I've been thinking that these could be useful new categories. It builds on the consentual vs. unconsentual division of human-born mutants and animal=born mutants, but since the mutagen bomb victims, this is no longer so clear-cut since all those humans mutated deliberately and involuntarily. And I realized this distinction actually varies for all sorts of characters.
Voluntary mutants: Necessarily a subcategory of Deliberate mutants. Characters (usually human) who consented to mutation. Examples include Genealdo, Maxence, Hun (IDW) and Dreadmon (IDW). A voluntary mutant also deals with less baggage of having mutation imposed on them, because they went into it willingly.
Involuntary mutants: Characters who were mutated without their consent. These have usually been animals (who ordinarily cannot give consent), but the mutagen bomb victims also certainly count. Most versions of Splinter and the Turtles fall in this category, and certainly Old Hob (IDW) as well. These mutants may have mental baggage over their change, even if they were previously non-sentient animals (as is true in the case of Mondo Gecko (IDW) and Seymour Gutz (IDW)). It is also outright stated that Alopex's shelter is not just a place to feed the hungry or shelter the homeless, but a space for mutants to cope with their change if they haven't already. That mental health aspect is realistic and fascinating, and...notable.
Deliberate mutants: Mutants who were mutated intentionally, either through choice, or a deliberate act, particularly in a laboratory. These mutants can have baggage, but it also depends on the benevolent of their mutator. For instance, Leatherhead (Mirage) is a deliberate involuntary mutant, but he is loved familially by Xeinos and respected by the Utroms around him, and does not curse his mutation, considering himself part alligator, part human, and culturally Utrom.
Accidental mutants: Necessarily a subcategory of Involuntary mutants. These mutations were unplanned, with negligence involved at the most.
As for the existing categories:
Animal-born mutants: Earlier in the IDW continuity, this implied a certain lack of privilege, given it was something that animals had forced on them when they didn't have the capacity to choose.
Human-born mutants: Implies a certain privilege, justified or not, and a major point of Hob's prejudice and resentment. But by mutating thousands of humans against their will, at least in the context of the story, he rendered the animal-born and human-born distinction far more moot than it ever was before.
As a matter of sociology, these are all fascinating distinctions. But there's at least one grey area:
Did Spike (2012 TV series) mutate voluntarily or involuntary? Was it accidental or deliberate? The spilling of the canister was accidental, but the story seemingly implied that Spike may have seized the opportunity to join Raphael's world, as also evidenced by Slash's recollection of distinct thoughts and feelings (and even ninja training) from before he mutated. If you think Spike was not capable of deciding such a thing, this is involuntary and accidental. If you think Spike did it on purpose, it was both voluntary and deliberate. If there is serious doubt about which, he could be left out of all of these categories, though I'm inclined to lean towards it being voluntary and deliberate as something he chose. He wouldn't be the first mutant to show unusual intelligence or sentience as a non-mutant animal, as was also true of Hamato Splinter (Mirage) and Splinter (IDW). But neither Splinter was mutated deliberately or voluntarily.
All that said, I would understand if you would consider this a chore to implement. I wouldn't blame you. It's also not absolutely essential, like human-born mutants or animal-born mutants, that these categories be implemented at all. I just thought that it would complement characters with that bit of information that helps inform their character. If you have any thoughts on this, I look forward to hearing them eventually.
I've been thinking about this for a while, and now seems as good a time as any to bring it up. I agree that 250px is a good conventional size for most thumbnails, particularly of portraits of individual characters and individual objects. But this size becomes uncomfortably tiny (especially on my 1920x1080 monitor) for scenery views, group shots, etc., where individual subjects and features are necessarily smaller parts of the picture. That's why, for these kinds of images, I've unilaterally set most of these thumbnail sizes to 400px instead. In Turtlepedia's standard layout, it still leaves ample room for lede text to flow adjacent to the thumbnail. Note that these apply to illustrative thumbnails accompanying text and infoboxes, not to gallery sections themselves. Additionally, particularly expansive panoramic views that are much wider than they are tall (and these are not super-common), when used as illustrative thumbnails, could conceivably be set upwards of 600px wide and maybe even occupy their own lines, only briefly interrupting text.
Now, this works when there isn't a disagreement or edit conflict, but considering I've been doing the 400px thing without official sanction, I think it only reasonable that I raise the issue and, perhaps, propose it be elevated to a specifically permissible guideline, reliant on how much the image would suffer if shrunk to 250px or smaller.
