Frequently Asked Questions About ComicBase


General Information

What’s the difference between the Professional and the Archive editions?

How do I renew weekly updates after my subscription has expired?

What versions of Windows does ComicBase work on?

Does ComicBase run on Macintosh computers?

Major New Releases

What do upgrades cost?

Can I download updates from the web?

Can I download pictures from the web?

What’s the difference between a content update and a program update?

Will the titles I’ve added to the old version be picked up by the updater?

What happens to the notes I’ve entered when I run the updater?

Content

Does ComicBase include every comic ever published?

How do you decide which titles to include in ComicBase?

How far back do the titles go?

Does ComicBase cover independents?

Where can I find a list of all the titles in ComicBase?

Can I add my own titles?

Where are the rest of the X-Men (or Justice Leagues, or...)?

Why isn’t (my favorite title) listed in ComicBase?

Comic Pricing

What Is ComicBase’s pricing based on?

What is the difference between an issue’s cost, value, and selling price?

Why are the totals for "Current Value" and "Selling Price" different on reports?

Managing Your Collection

How do I use ComicBase to keep track of multiple collections?

How do I go directly to the next comic’s issue detail screen when modifying several comics?

Iíve got a bunch of variant comics. How do I know what to call them?

What’s the best way to backup my database?

How do I restore from a backup

Technical Issues

How do I transfer an older database to ComicBase?

How do I post comics to Atomic Avenue for sale?

I can’t find my picture folder. Where did it go?

What do I do when I get an Error 1710, Error 2738 or “Installation ended prematurely” error?

I need to download ComicBase again. How do I do that?

I’m a user getting an OCX error. Help!

I have a tech issue not covered in this FAQ

General Information

Whatís the difference between the Express, Professional, Archive and Blu-ray Editions?

The ComicBase Express Edition comes on a single CD-ROM.  It includes the entire database with over 5,000 cover images. ComicBase Express supports barcodes for faster data entry and includes a year of free downloadable price & issue updates.

The ComicBase Professional Edition comes on two CD-ROMs, and includes the entire database, everything in the Express, plus almost 40,000 cover scans. It also includes great bonuses like Batch Barcode entry, Palm and Pocket PC tools, as well as a sampler of a few thousand pictures from the Archive Edition (many in full size, high definition), and a cool screen saver which cycles through all your available comic images.

The Archive Edition has everything the Professional Edition has, plus about five times more content packed onto three DVD-ROM disks. (Note: this requires a DVD-ROM drive—if your computer doesn’t have one, you can get them for as little as $20 online, or at your local electronics store). The huge capacity of DVD-ROMs lets us include over 575,000 images—the majority of which are in full size, high definition format. These are not only gorgeous to look at, but valuable for helping identify variants and special comics. The Archive Edition also includes an expanded version of the database with CGC census data and circulation figures for tens of thousands of issues. It also includes almost a hundred video clips and exclusive interviews with some of comics’ most influential creators, including Mark Waid, Frank Miller, Julius Schwartz, and many more.

The Blu-ray Archive Edition is the mother of all comic collection software.  Over 46 GB of content and our complete library of more than 575,000 high quality cover images, with tens of thousands in ultra-high-definition 4K format.  The Blu-ray edition has all the expanded features of Archive, including expanded creator fields for storyline, writer, penciler and more as well as the ability to export to mobile phones and tablets, customizable fields, and Four year price histories with graphs for each comic.  You will also receive four blu-ray discs quarterly with picture updates.

For a complete list of the program features and differences, check out our ComicBase Product Comparison Chart PDF (492 kb) for a detailed rundown! Visit our What’s New section for full desriptions of the latest ComicBase features.

How do I renew weekly updates after my subscription has expired?

If you have a current version of ComicBase, you can easily continue getting your weekly updates--as well as the most current version of ComicBase by renewing your subscription at www.comicbase.com>My Account>Registrations. If you did not purchase ComicBase from us, you may need to register your product to do so.

If you have version of ComicBase before ComicBase 12, you will have to upgrade to a current version first. You can do this by going to www.comicbase.com>Products and selecting which edition of ComicBase you would like and within the product description, clicking the Get It Now button. You will need to log in with your ComicBase ID (or register if you have not done so already. Then you can upgrade from the version you have, and download it.

