Multi-Stakeholder Committee Addresses Challenges In Fractured Publisher Data Landscape

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, February 23, 2024. At the annual meeting of ComicsPro, the Trade Association for Comic Book Retailers, that group’s Metadata Working Group released a white paper and implementation guide for a new data standard for products in the comic book market, called the Comet Standard.

Developed by a group, including large and small publishers, retailers, distributors, and software developers, as well as subject experts from the book industry, the Comet Standard is a tool to ensure that product data remains uniform regardless of which publisher creates it or which distributor circulates it. It contains guidelines around the use of series codes, genre categorization, spelling of creator names, and more.

“Nobody wants to talk about metadata–it’s not sexy,” said Katie Pryde, Committee Chair and owner of Books with Pictures, a comic book store in Portland, Oregon. “But bad metadata results in product confusion, bad series sequences, confusing variant cover designations, and subsequent mis-orders and incorrect subscriptions. That costs retailers time and money, and frustrates our core customers. The goal of this standard is to change data from something we fight with just to do the most basic parts of store management into something that can be used to improve sales, smooth store operations, and make everyone in the chain more money.”

Publishers, distributors, and retailers will be asked to sign on to the “Comet Code”–declaring their intention to adapt their current metadata procedures to the new standard.

Contributors to the Comet Standard include Jessica Wells (Penguin Random House), Alex Morales (Marvel), Betsy Golden (DC Comics), Cameron Merkler (Lunar Distribution), Corey Hart (Diamond Comic Distributors), JC Cunningham (Graham Crackers Comics), Django Bohren (Comic Shop Assistant), Brian Garside (Manage Comics), Stu Colson (ComicHub), Conan Saunders (My Comic Shop), Tomo Tran (Kodansha USA), and many others.

ComicsPro is the only trade association for comic book retail, dedicated to providing support and mutual uplift for brick-and-mortar comic book retailers. The group meets online throughout the year, and once annually in person. This year’s meeting is the second consecutive meeting held in Pittsburgh.

For more information, contact Katie Pryde at [email protected].

The full White Paper and Implementation Guide can be downloaded from

Contact Information:
ComicsPro Metadata Working Group
Katie Pryde
[email protected]
(607) 262-0439