Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Maphead two-fer

Today happens to be the day that Ken Jennings (of longest-running-Jeopardy-champion-but-lost-to-a-super-computer fame) starts selling his new book Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks. This review of it on Slate.com seems to think it's pretty good. Here's the cover:

Now I just want to say here that I'm not a follower of Ken Jennings, nor a follower of Jeopardy (a word I've never been able to spell correctly without a spell-checker).... although I have been frequently enough mistaken as a Jeopardy fan (though I did once have a co-worker who was a Jeopardy contestant).  I don't dislike either, I've just not found any reason to devote time to them. 

...Unless today's two-fer counts. (If I were smarter about this I'd figure out how to make sure any pass-through clicks to the Amazon book results in a tiny little pay-back to my blog's monetization account... I'll figure that out eventually... meanwhile, please buy my geology timescale watch!).

Anyway, I thought I'd start out with what might possibly be the most famous map head: Globey, from Pee Wee's Playhouse:

Again, this is not a show I ever watched... although this time I'm definitely not a fan... I mean, I can appreciate what he was trying to do, but it simply never appealed to me.

Now, another map head some of y'all might have seen is the one that has been on the Cirque du Soleil website for a while:
 I almost feel bad, however, allowing either this Cirque du Soleil image or Pee Wee's Globey to play second fiddle to a Ken Jennings post, simply because either of them are fun enough to deserve their own posts.

But who I genuinely feel bad for is Lesley Howarth, author of the "Maphead" series of novels:

 I have no idea whether these are any good. I just feel bad for her that her works will now be overshadowed by Ken Jennings' "trivial" work (pun intended).  It's possible that Jenning's book is of greater literary value.  I would imagine, however, that Ms. Howarth is in greater need of financial success.  But maybe the buzz around Jennings' book will get Howarth a little notice and a few incidental click purchases (by the way, there are three books in her series, I was only able to find map-related images for the first and last ones).

So while we're on the subject of obscure starving artists, here's a very "Map head" themed work from 1984 by David Wojnarowicz:

And after that we just get into random results for a Google Image search of "Maphead":

And, finally, there's a "Maphead book blog", that appears to simply be a book review blog that's only rarely map-related.... and another one that is: http://maphead.blogspot.com/

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