Monday, June 29, 2009


Mapquest has certainly changed how people go about their lives. And it has become such a part of every day life that it invites parody.

There are actually apps and websites devoted to helping people find unusual or even silly things, such as public restrooms (complete with ratings/reviews). One of the ones I heard about recently was a site that lets people know when might be a good time to run to the bathroom during new movies so as to not miss anything important. It's more of a chronological map than a geographic map, but still useful.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Atlas drinks

Well, wouldn't you? Al Ross is the cartoonis this time. After a long week's work, let's give Mr. Atlas a break and try something else next week.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Atlas on eBay

From back in 2000 when eBay was still a relatively hot new thing we have Jack Ziegler's Atlas on eBay. Remember last year when candidate McCain propsed income through eBay as a way to avoid or forestall the nation's economic woes? Is that working o0ut for anybody out there?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Ronald Searle's New Yorker cover from March 2, 1992. Ah, cats. A friend of mine decided cats are actually rather stupid because, unlike dogs, they don't learn tricks. But the nifty trick of getting humans to cater to their needs is something, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Student Atlas

While I think the recent worrying about over-stuffed student backpacks is overblown, I do wonder how soon it will be before schools start issuing all textbooks on Kindles or Kindle-like devices. 5 typical textbooks could easily cost $250. A new Kindle costs $360. This New Yorker cartoon is by Alex Gregory.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Atlas abs

This week we'll concentrate on Atlas-themed cartoons. And there are a very large number of them. I've already posted a few. This week we'll see many more. This is from Mike Peters' Mother Goose and Grimm again.

Friday, June 19, 2009

You are food

Not necessarily what a hiker wants to see on a typical walk. But are the bears coming or going? Without the 4th dimension of time maps can be somewhat limited.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

You are squid

Let's start "You are here" week with a selection from the consistently weird Lio strip by Mark Tatulli. This strip sports no dialog, simply a severely strange child of a single dad. It's good. It's fun. And it sported a map element on this episode.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Don't ask, don't tell

Asking for directions is almost as common a cartoon theme as the desert island or the parched guy in the desert (why is it always a guy? Women never get caught out in the desert like that?). This one for the New Yorker from last April is by Michael Maslin. You wouldn't believe how many "asking for directions" or "spouses arguing about asking for directions" cartoons I've found. About as many as "you are here" cartoons. Hey! Maybe that's what we'll do next week: "You are here" cartoons. If y'all find any send 'em in.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Roadmap for Peace

Political cartoons about the Roadmap for Peace have come up A LOT ever since that concept was started. And as long as that Roadmap continues to be in the modern lexicon, such cartoons will continue to appear. This one is by Lewis Smith and it combines with the ever-popular "asking for directions" theme so common in map-related comics.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Bob Gorrell is a nationally-syndicated editorial cartoonist. This is his take on the Global Recession. Usually "flat earth" comes up as a cartoom theme in relation to evolution/creatin issues, as we've seen in previous posts. Here the Earth is simply a deflated ball. But it still draws from the same urban legend that people used to think the Earth was flat (they didn't).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Not Astronomy

Another example from Mike Peters' Mother Goose and Grimm, this time with Grimm and Atilla the Cat trying their turn at paparazzi. And of course they need a map. And of course hilarity ensues.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Wrong kind of wrong

As GPS becomes more pervasive it potentially becomes more intrusive. This is from the Tina's Groove strip by Rina Piccolo. It's a fairly good toon from what I've seen of it. But I've only encountered it on Comics I Don't Understand by Bill Bickel.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tracking Wales

Wayne Stayskal is a political cartoonist for Tribune Media Services in Tampa Florida. His style is to use a headline as a caption and then draw a cartoon based on that headline. The story this cartoon was based on ran is here. Truth be told, there are a growing number of technologies available to track children's locations and activities. One needn't go all the way to Wales to get them. One of may favorite was in the pre-commercial-GPS days when some parents in Phoenix pooled resources to get an 800 number and bumper stickers for the family cars. That way if their teens were driving unsafely they could get a call from concerned drivers about the teens' poor driving habits. The teens were pissed off about the program until it was implemented and the calls coming in were more often when the parents were driving, not the kids. The parents quietly took off the bumper stickers and cancelled the 800 number.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


How many of you can remember TWA? Sure, it was less than 9 years ago that TWA disappeared, but that seems like a long time ago for some reason. TWA was a mainstay in the airline industry for decades, even becoming one of the first all-jet fleets. TWA was acquired by American Airlines in 2001, but it was in its death throes before 9/11.

