Monday, July 26, 2010

Follow the blood

Simon Bond gives us some turn-by-turn directions.  That's a stereotypical cartoon scientist giving directions to some random pedestrian, right?  So this is kinda random, not so much funny.  Simon Bond's Mondrian map of North America is a much, much better piece of work. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hitting Saddam

Hitting Saddam Where It Hurts. ( Map of possible air-strike targets in Iraq, shows Stretch-limo bases; Restaurants That Don't Take Reservations; Hummel Factories; Lite FM Stations.)
Wanna guess when Michael Crawford had this published in The New Yorker? Lead up to 2003 Iraq invasion? Nope.  Persian Gulf war? Nope.  This was in February 1998, when Clinton was sending cruise missiles in to effectively punish Saddam for not cooperating with U.N. WMD inspectors.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mind map

This is by an artist who signs as "Fran".  It's a solidly British reference.  A564 is a freeway in England (like US highways in the U.S., not at big as the Interstates).  A "skip" is a trash can.  "Slough" is a small town west of London.  I didn't think I'd find another example of mind-mapping, but I did. 

By the way, A564 doesn't go anywhere near Slough.  It's much farther north, as a route between Derby and Stoke, more usually known as A50.  This guy's got an odd mind.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


This is Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis. This is a story arc where the excessively violent guard duck has fallen in love with a regular, non-speaking duck and is fore-swearing his life of violence (spoiler: it doesn't last).  Pastis has done a joke about maps and landmines before.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010


You can turn your blinker off now, Senator
Danny Shanahan gave us this cartoon in a February The New Yorker in 1998 around the time Senator John Glenn, who had been one of NASA's first astronauts, got to fly on the Space Shuttle.  It's an old people joke. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Is this the Gaza Strip?

Karsten Schley gives us this one about the seemingly perpetual situation in the Middle East. It's not entirely clear whether this even qualifies for this blog, simply because is this merely a punching bag, or is it supposed to be in the actual shape of the Gaza Strip?  If the latter, it qualifies.  If not, this is just an editorial cartoon that's not map-related.  Whaddya think? Here's a map of the Gaza Strip, if it helps:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wobbly Earth

George Booth had this published in The New Yorker in May of 1998.  While it may not exactly be Booth's intention, wobbles in the Earth's axis are profoundly important in geophysics.  There's the Milankovitch cycles, the Chandler wobble, there's the wobble that made the Sahara Desert green, and so forth.  Star wobbles, caused by their orbiting planets, have been extremely useful in finding planets in other solar systems.  Its anybody's guess as to why any of this would be noticeable by this cartoon's character.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sunny 20's

This is a cover for The New Yorker from June of 1927 by H.O. Hofman.  Some of those sort-of-UFO-looking things are blimps/zeppelins/airships... with little biplanes in amongst them.  Here in the midst of the Roaring 20's we have much of the rest of the solar system there, giving a "sky's the limit" kind of sentiment.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Found what?

Gareth Cowlin gives us this one.  I'm not sure that I get it.  Is this guy pitching a plan for an expedition?  Why are the other guys on the sofa?  Why's the one dude sleeping?  Why is "Atlantis" spelled wrong?  The map might be showing South America and Africa.. and thus the southern Atlantic Ocean... but Antarctica is too large and wrongly positioned. So what exactly has he found then?  Has it been all mapped out the whole time? 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I hope my address to the American Astronomical Society will bring us the credibility we've been seeking
Henry Martin had this published in The New Yorker April of 1990.  Mr. Martin has done quite a number of map-related cartoons over the years, at least one involving space travel.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Spring eggs

When we last saw Pat Brady's Rose is Rose, her wild side alter ego was also contemplating a road trip with a folding map.  Here we have the added benefit of the "Spaghetti bowl" style so common in road maps.  Click on it to make it larger and more legible.

By the way, about that spaghetti bowl style, here's a fascinating comparison of styles between Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Yahoo Maps:

I loved the review of this article.  Best excerpt from that review:'s intriguing how each service's maps artistically reflect their corporate operators' natures. Google's is perfectly organized and functional, devoid of embellishment. Microsoft Bing's is beautiful and overdesigned, with a subtle palette of lavender and teal. Yahoo's looks like someone vomited a spaghetti dinner in Carrot Top's hair.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Oh, Mickey

Mick Stevens had this published in The New Yorker in September of 1999 during a time when large Disney mergers were in the news.  I think that was around the time Disney bought ABC?  I dunno.  Disney's big.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dark thoughts

This was published by James Stevenson in March of 1990 in The New Yorker, soon after the end of Communism, when some people were seriously considering the restoration of monarchies in some of the former communist states.  That, of course, didn't happen, unless one counts Belarus, which has become a dictatorship.  The rest have more or less adopted various forms of democracy.  I figured this was a good one to do just before a July 4th weekend.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

X-ray marks the spot

This one is by an artist who signs as "NAF".  I think it stretches the joke too far and has lost most of its meaning.  Map-related cartoons involving pirates and treasure maps is all fine and good.  I understand where he was trying to go with this cartoon, but it wasn't a great place to go.