Following describes Advanced Comic Book Format specifications. Current released version is 1.1, proposed changes for version 1.2 are highlighted./new in 1.2/

Meta-data section in ACBF XML structure contains <book-info>, <publish-info> and <document-info> sections, which describe book metadata (such as title, author, genre ...), publishing information (publisher, publish date ...) and acbf document metadata (creator, date of creation, document version ...).

Book-info section Edit

This section describes elements and their attributes present inside the <book-info> section.


Author Edit

Defines author of particular comic book.

Occurence: mandatory, can occur more than once in case there are more authors of particular comic book.

It has an optional attribute activity, which defines activity that particular author carried out on the comic book. Following is a list of allowed values:

  • Writer (story was written by)
  • Adapter (in case the comic book story is adaptation of story written by someone else)
  • Artist (art was drawn by)
  • Penciller (penciller, inker, colorist and leterrer attribute value may be used in case art was created in collaboration by a group of different artists)
  • Inker
  • Colorist
  • Letterer (in case texts are handwritten)
  • CoverArtist (created comic book cover)
  • Photographer
  • Editor
  • Assistant Editor
  • Translator
  • Designer /new in 1.2/
  • Other

Another optional attribute lang defines the language into which particular author (translator) translated the comic book. It may be used in element describing writer, letterer as well.

This element has 6 child elements: <first-name>, <middle-name>, <last-name>, <nickname>, <home-page> and <email>. Author element must contain either <first-name> and <last-name> or just <nickname>. Other elements are in both allowed cases optional.

  <author activity=“Writer“>

Book-title Edit

Contains title of the comic book. Has one optional attribute lang.

Occurence: mandatory, can occur multiple times (with different lang attribute)


Genre Edit

Comic book genre.

Occurence: mandatory, can occur more than once

Optional attribute match defines the match percentage to that particular genre.

  <genre match=“70“>science_fiction</genre>
  <genre match=“30“>humor</genre>

Following is the list of comic book genres defined by ACBF:

  • adult
  • adventure
  • alternative (abstract, underground ...)
  • artbook /new in 1.2/
  • biography (biographical comics)
  • caricature
  • children
  • computer (computers related)
  • crime
  • education (education and science)
  • fantasy
  • history (historical comics)
  • horror
  • humor
  • manga
  • military (war ...)
  • mystery
  • non-fiction
  • politics
  • real_life
  • religion
  • romance
  • science_fiction
  • sports
  • superhero (e.g. Superman, Spiderman … or Super Villains)
  • western
  • other

Characters Edit

List of (main) characters that appear in the comic book.

Occurrence: optional

Contains one or more child elements called <name>


Annotation Edit

Annotation or short summary describing the comic book.

Occurence: mandatory, occurs at least once (once per each language used).

It has one optional attribute lang, which defines language in which the annotation is written.

It contains one mandatory child paragraph element, that can occur more than once inside this element.

  <annotation lang=“en“>

Keywords Edit

Keywords regarding this comic book intended for use by search engines. It is supposed to be a comma delimited list.

Occurence: optional

Can have one optional attribute lang to define language in which the keywords are.

  <keywords lang=“en“>...</keywords>

Coverpage Edit

Comic book cover.

Occurence: mandatory

Has one mandatory child element <image> which references binary image. For detailed description of href attribute see <image> element description in body section.

Text layers, frames and jump objects can be defined on coverpage as well. For detailed description see description of <text-layer>, <frame>, <jump> elements in Body Section Definition.

    <image href="#cover.jpg"/>
    <frame points="0,0 388,0 388,155 0,155"/>
    <frame points="0,144 388,144 388,600 0,600"/>

Languages Edit

Lists all text layers which are used in particular ACBF document inside document body. One ACBF document can contain more text layers with different translations.

Occurence: optional

Contains at least one <text-layer> element.

    <text-layer lang=“en“ show=“False“/>

Text-layer Edit

Defines a text-layer that is present in the ACBF document.

Occurence: optional

Text-layer element has one mandatory attribute lang which defines the language used in particular text-layer. This attribute is unique identificator of that text-layer and matches related <text-layer> elements from <body> section.

Text-layer element has one optional attribute called show which defines if particular text-layer is drawn over the background image. Available values are either True or False (default is True). If show attribute is defined as False text-layer is not drawn over the background image but particular <text-area> may be shown to the user when requested. This is useful when background image contains lettering but in particular cases on smaller displays some texts would not be readable. In those cases viewer application can display those texts after some user interaction (e.g. clicking on particular text-area pop ups the dialog window with the text message).

Sequence Edit

Contains the sequence and number if particular comic book is part of a series.

Occurence: optional, can occur more than once in case particular comic book is part of more series.

It has one mandatory attribute title which is a title of the whole comic book serie part of which is this particular comic book. Optional attribute volume may define volume number into which particular comic book belongs.

  <sequence title=“All time Greatest Comics“ volume=“1“>1</sequence>

DatabaseRef Edit

Contains reference to a record in a comic book database (such as for example Grand Comics Database).

Occurance: optional, can occur more than once

It has one mandatory attribute dbname. There si no definitive list of allowed values for this attribute but it is recommended that viewer software recognizes „GCD“ as Grand Comics Database.

Apart from mandatory dbname, there's optional attribute type, which defines the reference type, e.g. URL, IssueID, SeriesID ...

Actual element value may be a URL, ID etc. pointing to a particular comic book, issue or series.

  <databaseref dbname=“GCD“ type=“IssueID“>276799</databaseref>

Content-rating Edit

Contains rating of the content of comic book, with regard to appropriateness for different age groups.

Occurance: optional, can occur more than once

It has one optional attribute type, which defines the rating system.

  <content-rating type=“Marvel Rating System“>T+</content-rating>

Reading-direction /new in 1.2/ Edit

Contains reading direction in which comic book shoud be read. Allowed values are LTR for left to right and RTL for right to left reading. Reader application follows the order in which pages/frames are defined in ACBF document, however based on this value can display progress bar and navigation buttons appropriately.

Occurance: optional, left to right direction is assumed in case it is missing


Publish-Info Section Edit

This section describes elements and their attributes present inside the <publish-info> section.


Publisher Edit

Name of the publisher.

Occurence: mandatory

Publish-date Edit

Date when the comic book was published.

Occurence: mandatory

Has one optional attribute value, which contains computer readable variant of the date in the ISO form YYYY-MM-DD.

  <publish-date value=“2010-12-01“>December 1st 2010</publish-date>

City Edit

City where this particular comic book was published.

Occurence: optional

  <city>Bratislava, Slovakia</city>


International Standard Book Number

Occurence: optional


License Edit

License under which particular ACBF document is published.

Occurence: optional, when no license specified common copyright applies.

  <license>Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License</license>

Document-Info Section Edit

This section describes elements and their attributes present inside the <document-info> section.


Author Edit

Defines author/creator of particular document in ACBF format. For more details see Author definition in Book-Info section. It is of the same type.

Occurence: mandatory, can occur more than once in case there are more authors.

Creation-date Edit

Date when this particular document was created. It is of the same type as publish-date from publish-info section.

Occurence: mandatory

Source Edit

Document source, if this comic book is a derivate of or based on an existing comic book either in electronic format or published on paper. May contain URL or some other source description. Has one child element p, which defines individual paragraphs.

Occurence: optional


ID Edit

Unique Document ID. Used for distinctly define ACBF documents for cataloguing purposes.

Occurence: optional

Version Edit

Document version.

Occurence: optional

History Edit

Contains document history.

Occurence: optional

Has one child element p, which defines individual paragraphs.

    <p>v 1.0 – Initial Conversion</p>
    <p>v 1.1 – Corrected frames on page 3</p>
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