What versions of Windows does ComicBase work on?

Current versions of ComicBase (including ComicBase FREE and ComicBase Express) will run on Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or later (including Windows 10). Earlier versions of Windows are no longer supported by Microsoft, so we are unable to guarantee that ComicBase works on them, and we would encourage you to upgrade older machines to at least Windows 7.

Does ComicBase run on Macintosh computers?

As long-time ComicBase users know, we originally came out as a Macintosh-only program. Today, the program runs natively on Windows computers, but we still love the Mac. You can run the program on your Mac under Parallels (or a similar solution like VirtualBox) -- or Apple's Boot Camp software (included with current versions of Mac OS X).

Major New Releases

What do upgrades cost?

Updates in the past have been priced at $59.95–$69.95 for Professional Edition (CD) upgrades; and $129.95–$149.95 for Archives (DVD). You can order the current version online from our web store. Price may vary from year to year and during promotional specials, however, so check the web site for the latest specials.

Can I download updates from the web?

Program updates (e.g. 12.0.1, 12.0.2... ) can be downloaded for free from our web site’s software Support section. The latest ComicBase release will also be available for download, for free, to all current ComicBase subscribers.

Weekly price and title updates are available to users of ComicBase 10 or later with current subscriptions. Simply go to the Internet menu in ComicBase and choose Check for Program Updates to download information on the latest comic releases.

Can I download pictures from the web?

ComicBase Archive users with a current subscription can download picture updates. Archive edition users are also able to download pictures at will by right-clicking on the issues they want pictures for and selecting the “Download Cover” command.

What’s the difference between a content update and a program update?

Program Updates change the ComicBase program to a new version (e.g. 12.0.1, 12.0.4, etc.), usually to fix bugs or add new program features. These are posted on the ComicBase web site in the Support section, and also appear when you use ComicBase’s Internet menu to Check for Program Updates.

Note: Program updates only work within the same major version of the program. E.g., ComicBase 11 users can update to 11.0.1, 11.1.2, etc., but these updates will not work with ComicBase 10 or earlier. You can upgrade from earlier versions of ComicBase at special upgrade prices by entering your current ComicBase serial number when ordering at our online store.

Content Updates are posted each week (usually by Friday evening) and include all the changes to the data inside ComicBase, including all the new information on comics that came out that week, as well as corrected and expanded entries. They also include up-to-the-minute pricing data for all your comics.

You can check for new content updates manually using the Internet Menu’s Check for Program Updates command, or use the Setup menu’s Preferences command to choose how often ComicBase will automatically check for updates.

Bonus Tip: Content updates normally take only a few minutes to download and run. If yours is running slow, download the most current version of ComicBase and make sure to use ComicBase’s File > File Tools command to Compact and Verify your Database. You can also have ComicBase automatically Compact and Verify your database (strongly recommended) using the Setup menu’s Preferences command.

What happens to the notes I’ve entered when I run the updater?

Notes “stack”: if your notes are identical to the ones in the update, (e.g. "1st appearance of John Constantine") it’ll be listed as such. If your notes are different, both your original notes and the notes from the update will be listed in the updated issue.

Content

Does ComicBase include every comic ever published?

No, but we do have an awful lot, making us the most comprehensive and accurate comic book database avaialble.

ComicBase 2017 has over 800,000 individual issue listings as of November 2016, ranging from Golden Age super-heroes to mini-comics to manga. Every week, active subscribers may download additional and new issues and titles.

How do you decide which titles to include in ComicBase?

Our goal is to come as close to covering every comic as possible. Over the years, our definitions of what is included have expanded considerably, and ComicBase now even boasts titles that are not traditionally considered comics, but which are related to comic books and are of interest to the comic book reader. Such listings include comic strip collections, promotional materials, comic magazines, art books, and books about comics. A notable example would be the book Seduction of the Innocent, a nonfiction book, for its extraordinary significance in comic history.

How far back do the titles go?

In the current edition of ComicBase, the oldest comic dates back to 1878.

Does ComicBase cover independents?

We make a special effort to cover independent publishers, and as a result, list titles from over 5,000 publishers in the current edition of ComicBase.

