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WELCOME TO REC.ARTS.COMICS (part one of two)

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Paul A. Estin

Dec 19, 1990, 3:07:21 AM12/19/90
written by lots of different people
edited by Paul A. Estin

[last update: 12/18/90]

This is a newsgroup devoted to the discussion of comic books,
comic strips, graphic novels, and sequential art. Feel free to ask
questions or post articles on any of those topics. Enjoy!

This article, posted monthly, is provided to help out new
readers of r.a.c. It contains five parts:

1. a glossary of some common terms used here
2. guidelines for posting articles
3. guidelines for reviews
4. e-mail addresses to ask for various types of comics-related files
5. the addresses of comics-related mailing lists.

For more general information about Usenet, please examine the
newsgroups news.announce.newusers and news.newusers.questions; there
is lots of useful information in them. Feel free to e-mail me if you
have any suggestions as to what should be included in this "Welcome to
Rec.arts.comics" post.

1. The USENET/ Rec.arts.comics lingo glossary:

bandwidth = analogous to a radio bandwidth (frequency), referring to
the resources needed to propagate posts. Usually used in the
phrase "stop wasting bandwidth", which means simply "don't post
BTW = by the way
CBG = Comic Buyers' Guide, a weekly newspaper
Crisis on Infinite Earths = a 12-issue series published by DC in 1985-6.
The "Crisis" was used as an excuse to revamp the DC Universe,
to change DC history retroactively (see "retcon"), to remake
several popular DC characters, and to generally confuse lots
of readers and provide a perennial topic of discussion on r.a.c.
(See also "pre-Crisis" and "post-Crisis")
CSN = Comic Shop News, a free weekly hype sheet
dangling plotline = an unresolved plotline or mystery which an author
has apparently forgotten about, since it hasn't been mentioned
in a long time. Sometimes abbreviated "dangler".
flame = an inflammatory, insulting post
flame war = a flame response to a flame responding to a flame...
"the fourth wall" = originally used with reference to stage sets, this
term refers to the imaginary wall between the characters and
the audience. "Breaking the fourth wall" refers to comics
in which the characters are aware that they exist in a comic
book, sometimes for the purpose of humor.
furry = anthropomorphic animal
FYI = for your information
IMHO = in my humble (or honest) opinion
IMPO = in my personal (or pompous) opinion
IOW = in other words
ito = in terms of
JLA, JLE, JLI, JLUTB = the popular DC super-hero groups "Justice League
America", "Justice League Europe", "Justice League International",
and for those tired of them, the hypothetical "Justice League
kill file = a file usable in the "rn" news program that one can keep to
"filter out" disliked topics, keywords, or posters
LSH = Legion of Super-heroes (a DC comic book)
OHOTMUDE = Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition
patch = to fill in a missing portion of the continuity of a character or
title. For example, if a writer decides that Daredevil learned
many of his skills from a previously-unmentioned man named "Stick",
this is a patch. (See also "retcon")
pre-Crisis = events/history/characters in the DC Universe as they existed
*prior* to the Crisis on Infinite Earths. (See "Crisis")
post-Crisis = events/history/characters in the DC Universe as they existed
*after* the Crisis on Infinite Earths. (See "Crisis)
retcon = to retroactively change the continuity of a character or title.
(This term was coined by Damian Cugley). For example, if a
writer decides that Jean Grey never became Phoenix, but that
instead the Phoenix force created a copy of Jean's body separate
from her original body, this is a retcon. (See also "patch")
signal-to-noise ratio = in a newsgroup, the proportion of useful articles
to useless ones (such as flames). We like to keep the signal
relatively high and the noise very low.
SOL = s--t out of luck
spoilers = information about a comic which could spoil the surprise for
those who haven't read it yet
TMNT = Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
wrt = with respect to
WSD = willing suspension of disbelief
:-) = a "smiley", used to indicate humor or sarcasm

2. Guidelines for Posting Articles

First, if you haven't already done so, read the articles in
news.announce.newusers, especially "A Primer on How to Work with the
USENET Community". In fact, go read it even if you've read it before;
the article contains many helpful suggestions.

After you have done that, read these r.a.c-specific comments:

* Have something to say, and support your arguments
Post because you want to say something about comics, or ask
a question about comics. Don't post to satisfy your ego. Respect
other posters' opinions, though you may disagree with them. When
arguing a point, rational argument with examples is preferable to
sheer volume, or, worse, to personal attack. Say something
substantive, that others would like to read and perhaps reply to.

* Never forget that the person on the other side is human.
This is a generally a friendly, tolerant newsgroup, and we
like to keep it that way. One of the things which can destroy the
pleasant atmosphere around here are "flames": inflammatory, insulting
posts. People send articles saying things that they would never say
to one another in person, perhaps because of the anonymity that
electronic newsgroups provide. Please refrain from doing this. There
*are* people on the other end of your message, and they're likely to
take offense at your taking offense. The result is called a "flame
war", and it wastes the time of everybody on the newsgroup. When you
respond to an article, even one with which you vehemently disagree,
try to respond to the *article*, not the poster; give reasoned
rebuttal, not personal invective. Also, try not to dash off a reply
in anger; you may regret it later. Instead, wait until after you've
had some sleep and calmed down, before you reply.

