind because the information is there.