Marvel Characters by Adam Kubert
July 17, 2018 - All
Using the Marvel Database API, I pulled data on all the different Marvel characters featured in issues by artist Adam Kubert to create a visualization in Gephi.
Looking at the example of connections amongst jazz musicians, I wanted to use the Marvel Database to create a similar chart of creatives. Each book, much like a jazz album, uses a group of creatives from a greater pool. Several creatives will work together over time on different books. After pulling the data, I decided to go in a different direction, and focus on the network of characters/properties instead.
The Marvel Database has an API where a developer can make calls containing certain parameters and get a JSON object in return. Using Adam Kubert’s Creator ID, I was able to bring up information on all the comic book issues he had worked on. This information included the creative team, the number of pages and main characters to name a few. I decided to focus on a social network of the characters he had worked on over the years. He is most noted for his work on X-Men, especially Wolverine, and I felt it would be interesting to see a visualization of the character connections in Gephi.
After placing the JSON object into Sublime, I then copied just the array that contained the issues and pasted it into OpenRefine. In this program, I reduced the rows to just the characters and issue number. I then deleted any one-to-one relationships in an effort to prepare it for R-Studio.
In R, I followed the directions for creating a weighted table with source and targets. This was the table that I would then bring into Gephi.
Importing the spreadsheet into Gephi I was able to create a visualization of the data. I was not particularly happy with the results.
OpenRefine.org – Editing datasets
Sublime – Code/Text Editor
R-Studio – Performing Permutation of Data
Gephi – Creates Relational/Social Charts
I found setting up the data correctly a little challenging and tried a few different layouts.
The chart gives a clear idea of which characters Adam Kubert works on more than others. I would still like to purse create a visual for an ego-centric network of creatives that work on Marvel properties with Adam Kubert.