Who Watches the Watchers - Forum for the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe & Similar Works

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1/09/2020 3:34 pm  #1


About Who Watches the Watchers

Note to anyone joining us for the first time: This was written for a previous host site, CxPulp and originally posted 11-10-2013, 08:56 AM. While we were on CxPulp, site owner Craig Reade asked me to create a thread to explain this section of that site, so here goes (new people feel free to ask new questions and regulars feel free to suggest modifications). This will continue to be fine-tuned from time to time.
 
What is Who Watches the Watchers?

Who Watches the Watchers, originating in Comixfan, and then moving to CxPulp, then Capes (Optional), then here, is primarily for discussion of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (OHOTMU) and similar reference material such as Files books and Index books. People who wrote the 2004-2011 run and who still do profiles for other books often chime in. It appears to have started in 2004 (most current participants joined later), migrated from Comixfan to CxPulp in November 2013, then migrated once again from CxPulp to Capes (Optional) in January 2016. Capes (Optional) crased in March 2018, so an interim Facebook page was created in May 2018 to prevent participants from losing track of the board. Attempts were made to recover the lost data butin December 2019 capes Optional) was deemed irrepairable, thus leading to the creation of the current site.

What is the focus of Who Watches the Watchers discussion?

Mainly the Marvel Megaverse, that is stories set in the core Marvel Universe (its reality designations of 616 or Prime is often used as shorthand) as well as parallel universes and other dimensions related to the core Marvel Universe in some fashion.

There are some threads of a broader scope (Omniverse Map, Non-Marvel Handbooks) as well as threads devoted to comparable reference works (Who’s Who/Secret Files, Invincible Universe, Dark Tower) but those are the exception and not the rule.
With the move to the current Boardhost site, additional sections were creation to allow for greater discussion of pop culture as a whole, but the marvel Megaverse remains the primary focus of the site.

What is the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe?

OHOTMU is profiles of characters, teams and other aspects of the Marvel Megaverse as published by Marvel itself.

What is the difference between a Handbook and a Files book?

A Handbook is written from the perspective or someone in the real world. Files books tend to have fewer categories and profiles are narrated by characters in the Marvel Universe.

What are some of the key threads?

The Master List catalogues all the characters, teams, etc. profiled in works published by Marvel. The Sightings thread is similar, only it’s for profiles found somewhere (usually at the back) of otherwise non-Handbook comics. Things People Keep Getting Wrong is for debunking misconceptions about Marvel concepts. The Q&A thread is for general questions. Non-Marvel Handbooks is for catalogue all reference works not published by Marvel, as well as any off topic reference works published by Marvel (see below). While it’s popularity has waned in recent years, the Wish List thread is used to ask for profiles on specific characters, teams, etc.

Can I talk about non-Marvel Megaverse stuff?

Not in the main section devoted to Official Marvel Works (Handbooks, Guidebooks, Indices, Files, Etc). Most other sections you probably can. Just keep in mind that the official Marvel Wo0rks are the primary focus of the forum. Other stuff is considered secondary.

Are licensed properties on topic for the Official Marvel Works section?

Depends on the property. Rom, Micronauts, and Team America (the toys, not the movie made by the South Park people) are an integral part of the Marvel Megaverse. Conan (and thus his Handbook) and Godzilla are part of the Marvel Megaverse in work published by Marvel but not elsewhere. GI Joe is considered off topic and so is Transformers (though it appears from their earliest issues that they were originally intended to be set in the 616 universe); therefore both of their Handbooks are off topic, but can be discussed in the Non-Marvel Handbooks thread. Sectaurs are probably off topic but no one’s been clamouring to talk about them anyway. Crystar is often perceived as a licensed character but is actually owned by Marvel and therefore entirely on topic.

What about Marvel Encyclopedias?

There was a six volume set published by Marvel circa 2003. Those are on topic for the most part fortje Official Marvel Works, but the Hulk volume isn’t really an encyclopedia and tends to be regarded as that drunken uncle everyone tries to pretend doesn’t exist.

Encyclopedias and similar reference works published by other companies such as DK instead of Marvel, even if they’re promoted as official, tend not to be fact checked to the same degree and are thus downplayed here except in the Non-Marvel Handbooks thread. At one point they were going to be added to the Master List but that never happened at the time and would now be considered off topic for that list. All that having been said, with the most recent move, they can be discussed in the Reference Works that are Non-Marvel/Not Officially Marvel section.

Why do most of the threads appear to have been started by one or two people?

First off you have to coinsider the previous move. The Comixfan set-up was considered to be too unstable to move over directly, so we had to use text-based archives to move everything over and reformat the threads. A couple of people simply had more time to do this, something that was also the case for later moves. So for threads starting prior to November 2013, the actual thread starter is usually the person identified at the top of the old text

Some of the older material seems a bit fragmented and there is very little material from Capes (Optional). Why is that?

