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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-08-05/WikiProject report

Comic relief: An interview with a project that is centered around comics.

An interview with a project that is centered around comics


What is WikiProject Comics? WikiProject Comics is a "a project formed by Wikipedians to increase, expand, improve, and better organize articles related to comics in Wikipedia". In its scope, it has an impressive 48 featured articles, and 282 good articles. In all, in its scope it has 45,115 articles. With a WikiWork factor of 108,966, they have a lot of work to be done.

The Signpost reached out to project members, to ask about their experiences working on articles, and to find out their plan for expansion.

When did you first hear about WikiProject Comics? How did you start contributing to the group?

  • Argento Surfer: I was invited to join by User:Tenebrae in August 2011 after making a significant edit to Adam Warlock. I had been editing Wikipedia for less than a month, and had only registered earlier that week.
  • Darkwarriorblake:I don't honestly remember, I know when I came to Wikipedia I was mostly editing character articles, and a lot of my work went into the Eddie Brock article as I was a big Venom fan, and other main articles like Batman or Spider-Man were already very developed. When I was learning about Wikiprojects I saw you could add yourself to a particular Taskforce so I added my name, watched the page, and then gradually become more involved in active discussions.

I see you have an impressive amount of FA articles, and GA articles in your scope. Does your project edit regularly to make it happen?

  • Argento Surfer: Project participants mostly work independent of each other, but I believe there was an effort at coordinated improvements prior to the time I joined (late 2011).
  • Darkwarriorblake: I don't think the project works regularly. What I have found with most Taskforces/Wikiprojects is that the number of active users tends to be very small and we all have our own passions which shift greatly with real world influences such as characters/stories being turned into films or games. I have never experienced multiple editors working on major articles, they tend to become passion projects for one or two users with more casual users chipping in here and there. And there are so many comic related articles, the chances of tripping over another user are rare.

It looks like your project was formed in 2004. How active would you say it was now?

  • Argento Surfer: I'm not involved with other projects, so it's hard for me to gauge the activity level, other than to say it appears less active than it used to be. Looking through the discussion archives, new topics used to receive more replies than they do now.
  • Darkwarriorblake: Low, but I think this is true of most projects. You can open discussions on any project and you'll either get no response or typically the same handful of people responding. It does make it difficult sometimes to generate meaningful discussion and some things end up boiling down to two users at opposing ends just fighting with each other.

What can a new member do to help out?

  • Argento Surfer: We have a clean up list that is an easy place to start. There's also a large number of articles that have excessive plot details that need pruning. There's an on-going effort to merge articles for minor characters to List of Marvel Comics characters, although it is sometimes met with resistance.

Do you work with any WikiProjects, or have any parent/child WikiProjects?

  • Argento Surfer: Because of the increase in the number of comic-based films and television, there is growing overlap with those projects. All of our articles comic creators belong to the biography project. I am not aware of any direct collaboration in these areas. We have workgroups for certain publishers, but I am unaware of any activity in them - I believe they have become a relic.
  • Darkwarriorblake:Child wikiprojects have less to absolutely no activity on them, so I stick to the top level projects now. A lot of areas I am interested in such as video games, comics and films all overlap heavily so it works well for me.

What is your favorite thing to do, in the scope of this project?

  • Argento Surfer: This has varied over time. At one point, clearing items from the clean up list was my primary pastime. I have also been active with merges and deletion discussions. Currently, I like to create new articles about comics I enjoy reading and raising them to GA or FA status. I also patrol the list of newly created pages and make an effort to be inviting to new editors. When their first articles aren't very good, I help improve them while providing links explaining what I've done.
  • Darkwarriorblake:I like developing articles in content and style and bringing them up to GA and then FA status. It's much harder on comics as certain people have beliefs on the way it should be and will obstruct attempts at promotion. I've been trying to promote the Joker for about 4 years, but it's always knocked back. It's very disheartening. But in between I might find a topic that interests me or someone will ask for help and I will dedicate some time to developing those articles.

Do you mostly work with films, or paper comics?

  • Argento Surfer: Paper.
  • Darkwarriorblake: Video games mostly now, comics articles are so hard to develop due to a lack of real world context for many things, and even harder to promote that it can sometimes not be worth the struggle.

Anything else you'd like to add?

A big thank you to Argento Surfer for a correction on question three on the interview. The question stated that "It looks like [the] project was formed in 2009.". Argento corrected this, and gave us evidence that the project was created in 2004.