Friday, February 26, 2010


Dan Piraro's consistently odd Bizarro. Comics that use both prisoners and maps almost always involve the topic of escape.  

But this cartoon does remind me of this fantastic story of WWII German POWs escaping from a POW camp near Phoenix.  Three of the Germans even made a small boat with which they planned to row down the Salt River to freedom.  And here's where the story becomes map-related in the most spectacular way:
It never occurred to the Germans that in dry Arizona a blue line marked “river” on a map might be filled with water only occasionally. The three men with the canoe were disappointed to find the Salt River bed merely a mud bog from recent rains. Not to be discouraged, they carried their canoe pieces twenty miles to the confluence with the Gila river, only to find a series of large puddles. They sat on the river bank, put their heads in their hands and cried out their frustration.
It'd be perfect for a Bizarro strip.  

Title of post reference here

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New York art scene

Cartoon in a May 1989 New Yorker by Michael Crawford.  It looks like a commentary on the various art scenes in New York state.  I can't read all of them, but here's the ones I can read: Neo-surrealists, abstractionists, social realists, constructionalists, primitivists, post-structuralists, post-conceptualists, post-modernists,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bay of Bengay

There are a few websites out there dedicated to collecting incidents of poorly translated English.  This one, from,  mis-identifies the "Bay of Bengal" as the "Bay of Bengay". I'm not entirely sure this is an incidence of "Engrish" but rather and incidence of poor geography.  It's a shame because this little globe is an interesting bit of art/kitch, made from different bits of rock for the different countries.

For some truly amazing stone art look at Eldon Conder's site: Stone-art

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wrong with Kansas?

This editorial cartoon by Ann Telnaes is about the Kansas Board of Education considering to allow the teaching of Creationism (or was it Intelligent Design?) in public schools.  This is a "flat earth" gag.

Turns out that Kansas is ridiculously flat... scientifically proven to be flatter than a pancake actually.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Weight map

Cartoonist Alex Gregory, frequently inThe New Yorker, has done several map-themed cartoons that have already been posted.  This one was from January of 2003.  Whereas this map gives Los Angeles credit for being skinny, this illustration has California making the USA look fat.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Family dinner

A Rand McNally print advertisement from 1922 (from This one actually hits kind of close to home for me because when I was smaller there was always a world map on the wall in the dining room (though ours was National Geographic, not Rand McNally) and we were always having discuassions about world events and politics and so forth.  So I've been on a ton of the sort of family dinner world travel junkets being promoted in this ad.

Click on the picture to enlarge it enough to read the copy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

East vs. west

Bleeker: The Rechargeable Dog by Jonathan Mahood. I'm guessing that this sort of problem isn't all that common since even though street names duplicate east & west, north & south, street addresses don't so much.  And this has got to be a more common problem in western U.S. cities which are more likely to have grid layouts.  May not ever be a problem in Europe.  And in Asia the entire addressing concept is different (as seen in this short, fascinating presentation).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Not Helsinki

Getting so lost that you end up in Hell is a fairly common theme in map-themes comics.  I'll post more.  This is from the strip Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller .  This isn't the first time he has done a Mapquest-themed gag.  Mapquest was a relatively frequent theme for a while, but directions on smart phones might  be supplanting that trend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Are we there?

Another reference to the state of geographical knowledge in schools today, this one by Jonny Hawkins not as harsh as others have been.