Map Appreciation Day

Posted by on Wednesday, December 17th, 2008 at 02:55:19 PM

I’d just like to take a moment for us all to recognize the best thing ever.

Earth A.D.: A Map of the World of Kamandi!
Earth A.D.: A Map of the World of Kamandi!

Man, why don’t they ever do it like this anymore? Millar’s doing his best with the new map of America in Old Man Logan, but that’s nothing in comparison to this creative masterpiece. Everything you need to know about why Jack Kirby and Kamandi are awesome is right here, right in this map. Also in this map: legions of amazing band names that for some reason haven’t been used (come on! THE HORRIBLE HUNG-UPS, THE DEATH WORSHIPPERS!).

This was in the back of the first issue of Kamandi. It relates and emanates a sort of vibrant creativity and holistic vision that envelops you in a world, purely by these teasers. Kirby’s use of cartooning and design elements here is, as always, impeccable – look at those creepy eyes on the Island of the God-Watchers! What are the God-Watchers? Why haven’t I read that far in Kamandi yet? Is there *anybody in the industry* at this point (other than, of course, our patron saint Mr. G. Morrison) creative enough to pull a Kamandi revival off? I know Busiek’s been itching a go at it for years, but… really, can anyone do it?


*KANGARAT MURDER SOCIETY!* And look on the upper right, they even have toques and domino masks like burglars from DuckTales! Christ, this is why I love comics.

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17 Responses

  1. This really is breathtaking, for so many reasons, not the least of which is that you KNOW Kirby sat down one day and literally sketched out enough ideas for decades worth of stories on a single map. In an afternoon.

  2. According to his flickr –, Paul Pope and Brian Azzarello were working on a Kamandi series that never got off the ground. I think they might have pulled it off.

  3. […] (via David Uzumeri @ Funnybook Babylon) […]

  4. This is my personal fave trove o’ Kirby; a theme park designed on the basis of Zelazny’s Lord of Light; RAB is pretty much the x-expert with the expertise on these things, I think he runs some kinda travelling Kirby museum.

  5. “like burglars from DuckTales”.

    Oh for fu… those are the Beagle Boys; classic characters.

    OK, certainly they came forward to the public in Duck Tales, but they were around for years earlier.

  6. Are you sure that’s the map in the first issue? My memory has the first issue map as just North America, with that map coming later.

  7. The maps were single handedly the best parts of both the hobbit and the lord of the rings.

  8. I think Mapping is a very important part of comics. I remember reading how visual mapping has a lot to do with comic book reading. Just the process of reading left/right with longitude/latitude paints maps in the same reading genre as comic books.

    I think that as comics started emulating film more and more (or at least the filmic style), we lose things like infographic maps that stop the narrative…or we get comics that are completely info-graphic mapping like Chris Ware or The Nightly News.

    I’d love to see a middle ground where we do have the remarkable splash pages that give us detail instead of the “full-screen hitch/ellis” splashes that just give us really big, pretty pictures to give us pause.

  9. Oh man, look at Africa and Arabia and the Indian Peninsula. That shit is racist as fuck and it’s hilarious.

  10. How is that more “racist as fuck” or otherwise offensive than having Canada reduced to a radioactive wasteland controlled by giant insects, or Australia be a MURDER SOCIETY of kangarats? There are Mao Tse Tigers, are those racist?

  11. This sounds like something I would doodle in my notebook back in 4th grade….haha, excellent!

  12. Man, I would love to get that in a poster, or just a quality desktop image.

    “After a great natural disaster has changed the course of all previous history” Almost sounds like one bad storm and suddenly we need a radiation barrier to protect Monster Lake from the Insect Revolution.

  13. Jbird is right the descriptions of Africa and India draw from years of the West looking at Africa and India as ‘primitive’ and ‘mysterious’ lands. The idea that Africa is a mad-hole full of screamers and death worshippers feeds directly from traditional colonial ideas of Africa as the Dark continent. dark didn’t refer to skin colour. it meant Africa was seen as an unknown land of savagery, black magic and madness. Read Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness for more insight. It doesn’t mean Kirby was racist as an individual, but that he drew from a common pool of ideas some of which were defined by a racist history.

  14. […] Earth-51 is, in a move that certainly made me happy, the previously-posted-on-this-site best map ever from Kamandi #1. Morrison intimates in today’s exit interview that Earth-51 actually contains […]

  15. […] David Uzumeri no comments yet « Year of […]

  16. […] – David Uzumeri […]

  17. Yes, this is from the giant size issue #32, not issue #1 which just had North, Central and some of South America. The first map was reprinted in the DC Archives. The second map was not printed in the Omnibus volume 2 which shocked me and led me to this site to see it.

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