* Think about your audience.
In r.a.c, we're discussing *comics*. To a certain extent,
postings on animation are also tolerated, but rec.arts.animation is
probably a more proper place for them (or rec.arts.anime for Japanese
animation). However, posts which have nothing to do with comics, such
as non-comics-related Star Trek, political/religious rants or personal
attacks, have no place in r.a.c.

* Be careful with humor and sarcasm.
Subtle humor tends to be missed in text-only form. There is a
standard net method for indicating sarcasm: the "smiley", a group of
symbols which look like a smiley-face on its side, like this :-)

* Use mail, don't post a follow-up
Many types of replies are best given by private electronic
mail, not posted to the entire newsgroup audience. This seems
obvious, but many people ignore this. For example, if someone posts a
poll or a trivia contest, you should reply to them by electronic mail.
Don't post!

* Don't overdo signatures
You can include a signature on the end of your posts. (In
"rn", if you create a ".signature" file, it will be added
automatically.) But keep it short. Nothing is more boring than
wading through the same long signature repeated on multiple articles.
A maximum of four lines is suggested (and, on some systems, four is
the maximum possible).

* Read all follow-ups and don't repeat what has already been said
This is especially important for answering questions that lots
of people know the answers to, such as "What's the name of that bald
guy who founded the X-Men?" or "When did Elrod last appear in
Cerebus?" If you want to respond to an article or query, mark it (use
the "M" key in "rn"), make sure no one has already said what you want
to, and *then* go back and reply.

* Don't repost just because there were no follow-ups
Don't assume that, simply because there weren't any follow-ups
to your post, that it didn't go out. *Most* messages do not generate
any follow-ups. If you go and post the message again, simply because
it didn't cause discussion the first time, you will simply annoy
others and make yourself look foolish.

* Double-check follow-up newsgroups and distributions
"Cross-posting" is the practice of posting the same article to
multiple newsgroups. If you're posting a review about the Akira
movie, for example, then it might be relevant to the newsgroups
rec.arts.anime, rec.arts.comics, and But try
to limit crossposts as much as possible, and when you feel you *must*
cross-post, include a "Follow-up:" line to only one of the newsgroups
(in the sample case, probably "Follow-up: rec.arts.anime").
"Distribution" refers to how far a post will propagate. In
r.a.c, the appropriate distribution will probably be "world"; don't
shut out our Canadian or European friends by posting to "usa" or "na"
(North America). On the flip side, if you're posting about a local
event, post to "local" distribution or whatever is appropriate (e.g.,
"nj" for New Jersey). Sometimes it's hard to tell what's appropriate;
thus, if you're telling people about a convention in the Boston area,
and some people from outside Massachusetts might be interested (likely
true), then you may wish to post to a wider area, like "usa" or "na".
But try to apologize in advance when you do.

* Cite appropriate references
In r.a.c, this means that it's preferable to include your
source when stating "news" or "rumors". For example, you might say,
"I read in Amazing Heroes Preview that John Byrne is leaving the
Avengers." That's preferable to stating "I heard that..."

* Mark Answers or Spoilers
Ever had someone tell you events in a movie that you wanted to
see, spoiling the surprise? It's the same with comics. If something
you say might "give away" information about a new comic, state
"WARNING: SPOILERS" at the beginning and/or header of your article.
Also, insert a "<ctrl>L" so that the article doesn't scroll. In the
"emacs" editor, this is done by typing <ctrl>Q followed by <ctrl>L.
In the "vi" editor, type <ctrl>V and then <ctrl>L.

3. Guidelines for Reviews

There are several people who post reviews of comics
periodically. Feel free to post your own reviews. Jim Drew has
helpfully provided the following suggested guidelines:

Jim's Rules of Review (like Robert's Rules of Order, and followed as often B-)
1. Don't review it if there is nothing to say about it.
2. Don't review *everything.*
3. Have a broad spectrum of reviews -- include something no one else will.
3.a. Don't be *too* esoteric -- include something from Marvel or DC, too.
4. Develop a style for your reviews that is uniquely your own.
5. Discuss the plot/themes/art/etc. "I liked it" is insufficient.

People can e-mail Jim Drew directly for the expanded discussion.

[end of part one of Welcome]

- - - - - - - - -
Feel free to send additions, corrections, suggestions, comments to:

Paul Andrew Estin
1216 E. 54th St. #1
Chicago, IL 60615

and remember:
"There are no net.gods, just some people with bigger mouths than others."
- Dan'l DanehyOakes, net.roach

Fuzzy Fox

Jan 10, 1991, 12:26:25 AM1/10/91
I am looking for issue #8 of Zot! by Scott McCloud. Good condition or
better, please.

If anyone can give a quick price quote, that would be much appreciated.

Please send E-mail.

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