How does one search old comic books for minor themes?
December 6, 2010 10:48 AM Subscribe
Deep Searching Old Comics for Research in the Humanities
: How does one search old comic books for something that may amount to set-dressing? I'm looking for depictions of public housing projects in U.S. comics from 1950 – 1980. What tools or approaches can you recommend?
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
To oversimplify: in the U.S. many people associate housing projects with crime. Many people also associate superheros with crimefighting. Because of this I'm guessing that there must be a wealth of depictions in comics — even if only visual, or only used to establish a scene.
I'm researching Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis, but I'm interested in depictions of any of the high-rise, urban housing projects that were constructed mid-century (including, but deemphasizing those in NYC, which has had a relationship with public housing that is atypical among U.S. cities).
I'm comfortable with scholarly research, and have put in long and rewarding hours in any number of archives. What I've not been able to find are any comic book mentions (save one); which is aggravating when I consider how many there must be. I know next to nothing about comics past reading them casually for a time as a youth... but by their reputation I suspect Marvel at the very least was featuring "the projects" regularly.
With most archives resigning comics to the "low culture" ghetto, who has stepped up and thoroughly indexed comics? Who do I talk to? How do I search? Many thanks.