The DC Database Project went live on October 7th, 2005, beginning as a non-profit site with the goal of becoming the largest online database pertaining only to comics and media published by DC Comics. The site was founded by Jamie Hari using open source software provided by the MediaWiki foundation, and continues to use the most up-to-date version of that technology, via Wikia, to present information in a visually appealing and easy to navigate format.
The Database catalogs and adapts information from DC Comics publications into condensed representations used for demonstrative and informative purposes. As a wiki, the Database allows for edits and updates from registered users all over the world, and with surprising frequency. Submitted content should be properly referenced, to maintain the integrity of the Database as an educational resource, and plagiarism is unacceptable.
What you will find here:
- Detailed comic listings and plot synopses.
- Images (cover art and characters)
- Detailed information on both DC's mainstream and alternative universes, past and present, along with the characters belonging to them.
- Profiles on DC's contracted employees, past and present.
What you won't find here:
- Comics that were not published by DC Comics or one of its imprints. Note: we do keep information on comics and companies that were eventually bought or merged by/with DC Comics.
- Pages for third-party licensed characters who were published by DC as part of a partnership.
- Other Non-DC related information and images.
The roots of both the Marvel and DC Databases trace back as far as the summer of 1997. Originally, Jamie had intended the project to be a local database of files, stored on floppy disks, all collected in the hopes of gathering as much information about Marvel Comics' characters and their exploits in one place for the purposes of study and entertainment. The first draft began as indexed text documents, but after a good deal of work was complete, the project was shelved because of the undertaking it would be to continue using that archaic file structure.
The Dream Reborn
In 2005, MediaWiki - the software developed and used by the highly successful Wikipedia - had become freely available, and Jamie realized that his forgone dream of a definitive resource for all things Marvel was a possibility with these powerful tools in hand. He covered his bases by speaking with Marvel Comics directly about the idea, and was given the go-ahead. After hundreds upon hundreds of work-hours, the project began to flourish, and contributors from all over the world stepped up to make their own marks. DC Comics, however, never gave their blessing.
But oh, how times change!
Some months later, though, Marvel decided to release their own version of the same concept, the Marvel Universe Wiki, using much of the same software and code that had powered the Marvel and DC Databases. Marvel.com's own site soon rose to success, thanks to its official status.
At the same time, the same free tools that made the Marvel and DC Databases possible provided similar advantages to other webmakers around the world, and within months, dozens of similar Marvel and DC themed wikis began to arise - though Wikipedia itself would and does continue to outshine every alternative in terms of traffic.
The world had become a place where the comics themselves were no longer the sole source of information available - in fact it was everywhere!
A helping hand from Wikia
In late 2006, the Database staffs entered negotiations with Wikia, an up-and-coming for-profit spinoff of Wikipedia whose sole purpose is to help wiki projects grow and thrive. By entering a partnership with Wikia, the Marvel and DC Databases would be allowed to remain competitive in a web climate that had grown saturated with copy-cat sites. Their bigger and faster servers could support the ever-growing content that both Databases would provide, increasing traffic through promotion and web alliances.
By November of 2006, negotiations had completed, and ownership of the DC and Marvel Databases was transferred over to Wikia, with Jamie retaining his status as founder and editor-in-chief of both wikis.
Where are they now?
Even a decade later, the DC Database retains its place as the largest and most extensive online resource for DC Comics, and in combination with the Marvel Database is part of a network that comprises the largest resource for comics in general anywhere. The DC Database now has a total of 108,073 articles and 128,343 images, and it is run by an enthusiastic and dedicated group of Administrators, who act as the Wiki's staff.
Jamie remains involved with both of the Databases that he brought to life.