Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Ship of Fools Map
Though such maps rarely make any geographic or topological sense, they still perform an important function: they draw the reader deeper into the story. With such a map, one can follow along with the characters on their quest. Anticipation builds as you see journey's end grow closer, just as you would when consulting a map on any mundane vacation.
I'm no artist, but I do enjoy doodling from time to time. I drew the map above twenty years ago or more while planning an ambitious genre novel. Of course the project stalled once the map was drawn, probably for good reason; the original idea was pretty silly, as I recall - the story combined alternate history (hence the appearance of analogues of Germany, America, Italy, Japan etc. on the map) with high fantasy and movie westerns. It would have been a hot mess, I'm sure.
Of course I didn't draw the map in chalk; I used Photoshop's invert feature to create the white-on-black effect, mainly because I find it pleasing to the eye and it reminds me of two things: typing away on my old Atari 130XE, and Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings, a show that mesmerized me as a child.