more Burns

Here’s Burns’s cover for Iggy Pop’s Brick by Brick (1990):

Brick by Brick cover



And a couple of his covers from The Believer magazine:

Believer cover


Believer film issue cover

some useful Black Hole reviews

meanwhiling away the time

Here’s the delightful Jason Shiga talking about Meanwhile:


Here’s Shiga standing with the full matrix layout of [an older version of] Meanwhile:

Meanwhile matrix


In case you were wondering, McCloud is definitely a fan.

And here‘s an online version of the old, black-and-white original Meanwhile from 2001.


the unmapped

Here’s the last page of the first volume of The Unwritten, because we really need to have it in front of us.  Spoiler alert?  Not really.

Unwritten volume 1 ending

maps, territories, fictions (oh my?)

Here’s the Waldseemüller map referred to on the last page of The Unwritten volume 1 (“The Waldseemuller map.  A map is just a story when all’s said and done.  In this case, the story includes ‘once upon a time there was a place named America…’  Nobody, up to then, had used the name for the new continent.  Waldseemuller read a forged letter, full of nonsense, that said Amerigo Vespucci was the first Westerner to travel there.  So a story becomes encoded in an image, and the image changes the face of the world.” – emphasis mine):

Waldseemüller map


And here’s the globe gores version, designed to be pasted on to a sphere to form a globe:

Waldseemüller globe gores


Here’s a 1927 Paramount Studios map of southern California, marked with areas that could stand in for other locations for film purposes:

California as doppelganger



Here’s Jorge Luis Borges’s “On Exactitude in Science,” on the impossible representational task of mapping:

In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless…


Here’s Gregory Bateson on the relation between the map and the territory:

We say the map is different from the territory. But what is the territory? Operationally, somebody went out with a retina or a measuring stick and made representations which were then put on paper. What is on the paper map is a representation of what was in the retinal representation of the man who made the map; and as you push the question back, what you find is an infinite regress, an infinite series of maps. The territory never gets in at all. […] Always, the process of representation will filter it out so that the mental world is only maps of maps, ad infinitum.


Here’s Jean Baudrillard on how that relation has changed in recent decades (emphasis mine):

Today abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror, or the concept.  Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or substance.  It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality:  A hyperreal.  The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it.  It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory – precession of simulacra – that engenders the territory.


Here’s The West Wing on the distortions and the rhetorical/political/cultural effects of the Mercator projection map (also indispensable on this count:  xkcd):


Lastly, here’s Bechdel’s beloved Wind in the Willows map, which we discussed during Fun Home week:

Fun Home p. 146

Fun Home p. 147

. . because you’re just too much fun


the province of dream

  • “This is magnificent—and it is true!  It never happened; yet it is still true.  What magic art is this?” (75; the real Puck)
  • “Things need not have happened to be true.  Tales and dreams are the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot.” (83; Morpheus)
  • “Mythologies take longer to die than people believe.  They linger on in a kind of dream country that affects all of you.” (109; Death)
  • “Each mind creates and inhabits its own world; and each world is but a tiny part of that totality that is the Dreaming . . . ” (volume 2, 196)
  • “the ordered chaos of the Dreaming” (volume 2, 208)



If you feel like a lot of the references in Sandman to other comics, other works of literature, and other mythologies are passing you by, here‘s a very useful set of page-by-page, panel-by-panel, reference-by-reference annotations.  Definitely worth a look, even if you’re a Sandman veteran.

Bechdel and process

Here‘s a really interesting promotional video, from around when Fun Home was released, of Alison Bechdel talking briefly about her drawing (and posing, and photographing) process, which very much pertains to the other conversations we’ll have about Fun Home and its particular mode of memoir.

And for anyone interested, here‘s a longer interview with Bechdel from a couple years ago, when she was in the process of finishing up Are You My Mother?, her (excellent, but dense) followup to Fun Home.

Scott McCloud’s TED talk

Perhaps worth a watch:


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