Main question

How to handle long running series that occured over multiple publishers?

What I am working on is Walt Disney's Comics and Stories which as a series was published from 1940 to the present by various publishers. Most (but not all) of the numbers are sequential, but the cover numbers do not necessarily track with the indicia volume and issue number. So, using the volume entry to distinguish the various publishing runs means that the indicia volume and issue information would be ignored.

Should each be entered as a separate series then? e.g. - "WDC&S - Dell, 1940" as a series title, then "WDC&S-Western, 1962" then "WDC&S-Gladstone, 1986" etc.
Not only is this cumbersome, but for example, there are two separate series produced by Gladstone, with the later beginning in 1993. So, in the indicia, the series title remains unchanged, but its clearly stated after the issue number "series II"

If anyone can help me untangle all these issues for anyone who may wish to contribute in the future, at least they'll be putting entries in the right place.

No one has any thoughts on this? The guidelines for submission are surprisingly helpful in this case.

Sorry about the typo there, I meant to say that the guidelines are not helpful, they don't seem to cover this exact situation. Virtually every comic that I own has this issue, and I've made a large number of submissions that I fear would need to be corrected in some form. I've put entering the rest of my collection on hold until someone can advise on the correct way to handle this issue. As has been stated several times in the forum already, the cataloging and search functions here could stand a fair amount of improvement. I don't want to contribute to the problem by entering items without clear guidance.

I'd been thinking for several days on how to reply to you on this. Have read your original posting multiple times, but I fail to comprehend where there is a problem. The entry in the "Series" field should match EXACTLY what is stated in the indicia. In some cases, as stated in the guidelines, it should be entered as a name variation. I see no need create separate series just because the Walt Disney Co. chose to change publishers
The issue numbers likewise should match the indicia data. If the numbers on the cover differ from the indicia, that can be cited in the notes. If the number sequence continues across publishers that could still be considered as one volume.
The Gladstone "series II" you mention could be listed as a separate volume, I think. However, we will probably have to be pretty flexible on "volume" designations. For instance, in some DC Comics in the 1970s the volume number in the indicia changed every year similar to the way magazines are catalogued.
Hope this can be of some help. I'll be happy to continue the discussion if you want.

Apologies in advance for an extremely long post.

Thanks for your reply, and guidance. Ok, I've done a little more research, and I think I will be able to better articulate the issues I was perceiving. If I do as you suggested, using the volume field as the means of distinguishing the various publishing runs, it seems to work in most cases. Most of the series did continue with their sequential numbering even after a change in publishing. I guess this will be OK for the database, because the date, publisher, and issue numbers will point to a single, unambiguous issue. So far, so good. Where I was running into is with Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. Here are notes from GCD.

"Series is volume-numbered in the indicia throughout the run.
Series is whole-numbered in the issue code number (found in a bottom panel of the first main story) throughout the run.
Whole-numbering is on the cover of #264-270, but not in the indicia.
Whole-numbering is added to the volume-numbering in the indicia of #449-510.
Whole-numbering is also on the covers of the Gold Key editions of #462-473 and the Whitman editions of #474-510."

So, in GCD, they have a comprehensive (albeit bulky) number in the form of v23#6 (270) which gives you both numbers.

Here is where the problem is. If I were to enter it as described in the indicia, the volume number would reflect the internal chronology, and then the field entry for Volume could not be used for the publishing runs, as you suggested. I would prefer to enter the cover (whole) number as the issue, and use the volume as 1 for Dell-39, 2 for Dell-42, 3 for Western-62, etc. This seems to make the most sense to me, but it is exactly what you have told me twice not to do.

The problem (as I see it) with putting publishing information regarding the issue and volume numbers in the notes, as you suggest, is that this is not a field that is used for any sort of sorting. Or is it?

As to entering EXACTLY what is in the indicia, as I suggested once before, this runs into an issue with the Dell Four Color series. The NAME OF THE SERIES is "Four Color" (or Dell One Shots, depending on who you ask) and this is what I enter in the series field, even though this name is not used anywhere in the actual comics. Since this was an anthology series, every issue had a different focus. So, in the indicia, the name given will be the ISSUE title. This is potentially confusing since this series was used as a trial run for many characters that were later given their own series. Thus we have oddities like Uncle Scrooge #386. Since this was a Four Color, the number is correct. But looking at the indica, since it simply says "UNCLE SCROOGE" one could be lead to believe that it was an issue of the Uncle Scrooge series, which did not start until the next year, beginning with issue 4. The reason for this, from GCD...

"The three Uncle Scrooge issues of Four Color (Dell, 1942 series), #386, 456 and 495, were counted by Dell as the first three issues of this series."

Are there similar anthology series that have these complications? Perhaps whatever method is used to corral these could be applied here.

I'm not sure if this is an issue with other comics titles, as I am not really a collector. More of a dilettante at this, I just wanted to use Comicogs to track my collection, like Discogs, and I ran into these problems that no one had seemed to have since the focus here is not really on "funny animal comics." The history between Western, and Dell, and Disney seems to be a complicated one, and it is no help that Dell and Western were not entirely consistent with numbering for the earlier issues, and the infamous "missing 33" near the end of the series.

One more thing, while I'm on a roll. What about the difference between indicia publisher, cover brand, and printer? Using Disney-licensed works, we have for the indicia, K.K Publishing, which was a subsidiary of Western Publishing, who licensed the content from Disney, and on the cover, Dell, who actually printed and sold it. When Western Publishing decided to end their relationship with Dell, and move publishing in-house, they used Both the Gold Key and Whitman brands, depending on the distribution channel. Actually, after typing all that, I find that may be incorrect, further research is needed

Some other titles were this way as well, using only some of the titles I've entered, Twilight Zone, Voyage To The Bottom of The Sea, The Time Tunnel, were published by K.K, using the Gold Key brand, and I'm sure there are others. I don't know if this is a common issue with superhero comics, and the like, but with regards to the Disney comics, the choice of the cover brand is a fairly important distinction, as the older Dell titles are considered more desirable. Does having separate fields for cover brand seem like a possibility?

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