OMG. A Sampling Frame Error

A few people have asked, with an ever so slightly increasing level of annoyance, “when are you publishing your Sampling Frame?” or “Hey! Didn’t you promise to publish your Sampling Frame?” or, from the co-investigators, “Weren’t we supposed to make the Sampling Frame available?”.

Yes, we said we would. And we will.

Right now it’s a bit of a victim of my perfectionism. I live in constant fear that there are errors. Indeed, last week, while coding ads in comic books from the mid-1980s I realized we had the wrong issue of Teen Titans in our collection. That sent me into a minor frenzy of checking the Sampling Frame, to see if there was an error there that had led to an error in the corpus. It turns out that there was not - the error had been in the purchasing end, driven by clicking on the wrong Teen Titans series. Sloppy, but not a big problem (the correct issue has already been purchased).

Today, though, I learned of a genuine error.


I was reading Love on the Racks: A History of American Romance Comics by Michelle Nolan (recommended, by the way). In her introduction she notes that Michael Vassallo has noted that the stories originally intended for Atlas’s Love Tales #59 were actually printed in Lovers #42 (October 1952). Love Tales was cancelled with #58. However, when the title was brought back three years later the first new issue was #60. Apparently, because the stories for #59 had been paid for, the assumption was that it had been released. But it had not, it had been shifted. So there is no Love Tales #59.

The GCD has this information correct - their listing skips #59. MyComicShop, unfortunately for us, has a listing for #59 (though, obviously, no cover art). And Overstreet lists it as having been published. So, two of our three data sources had it, and we went with the majority, but the majority was in error.

None of this really impacts us at all. It does not change the number of comics sampled from 1953 (which is where we included it) and it wasn’t randomly selected (or this would have been caught earlier), although it does mean that our essay about the Sampling Frame has a minor inaccuracy, and that drives me crazy,

So, that is why we still haven’t published the Sampling Frame - I’m still desperately, probably vainly, trying to locate all the bugs.