Where can I find a list of all the titles in ComicBase?

Right here. This listed is updated weekly.

Can I add my own titles?

Absolutely! Just use the “New Title” command in ComicBase’s Comics menu.

Where are the rest of the X-Men (or Justice Leagues, or...)?

Marvel’s X-Men are listed as X-Men (1st series) until issue #142, after which they went through a little-noticed name change to become officially The Uncanny X-Men (where subsequent issues are listed). Justice League America/International/Europe went through numerous such mid-title name changes, and issues are listed under the appropriate titles (although the shifts still make us dizzy). We generally try to smooth such transitions by noting where series are continued in the notes of the last issue of the original run, as well as where they are continued from in the first issue of the renamed series.As a final note: we probably would have continued listing the X-Men under the original series name had Marvel not introduced a second title (also called X-Men) which ran simultaneously with the newly renamed Uncanny X-Men. Oh, those wacky publishers...

Why isn’t (my favorite title) listed in ComicBase?

First, make sure that the title isn’t listed under a different name. Checking the book’s indicia for the proper name, and using the Find > Title Name command is very useful in determining if you’re looking in the right place for a title. Some very rare and independent titles don't make it into ComicBase, because, well, even our intrepid crew hasn't been tipped off about their existence. If you're sure your comic is not simply listed under a title other than you think it has, use the “Submit New or Corrected Data” feature to send us full details and cover scans and we’ll look into adding it to our database!

Pricing

What Is ComicBase’s pricing based on?

Unlike mere price guides, ComicBase prices are actual reports of live market data from over 2 million verified market transactions from Atomic Avenue, as well as auction sales data from Heritage Auction Galleries. These prices are updated each week, reflecting successful sales and seller pricing.

What is the difference between an issue’s cost, value, and selling price?

The cost of an issue is what you paid for it. As it ships, ComicBase has zeroes for the “quantity in stock” of every issue in its database, and blanks for the cost. If you want to track the cost of your collection, you should fill in the cost fields as you add issues to the database.

An issue’s value is its “guide price”: the estimated price at which it could be reasonably expected to be bought or sold. ComicBase tracks the near-mint values of all its issues for the past four years, from which it can calculate the value of that issue in other conditions (see Grading Setup in the ComicBase user guide).

Finally, an issue’s price or selling price is the price at which you are offering the issue for sale. As ComicBase ships, this is set to its current value, although you are free to set the selling price higher or lower. The default price for an issue that’s not in near mint condition may also differ slightly from its strictly calculated value, due to price rounding (see below).

On reports, why are the totals for “Current Value” and “Selling Price” different?

ComicBase calculates the value of a comic strictly, using the grading values table. (You can go to the Setup menu to customize your Grading Setup.)The default price of an issue is rounded to “sensible” values. For instance, a certain very good-condition comic might have a strict value of 88¢, but its default price would be rounded to 90¢. Similarly, a comic with a strict, graded value of $218.25 would be given a default price of $220.

Managing Your Collection

How do I use ComicBase to keep track of multiple collections?

With ComicBase 12 and later editions, just use the File menu’s New command to create a new database to track the collection. You can then use the File menu’s Open command (and quick pick list) to quickly move between them.

How do I go directly to the next comic’s issue detail screen when modifying several comics?

Just select all the issues you want to work with before beginning to modify them. If you’re working from the grid view, select the issues you want to modify, then press the Enter key. If you’re working from the Comics Menu’s "Modify Issues" window, select the issues you want to modify, then click the "Modify" button (or press the Enter key). Each issue will appear up in turn after you save your changes to the previous one. Pressing Cancel stops the process.

Iíve got a bunch of variant comics. How do I know what to call them?

Once upon a time, variants were a rarity, and were easily handled by just designating comics as, for instance, “#1” for the regular edition, and “#1/GO” for the “Gold Logo” edition of issue #1. Today, with publishers like Avatar regularly publishing over a dozen variants for every single issue, we’ve shifted away from the more descriptive variant abbreviations (e.g. “1/PL” for “#1 Platinum Edition”, “1/SI” for “#1 Silver Edition”, “1/Nude” for “#1 Nude Edition”) in favor of the simpler “1/A”, “1/B”, “1/C” etc. . Many publishers have started following this convention, and in these cases we'll follow the publisher's designation of how the variant is labelled.