But this pre-jetliner-era 1951 ad shows TWA on the ascent, as it was becoming an American icon.
Of course today the flight map shown in this ad seems ridiculously anemic compared to the massive daddy-long-legs-type hub-and-spokes systems even the smaller modern carriers can sport. But whatcha gonna do. In the '50's, this was impressive.
This is another classic print ad from AdClassix.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dick Tracy

Here's a great "inside comics" gag by Jeff Stahler making fun of the zombie-comic Dick Tracy. In fact a recent Dick Tracy strip does actually show Dick Tracy using a cell phone. Why he didn't use his wristwatch phone is anybody's guess. Dick Tracy strips have been non-sensical and technologically obselete for decades now.

P.S. Zombie-comic means it was created long ago and its relavance to modern times has long since expired, and the original creators have been dead for years, decades even, but somehow the comic persists, often taking up valuable print space which could be better served by works from newer, better artists. But whenever a newspaper's features editior tries to get rid of the seemlingly past-its-prime strip, an army of beligerant (usually elderly) fans rise up to keep the strip alive. Dick Tracy is a perfect example of this and his excessively violent tactics and non-sensical plotlines are wonderfully lampooned in several places around the Internet. My favorite is The Comics Curmudgeon, where Mr. Tracy shows up for regular trouncings.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sat Nav flies

For this comic by Stik it probably helps to know that in England GPS is called "Sat Nav", obviously short for satellite navigation. I'll guess the British, and most of Europe, call it Sat Nav instead of GPS because GPS probably refers specifically to the US-named-owned-and-operated GPS system, as opposed to the EU's Galileo system. And, as the quote attributed to Winston Churchill states: "Americans and British are one people separated only by a common language".

By the way, I didn't quite get this one at first since I didn't initially identify the insects and didn't understand what the problem was with them being at the flower. Shouldn't insects want to be at a flower? I figured the animal in the background was just there for random background. However I'm thinking that the animal is there as the place where these flies intended to go and they missed their mark. Of course, can't the flies see the animal butt and get themselves over to it without much trouble?

Just in case you ever come across a comic that makes no sense to you, try submitting it to the great Comics I Don't Understand blog, where a large host of comics afficionados will be happy to provide explanations (which may or may not be helpful, but at least a few will probably be funnier than the comic posted).

Monday, June 1, 2009

Doonesbury gets in on the GPS act

So here is Doonesbury getting in on the GPS reference (panel 3). Further evidence that GPS has become pervasive in American society. This is a pop-technology two-fer (three-fer if one includes the iPhone), since it also involves Twitter. Keep in mind that most people have less than no idea how GPS works. "Involves satellites or somethin'." I'll wager, however, that 5 years from now GPS use will have massively increased, while Twitter will have become a relic of recent history, referenced only on VH1 "I Love the Naughties" compilations. While I do like the Doonesbury, I never did like this Roland character. It's a rare Roland story arc that I actually feel like reading. I had a bad high school government teacher who didn't like Doonesbury who said Gary Trudeau was bed-riddenly-ill and barely came up with the comic strip ideas, and certainly didn't do any drawing anymore. But that was in 1990. But if Mr. Trudeau was that sick in 1990, he should have been dead by now, no? Ya know what? Thanks to the Internet I can look that up now. Let's see... Wikipedia... Nope. Still alive. And married to Jane Pauley since 1980. Didn't know that. Go fig. Anyway. Doonesbury. GPS. Great.