Chess As A Comic Book Trope.

Charlton Comics, Vol. 1, No. 36. Strange Suspense Stories (March 1958) (courtesy World Chess Hall of Fame).

Hyperallergic has a great article about The World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, and chess as a comic book trope. Chess was a very common trope in much of pulp fiction, also. There are so many awesome images, I would have agonized over which to include here, so just the one. Click on over to see them all, and do some reading, too.

ST. LOUIS — “Chess and comics are a natural pair,” Shannon Bailey, chief curator of the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF), told Hyperallergic. “The concepts of battle, the struggle of good versus evil, strategy, and speed, have always played a central role in both chess and comic book themes.”

Bailey organized POW! Capturing Superheroes, Chess & Comics now at WCHOF, a nonprofit institution that explores the connections between art and chess in its programming. Founded in 1986 by the United States Chess Federation, WCHCOF opened in St. Louis’s Central West End neighborhood in 2011, following the closure of its Miami museum in 2009. Recent exhibitions range from Designing Chessmen on the imagery of chess, to chess during World War II and the games designs of Michael Graves. WCHCOF is active as a collecting institution, and since POW! opened in March, collectors Floyd and Bernice Sarisohn — whose memorabilia and ephemera form the foundation of the exhibition — have decided to donate their comic books and related sets.


POW! Capturing Superheroes, Chess & Comics continues through September 17 at the World Chess Hall of Fame (4652 Maryland Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri).

You can read and see everything at Hyperallergic.


  1. says

    I really don’t think chess will ever not be a staple trope; it’s simply too classic and illustrates the constant game between good and bad in comics. And much of other literature.

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