FAQ: A Guide to Posting on rec.arts.comics.*

Andrew Black ablack01 at optushome.com.au
Mon Apr 11 23:34:58 PDT 2005


Okay, to begin with, we *want* you to post here.  We *want*
conversation. We *want* new people to feel welcome.  The problem is
that we just got new carpet, and we're asking you to take your shoes
off.  Well, not quite.  We don't *own* the newsgroup.  We can't *make*
you do anything.  The thing is some of us have been reading and
posting to rec.arts.comics.* for a long time and we have found that
there are certain little conventions that make life easier, not just
by excluding certain topics from certain groups, but by consolidating
those topics as well.

You want to sell your books?  Well, rec.arts.comics.marketplace exists
*solely* to help you do that.  It's there to get you together with
your customers.  But the other groups aren't for that.  Nobody who
isn't reading rec.arts.comics.marketplace cares.  We know about
rac.mp, and if we want to buy a comic, we'll wander over there, but
please keep "for sale" posts off the other groups.  It's like smoking
in a restaurant or a changing room for babies in church.  Certain
areas are designated for certain things, and it impedes the enjoyment
of others if you post in the wrong areas.

Case in point: X-Men comics.  The *main* reason rac.marvel.xbooks was
proposed was to get rid of that stuff.  You think it's neat to discuss
casting the X-Men movie?  So did we, the first fifteen or so times.
The fifteenth time was back in 1991, however, and it's starting to
wear a bit thin.  However, in rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks you will
find people who *want* to discuss this type of thing.

The same general principle is true of every group in the hierarchy. 
They have good reasons for existing, and we, as a community, would ask
you to respect that should you choose to participate.  If you don't
have one of the groups listed below, then ask your system
administrator to create it. It's considered bad manners to post anyway
simply because you don't happen to get a particular group.  These
groups are all valid, and they all passed votes.  Your sysadmin would
probably be willing to add them. 

Anyway, here's a brief summary of the groups in rec.arts.comics.* and
examples of the sorts of things that might go there.  (Note: these
aren't the charters, these are actual examples.)

o rec.arts.comics.creative: Stories about characters which are created
  by the posters of racc.  Take note, you don't post fanfic using
  trademarked characters (Spider-Man, Batman, Icon, whoever) here,
  there's an alt.* group for that. (It's called
  "alt.comics.fan-fiction," and if you don't get it at your site, ask
  your system administrator to create it.)

  This group became moderated in December 1996 in order to enforce
  the charter.  Russ Allbery is the head moderator.

o rec.arts.comics.dc.lsh: Posts on Legion of Super-Heroes go here and
  nowhere else unless there's a reason to crosspost.

o rec.arts.comics.dc.universe: Batman, Superman, Green Lantern,
  New Gods, Wonder Woman, Impulse.  Anything that takes place in the
  shared world of the DC publishing company goes here.
  Wildstorm/ABC/Homage  doesn't go here because that's not part of the
  DC universe. (Pop over to rec.arts.comics.misc. They have a
  multitude of interesting threads there). Also, LSH and Vertigo have
  their own groups and don't go here.

o rec.arts.comics.dc.vertigo: Easy. If it has Vertigo written on it,
  be it a comic, a poster or a statue, it goes here.  This means, by
  the way, that stuff that has Paradox on it *doesn't* go here (it
  goes in rac.misc).

o rec.arts.comics.elfquest: Posts about all the different titles
  (past, present, and future; from the original quest to Jink, The
  Rebels, and beyond) and characters under the Elfquest banner goes

o rec.arts.comics.info: Purely informational articles like news and
  FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions lists) are the main posts to this
  group. Everything posted to this group is subject to approval by the
  moderator, Martin Wisse. You can send posts directly to him at 
  mpwisse at ad-astra.demon.nl

o rec.arts.comics.marketplace: Any post offering to buy, sell or
  auction (eBay users take note) anything comics related goes here,
  and *ONLY* here. This is the big one. Please take this stricture

o rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe: Spiderman, Hulk, Dr Strange, etc.
  Marvel mutant books have their own group, to wit:

o rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks: Marvel Mutant stuff goes here.
  New-X-Men, X-Factor, Wolverine, Cable, X-men novelizations, etc.

o rec.arts.comics.misc: anything that doesn't go in another *comics*
  group, goes here. Image, Wildstorm, Crossgen, Disney, Acclaim,
  Dark Horse, ABC Comics, Bongo, Fawcett, Archie, 2000AD, Tintin,
  Cerebus, Bone, Castle Waiting, what have you. Also, stuff about
  creators and the industry goes here.

o rec.arts.comics.reviews: Reviews of anything that's appropriate for
  discussion in any other group in the hierarchy.  Moderated by Peter
  B. Juul. You can send posts directly to him at
  racr-admin at enzym.rnd.uni-c.dk

o rec.arts.comics.strips: Post something here if it deals with
  short-form comic strips or panels of the sort found in newspapers
  (editorial or funny pages) or other periodicals.  Web comics of this
  type are also on-topic.

That's quite a few groups.  Figuring out what goes where can be kinda
tricky sometimes.  Try thinking about it this way.  There are
basically four types of groups.

