Monday, August 27, 2018

My Gaming Hardback Bookshelf

This is something I've wanted to do for a while. A few years ago, I received a fun book called Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe, as a gift. The entire book is full of fun, creative, and informative graphs for comic books, with very unique graphs such as a table of "True Colors" showing what looks like a periodic table, but with different colors to illustrate the color of each hero. On the top left is the Crimson Cavalier, along with Crimson Dynamo and Crimson Daffodil. The Scarlets are next (Scarab, Witch, and Spider), then the Reds, Pinks (light and dark), Oranges (one only: Agent Orange), Yellows, (in two tones, light and dark), and so on, until you get to the bottom right-hand corner, the "Whites" (Queen, Ghost, Dragon, and more; nine in all). Another graph uses the three primary colors of Red, Yellow, and Blue, to show which heroes utilize any/all of those colors, and the ratio of each (Spider-Man is about 60% Blue to 40% Red, for example). There is a Venn diagram of Superhero Comic Tropes (Underwear on the Outside, Tragically Dead Parents, and Cape). These are just a few examples, but it's a fun book and I highly recommend it to both comic book fans as well as those interested in design and creative ways to express data.

Shortly after finishing the book, I wanted to do some similar graphs, mainly to see if I could try to replicate some of the styles from the book. I've been bitten by a bit of an artistic creative bug recently; I've started sketching again for a start, and making these graphs was a fun way to get my creative juices flowing. I chose to make a few graphs for my hardback book gaming collection, partially to see what the data would look like, and also to see what kinds of ways I could divide up my collection in a fun and different way.

Depending on peoples' reactions, I might do some more of these, with my paperback RPG books and modules, my gaming PDFs, and maybe some of my comics collection.

Let me know your thoughts, and if you end up making your own graphs, be sure to let me know!

I created all of these below in Microsoft Excel just to get the size ratios right, but then for the bar graph and the bubble graph, I re-drew them so I could arrange the data the way I wanted without being held to the built-in graph formats in Excel. The pie charts are right out of Excel with the only manipulation being the colors and hand-created legends. I tried to do some interesting things with the colors, such as for the different editions, using the main color of the book spines as the associated color of the graphs (e.g., more than half of my 1st Edition books have that orange-colored spine, the 2nd Edition books mostly had a black spine, etc.). Some were more difficult, especially when I had to pick just one color to represent a bunch of different books/publishers (such as the gold-yellow color for "D20/OGL 3rd Party," which I picked based on the gold-yellow color of the Dawnforge book by Fantasy Flight Games, mainly because I hadn't used yellow for anything else).

I'm not going to say anything else about the graphs, as hopefully they convey the information clearly, but I'll happily answer questions on the comments, or on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+

Hanging: Home office (laptop)
Drinking: Club Soda with Angostura Bitters
Listening: "Detour Ahead (Take 1)" by the Bill Evans Trio


  1. I find it much easier to think in visual terms, so I love things like this. Those pie charts are fascinating; I would love to see other people do similar charts so we could see how much use we're all getting out of our gaming books!

    1. I would love for others to do something similar as well! It's kind of what I was hoping when I originally posted these. I'll be watching to see if you post something!


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