Monday, August 31, 2009

I love mapping comics

The incomparable Randall Munroe and his xkcd comic strike again, this time with a tribute to the Discovery Channel's take on the old campfire standby "I Love the Daffodils". Click on the image to make it larger and more legible.  Note the two frames with the "I love the whole world" dialog. The second one is actually a small clip from the another earlier xkcd post that was a rendition of a map of online communities (not to be confused with the map of the internet post).

Go to this actual webcomic, hover over the image, and there will be an additional message in the "title-text" . This one says:

I love the title-text!
And that's how I learned that such things are called "title-text".  Self-referential jokes are the best.  I'm always learnin' stuff from xkcd.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Family Circus

I used to like Family Circus. And I really do need to get some of those "pun island" geography comics they used to do every year when I was little. Those might be hard to find 'cause I'm not sure if any were published in the digital age.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


It's the second-to-last panel that qualifies this comic for the blog. All about the oxymoronic aspects of army life. The fact that this very little of what happens in Beetle Bailey anymore resembles modern army life is possibly the ironic icing on the cake.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


From Arnie Levin, published in The New Yorker January 21, 2002. Of course these coordinates don't seem to match any mapping system I'm aware of so I'm not sure where the artillery attack this dueler-with-no-pistol is apparently calling in will actually hit.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Zombie comics occasionally try to pretend that they are still relevant by referencing modern events or technology. It rarely turns out well. At least in this instance Archie didn't completely embarrass itself.
By the way, while I've never had the least bit of interest in Archie ever, I have to say in passing that Archie getting married this summer stinks of a desperate and suicidal attempt at retaining an audience. But for the bride to be Veronica on top of everything else is simply disgusting. I very much hope that this antic will finally kill that franchise and make way for newer strips and artists who actually have worthwhile content and talent respectively.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Left behind

In case this is too hard to read, the little girl says this: "I may not know where America is on a map, but at least I know September 11th was when Iraq attacked our tower thingys"
It is indeed frightening how many American's think this way, including, it often seems, the former VP.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I'm pretty sure this is an example of breaking the fourth wall, right? This is another example from the Lio strip by Mark Tatulli. By the way, he is either still having or is finishing up a "Lio look-alike" contest.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I thought I had already posted an item from Monty. Oh well. Here is one. And it's looney and fun. The Monty strip has a strange history in that it used to be called RobotMan and Monty (or something very similar to that). But suddenly the RobotMan character went away and it was just Monty. Some copyright mess was involved. Anyway, Meddick is now slowly introducing a new cyborg character which is quite similar to the old Robotman character. Whatever. It's a fun strip.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mexico tee

With yesterday's Canada-as-US'-hat t-shirt design, we'll finish the week with Mexico as USA's beard. Now this joke can't be much older than the late 1800's, because before that Mexico didn't look like America's beard. In fact Mexico was as big as or even larger than the USA until the Mexican-American War of 1845. And even then Texas didn't immediately join the US. It was another 3 years after that before the US took the rest of the territory to California. So 1848 would have been the first time Mexico would have arguably looked like a beard to the USA. Could the joke be that old?
There are a lot more map-related t-shirt designs at Busted Tees, but we'll do those later.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hat tee

Another Busted Tee design, this one also an old map joke. I do wonder how old this joke is. 19th century you think or all the way back to 18th century?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Syria Tee

While we're in the Middle East we might as well go next door to yesterday's Iraq example and visit Syria. Also a pun which may have existed since the birth of that nation. What's with that part of the world anyway? There's a whole string of nations with ridiculously easily punned names: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Greece. Hungary is close enough to Greece to count. And then the Czech Republic is right there. It begins to reek of cartographic conspiracy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Iraq T

Here we go for map-related T-shirt week, brought to you by Busted Tees and inspried by Jon Proctor. This one is also billards-related. There are a hint of Gen. Colin Powell's "You break it, you own it." comment allegedly spoken to Bush in a futile effort to get him and others in the administration to think about the aftermath of invading Iraq. But this particular pun may have been around ever since Iraq became a nation.

Monday, August 10, 2009

T-shirt week

This was suggested to me by my good friend Jon Proctor. It's a T-shirt design available at Busted Tees. In fact there are a healthy number of map-related designs at Busted Tees. Shall we make a week of it? Why not, eh?
'Course this one strikes me as rather insensitive.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Rose is Rose by Don Wimmer and Pat Brady is a sweet strip that my wife and I have enjoyed for years.

And this is somewhat appropriate since to day my wife finishes taking her medical board exams. That means the end of 7 years of medical school and 6 years of college before that. During our entire 13-year marriage she has been in school and studying. Now she is done. It is time for a vacation! (and, yes, it will be together).

Thursday, August 6, 2009


This Autralian comic plays on the notion that the isoline maps common in weather reports aren't exactly easily understood by many people. I'm not sure whether the Australian term for "student drivers" is in fact "learner drivers" or if this is just a stretch to make the joke work.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Old Survey

This is a rather old comic (from 1893) that mentions "survey" in what appers to be a mapping context. The gentleman isn't terribly sober, so it's a play on the old "spirit level" piece of surveying equipment, which has long since been made obsolete, even before the advent of the all-conquering GPS.  It is a good example of a vintage map cartoon. And it's from an era when a large number of nations, Britain included) were engaged in aggressive surveying and mapping campaigns.  If I recall correctly, this was about the time Mt. Everest was identified as the world's highest peak.  The caption, by the way, is as follows:

Relentless youth: "'Ello 'ere guvnor, what 'yer up to naow? Takin' a hordinance survey o' the district I suppose!!"

Is that a globe the kid is holding?  I can't tell.