Review: Super Graphic – A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe / Author: Tim Leong / Publisher: Chronicle Books / Release Date: September 1st
Say hello to the geekiest book you’re ever going to buy. A book that is crammed to the hilt with page upon page of bar graphs, pie charts and timelines may not sound like something we’d promote, but when you consider that the subjects of every one of those statistical presentations are characters from comic books, you may find that your interest is somewhat piqued.
The book never strays far from knowing that it’s pretty ludicrous to put facts and figures of our super – and other not-so-super – heroes into this kind of format, but that’s what makes this a great book. Instead of pages of text and canonical history to wade through and bog yourself down with, the author has instead decided to provide the reader with colourful, easy to digest visualisations of things that, as a fan, you should already know as well as other things that you probably didn’t.
For example, there are breakdowns of how long heroes and villains have stayed dead for after their comic book demises; there is more than one exhibition of what happens in The Walking Dead universe; there is even a section devoted to superhero influences in the rap music genre.
Pleasantly, it is not just our caped crusaders that get a look in though. There are such diverse inclusions as Charlie Brown, Death Note and Comic-Con. Even cosplaying is covered in one way or another.
It’s instantly forgettable due to its devil-may-care layout and yet, that’s what makes it a must buy. You’ll find yourself revisiting it time and time again, looking for that one nerd fact that will help you win an argument or just finding yourself smiling at the way it’s all aimed at anyone who could care, regardless of how deeply they are steeped in the history of comics. It’s cool to be a geek now, so embrace it. This is your new easy reference Bible.