Comic Book and Graphic Novel Support

Hi Shawn, long timer/first timer here!

What problem are you trying to solve?

  • Support for single issues of specific comic books beyond custom entires
  • Better support for Graphic Novels

Explain your ideal solution?

  • For single issues of specific comics, a valid/appropriate search would return a list of comic book titles, then clicking on the desired title would allow for entry of a specific issue number. Completed entry would have title, issue number and cover image added to list.
  • For single issues, the comic entry in a list view could have UI that drills down into an issue list.
  • For Graphic Novels, a new search option or a filter on book search that removes non-graphic novels? I don’t know enough about Sofa’s data sources to say for sure… Currently using book search will sometimes return a graphic novel if the title is unique enough, but even then, results are often not accurate or missing specific volumes in a series.

How are you currently solving this problem today?

  • Custom entries. And this works ok, but, my comic issue lists get a bit cluttered with entry names that include titles and issue number, and not having cover images makes shopping/title recall a bit difficult.
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Hey welcome to the forum! Happy to have you here :clap:.

Thanks for such a detailed suggestion. Comics and graphic novels would be a great addition to the app. I’ll have to do some research on data sources for this.

I know very little about the comics world…are comics and graphic novels usually categorized together? For example, if you tapped the + button would you expect to tap “Comics & Graphic Novels”?

In terms of the UI, it would make sense to me if the + button exposed a “Comics & Graphic Novels” option to initiate a search, but from a data object standpoint, a comic book might be something a little bit different from a graphic novel.

I think in this use case, a graphic novel is basically just a book. Most graphic novels have ISBNs and like I mentioned Sofa does an ok job finding them through book search. Anecdotally, I’d say it’s right about 60% of the time, but the result I’m looking for is usually mixed in with unrelated books. Also, anecdotal, but most of the misses that actually return results from search seem to assume the title of the book I’m searching for is the name of the author. Which is just a long way of saying whatever data source you’re using does have graphic novels in there, but it looks like it’s returning results with books as the default. So, just guessing, but maybe there is some way to focus searches on just graphic novels?

In terms of single issues of comic books, I do occasionally see them listed in search results, but there doesn’t seem to be a good way to search up a specific issue. For example, searching New X-Men returns a bunch of applicable graphic novels, but a search for New X-Men 121 doesn’t return anything:

For the use case here, there might be gaps in a comic collection, or an artist that you like might just do one or two issues of a comic, and being able to add just specific issues to a list would be awesome, as opposed to having an entire series listed.

Side note, I think something like that could also work well for TV shows where you could have a list of just your favorite episodes, not an entire series. And all that would take is just refactoring Sofa’s entire data structure, right? :smile:

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Thanks for the details :+1:

The app uses the iTunes API for book data. Apple Books does have comics and graphic novels, as you know, but I don’t know how large that specific library is.

@pascavage I know you’re a comic book guy. Is this something you’re using Sofa for today or using another app?

This one is weird because if you search for the vol # it will work. So search “New X-Men Vol 2” should show you what you’re looking for. I’ll need to look into why it’s not working the other way.

lol no biggie :upside_down_face:. Multiple people have requested the same for TV shows. I’m not against it by any means, but doing it without adding a serious amount of complexity will be tricky.

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@shawn I use an app called CLZ Comics. It is like a virtual repository of your collection. You add comics by searching their database OR scanning the barcode. So if something doesn’t exist already in the search, once you scan the “new” one in I think it gets added to their search data.

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