GPF Comics Archive

Transcribe Comic

Transcribing Comic for September 6, 2023

[Comic for September 6, 2023]


Transcription Instructions

What is a transcription, you might ask? A transcription is the translation of information contained in one format to another; in our case, it's the copying of information contained in an image (i.e., the comic) into text. By helping us transcribe our comics, you provide valuable metadata that can be used to help both us (the folks behind GPF) and your fellow Faulties. These transcriptions are used by our Archive Search engine to help Faulties search for specific comics, as well as provide scripts for screen readers to help those will vision problems also enjoy the comic. We also use these transcriptions to provide metadata to third-party search engines (i.e., Google, Bing, etc.) and to advertisers so they can more easily provide context-relevant ads.

Above you should see a small form consisting of at least three elements: (1) the comic image(s) for the selected date in the GPF Archive; (2) a text box that either contains any previous transcription text for this comic or is blank (if there is no prior transcription); (3) an optional comment from Jeff describing what he feels might be missing from any existing transcription; and (4) a Submit button which, naturally, submits your transcription to our server. In order to submit a transcription, either edit the existing transcription based on Jeff's comments or provide a new transcription based on the comic, then click the Submit button. It's as easy as that.

Well... OK, it's not quite that easy. Transcribing the comic is relatively straightforward, but transcribing it well takes a bit more effort. While most of our comics have transcriptions already, many of those transcriptions aren't necessarily of the best quality. While we are always grateful for any transcriptions our readers have provided, many were submitted before we had clear guidelines in place.

Here are our general rules for transcriptions:

  • Start by copying down the dialog spoken by the characters. Put the text of each dialog balloon on a single line (if your browser wraps the text, that's OK). Specify which character is speaking by starting each line with the character's name followed by a colon and a space (i.e., "Nick: "). If the speaker is currently unknown, don't speculate; just mark the speaker as unknown. If the character's dialog is broken into multiple balloons, they can either be entered on separate lines or combined into a single one; either option works fine.
  • Although the text of most dialog balloons is in all caps, please use traditional mixed case while transcribing dialog. As a corollary, don't forget to properly capitalize proper nouns, such as names of people, places, companies, etc. Acronyms (such as MUTEX or C.R.U.D.E.) should be in all caps unless it naturally uses mixed case. The use of periods in acronyms should follow whatever conventions the comic uses (i.e. MUTEX (no-periods) vs. C.R.U.D.E. (periods)).
  • You can add brief qualifiers to the character's dialog by enclosing them in single square brackets after the character's name but before their dialog begins. For example, if Fooker looks angry when he says "No," you can describe it like this: "Fooker: [Angrily] No..." If Sharon is thinking to herself rather than talking out loud, you can use: "Sharon: [Thinking] Now where did I put that...?"
  • Separate individual panels of the comic with a single blank line between them.
  • For each panel, before the characters' dialog, add a brief description of the scene and enclose it in double square brackets. This description should be on a separate line. Try to be detailed yet concise, as if you were trying to verbally describe the comic to a friend who had never seen it. For example: "[[Nick and Ki walk through the front door of GPF Software with laptop bags slung over their shoulders. Both seem surprised to see Trudy waiting for them, looking angrily at them with her arms folded across her chest.]]"
  • Sometimes it may seem more appropriate to break up descriptions and put some of them after the characters' dialog rather than before it. This is OK, and may even improve the narrative flow in some cases. Try to use your best judgment.
  • Enclose sound effects in double angled brackets: "<<BIFF>>" "<<BAM>>" "<<POW>>"
  • Do NOT include HTML mark-up. All HTML will be stripped. If you wish to denote emphasis, use asterisks for *bold* and underlines for _italics_. For words that are both italicized and underlined, ignore the underline.
  • Please, please, please check your spelling and grammar before submission. Spelling and grammar "mistakes" that are intentional should be left intact. Otherwise, please use your browser's built-in spell check feature or an external spell checker if necessary. Please note that GPF is published in American English, so we expect American spellings for certain words (i.e., "color" vs. "colour").
  • Please refrain from speculation, commentary, or other unnecessary text. All transcriptions will be reviewed before they become visible to anyone else, and any submission that contains unnecessary text will likely be outright rejected.
  • Remember, the more detail you provide, the easier it will be for Faulties who cannot see the images (like those who may be visually impaired, "reading" the comic via a screen reader) to understand what is going on. However, if you don't feel comfortable writing that much detail, anything you provide will be better than nothing. Others may be able to improve upon your transcription later.

Once your transcription is complete, click the Submit button. If everything goes well, your transcription will be entered into a queue for Jeff to review. He will look over the text and either approve it, reject it, or mark it as needing improvement. Approved transcriptions go immediately into the transcription database table and will remain there for posterity. Transcriptions that look like a good start but which may need some fleshing out will be marked as needing improvement; these transcriptions will also "go live", but other readers will now see an "Improve Transcription" button under the strip and will be able to suggest edits to your text. If your transcription is otherwise unhelpful, it will be rejected and completely deleted from the queue, allowing someone else to submit a new transcription later. (Please don't submit useless transcriptions that won't help anyone, as that just wastes your time and Jeff's.)

Once you're done transcribing this comic, why don't you click one of the links below and transcribe another? We can use all the help we can get. There is a list of comics that have no transcriptions as well as transcriptions that need improvement. You can also click the "Return to the GPF Archive (Where You Left Off)" link, which will take you right back to where you were in the Archive when you clicked that "Transcribe" link.

Return to the GPF Archive (Where You Left Off)
List of Comics Needing Transcriptions
List of Transcriptions Needing Improvement