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What is Inducks?

The easiest way to explain what Inducks is, is let someone else ask questions and then answer them. That's what we did in October 2000, when Ari Seppi interviewed me (Harry Fluks) by e-mail about Inducks.

The interview was published in Finnish in the fanzine Ankkalinnan Pamaus.
Ankkalinnan Pamaus

Next is the English text of the interview (slightly edited for use on this web page).

What is Inducks? What is in Inducks?

Inducks is the world-wide database containing information about all Disney comic stories and their publications.

We store information of every comic, like publication date and contents. We store information of every story, like who wrote it, who drew it, the original title, which characters appear in it.

At this moment (October 2000), we indexed 29,475 comics, and have information about 120,291 stories. But these numbers are getting bigger every day.
Note: in January 2011 the numbers are: 97,504 comics and 132,577 stories.

The word Inducks is a combination of Index and Ducks. Brix L. came up with this name as a replacement for the (more boring) name Disney comics Database. He intended it to be an abbreviation (I.N.D.U.C.K.S.) like the ranks in the Junior Woodchuck stories, but we haven't figured out yet what it is supposed to mean...

When and how was Inducks born?

In August 1992, Per StarbSck (in Sweden) started a Disney Comics Mailing List (DCML). People from all over the world joined in. We immediately started collecting and making all kinds of indexes (A Don Rosa index was one of the most requested ones at the time). Per kept the most up-to-date indexes on his ftp site.

In April 1994, I made a computer program to link all those indexes together into one big database, which I called the Disney comics Database. All indexes now got the same format.

Actually, lots of people have been making indexes in the past decades, independently from each other.
We have been trying to get electronic versions of these indexes, and convert them to the standard format.
Sometimes we got an electronic copy from the original index author.
Sometimes we scanned a printed version of an index (with permission). And sometimes we typed over all the information!

Whose idea was it?

It was a combination of ideas of people at the time.
Per Starbäck started to make indexes available on an ftp site (and later on a web site).
I started making a program to combine the indexes into a database.

How many indexers were there in the beginning?

Just a handfull, since in those days only few people were connected to the internet.
It took a long time, for instance, before we had any contact with people from Italy, or Finland!

How many are indexing now?

About 80! People in various countries are now coordinators for their country, because coordinating the whole world has become too big a job for one person.

In 1997, we started our own mailing list, separate from DCML. The main reason to do so was that we didn't want to bore the DCML readers with technical indexing conversation.

History? How did Inducks grow?

People started discovering the various Inducks websites and the DCML mailing list. We got a lot of volunteering indexers from that.

People who had been publishing large indexes for decades (Alberto Becattini, Luca Boschi, Kjell Croné, Martin Olsen) found their way to the internet and joined us.

Also, Disney comics writers, and artists contacted us to give information about their own work.
Various editors even use the data themselves, and from time to time give us information from their administrations.

How is Inducks compiled anyway?

The various indexers maintain their data in (big) text files. Periodically, these text files are processed by my computer program (called Dizni). This program combines all the data, and makes a more structured database. This database is then used to make all kinds of Inducks output, and to provide searching facilities on our websites.

How big of a job is it to coordinate Inducks (Are you busy)?

I'm not only coordinating (discussing how to index the comics, and how to get the data in Inducks), but also doing the Dizni programming. This takes about 2 hours a day, and I love it!

Now that we are many indexers, others have taken over some of my tasks, fortunately.

Where does all the info come from?

1. From what we see in the comics. Lots of people can recognise art styles, and even writing styles.

2. From interviews or mail correspondence with the creators themselves.

3. From administrations in the archives of various publishers.

4. From published indexes. Of course, these indexes got their information from 1, 2, and 3.

What about the future of Inducks?

Inducks is freely available to everyone, provided they credit us and let us use any information that they may add. We don't plan to do any commercial activities with it, like publishing it in a book or so. A book wouldn't work anyway, since there is *very* much data that can be displayed in *many* ways.

What is the best place for a beginner to start diving into the info in Inducks?

(Here I answered to surf to this website - but since you're already here, I don't need to repeat that text...)

And I am (virtually) always (virtually) there to answer any questions.
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