A few years ago Comixfan crashed and was then moved. Some threads survived entirely intact, some threads were lost entirely (e.g. the Anita Blake threads) and some threads were only partly salvageable. In the latter case we’ve migrated over what we can. Unfortunately, the Capes (Optional) crash caught us all unprepared so we only had a small amount saved. We’re using the Wayback Machine to recover some lost data, but there isn’t much to be found there.

Is Marvel considered superior to other companies by Who Watches the Watchers?

Not necessarily, though some individual users may think so. It’s just that Marvel has published more Handbooks in house than any other company and many of the people who wrote the most recent Handbooks made themselves available. If Robert Greenberger (who wrote many of the earlier Who’s Who books and was slated a few years back to write a revival) were to suddenly start posting, we’d undoubtedly make room for more DC-related threads.

Can I start my own thread?

Sure, but make sure it’s relevant and not covered elsewhere. Most general questions can be asked in the Q&A thread and all the Handbooks and Index books 2004-on have their own threads, as do most of the Files books. You can also do a keyword search to try to find a relevant thread. Threads that are too general may at the Moderators' discretion be folded into the General Q&A thread.

How seriously do people take things here?

Depends on how you look at it. We tend to be pretty obsessed with trivia and minutiae related to the Marvel Megaverse. However we also tend not to take ourselves too seriously and while we disagree from time to time, actual flamewars are pretty much unheard of here. We’re aware that these are all fictional constructs.

Was everything moved over from Comixfan to CxPulp?

Unless we've overlooked something, everything that wasn't previously lost has been moved over other than a thread about the move. And everything from CxPulp got moved over.

How do I search for threads?

The best way is to click on the Search button on the top left of the main page. That will give you the most search options, including by Subject only.  Note that an author searchwon’t turn up cases where the author’s only posts were pre-2020.  You can also do a search within a section (upper right of the section) but it will only do a “search everything”.

Who do I message if I have any questions/concerns and how do I message them?

I'm the first line of contact so raise them with me first. If I'm going to be unavailable, I'll let everyone know in Site News; zuckyd1 is Second in Command and can do conflict resolution if need be while I'm unavailable, but he can't remove remembers.

What's the story with the Rankings?

Normally rankings are by post count; you start at "Forbush Man" and the more you post, the better your ranking is, coinciding with a more powrful Marvel character (usually heroes/anti-heroes). If you'd rather have a ranking of your choosing, go to My Options, then Personal Details and add it the rank there.  On the flip side, Moderators wanting the "by character" rank can delete "Moderator" in the same way and it will switch to the post count system.

Can I promate stuff?

You can do self-promotion in the Anything Goes section or by going to My Options and adding your promo to your signature. But don't promote things if you don't also plan to participate in the rest of the forum.

Why do you call yourself One Above All?

It's my tongue in cheek way of letting people know I'm in charge. It's also the name of one of the Celestials. I'm nowhere near as vain as that title suggests (if I ever did start acting that vain the people on the site would cut me down to size pretty quickly), but it's good shorthand to let people who to reach when there's an issue.

How did you wind up in charge?

More by accident than by any sort of formal process. When the site first moved there was danger that the old material wouldn't move over so I kind of took charge and everyone started following me.

How does the Boardhost site differ from other incarnations?

One word: autonomy. In the past we've been part of other sites and were bound by rules of the site. Any changes would require the site owner's approval. Here we have complete freedom. For any major changes I'll solicit feedback from the community because I'm big on preserving the feel of the site and don't want to turn people off, but I can make adjustments without negotiating with any site owner. Likewise if we had to move again, I'd probably have a few drinks at the thought of reformatting the threads yet again, but we could pack up and leave at any time. I've had no interactions with Boardhost to date.

Who if I have any more questions about Who Watches the Watchers itself, as opposed to the OHOTMU etc?

Ask them here. We may add your question to the first post if we feel it’s of general interest.
 

Last edited by Andy E. Nystrom (2/13/2020 5:05 pm)


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1/09/2020 3:35 pm  #2


Re: About Who Watches the Watchers

Additional historical text from CxPulp:
 
zuckyd1
11-10-2013, 01:00 PM
Looks great!
 
 
Andy E. Nystrom
11-10-2013, 02:21 PM
 

  zuckyd1 wrote:

Looks great!

Thx. Will probably modify that one question to say that it looks like one or two people started the threads since you helped quite a bit with that as well.
 
 
Andy E. Nystrom
11-13-2013, 08:32 PM
 
A couple of the questions tweaked.
 
 
Andy E. Nystrom
01-11-2014, 07:23 PM
 
I've updated Can I start my own thread? and Has everything been moved over from Comixfan?
 
 
toddcam
09-08-2014, 12:54 PM
 
Hooray! I found you!
 
 
mal32

ToddCam wrote:

Hooray! I found you!

Ciao from an Italian member
 
Andy E. Nystrom
09-12-2014, 06:07 AM

ToddCam wrote:

Hooray! I found you!