I've been thinking. Remember when there was that debate over whether articles like New Zealand had a place on Turtlepedia? I've been thinking that we can largely sidestep that issue by maintaining a category of soft redirects to Wikipedia. Article placeholders with a notification and link to the topic on Wikipedia, until such time as the topic is considered notable enough for more direct description on Turtlepedia. This could enable the creation of links to barely-referenced TMNT topics on Turtlepedia but whose content is better served by redirecting to Wikipedia.
Why did I think about this now? Because of the Zones of Control article I just wrote. It's full of red links, as they all link to nonexistent articles on Turtlepedia, but most of them, for the time being, may be better served with links to Wikipedia. And yet their notability on Turtlepedia is not zero, as many of them are referenced locations, briefly named settings, implied settings, and so forth. With the Zones of Control maps, all that geography corresponds to real locations in Manhattan. And while many TMNT stories have less specific Manhattan (or even just New York City) settings, there have been many scenes that can be inferred to take place in a location that is otherwise not specifically mentioned. I realized this when I created the Union Square Park article, because even though the location is not specifically named in-story, it is pinpointed on the maps at that location, and an extremely important plot event happens right there. Honestly, with a geography as famous as Manhattan's, well-studied people were going to notice these things as soon as maps as relatively detailed as these became involved.
So I'm thinking, for the most part these soft redirects could just direct a user to the Wikipedia article, but they could also include brief mentions of how the location is referenced, even obliquely, in TMNT lore.
There are some other (currently red link) articles that could be created that are more than just soft redirects, like Herald Square, as it's specifically mentioned in the 2012 TV series as the location under which Victor Falco sheltered in an abandoned utility junction. I believe there's also already an article for Tribeca, because it was specifically mentioned in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters as being the location of the Firehouse, and that the Turtles were already familiar with the neighborhood's geography.
I've always been more of a fan of keeping than deleting, but I really had a hard time forcing myself to justify instances in which someone just says the name of a real-life place or something to that effect. Fictional places are different, because there is no place we'd have to link to have any sort of background on and I'd want something. But yeah, when it came to any location, I tried to justify it so hard before deleting. I'd search the Wiki, look at "what links here", google the location + tmnt terms... for New Zealand, I even bought a digital copy of Mutants Down Under (because I don't know where my physical copy is right now) just to see if it was a territory in that game.
So lemme tell ya what... convert NZ into one of these soft redirects and inform me when you've done so. I'll take a look and we can move from there. Savvy?
I've changed New Zealand into a very basic soft redirect, for demonstration purposes. It is rough in appearance, but it can be polished with a template, and perhaps additional (very brief) notes to explain its reference/significance, not unlike those at the top of disambiguation pages (not counting Template:disambig itself). In addition, soft redirects can be categorized as such, perhaps in Category:Soft redirects.
Basically, the rule of thumb I have in mind is, if (beyond those brief notes) an article on Turtlepedia cannot usefully convey more information than its Wikipedia counterpart, it can be a soft redirect. Whatever is notable should be noted, and if extensive enough, the article can cease just being a soft redirect and be an article of whatever appropriate length, and still link to the Wikipedia article as an external link. The distinction between local article and soft redirect doesn't have to be rigidly one or the other, but can allow some existence inbetween.
Hey, remember the user who keeps spamming the comments and being rude to other users? Well, they made other accounts here and are back. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with this situation. It's stupid, ridiculous, and they've been banned across FANDOM for a reason. I blocked one of their accounts, but they came back again. I'm tired of having to deal with this user knowing what they're doing is against the guidelines to not only Turtlepedia, but to other wikis.
I'm sorry if I'm writing all this out to you. I feel like every admin here should know what's going on.
This is at least partially my doing. Up to this point I've been heavily referencing information pages at https://tmnt-ninjaturtles.com/ largely for publication dates and cover images, while relying on the credits pages of the comics themselves. I didn't add that particular reference to the article for City at War, part 7 (IDW), but I think my edits in other articles had the effect of establishing an informal convention for other editors to follow.
While I think tmnt-ninjaturtles.com may not always be the best reference for materials that have not yet been published (because announced information is subject to change anyway), it has always seemed adequate enough for information on materials that have already been published, as by then any mistaken publication dates are fixed, and the information pages themselves remain readily accessible for years. The site appears to exercise a very high standard of thoroughness, editorial neutrality and overall documentation standards.
