Top 5: Real Life Comic Book Landmarks

Shulz Museum

5. Charles M. Schulz Museum And Research Center

If you were to make a list of the top cartoonists of all time, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz would be in most anyone’s top 5, some in the top spot. That’s why you owe it to yourself next time you’re in Northern California to visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa. Opened in 2002, it showcases the largest collection of Schulz’ original comic strip art in the world and also features illustrations of his characters by everyone from Yoshiteru Otani to the conceptual artist Christo. When you go, make sure you visit Schulz’s personal studio, kept in pristine condition from the day he died.

Islands of Adventure Marvel

4. Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure

While there are no stand-alone theme parks in the world devoted to comic books in the United States (R.I.P Dogpatch USA), Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park has the next best thing with an area devoted to Marvel’s heroes. Launched in 1999, Marvel Super Hero Island features roller coasters based on the Hulk, Doctor Doom, Spider-Man and the X-Men, it also features a Marvel-centric comic shop and a daily superhero parade. With Disney’s acquisition of Marvel a few years back, this Marvel island could be gone in a couple years so it’s worth checking out before it’s no more.


3.  Metropolis, Illinois

Metropolis may be a fictional city, but for the residents of a small town in Illinois it’s very real — and so is Superman. This small town of just under 7,000 people was named the official “Hometown of Superman” by DC Comics back in 1972, which the Illinois State Legislature certified that same year. Visit this town to see this monstrous Superman stature as well as a small museum centered around their hometown boy. If you’re there during the second week of June, you can enjoy Metropolis’ annual Superman Celebration — and read about it in the town paper, The Metropolis Planet — named after DC’s fictional The Daily Planet.



2. Comic-Con International: San Diego

Nerd prom?  Maybe. But it’s also the crossroads for all t hings comics, from the superheroes of American comics to from all countries and all genres and even outside comic fare like movies, television and video games. And if that’s not enough, you can always participate in iFanboy’s various meet-ups and parties held each year.


1. 147 Essex Street, New York City — The Birthplace of Jack Kirby

There’s no sign, there’s no monument, but 147 Essex Street in New York City is a site worth visiting if you’re a fan of Jack Kirby. This picture by Frank Santoro shows Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez posing in front f the doorway. Efforts are underway to get it noticed in New York City’s register of notable places, but you don’t have to get the city’s stamp of approval to realize how important it is.


  1. I had no idea that #1 still existed. I’m somewhat surprised that in a city like New York that apartment still exists. I assumed “progress” would have wiped it from existence. Now I really want to check it out.

    #4 is interesting, too. I’ve been to Orlando many times, but didn’t know there was a Marvel Island.

    • I think the ratio of old to new is still pretty good in NYC. You’d be surprised. Sure there’s a lot of new/modern buildings – but they take up much more “air space” than the brownstone they replaced.

  2. I remember wondering about Marvel’s section in Islands of Adventure when Disney bought Marvel. I seemed to have remembered hearing Universal’s contract was up in 2012, but I wasn’t able to find anything about it when I looked earlier. Maybe Universal decided there was too much of an investment for them to lose the rights. Maybe I remember incorrectly. Maybe Disney and Universal are secretly owned by Warner Brothers (it would explain why Hogwarts is at the same amusement park). The real question is: Why is no one capitalizing on Kirby’s birthplace.

    • Universal’s contract with Marvel allows them to continue using Marvel’s trademarks as long as the attractions are in operation. It also prohibits any other theme park operator (including Disney) from using Marvel characters at any park east of the Mississippi. So. Disney could add Marvel rides at Disneyland, but not at Walt Disney World.

    • Maybe they should put in a roller coaster at 148 Essex?

  3. If we expanded to 10 I would include the Toonseum in Pittsburgh. It is a great little place that features exhibits of everything from comic strips to super hero movie memorabilia.

  4. You can tell where they spent the big bucks at Islands of Adventure, where the multi-layered theming, landscape and architecture truly make you feel like you’re in another world. Marvel Superhero Island isn’t one of those places. I get what they were trying to do (“Let me get this straight… I’m walking in a comic book?”), but there is SO much more they could have done. Still, you have to give them credit – the Marvel section of IOA has two of THE most popular rides in Central Florida: The Hulk and Spider-man (my personal favorite). And I give them props for the big comic shop and main hero merchandise shop.

    I wish I had been able to go to the Marvel restaurant in NYC. Themed restaurants aren’t the hot item they used to be, but if I’m going to pay $15 for a hamburger, I’d rather do it surrounded by “fake” superhero memorabilia than Ozzy Osbourne’s glass-encased sweat towel or Jerry Lee Lewis’ signed guitar. Just me.

  5. Whoa I used to like 2 blocks from Jack Kirby as a baby.

  6. How on earth is Jack Kirby’s home not a landmark? This cannot stand!