There are 180 Italian stories with the Phantom Blot, I think there is no other solution than to check them all.
Since he appeared unmasked several times across Ultraheroes, I was not thinking of this one-pager. I was more thinking along the lines of the whole character dichotomy (which is why I suggested making his civilian identity an extra character): After all, when you read a story like Casty's "Mickey Mouse and the Orbiting Nightmare" in contrast to one of Murry's stories, or Kurt Behnke's "A Tainted Image" (which shows him having a benign brother wearing a white cloak, and Mickey speculating about the Blot's origin - he says he never considered him a human being!), and add to this the tendency of German translators to call him "Plattnase" in Italian stories, especially those where the face was shown, as opposed to "Das Schwarze Phantom", then it's hard to reconcile those two versions of what was once the same character.
Today Befana showed up on the character list when I went to Inducks, very exciting! (She didn't appear in my Inducks for the first few days after Cacou entered her; there was a bit of a time lag until the list was refreshed or whatever.)
And...Spectrus confirms that Befana does indeed appear in the Hard Haid Moe story: inducks.org/story.php?c=I+TL+2876-1
Perhaps I should have communicated that in another way, but though I created an Inducks account years ago, I'm afraid I don't remember the password et al. so this is faster.
One thing that might be helpful to have somewhere on the home page: the suggestion that, if you search for a comic which you are sure exists and get the message that it doesn't, try putting an "a" after the issue number, in case there was more than one cover. Maybe this is only an issue for later USA comics, but I've been frustrated by putting some title and number in and getting the "no element found" message, before realizing that I have to specify the letter for the cover. I'm imagining some American new to INDUCKS running into this and having no idea why putting in, say, "Uncle Scrooge 400" doesn't get them anything and giving up.
I was tracking down some un-matched Donald and Scamp dailies to their respective appearances in the Netherlands earlier tonight. Although it's a lot more doable than it was even a few years ago, now that we have all of the scans, trying to find comics based on descriptions is still a big shot in the dark. Then I got to the Merry Menagerie comics, and I pretty much gave up. They're even worse than True-Life Adventures.
This got me wondering. Technology is so advanced nowadays, some AIs are at pattern recognition than humans in some cases. In theory, you could train an algorithm to match an image to a particular story, as long as there's a scan attached to that story. If ignore coloring, lettering, and other insertions like titles, the basic black-and-white drawing underneath is the same, right?
Naturally, this is an overly complicated and expensive solution to a problem that will solve itself sooner or later. It's just a cool idea that I dreamt up. I'll be seeing Bob Grant's elephants and tortoises in my dreams tonight, and Pokey and Shakey and Chatty and Tiny tomorrow.
I'm not outright dismissing the interesting idea, but it comes with some challenges.
On which set of annotated images would the method be trained?
And, even if someone comes up with a set of annotated "Money bins" and "Gyro thinking cap" and so on, will the predictions be acceptable in a "real world" where we have more than one million story pages?
I'm not familiar with machine learning, so I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to. What I had in mind was a version of Google image search, where you can upload an image and Google will find similar-looking images. I thought that if you were to take, for instance, the existing scans of the first pages of famous Barks stories, you have a variety of colorings, print quality, and additional marginalia to teach the algorithm to ignore. If you teach it to recognize those scans as belonging to the same code, and you group different sets under different codes, the computer learns what to look for when sorting an image. I'm talking about full pages (or panels) here, not what's supposed to be in the drawings. Each page or panel is unique, after all. The main challenge I see with that are countries like Belgium or Italy, which have a history of remounting stories for a 3-tier or 5-tier format.
All this because there's no decent way to sift through Merry Menagerie and True-Life Adventure dailies, even though we have excellent scans of most of them. How hard would it be for a computer to go through that dataset and find the image that most resembles mine, without being confused by color or text or title?
But yes, there are many things that can be done. But not at all easy, in my opinion.
Historically, the first thing that has been achieved and maybe the "easiest" consists in labeling items in images. So for instance, Zebra, giraffe etc. in merry menageries. For this you need a sufficient number of annotated images. You need more annotated images if they vary a lot in contrast, quality, format and so on.
It's easier for me to type in a few keywords than making a photo and uploading an image. Also the photo that you may take might be significantly different from the scans of images, so that ML methods may have a hard time recognizing anything.
I was wondering if subseries are only for explicit series, or whether they're also used to group stories together with a looser connection.
I would very much like there to be one header for all the Italian literary parodies, which are currently almost impossible to find as a whole. But that's a genre, not a series. (Also, not all parodies are equally direct.)
Subseries are normally used to link together stories that share a common characteristic. This characteristic is *usually denoted as such in publications*. So for instance "Daisy's Diaries" stories usually have a common logo in printed comics.
There are many reasons for creating list of stories, such as: stories where the number one dime appears, or the money bin. Where will that end?
So I'm not sure I can convince indexers to list Italian literature parodies as such.
That being said, it is possible currently to show "user-defined" list, see e.g.: