Charting The Comic Book Universe with Super Graphic
By Shawn Depasquale on August 13, 2013
If there’s one thing the Internet loves more than hilarious pictures of cats being adorable, it’s having their favorite obsessions broken down into easy-to-digest visual charts called Infographics. Far and away the master of these OCD-inspired tabulations of pop culture is a man named Tim Leong – a graphic designer for, among others, Wired Magazine, and currently for Fortune Magazine. Proving he’s at the top of his game, he’s released a book of infographics dedicated to all things comic book related called Super Graphic: A Visual Guide To The Comic Book Universe, and it’s gloriously geeky!
Leong is not here to mess around, and he wastes no time breaking out the graphics, as the book opens with a bubble graph table of contents that breaks down all the various types of charts he’s going to use in the book. You guys, did you know there are a TON of charts you can use to make graphics on data? Well, there are, and they’re all used in some form by Leong, from Pie charts to timelines to polar area charts (WHAT?!). If Leong was a Batman villain, his name would be The Charter (because he uses charts to… oh, never mind).
If superheroes aren’t your thing, worry not: Leong makes sure to include all manner of comic-related goodness, not content to merely graph things like The Periodic Table of Metal Men or a graph chart depicting the life expectancy of the various characters in the Walking Dead comic. He also includes a diagram called Assorted Peanuts that details the various relationships, familial connections and romances in the world of everyone’s favorite little boy with bi-polar issues, Charlie Brown. Another personal favorite of ours is a graph that breaks down the awesome amounts of awful alliteration Archie Comics have used over the years (Archie Andrews, Patti Pacer, Sandy Sanchez… you get the idea). Whatever your pleasure, if it’s comic-based, you’re sure to find it graphed and charted within these pages.
Among the vast amounts of nerd-trivia you’ll absorb from reading Super Graphic: Scrooge McDuck has more money than Richie Rich, Tony Stark, and all of LexCorp. You’ll also find helpful graphs like the proper way to read an American comic vs. the proper way to read a Japanese Manga (right to left). Of course, there is also a circle 90% shaded a familiar green with the bottom 10% shaded purple, giving a visual representation of The Hulk’s bare skin to costume ratio and proving that it’s not all a serious numbers game to Leong.
Super Graphic is a fantastically entertaining, flawlessly designed coffee table book, one of the few of its kind that demands to be read cover to cover, if only to finally settle the age old question of Who’s Faster: Superman or the Flash? Find the answer to that burning question and so many more only in that pages of Tim Leong’s Super Graphic.
By Tim LeongPublished by Chronicle Books$18.95Tim Leong founded and edited the Eisner Award–nominated magazine, Comic Foundry. He has worked at Complex and WIRED magazines and is currently Design Director at Fortune magazine. He lives in New York City._________________________________________________