Other sites I've checked before, including official ones, have disadvantages when compared to tmnt-ninjaturtles.com:
IDW Publishing's comics listings are a catalogue, with the primary function of an online store for selling a product. It provides the most basic information on series, issue, main cover image, page count and primary credits, but no information on alternative covers, and publication dates are only specific to the labeled cover month and not the actual month and day of release. Furthermore, since it is an online store, I don't have any confidence that any of the catalogue links will necessarily remain accessible from the same URL for years, as commercial websites have the tendency to periodically restructure their online stores as they see fit, because their primary role is to promote and sell rather than to inform.
The Mirage Group's aging site has the benefit of remaining online up until now, and a lot of its "back issue bin" information pages have pretty thorough publication information. However, the site only covers materials that Mirage had a hand in producing (the Mirage comic, the Archie comic and the 2003 TV series), and even the back issue bins primary listing page is "under construction" (and appears to have been for a very long time) and currently only has links to information pages for main Mirage comics. Also, there's no real expectation that these pages will be updated for Viacom-licensed reprints of Mirage material, such as the color classics published by IDW, etc., as Mirage themselves did not have a direct hand in licensing these since the 2009 sale.
Viacom does not appear to run one single central website for licensed TMNT, let alone one with referenceable information, and the only primary official website I could find appears to be at Nickelodeon's site and concerning Nickelodeon shows—this is the site that the URLs http://www.tmnt.com/ and http://www.ninjaturtles.com/ redirect to. The official TMNT Twitter is also useless, not only not providing any real documentation or links to documentation sites, but is focused almost entirely on Nickelodeon's shows and audience.
TMNTEntity has...enormous baggage. Its blog posts can contain a lot of information, yes, but it's intermixed with the blogger's turbulent editorial rants and his occasional bizarre off-topic self-promotion of extremely questionable taste.
The problem when there's a dearth or official documentation resources, is that often it falls on unlicensed sites (including both Turtlepedia and tmnt-ninjaturtles.com) to try to fill in the gaps. So, yeah, I referenced an unlicensed site, but it anything but a random fansite.
I was wondering if there might be any value in creating a Category:Paramilitary as a subcategory of Category:Military, for paramilitary groups and characters. In this category I would include independent ninja clans like the Foot Clan (IDW), private mercenary companies like Darkwater (IDW), and non-state militias like the Mighty Mutanimals (IDW). For the purposes of categorization, the definition would not necessarily include officially-organized police forces like the New York Police Department, no matter how well armed, because they are the career police authorized to enforce law in a jurisdiction. However, it might include paramilitary forces deputized into police operations, especially in settings where it is harder to enforce the rule of law, like in the Wild West or in After the Bomb scenarios.
I'm not entire sure where the distinction of military vs. paramilitary exists in settings like feudal Japan. Obviously, in the Edo period, there was a shōgun, the subordinate daimyō, and their bound samurai, all of whom could be considered state military forces. But I'm not sure how ninja clans of the era would have been classified. It is primarily for this reason that I decided to discuss this with you before I did anything.
I'm still curious what your thoughts are about all this. I also realized later that C.R.A.P. is also totally a paramilitary group. And looking back on What is Ninja?, it seems ninja clans in feudal Japan were, for the most part, not state military forces, though they could cooperate with state military under special circumstances. This is more or less what Splinter's Foot Clan did with Bishop's EPF did during Invasion of the Triceratons.
Yeah I'd say just, for now, label ones that are obviously stated/shown to be paramilitary.
Ninja were components of irregular warfare on the whole, but I don't think it's necessarily indictive of literally every ninja or ninja clan in these series (ie I wouldn't call the Turtles/Clan Hamato paramilitary)
Interesting thought. Clan Hamato in IDW is basically just a shinobi family. A paramilitary group usually has some kind of charter or manifesto, even if it's a "for sale" sign with enough military discipline and heavy arsenal to take over a town. So I'd probably list (and tell me if you disagree):
I probably wouldn't include most street gangs or organized crime groups.
Street gangs usually lack military discipline, whether as a warring gang or as a benign neighborhood watch. So maybe not the Purple Dragons or Madhattan Maulitia.
Organized crime generally has structure and weapons, but reflexively avoids making too much of a mess in public that would give the authorities enough hard evidence and probable cause to gut their organization. Where they do operate more publicly, it's usually in a social environment that directly enables it; for example, the Sicilian Mafia is called Cosa Nostra ("Our Thing") for a reason, and the code of silence (omertà) that allows them to operate so efficiently is actually a traditional value practiced by the local communities their rank and file come from, making their group more like a social institution than a mere gang.
I'm not sure whether I'd classify well-armed militant hive minds, like Ferd's group or the Kraang (2012 TV series). They're disciplined, but that discipline actually comes from a central authority psychically controlling them rather than forming an organized command structure of independent minds.