This post is about comics. It’s also about superheroes, robots, Norse gods, shrinking men, and women made of light – so it makes sense that it was inspired in the first place by a 10 year-old.
Last week, I was pointed by Santiago Ortiz to this excellent chart made by Theo Zaballos, in which he plots the relative interestingness in Avengers characters from the animated series, over time. It’s a fantastic example of the power of visualization to help us understand things – or, put another way, the power of building systems to think about systems. It’s also a reminder that visualization doesn’t always need to be pitted against huge, world-changing tasks – it can be useful in exploring small, fun, even seemingly frivolous things.
I started reading comics in 1985 (coincidentally, when I was 10). For years, I’d visit the comic shop every Wednesday, and pick up a stack of titles – and The Avengers was a real mainstay on my list. I was always more of a reader than a collector; my longboxes were full of dog-eared issues from incomplete series, which I revisited over and over again until the stories imprinted themselves in my brain.
There’s a huge storehouse of mythology, cultural touchstones, and real historical events contained in the pages of the 570 issues of the Avengers.
Inspired by Theo, and using comicvine.com’s API, I’ve put together a few datasets and some tools that I can use to visually explore some of this leotarded history.
I finally had to stop looking at various Avenger stuff and write this post.
Very addictive visualization and a good illustration that you can practice/learn visualization skills with data sets that interest you.
Or that you find entertaining.
Are there any similar (dissimilar?) data sets that you would like to suggest?
PS: I like the “Part 1″ in the title. Promises more to come.