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.
Personally, I think it's okay if an artwork represents development art, concept art, or rejected or unused concepts, as these are notable steps in the development of an official work. For instance, on the DuckTales Wiki, I added this artwork by a storyboarder to Launchpad McQuack (2017), representing art that was prepared as part of character and episode development but was ultimately not portrayed on-screen. I think official artists deserve a bit of leeway in their artistic output if it can be justified as part of their output towards the development of an official work, even if some of it is published after the fact.
In this case, I would not reject that artwork by Christine Liu from Turtlepedia, but instead sort it as creator artwork alongside concepts, sketches and promotional artwork.
I've been thinking that perhaps the article Mezmer-Ron should be renamed according to his current name, Hypno-Potamus. Even though it is usually the practice that articles are named according to a character's canonical personal name (Jack Finney, Jess Harley, Jason (2012 TV series), etc.), there have been some notable exceptions to this.
Slash (IDW) was originally called Specimen 6. But that was a name he was given as a laboratory animal. Slash is a name he later accepted and was called by people he knew and loved. This is because Specimen 6 was not a name—it was a designation. Before being called Slash, he effectively had no name.
Seymour Gutz (IDW) was originally called Mutagen Man. But, like Slash, Seymour was born in captivity, with Mutagen Man being more of a project name than a personal name. Also as with Slash, this meant Seymour had no real name before Mondo gave him one. It was an important moment in recognizing Seymour's dignity as a person.
Where Hypno-Potamus is concerned, my reasoning is that neither this name nor Mezmer-Ron can reasonably be considered his original name—they're stage names which he has also become known by casually. It's not that Hypno doesn't have a real name, but that we don't know what it is, so we're only left with his stage names, which leaves us in a similar position as him not having an original name. We can consider that Mezmer-Ron was an old stage name, and Hypno-Potamus is a new stage name. In the absence of his real name, it seems more reasonable to primarily refer to him by his current stage name rather than his previously known stage name, considering that his professional, social and romantic lives all now seem to revolve around the name Hypno-Potamus. But as soon as we learn his original real name not used on stage, his article should be renamed to that. I know my reasoning involves a certain degree of conjecture ("what's to say Mezmer-Ron wasn't his birth name or previous legal name?"), there's also certain amount of conventional wisdom involved ("what kind of person is born with the name Mezmer-Ron?").
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I just wanted to say thank you. Sometimes I have these OCD-driven inner monologues that are unrelentingly pedantic in their pursuit of wiki perfection. And this is not necessarily bad, most of the time, as it drives me to help expand the wiki and keep it tidy. Problem is, sometimes it's not just that there are certain areas of extreme completion that aren't such a good idea (Category:Laurasiatherians, anyone?), but sometimes I push on even when I find the subject material very unpleasant. For instance, this drive pushed me to create useful content like File:Bodycount violence.png, even though I found the original page absolutely disgusting—I did it because it still genuinely improved the article it appears in, because sometimes people have to do things they don't like doing if it will help the wiki. But with that, (ahem,) one comic, I think I felt shut in by a perfect storm of the apparent officialness of the materials (enough to convince the German-language Turtlepedia affiliate to keep a full article covering it) and the unusual acridness of its contents—it was really quite terrible, even for the thing that it was. I found myself relieved when you intervened. To be perfectly honest, I still don't know if I completely agree with the criteria for exclusion for the simple matter that it puts some other officially-produced but informally-released materials into the crosshairs of that same nagging OCD voice. (Ultimately, it's convinced me that Turtlepedia needs to be clearer about what materials it considers official, and whether official production alone, even without normal sale or methods of distribution, should be considered sufficient enough to warrant inclusion on Turtlepedia.) But I think that, in this one case, it was a decision I needed to have taken out of my hands. The material in question was just too capital-W Weird, and a big part of me just wanted out and to forget about the whole thing.
Our friend Luis 106 Lincoln is once again spamming the comments. I was late to see it (because I've been busy getting ready for school and other commitments to even notice), but they didn't respond kindly to you blocking them for a week. And they pulled the "I have cystic fibrosis" card yet again. Should we just ban them for failing to listen to us?
This feature includes some really insightful statistics that should allow you guys to inform some wiki decisions, such as:
Top viewed pages
# of page views (daily over the past 30 days)
Most visited files
Desktop vs mobile sessions
So as I mentioned above, this feature is really great as it allows you to see what areas are doing very well and how you can capitalise on them. For example, the tool shows the wiki's current most popular page by some distance is Jennika. You could take a look at that article and see if there is any more content that can be added to it to really flesh it out and give readers more information on this character they're interested in. The more rich (but not irrelevant or repetitive) information you can have on an article, the better its search engine optimisation will be. That's just one way this tool is super useful! :)
Hopefully you like this feature, it's been highly requested for some time and we would really appreciate your feedback on it. For more help with it, please feel free to ask me questions and also refer to these two super useful articles: