ComicBase 16: For the Collector Who Wants it All
Astonishing amounts of new content, as well as collection graphs, speed improvements, and more!
ComicBase 16 has been two years in the making, and it's easily our most astounding release ever. In the past version alone, we've added enough issues to fill 350 long boxes; added more new pictures to the Archive Edition than even existed in the first two Archive Editions; and worked in great new features like collection breakdowns, pie charts, and more.
An Explosion of New Content
Thanks to our incredibly hard working staff of editors and indexers, as well as the invaluable contributions of the legions of ComicBase users, ComicBase 16 features more new and updated information than ever before. The sheer amount of new information is astounding: over 70,000 new issues; over 80,000 new cover images for the Archive Edition; and a jaw dropping 270,000 updates to pricing and issue information just since ComicBase 15.
To put this into real-word terms, we've added enough comics since the last version to make a stack almost three times the height of the Statue of Liberty; added enough new pictures to cover two faces of the Washington Monument; and if every one of the 270,000 pricing and information updates took just a single line of tiny seven point Arial type, it would form a book the dimensions of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide-but with over four times the number of pages. And that's just the new stuff we've added since ComicBase 15!
But Wait, There's More!
In addition to absolutely crushing it in the content department, we've also made some great updates to ComicBase itself. Thanks to some clever coding, title-to-title movement is now up to 30% faster than before, and picture drawing is far smoother than in previous versions. We also paid a lot of attention to the installation and upgrade process. Now, upgrading from previous versions usually takes only a few seconds. Better yet, we've trimmed the time required for picture installation into a tiny fraction of what was previously required. Even the Archive Edition, which contains over 80,000 more pictures than the previous version, went from a process best left to run overnight (if not multiple nights!) to something that is easily accomplished in a little more than an hour on most computers.
But as much as ComicBase 16 was focused on content and improved functionality, we also managed to to slip in a few very cool new features as well, including a handy new Find Preview that makes it easier to see important information (including cover pictures) for selected titles and issues:
The new Find Preview gives access to the essential details of each comic in one place
We've also added new analysis tools to the ComicBase Statistics, giving you the ability to see your collection broken down by everything from era to condition, complete with interactive pie charting and reporting.
Exercise your financial data analyst with the new collection breakdowns and pie charts
Badges: Some things we do for the sheer fun of being a collector
On a less serious note, ComicBase now comes with "badges" to give you a pat on the back for trying out its many features. These are a fun way to get credit for doing things ranging from inventorying all those back issues in your closet, trying out the grading wizard, sending in information on obscure issues that have somehow eluded our grasp until now, or selling your unwanted stuff on Atomic Avenue. You can see which badges you've won on your Profile page at comicbase.com.
Getting Your Copy
So what does this all this great new stuff cost? If you've got a current ComicBase subscription, it's absolutely free! That's because every copy of ComicBase comes with a subscription entitling you to both information and program updates for an entire year. Current subscribers will see a serial number and download links to ComicBase 16 on their registrations page by the time you read this newsletter.
If your subscription has run out, there's no better to upgrade than right now. We're also offering some terrific deals on renewals which let you upgrade to ComicBase 16-including our special 20th Anniversary Archive Edition-and stay current with the ever-changing world of comics for an entire year. Just hop on over to comicbase.com or go directly to your registrations page and hit the "Renew/Upgrade" button to see all your upgrade options.
The 20th Anniversary Archive Edition
Just over twenty years ago, a young interface designer and computer programmer named Pete was burning the midnight oil on his Macintosh IIci, trying to turn a side-project he'd created to show off his own comic book collection into a commercial product. Originally written in a language called "HyperCard", the project was a huge (for the time) multimedia database of comic books that spanned 297 different titles from Accident Man toZwanna, Son of Zulu, and included eye-popping, 8-bit color scans-something that kept the program from initially launching on PCs of the era, as many did not have graphic cards that would have supported such multimedia excess. As it was, he had to trim the 298th title from ComicBase 1.0, as it wouldn't quite fit on the six compressed floppy disks which formed the software package (Sorry, Tarzan!).
