Price: Free, free
Express Edition - $49.95
Professional Edition - $129 - reviewed
Archive Edition - $299
Express, Professional, and Archive editions include one year of downloadable price and issue updates.
Cons: Search capabilities are limited, comics can only be viewed a title at a time, price
Bottom line: ComicBase is a great collection management solution and could even be used by smaller comic dealers and shops.
Inputting new comics : 5 stars
Entering an existing collection : 4.5 stars
Searching and browsing : 3.5 stars
Wish list : 4 stars
Determining the value of your collection : 4 stars
Overall : 4.5 stars
ComicBase from Human Computing has several versions, all of which include a very extensive comic database. If you purchase one of the licensed versions, a year of downloadable price and issue information is included in the price.
Inputting new comics (5 stars)
ComicBase provides support for barcode scanners. As part of the review process, I used the scanner to add our new comics. After downloading the issue updates (the day after the comics were released) 22 of the 30 comics scanned right into the database. For those that did not scan, the problems varied from the UPC not being found, to the scanner not reading the barcode, to a variant cover having the same barcode as the original issue (the software assumed it had already been added). The issues that did not scan were in the database and were a quick addition. Overall the process took about 10 minutes. What made this even faster is that ComicBase allows you to set a default discount for new issues, so comics I scanned were entered with my 15% discount off the cover price. ComicBase does not include a field for tracking where you purchased a comic, so I set this up in one of the custom fields to give my collection an edge.
Entering an existing collection (4.5 stars)
While you could potentially sit there with your collection and the barcode scanner to input your collection, I found it was faster to simply find the titles in the database and add issues. Entering the 550 issue test collection took only 18 minutes. ComicBase allows the selection of multiple issues, which makes the process easy to add multiple issues quickly (though you can only change one field at a time, so you cannot also add the cost while changing the quantity of the issues in your collection without another step in the process). I also found it easier to use the keyboard to add multiple issues when there were gaps in the collection.
If you have maintained information on your collection in some electronic format in the past, I have good news for you: with ComicBase, you can import comics from a couple other tools or from standard text files. I tried this capability, but did run into some unexpected behavior. As you would expect, when it was not able to match up the title with one from the database, you need to select the matching title. Unfortunately, you could mistakenly select the wrong title with no preview to show that you selected the correct one. Also, if it cannot match the issue, it appears to just ignore it. Title remapping information appears in an html log file after the import is complete, but the issue information is not included there. Because of this, I found that some issues in my collection were not added to the ComicBase database.