Rebooting Comixpedia, Part 5: Genres and Formats?

I want to adopt a more systematic method of describing webcomics for Comixpedia. Part of this is needed for a forthcoming library of creators for Comixpedia. My first take is to adopt a list of genres and formats so that each comic can be tagged with both.

Here’s how I would break down formats:
– Series (unlimited)
– Limited Series (published in serialized format)
– Novella (published as a complete webcomic)
– Short Story (published as a complete webcomic)

Genres could be pretty discrete or as simple as splitting up comedy and drama. But what do you think? How would you set up your ideal taxonomy for webcomics and their creators? Your comments will definitely help me with this effort.

Xaviar Xerexes

Wandering webcomic ronin. Created Comixpedia (2002-2005) and ComixTalk (2006-2012; 2016-?). Made a lot of unfinished comics and novels.


  1. I’m hoping edits to comments will be possible in the new version of the software. The new comments modules is still in beta though.

  2. What division by presentation? For example, comic strip, comic book-style page, flash comic, infinite canvas, etc. I realize this is kind of nebulous territory a lot of times, but it’s an idea I thought might be worth tossing out.

  3. Because I generally dont like those two genres and thus never consider them when it comes to conversations like this.

    But in truth, SF shouldnt be in there as well, since it describes setting, not themes. You can scare people, make them feel love, and exite them with violence, but you cant spaceship them.

  4. Damned if I know, just thinking out loud, although it’s not really out load because it’s written, but I suppose the keyboard still makes that clicking noise…

    Aw, you know what I mean.

  5. Read that “What ABOUT division by…”

    Hey, how about making the comments editable by the authors? (Or am I dumb and missed the button.)

  6. The “nebulous-ness” is exactly what makes me angst about this. Sure there’s a difference between 3 panel horiz. strip and a way out infinite canvas (although it’s really a sliding scale from one to the other) but where do you draw the line(s). This actually seems a bit different to me than a question of whether comics should be tagged with their underlying file format (flash, png/jpg/gif, etc) in the library.

    Putting aside genre (because that will get categorized somehow) what would a reader want to get from a “presentation” taxinomy? why would you want to pull up a list of 3 panel strips that included every kind of story under the sun? Not saying there’s not a good reason for that – I’m asking to see what it would be.

  7. I’d just go with the simple “Shelves at Blockbuster” stuff:

    Comedy, action, romance, drama, horror, SF, documentary (non fiction). Pretty much everything will fall into those categories.

  8. Personally, I like a lot the separations on . It’s clear and concise, and you can easily find, say, slice-of-life manga comics, cartoony drama (!?) or American College gag-a-day strips with this method.

  9. How would you classify a comic that was published in serialized format but is no longer being serialized, either because the story was completed or because the author just stopped? Also, I’m not too clear on the difference between Series and Limited Series. Is it just a matter of length?

  10. That was a stab at recognizing the differences between webcomics – two of the biggest splits to me are length and serialization.

    There is a huge difference between a strip like Sluggy Freelance that is basically serialized forever and a one-shot short story like The Discovery of Spoons. I was trying to come up with a few in-betweens to bridge the gap with Limited Series and Novella.

    If a serialized story is completed I’d put it in the Limited Series I think. If it just stopped I would leave it where it was originally.

    I’m not deeply sure of any of this though – so I’m hoping to hear from people with opinions on comics classification…

  11. There’s definitely a lot of merit to this approach. It’s clean – it’s understandable to everyone (don’t have to explain terms to people not familar with comics). Of course once you get past the basic split of comedy and drama though you’re getting onto a bit of a slippery slope. Why include horror, action, romance and SF and not say “fantasy” or “mystery”?

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