comicbasepicon.jpgInexpensive way to organize your collection
–by Stephen Schleicher

If you have a large number of comics you need to keep track of, but don’t have a lot of money to spend, check out ComicBase Express. This entry level program gives you access to titles and helps you organize your comic book collection.

I’ve previously raved about the ComicBase Archive edition on this site, but I think the $250 price tag caused a lot of people to shy away – instead spending their valuable money on new issues and titles.

With the latest version (11), Human Computing has taken the casual collector into account and has released ComicBase Express for the low price of $39.95. You still have access to the impressive database of 20,000 titles, spanning 275,000 issues, but several items in the more expensive editions have been left out.


ComicBase Express is a searchable database that allows you to identify what titles you have in your collection. You can trigger how many of a particular issue you have, enter writer and artist information, include a brief storyline and more. Because this is the low end version of the database organization system, many of the features have been turned off. But the good news is, if you upgrade to a higher edition, your database will travel with you, and any information previously turned off will be available to you.
Feature List

  • More than 275,000 comic listings at your finger tips
  • Over 20,000 titles ranging from Golden Age greats to cutting-edge titles of today.
  • FREE Downloadable Price & Title updates
  • Automatically calculates your collection’s value with up-to-the-minute pricing from Comics Buyer’s Guide
  • Includes over 5,000 full-color cover scans
  • Handles even the largest comic collections with ease
  • Contains notes and pricing information on over 275,000 comics
  • Handles variant issues, half issues, multiple issues, and special comic types
  • Automatically finds first appearances, origins, deaths, and other notable issues.
  • Includes over 5,000 full-color comic covers (with the ability to add your own)
  • Handles any size collection
  • Automatically computes your collection’s value
  • Tracks costs, conditions, and other information about each comic.
  • Prints issue checklists, price labels, price lists, indentification labels and collection value reports
  • Barcode scanner support for lighting-fast data entry
  • Free, downloadable updates keep you current with new comics and pricing for an entire year!

ComicBase is one of the easiest organizing systems to use. Do a search for a title, scroll down to the issue you have, then indicate how many of that issue you have, the quality of the item, and any other information. The data is instantly saved, so even if the application crashes you won’t be re-entering the information from the last 100 titles.

What isn’t included? ComicBase Express doesn’t include Storylines, Writer, or Artist information, but does include Notes, which can be valuable for finding some storyline information. It also includes the issue cover date and most importantly, the original cover price and current value. The system also includes the color coding to let you know if the issue is gaining or losing value, but don’t show you the chart to see the change.

The very best part of ComicBase Express v11 is you don’t have to manually enter new title information. Each week the team at Human Computing make changes to the database to include changes, new issues, pricing restructuring, and of course any new titles. This is a huge time saver for anyone. Instead of having to guess if the new title is X-Men: Corruption of Wolverine, or just simply Corruption of Wolverine, ComicBase let’s you download these updates for free.

There is also a Buy feature that takes you directly to Ebay. When you select an issue you are looking for you simply launch the Buy feature and you are whisked to the search results page. At the 2005 San Diego Comic Con, Human Computing unveiled Atomic Café that was supposed to let you work directly with other users, instead of going the Ebay route. I don’t know why this feature hasn’t been implemented across the ComicBase line, but it is something that is still really needed.

If you have Bootcamp on your Mac, you will be happy to know ComicBase Express works perfectly on the Windows XP install. I tested version 11 solely on the Mac just to see how well the system would perform, and to give those die hard Mac users some comfort in knowing they don’t have to buy a PC to get this program to work.

The only thing I am really disappointed in is the lack of Writer, Artist information in the database. I can understand wanting users to upgrade, but this is key information most users (casual or pro) can use. Instead, I would suggest backing off the number of titles, for example, removing titles from the Golden Age, and keeping Writer/Artist.

Bottom Line
For the casual collector who only wants to keep track of his or her collection and doesn’t need any of the extras for fact checking or some strange drinking game, ComicBase Express is an excellent choice. Users will be able to track their titles, how much they’ve spent, and how much their collection is worth. For only $39.95 ComicBase Express is a great bang for the buck. I give ComicBase Express 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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