The first type has complete precedence.  If it could possibly belong
in these groups, it belongs in no other group at all, period, full
stop. That's because these groups hold threads which a lot of people
find *really* annoying.  The two groups here are rac.creative and

The second type has high precedence.  These are the specialist groups
like rac.elfquest, rac.dc.lsh, rac.dc.vertigo, and rac.marvel.xbooks.
Posts go here if they don't go in the first group and they are about
the specialist topic.  Try not to do much crossposting into or out of
these groups.

The third type has middle precedence, so figuring out where an
ambiguous post goes can be ambiguous.  These are the rac.dc.universe
and rac.marvel.universe groups.  Posts go here if they're about DC or
Marvel comics or characters but they don't fit into the specialist
groups. rac.strips is also a middle precedence group because it is
more specialized than rac.misc but its topics are still quite broad.

The fourth type has minimal precedence.  Posts go here only if you're
certain that they don't go anywhere else.  This groups is rac.misc

(rac.info and rac.reviews don't fit into this categorization, since
they're set up so that news and reviews from all the other groups fit
here in addition to wherever they fit in the rest of the hierarchy.)

For clarity's sake (and for those of you with nested newsreaders) here
is a map of the rac.* hierachy which was originally drawn by Paul
O'Brien and kindly updated by Kate Hahn.

|        |        |  |          |        |   |        |        | 
|   rac.creative  |  |  rac.marketplace  |   |    rac.strips   |
|                 |  |                   |   |                 |
|                 |  |                   |   |                 | 
\                 |  \                   /   |                 /
 rac.reviews      |   rac.info   rac.misc    |     rac.elfquest
                  |                          |  
                  |                          |  
   +--------------+---+           +----------+--------------+
   | (rac.marvel.*)   |           |          |  (rac.dc.*)  |
   |                  |           |          |              |
racm.xbooks    racm.universe  racdc.lsh  racdc.vertigo  racdc.universe


Posting to more than one group is allowed fairly liberally if you have
a good reason.  If you don't think it's self-evident, you might want
to provide an explanation.  For example: when Mike Chary posted on
ICON 30, he crossposted to rec.arts.comics.misc and to the DC and
Marvel universe groups because it contained a parody of several
characters from those companies.  His reasoning was that there would
inevitably be discussion of those characters.  It didn't take place in
the universes, but it was *related* to those universes.  If Icon
fights Hulk, you can crosspost to rac.marvel.u  and rac.misc, for

Subject headings:

When you post, make sure the subject header of the post says something
that will let your reading audience know what you are talking about in
the article.  Also, try to be somewhat explicit to avoid confusion. 
If you are *asking* what episodes of Batman Beyond are airing in
September, dont make your subject header "BATMAN BEYOND: The
September Episodes." Someone's going to think you are *telling* what
the episodes are.  If they know already, they might not even read your
post.  A simple "?" at the end of the subject heading can fix that.
Also, if you follow something up but to talk about something
tangential in the post, change the subject header.  The use of
keywords is also suggested.  However, I don't want to go into that
here, it's in the FAQ.

Also, covered in the FAQ is the concept of "spoilers." Basically,
don't give away major plot points in a comic without some kind of
warning in the subject line: "SPOILERS," and blank space in your text
after a sentence saying "Spoilers below." As you might imagine, this
is a big issue.  (Have you ever had someone tell you the end of a
movie you haven't seen?) Tempers are rather short in this area. 
Anyway, the FAQ covers this in some detail.

Which brings me to the next thing.  The point of *this* post is to
enable you to post without annoying anyone.  However, if you have
*not* read the rec.arts.comics.* FAQs, please do.  They're divided up
so that each part is easily digestible, so there's really no excuse
for not reading them. You can get the FAQs from the following URL if
it's not on your site currently:


A couple of final notes, particuarly if you are new to Usenet:

Do yourself a favor and go read news.announce.newusers.  I don't have
much faith that you actually *will* do this, mind you.  Nobody ever
does.  I have visons of these posts sitting alone there like the
Maytag repairman, waiting, hoping that someday they too will be read.
I go by and read n.a.n.  sometimes just to let the posts know they are
loved :):):) Anyway, it would be a good idea to read those posts,
because we were new once too, and we did *not* read them, and look how
people are treating us now? :) Learn from our mistakes. That group is
your Usenet birthright. Also, treat yourself to some Usenet software
with a decent killfile capability. This will allow you to avoid those
topics or posters in whom you have no interest and make your browsing
all the more speedy and enjoyable. Carpe diem. :^) And have fun here,
that's what rac.* is for: having fun.

[Followups to this post are directed to rec.arts.comics.misc.]

original by Jonathon S. Tuttle, tuttle at alumni.berlin-polytechnic.de 
as modified by Mike Chary
as maintained by the uberFAQ consortium 
as updated by Andrew Black

Last change: 24 Jan 02

Andrew Black
...back from the grave to haunt those who did him wrong!
ablack01 at optushome.com.au 
"You and I became the cornerstones of the Brotherhood of Evil! An
empire of crime such as I'd dreamed of back in the old school, when
the other children used to laugh at me because I was a brain in a
tank." The Brain 

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