The Comic Tributes Map Project

By | Tuesday, January 29, 2013 24 comments
Because I don't have enough going on, I started mapping locations of comic-related statues, plaques, murals, museums, etc.

I think it was a year or two back, I realized, "Hey, I drive through Illinois all the time, I should see if I could swing by Metropolis for their Superman Celebration some year." So I looked up where Metropolis, IL was, and realized that it was an extra three hours out of my way from any trip I take through the state. That's an extra three hours on top of the three hours I would need to get to a point where it would start to be out of my way. No offense, but I've never been that much of a Superman fan.

Actually, when I'm headed to Illinois, I usually run through a good chunk of Indiana first. And I thought maybe a side trip to the Hall of Heroes Museum might be okay. That's about two hours out of my way. A little more do-able, but still not quite enough on most days for me.

The problem is that, while I know where a lot of big cities are, I don't know the whereabouts of the small towns that are home to some of the more obscure pieces of comic memorials. I've never heard of Pawnee, Oklahoma or Amesbury, Massachusetts much less know where they are relative to, say, Oklahoma City or Boston. So I started mapping them so that I would have a readily accessible record of where some of these places are, on the off chance that I happen to be in the neighborhood.

Being the geek that I am, though, I didn't want to peg these in a vague, "Oh, here's Naperville, Illinois" way. I wanted to be pinpoint the exact spot in Naperville where that Dick Tracy statue is located. So, now, if I'm wandering around St. Paul, Minnesota looking for one of the many Peanuts statues located in that city, I can find exactly where they are. Or I can walk down Hollywood Boulevard and know precisely where to find Stan Lee's star. So if I'm in town on business or have a tight schedule, I can more readily figure out if I have enough time to swing by. (One of the many cool things about Google Maps is that you can zoom in close enough to actually see most of these locations, if I only have an address instead of the exact longitude and latitude. Also cool is that their street views and user-uploaded photos provide visuals for most of these locations if you're never able to visit personally.)

I figured, naturally, that since I'm plugging all this into an online map anyway, I may as well share it with everyone online. It's still a work in progress, so there's plenty that's not included yet. (As I said, there are MANY Peanuts statues in St. Paul!)

I tried to figure a concise way to explain what I'm trying to include here. I don't want to include comic shops or publishers' offices, but generally more "in honor of" types of locations. Statues and memorials and such. But I've also included a few theme parks. And while I'm tagging individual locations that are part of a single theme (the bronze Peanuts statues in St. Paul) I'm not tagging every individual item of a large location, like a museum. It basically boils down to me tagging things how/as I think they'd be personally useful. If I'm at Islands of Adventure, I'm not hunting for all the superhero images because they're everywhere. If I'm in St. Paul, I'm going to be looking for random Snoopys among whatever buildings and traffic and whatnot is going on.

Anyway, with all that said, here's my (WIP) map of comic-related locations. Feel free to use it or not as you see fit.

View Comic Locations in a larger map
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Jeff said...

This is very cool. I wonder if there's any way to (or if you'd have any interest in) making this map publicly editable? One addition I can recommend is the Toonseum in Pittsburgh - it's very similar to the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and has a heavy comic influence.

Ryan said...

There’s tons of stuff in Bucheon, South Korea. The Bucheon comics museum, and a park devoted to Korean comic character Dooly (with a giant statue in the middle)

Thanks, guys. I've got ToonSeum and the Buncheon Museum definitely. I think I've got Dooly Park as well -- Google's maps don't have quite as good resolution for South Korea, so I had to guess a bit based on some vacation pics I found online.

Anonymous said...

Great list! You definitely have hit some of the high points for me that I've known about for years, but others I was unaware about as well. Couple of additions: The Poteet Canyon tile mural in Poteet, Texas and the Dick Tracy Museum in Woodstock, Illinois.

Mike Rhode said...

You might consider adding the Library of Congress which has a big comics collection and regular exhibits of original art.

There's also a slew of special collections in academic libraries that might be worth listing. Michigan State, Ohio State are two big ones.

Mike Rhode said...

And there's a plaque on Jerry Siegel's old house in Cleveland.

(btw I see you have the Ireland library at OSU already - whoops)

And the Dick Tracy museum is closed now.

Mike Rhode said...

This article mentions a Winsor McCay plaque -

Mike Rhode said...

God, I'm getting ridiculous, but there's a cartoon art museum in London by the British Museum.

Also the Funky Winkerbean / Crankshaft guys just did a mural at their alma mater Kent State.

Mike Rhode said...

Harvey Pekar has a statue in the Cleveland Heights library.

More thanks! I had the Ireland Museum, the Siegel house and the Pekar statue, and I've added the Michigan Library, the McCay plaque, the London museum, and the Kent State mural. I also stumbled across a Caniff plaque in Hillsboro, OH.

I can't seem to find the actual location of the Poteet mural, and I'm debating how/where exactly to tag the Library of Congress.

Thanks again! Let me know if you think of/find anything else!

Mike Rhode said...

The Library of Congress, in Washington, DC, has a standing exhibits of cartoons in their Swann Gallery in the Jefferson building.

Mort Walker recently did a mural for his alma mater irrc.

W/o checking your map, there's a Miyazaki museum in Japan.

Mike Rhode said...

Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center
2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 579-4452

Mike Rhode said...

And if you put in Parc Asterix, you should probably add in the 5 Disney theme parks (2 in US, 1 in Paris, 1 in Hong Kong, and 1 in Japan, iirc).

Mike Rhode said...

There's also the remnants of Dogpatch, a Li'l Abner theme park in ... Arkansas? It's not open to the public, but I think one can see the props.

Mike Rhode said...

Libraries of comics - - 1/2 down the page

Museums of comics - - some are defunct, mainly the US ones.

Mike Rhode said...

Good luck w/ this one:

Reading the Streets: Brussels, city of the comic strip
Written by KELSEY HAYES, Auction Central News International
Friday, 11 January 2013\

I'm trying to keep the map focused on comics specifically, so I'm deliberately passing on the Disney parks and the Ghibli Museum. Yes, some of the work did filter into comics, but that was never the focus. Asterix and Marvel -- while also branching into animation and live-action movies and whatnot -- were designed/developed AS comics.

I'll try to plug your other suggestions in tomorrow. Right now, it's time for me to go to bed!

Anonymous said...

Poteet mural is on the corner of H Ave. and 6th Street, right in front of the Poteet Volunteer Firefighters. (Thanks google street view!)

Mike Rhode said...

The Sewall-Belmont House in DC has a collection and display of Nina Allender's cartoons -

Mike, I now officially hate you for pointing out the crazy number of comic murals in Belgium. I currently have seven of the 50+ mapped.

That said, I appreciate the Allender link. I'll be sending in the paperwork to adopt one of the pieces in the next day or two.

Mike Rhode said...

Always glad to help out on an obsessive crowd-sourcing project. My own is a Comics Research Bibliography.

I've got a comics-loving friend in Brussels if you get stuck, but he's at Angouleme right now.

...which might be worth listing if it isn't already.

Mike Rhode said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Rhode said...

How about this? ;^)

Mike Rhode said...

Brand new one! Miami Beach home of children’s book author Syd Hoff declared a historic literary landmark; The children’s book author lived at the home at 4335 Post Ave. for four decades.
By Melissa Cáceres
Miami Herald February 11 2013