I’m very pleased to have this forum here to share a labor-of-love project that is still, as they say, in search of a publisher: The Comic Book Guide to the United States of America.
The idea for this project came to me in early 2010, while in Belgium visiting The Brussels Comic Book Museum. (Which sounds so much better in French, doesn’t it? Le Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinée.)
They’re wild about comics and graphic novels in Belgium. And while visiting the museum’s gift shop I realized something.
Due to the Belgian affection for the medium, Brussels, of all the European capitals, is particularly well-represented on the illustrated page. So much so that it’s conceivable for you to trick out a walking tour of the city with all the different comics each building and neighborhood has appeared in.
And, of course, thanks to comics’ absolutely wonderful accommodation for wildly divergent artistic styles, no two sequential art versions of Brussels would be quite the same. Each would have something different to say about the city, its culture, the artist who produced it, and the audience who saw something worth seeing in it.
This needed to be done for New York, I thought.
But why stop there?
One of my favorite things about living in the United States is the dazzling variety of macro- and micro-climates you get in a nation of such geographic breadth as ours. There are worlds within worlds to explore and contemplate here. So I thought a work of cultural criticism using comics to demonstrate how the U.S. has been represented, over time, would be terrific fun.
I ginned up a sample chapter specifically on the city of Chicago to show how this could be done. A few pages about San Francisco are thrown in there too to convey a sense of how far-ranging the idea could be.
Please check it out by clicking on the logo below. I welcome your comments!