Welcome back! I only know about the switchover myself less than a week before it happened so unless you happened to check the site during that week it got announced, you either had to hope someone knew your regular e-mail or try a search engine. We're still missing a few regulars so you might not prove to be the last returnee.
 
Blue_Shield
09-13-2014, 10:35 AM
 
Just found out about new location of Who Watches.
 
 
toddcam
09-14-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Thanks Andy and mal. Two years ago (I think) when Comixfan vanished I was sad to see this place go, and was most crushed by the Watchers board's apparent death. With the (hopefully temporary) end of the Handbooks, I kind of stopped collecting comics all around, which admittedly is kind of strange given the handbooks and indexes were "just" reference material for those same comics. So, any hope for new handbooks?
 
 
Andy E. Nystrom
09-12-2014, 06:07 AM

ToddCam wrote:

Thanks Andy and mal. Two years ago (I think) when Comixfan vanished I was sad to see this place go, and was most crushed by the Watchers board's apparent death. With the (hopefully temporary) end of the Handbooks, I kind of stopped collecting comics all around, which admittedly is kind of strange given the handbooks and indexes were "just" reference material for those same comics. So, any hope for new handbooks?

 
It's actually been less than a year, though Comixfan did move a few years before that (from .com to .net or something like that) due to a crash. So the reason why the vast majority of threads here have a start date of November 2013 is because that's when the nightmare job of moving every thread here one by one happened. I'm glad it happened in the winter when people are often more free. We started moving threads the day after the old site closed down so we were never really gone, though, we did clog up the Recent Activity section of this site for a few weeks.
 
 
mal32
09-18-2014, 10:11 AM

ToddCam wrote:

Thanks Andy and mal. Two years ago (I think) when Comixfan vanished I was sad to see this place go, and was most crushed by the Watchers board's apparent death. With the (hopefully temporary) end of the Handbooks, I kind of stopped collecting comics all around, which admittedly is kind of strange given the handbooks and indexes were "just" reference material for those same comics. So, any hope for new handbooks?

 
I did less work than Andy but I am happy to have this forum alive!!!
I tried, also, to help people to find this place by updating the link in the wikipedia article about OHOTMU:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Officia...External_links
 
 
zuckyd1
09-18-2014, 04:38 PM

mal32 wrote:

I tried, also, to help people to find this place by updating the link in the wikipedia article about OHOTMU:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Officia...External_links

Good thinking!
 
 
mal32
09-19-2014, 08:39 AM

  zuckyd1 wrote:

Good thinking!

Thanks. I would like everybody could find this place!!!
 
Andy E. Nystrom
09-20-2014, 07:32 AM

mal32 wrote:

I tried, also, to help people to find this place by updating the link in the wikipedia article about OHOTMU:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Officia...External_links

That's very good, thank you! With the Handbooks starting up again to whatever degree they are, I hope that brings in curious new people. Obviously we want to get the remaining veterans back as well, but new blood is great too!
 
 
Andy E. Nystrom
11-24-2014, 07:57 PM
 
Now that the move is over a year old I just wanted to thank everyone for helping to keep this little community within a community active, by helping with the move, starting new threads, or participating in discussions. We've experienced some growing pains and I'm still not sure that everyone has found us, but I'm glad that we've been able to keep this going. Looking forward to the discussion that should arise next month when we have a new Handbook to talk about.
 
mal32
11-25-2014, 09:17 AM
 
I would like to do more to help but time and energies, sometimes, do not allow me... sorry...
 
Andy E. Nystrom
09-20-2014, 07:32 AM

mal32 wrote:

I would like to do more to help but time and energies, sometimes, do not allow me... sorry...

You're here and you post occasionally. That makes you an important part of the community in my book.
 
 
mal32
11-29-2014, 07:06 AM

  Andy E. Nystrom wrote:

You're here and you post occasionally. That makes you an important part of the community in my book.

thankyouverymuch
 
Historical text from Capes (Optional):

Andy E. Nystrom
Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:15 pm
I've updated this page to tailor it to Capes (Optional). If anyone has any further suggestions feel free to listn them here!

Andy E. Nystrom
Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:58 pm
Tweaked the "move from Comixfan to CxPulp" section.

Remaining historical text MISSING

Last edited by Andy E. Nystrom (2/13/2020 4:36 pm)


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1/09/2020 3:36 pm  #3


Re: About Who Watches the Watchers

One of mal32's posts actually gave me an idea. I had forgotten about the link on Wikipedia so I updated that link. I also added the Who Watches the Watchers name to the forum description to make it extra clear that it's us.


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2/13/2020 5:06 pm  #4


Re: About Who Watches the Watchers

A Capes (Optional) version of this page turned up, so I folded in information from there and further revised it for the new site. I deleted a section that I felt was no longer relevant (it related to it being a separate forum section, which is no longer the case). I think I came up with more questions on Capes (Optional) but I can no longer recall them, unfortunately.
 


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