Unfortunately, many variants were spewed out more or less randomly by the publishers, marketing different editions to various collectors’ markets, and sometimes going back to print years after the fact to release new variants of old comics. Typically, even the publishers themselves don’t possess a comprehensive list of these variants, much less any sort of classification of the different editions.

In such cases, we’re forced to simply designate each comic as we discover it, noting the distinctions between each edition in the Notes field of the comic, and compiling photo reference of the different editions whenever possible. (ComicBase Archive Edition is especially useful for variant identification, as it includes photo reference for thousands of variant covers, making issue matching much easier).

What’s the best way to backup my database?

For daily backups, it’s best to just let ComicBase save its automatic backup. You can control whether ComicBase backs up your database each time you quit and where the backup is saved using the Setup menu’s Preferences command. It takes an extra minute or two to save the database when you quit, but this extra copy can be a lifesaver if your regular database is damaged by a disk error or virus.

If you’ve got more than one hard drive, it’s a good idea to have the backup save to a different drive than your regular database. This can save your tuchus should you hear the terrible “whirr-click-thunk! Whirr-click-thunk!” of your hard drive deciding that today was a good day to die.

In addition to the daily backups, we also recommend periodically burning a copy of your database off to a CD or DVD (or using a tape backup), or using ComicBase 17 or later's Backup to Cloud command in Sidekick. Doing this every month is a good minimum, although the key question to ask yourself is how much work could you stand losing if your computer got wiped by a virus, hit by lightning, stolen, ruined in a flood, or destroyed by a spouse who resented all the time you spent with your comic collection.

Please note since CD and DVD recorders aren’t quite as simple for Windows to write to as a hard drive, you normally can’t burn a copy to CD by just using the File menu’s “Save a Copy” command from within ComicBase. Generally, you’ll need to Save a Copy to your desktop first, and then use your CD or DVD recorder’s disc-writing software to “burn” it onto the CD/DVD.

How do I restore from a backup?

First, install ComicBase if it’s not already on your computer. Move your backup copy onto your hard drive—we’d suggest putting it in your ComicBase folder. (See our Tech Notes if you don’t know where your folder is.) Finally, launch ComicBase, and use the File menu to Open the backup from that same folder.

Technical Issues

How do I transfer an older database to ComicBase?

If you have an older version of ComicBase installed on your computer, ComicBase 12 and above will automatically offer to upgrade your older database to the newest version. You can also ask ComicBase 12 to upgrade any older database by using the File menu to Open your older ComicBase database file and ComicBase 12 will take it from there.

How do I post comics to Atomic Avenue for sale?

If you’ve got your comics already entered in the database, all you really have to do is use the Internet > Sell command. Then, just fill in your Atomic Avenue user ID and password (or click “Sign Up” if you don’t have one yet). Choose any other options that apply in the dialog below and click the Sell button.

I can’t find my picture folder. Where did it go?

The new default location of pictures and movies is: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\Human Computing. For more details and other new file locations, check out our Tech Tip on ComicBase 14 and Above: New File Locations.

What do I do when I get an Error 1710, Error 2738 or “Installation ended prematurely” error?

Click here and follow the directions.

I need to download ComicBase again. How do I do that?

Go to your Registrations page: the download link will appear to the left of the product name.

I’m a user getting an OCX error. Help!

OCX errors are caused by incomplete installations of the program and are easily fixed.  Simply uninstall ComicBase, turn off all anti-virus, spyware, etc. and reinstall.  This will not affect your data unless you go to the extra effort of deleting all your files.

Vista Users: Before starting the uninstall/reinstall process, be sure to turn on UAC (User Accounts Control) and reboot your machine, as it is necessary for UAC to be on for ComicBase to function properly.

I have a tech issue not covered in this FAQ!

Try our Tech Tips section for details on how to problem-solve specific issues, or you can visit the ComicBase/Atomic Avenue forums for previous discussions from other users.

To contact Human Computing Tech Support directly, please e-mail support@comicbase.com.