This is a small sample of Digital Humanities visualizations created with Wikidata’s built-in SPARQL query service using comics Wikidata. These visualizations represent individual and collective efforts to create graphic narratives of comics by applying distant methods of reading: how can we understand comics beyond the ENG 325 classroom, and beyond Michigan State University? What happens when we treat these dense, rich texts of sequential art as points of data and attempt to visualize connections therein?
Students were instructed to create visualizations based on a single comics publisher, or, a single comics idea that spoke to them using visualizations from the MSU Graphic Possibilities Wikidata events and the San Diego State University Comic Arts Project as modifiable models. These examples are themselves interactive, modifiable, and open. Please explore, engage, play, even create your own! And if you feel like you’ve messed one up or want to start over, just refresh the page; it will reload these visualizations right back to their original points.
“Superhero Place of Birth” Wikidata Visualization by Deborah Marshall
This visualization is a worldwide map that shows a superhero’s place of birth. The superheroes are fictional characters from Marvel and scattered all over the globe. Most of the superheroes derive from either North America or Europe which I found pretty interesting. I didn’t see any in Africa and for a quick second I thought Black Panther would’ve derived from there. Then I remembered Black Panther was from Wakanda which literally doesn’t exist. I did see there was literally one superhero in South America called Sunspot and one in Australia named Red Lotus. I love how Marvel chooses the most random places to bring more knowledge to the viewer. This was a pretty cool and interactive visualization. It was able to give insight on an interesting topic in a cool way.Deborah Marshall
“Panini Comics” by Cameryn Cass, Mere Lucas, and Prairie Skazalski
We created a visualization to connect the mediums published by Panini Comics. They mostly created comics, but there were also graphic narratives and magazines thrown in there. Panini Comics published in three languages primarily: English, Japanese and Italian.
We noticed that a lot of the mediums were manga, which made sense because a lot of them were published in Japanese or in Japan. Only a few were Italian.
We all had varying backgrounds and knowledge with comics and this publisher- some of us knew a lot of the manga comics we saw in the visualization, but there were also recognizable and iconic things like Star Wars: it was cool we all could relate and connect in some way. Going into it, none of us really had much experience with comics and this visualization helped us to see and realize that we indeed had connections: visualizing it in this interconnected way made that possible.Cameryn Cass, Mere Lucas, and Prairie Skazalski
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