Thursday, January 16, 2014

The biodiversity of Duckburg

My generation is one of many that grew up with Disney comics. I must confess that I was actually an avid collector of Donald Duck comic books. My collection was quite large but at some point I sold it. I wish I hadn't as my son seems to develop a similar taste these days.

And now I get this email telling me that there exists a biodiversity database of Disney characters and it is not a small one. It contains a detailed list of more than 160,000 Disney comics stories and more than 50,000 publications, but it's not just a simple list―it includes descriptions of the stories, artists, number of pages, appearances and much more. A group of about 30 individuals spread on four continents have committed themselves to index every single Disney comic story and every single Disney comic magazine in the world. They are obviously not done but they have been doing this as a hobby and with no support from the Disney company.

The database has its own relational synonymy structure for character names across countries, with links describing the source publications for those names. That might sound familiar to some of my readers. For example, on the Uncle Scrooge page. In France, you'd call him: "Omer Picsou" or "Oncle Harpagon". In Argentina he's "Tío Rico", and in Germany "Onkel Dagobert". 

Moreover, some database entries have been used to produce a genealogical history of Disney's Duck characters and it is quite a big family tree.

h/t Rodger Gwiazdowski

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