In the years that followed, ComicBase creator Pete Bickford married his fiancee Carolyn. She had proved she was a keeper by gamely helping him schlep countless heavy boxes of comics-as well as a computer setup-to the various local comic shows in the Northern California area, selling books and demoing early versions of ComicBase. In time, the pair realized they could save an awful lot of backstrain by focusing solely on the software side of things.
ComicBase went from version to version, growing constantly and gaining new fans, and becoming distributed nationwide. In time, it was rewritten from scratch for the PC, and its popularity exploded. Soon this side project had outgrown Pete and Carolyn's apartment and turned into a real business. Meanwhile, the amount of content nearly doubled when ComicBase formed an alliance with Comics Buyer's Guide. Always one to push boundaries of existing technology, ComicBase was one of the first products to take advantage of both CD and DVD, as well the internet and the new smart phones that were beginning to appear. When Blu-Ray came out, ComicBase was the first commercial PC product to appear on the new format (a feat it repeated again when 50 GB Blu-Ray became available).
To celebrate the madcap history that took one person's side project and turned it into the most powerful tool for managing serious comic collections ever created, we've created a special "20th Anniversary Archive Edition" which includes everything in our top-of-the-line, 3-DVD Archive Edition-plus a nigh-indestructible, metal 8 GB USB thumb drive, perfect for transferring large documents, music, and photos when you're on the go.
We only have a limited supply of these beauties, but while supplies last, folks upgrading or renewing their subscription to ComicBase Archive Edition will automatically be given the 20th Anniversary Edition at no extra cost. It's just our way of saying thanks for your support that let us make our living over the past two decades in the crazy comic field that we all love so much.
Fun with Collection Breakdowns
If you have a look at the bottom of the new ComicBase Statistics window (File > ComicBase Statistics, or F12), you'll see a new dropdown menu that lets you not only see your collection's values by publisher, but now also see everything from how much of your comics are graphic novels to what percentage of your total collection's value comes from Golden Age classics vs. more modern books. You can even see what your collection says about your changing tastes by comparing the percentage of your collection devoted to super-heroes to serious dramas or even westerns.
Clicking the graph icon to the right brings up a pie chart showing your results in a tastefully blue-shaded pie chart (or, if you prefer a less-tasteful, "fruit salad" style chart, hold down the Alt key when you click the Graph icon). You can click a slice to see its percentages and details, or click an item in the legend at right to highlight a particular slice. You can even double-click on a pie slice to go directly to a list of the titles or issues which made up that slice:
Depending on your needs, and which breakdown you're looking at, you might want to further control the information being charted by selecting from the "View by" menu at the upper left of the graph window. This lets you switch between viewing your breakdown by the number of comics in each category, the price, current value, or cost.
One of my favorite things about the new collection breakdowns is how much the data on my own collection surprised even me. For instance, I had utterly forgotten that I had comics from Norway in my collection, and I had no idea that I owned nearly as many bronze age books as it turns out I do. Looking at ComicBase as a whole, I would never have guessed that the most common type of comic listed isn't super-heroes-it's actually comedy. I was also a little taken aback to discover that anthology comics such as 2000 A.D. comprise a most the same number of comics in the database as the old familiar super-hero comics.
Viewing things internationally, it's no surprise that most of the comics in ComicBase hail from the US (56%), but the UK is right behind with 27%. Interestingly, German comics are nearly 5% of the total listed, for which we likely owe a great deal of thanks to the many great folks we met at the Erlangen Comic-Salon a few years back, and who have been busily sending us information on German comics ever since. Danke schön, meine Freunde!
Despite the growing importance of graphic novels in recent years, I was surprised to find they still form a paltry 2.3% of the total number of comics listed, and even a lesser percentage of the total value. Viewing by era, we discovered that while Golden Age books are only about 4% of the comics listed, they hold 49.2% of the total value of all known comics!
By all means give the new collection breakdowns a shot-even if you're not a big numbers person, what you find may be a real eye-opener.
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