[WikiEN-l] Comic book articles and fancruft (was: Pattern copyvios involving...)

Phil Sandifer Snowspinner at gmail.com
Sat Oct 21 15:06:30 UTC 2006

On Oct 21, 2006, at 10:38 AM, Ray Saintonge wrote:

> I'll save you the problem of embarassing yourself with an elaboration.
> An encyclopedia that doesn't suck recognizes that different people  
> have
> different ideas about what is important, and respects them for that.
> What could be more self-evident than that.

It may be that my point has gotten lost amongst the rhetoric here.  
Personally, I'd vote to keep any article on a costumed character in  
Marvel or DC with appearances in multiple issues. The problems are  
not in terms of what is important.

The problem is... well, let's pull up a solid midlist Marvel  
character - Speedball. 1603 word article. Only 500 words of that  
pertain to the real world instead of the fictional world of the  
comics. That's the problem. Fancruft is in many ways a poor choice of  
terms for this. Especially since it's not even necessarily the case  
that the information itself is the problem. The problem is that  
virtually the entire article was written so as to pertain to the  
Marvel Universe, with occasional citations of issue number.

It's not a problem unique to any area, either. I'll wager that any  
fictional text that has spawned articles about its individual  
characters has at least one article like this. (Oddly, the exception  
to this seems to be Pokemon, where all of the articles I've glanced  
at [Admittedly just a sample] take an out-of-universe perspective.)

Phil Sandifer
sandifer at english.ufl.edu

You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a  
boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.


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