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Given the recent rise in popularity of Comic Books (Movies, TV Shows, the books themselves) I think it would be cool if there was SE dedicated to them. I did some research, and saw there wasn't one yet (or at the very least I can't find it), so I looked into what it takes to make one.

However, after doing some research, I'm concerned the proposal would overlap scfi too much. Per the FAQ:

In general, if a site makes sense as part of a bigger site, it's better to have one big site than a bunch of little niche sites.

This obviously made sense to me. However, it continued:

Site X should be subsumed by site Y if:

  1. Almost all X questions are on-topic for site Y
  2. If Y already exists, it already has a tag for X, and nobody is complaining
  3. You're not creating such a big group that you don't have enough experts to answer all possible questions
  4. There's a high probability that users of site Y would enjoy seeing the occasional question about X

This has me concerned that under these guidelines, it could potentially overlap with SC-FI

  1. Almost all X questions are on-topic for site Y

This one has me probably the most concerned, as theoretically most everything Comic Books technically could be considered SC-FI.

However, I found this question on SC-FI Meta about this subject which prompted this answer:

If a question asks, say, about Galactus's origin, sure, that's on-topic. Asking about how nobody recognizes Clark Kent to be Superman with a squint would be clearly off-topic. Superman's origin is clearly SF, but his work at the Daily Planet kinda isn't.

Which I find interesting, because, on a Comic Books SE, Superman's work at the Daily Planet probably is on topic. There definitely would be a lot of questions like this on a Comic Book SE that wouldn't be on topic for SC-FI.

Also worth noting is that a Comic Books SE could conceivably cover the history of the companies (Marvel and DC) themselves, which is also probably off topic for SC-FI

  1. If Y already exists, it already has a tag for X, and nobody is complaining

This one is also tricky, as there are several tags on SC-FI which would totally belong on Comic Books, but it's not just one tag. It's more of a subset of tags.

  1. You're not creating such a big group that you don't have enough experts to answer all possible questions

I would imagine that Comic Books would be a huge group, between bloggers, and youtubers who live and breathe a lot of this stuff daily, not to mention actual historians and people who have worked on relevant projects.

  1. There's a high probability that users of site Y would enjoy seeing the occasional question about X

I'm also iffy on this one, as I'm not familiar enough with this specific community whether they like these questions or merely tolerate them.

Could someone with more experience with these things than I tell me if this proposal is worth pursuing, or would it instantly get closed for overlap? Perhaps has this already been tried and failed for the same reasons?

  • So, if I'm understanding you right, what you're saying is that it's better to have SEs that cover something specific, and ask there when it overlaps instead of having a central place for all comic questions? – Chipster Feb 28 at 18:52
  • It's better to have SE sites with a particular area of expertise, but remember that such areas often overlap a lot rather than support definite black-and-white boundaries. The result is that many actual sites already overlap a little, and most potential sites already have their subjects covered somewhere across the network (or would just not be a good fit for the network anyway). – Nij Feb 28 at 18:57
  • So overlap isn't a reason for definite fail if I could make a good enough argument that it is none of those things? That said, it is still a cause for concern. – Chipster Feb 28 at 19:01
  • If you can convince Robert that you have the community to support a Comics site, and that it will be something both significant enough and distinct enough to need its own space, it'll go ahead, sure. – Nij Feb 28 at 21:34
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Yes, unfortunately it would overlap significantly with existing sites.

At this time, the intended use case for testing an idea for a site is propose it — but in doing so, you are also asked to affirm two prerequisites before submitting that form:

  1. Do you have an avid community organized and ready to build your site?
    The audience of Area 51 cannot find a community for you. The bulk of your support has to come from elsewhere. If you do not have a community or organization ready to back your efforts, please do not submit an application for a site.
  2. Can your questions be asked on other site(s)?
    Area 51 is currently accepting proposals for subjects which cannot be asked elsewhere on the network. We do not split off tags or subjects simply to give a topic its own space.

Unfortunately, a "comic book" site at this stage would fail on both accounts. It has been tried many many times and ultimately, it was the broader subjects mentioned throughout this thread which prevailed. On a side note, I don't necessarily agree with that specific SF&F quote you cited in this context — Science Fiction & Fantasy is about works of science fiction; not just the science-y stuff. But that aside —

For a site to be considered viable, the subject (identified by the site title) needs to be somewhat recognizable as a comprehensive subject to just about anyone who might stumble across it. We cannot effectively grow a sustainable community around a gerrymandered hodgepodge of questions which don't happen to fit elsewhere. You're better off working with the source communities to see if such questions can be accommodated.


Incidentally, all the "do we need a site about {x}?" posts get the same answer — which is likely the reason for the down-votes. This might have been better asked of the science fiction community, but I do need to work up a better canonical checklist for proposing a site.

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Comics would overlap directly with

  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • Literature

  • Anime & Manga

and then potentially

  • Ebooks

  • Writing

  • Worldbuilding

have areas of expertise that are likely to be relevant as well.

Yes, a Comics Stack Exchange has been tried before. You don't see it or any other failed proposals, to ensure they aren't used to beat down later attempts that may occur in a changed context. In this case though, context is virtually identical.

  • So, did the others fail for this reason specifically as well then? – Chipster Feb 28 at 18:56
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    They didn't fail so much as "agree to stop trying". I can't speak for more than the previous one, but the significant overlaps were cited as a major reason that it would be unlikely to succeed. – Nij Feb 28 at 18:58
  • Awesome. Thanks for your help. I'll try to stop bugging you :D – Chipster Feb 28 at 19:02
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Comic books might overlap a lot with Science Fiction & Fantasy, but they are already on-topic on Literature

The relevant meta post had 4 answers that unanimously agreed that comic books are on-topic on Literature.SE.

While I don't know if questions regarding companies that publish comic books are on-topic on Literature.SE, I don't think ComicBooks.SE will fly with so much overlap at current writing.

Also, there's already a whole site for Movies & TV.

  • Good answer. I'm probably gonna wait for more of them though before I consider accepting. – Chipster Feb 28 at 18:46
  • Although, to be fair, a ComicBooks.SE could include movies too, and the TV shows which might not be literature. – Chipster Feb 28 at 18:50
  • @Chipster did you mean Movies & TV? – Andrew T. Feb 28 at 18:53
  • Not exactly. What I'm saying is that it would encompass everything comic related. Sure, there would be some overlap, but it's not really any of those things specifically. – Chipster Feb 28 at 18:55

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