The Comic Book Readership Archive project, or CoBRA, proposes to build a digital archive—of primary source material and related data sets—to document American comic book readership and fandom. The archive will include content from such sources as: fan mail, fan club publications and membership rolls, contests sponsored by publishers and fan clubs, fanzines, and programs and attendee records from comic book conventions and similar events.
Comics scholarship is an established area of academic research and the subject of thousands of dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, monographs, and digital projects. Comics readership has been a specific target of scholarly attention. However, pervious studies have not fully considered the vast documentary record of comic book readership that will be compiled and analyzed in the CoBRA project.
The CoBRA project will address this gap in comics scholarship by providing access to a large and growing archive for the study of comic book readership. The CoBRA archive will facilitate new research questions about comic books expressed in new forms of scholarship such as interactive maps, timelines, network graphs, other information visualizations, and computationally-assisted content and data analysis.