Pop Culture Cartography

By Shawn Robare

I was recently flipping through a few of my issues of ThunderCats magazine (as you do) and decided to finally remove and unfold some of the included posters that each issue contained.  Most of them are pretty bad, awkwardly painted versions of the characters in a sort of collage, but one of them kind of blew my mind.  It was a full on map of 3rd Earth!

Map of Third Earth

It looks like it’s pretty much strict to the season one stories as there’s no mention of the Lunataks, but it’s still pretty damn amazing.  I love knowing that the Ro-Bear Berbil village was right behind Cat’s Lair and that Castle Plun-Darr is out in a little peninsula.  I shared this scan on the Branded facebook page and on Instagram and when I was talking to folks about it, it reminded me that I had a couple other pop culture maps in my collection.  The first one that sprang to mind was another magazine centerfold, though this time it was from issue number four of Muppet Magazine from 1983…

Fraggle Map Muppet Magazine Issue 4 Fall 1983

The lands of Fraggle Rock!  Of course, this is just the immediate vicinity of the day to day Fraggle wanderings and doesn’t account for the vast lands of “Outer Space”, but I have to assume that Uncle Traveling Matt has this covered and is working on more maps…

Of course, my favorite map in my collection is a replica of One Eyed Willie’s treasure map from the Goonies.  I have it handing on my living room wall right next to a nifty portrait of the Fratellis by Matthew Luxich, a replica of the doubloon, and a print by Scott Fuller.

Goonies Art

goonies map

After wracking my brain I also realized that I had a map of Nockmaar from the film Willow that was in an old Sourcebook that I used to have….

Map of Nockmaar Willow

…as well as a pretty rad map of the Smurfs’ village that was an insert in the really cool World of the Smurfs book I reviewed a few years ago!  Though the Smurf book is out of print, it’s is still pretty easy to snag over at Amazon.

Smurf Village Map

Talking about these on Facebook, the super rad Douglas Bodine sent me scans of an amazing map of the world of The Dark Crystal!  The map was included in an old storybook called The Tale of the Dark Crystal

Dark Crystal Map

The last piece of pop culture cartography that I have is the map that was included in William Goldman’s The Princess Bride (which I totally forgot about until my girlfriend Jaime pointed it out…)

princess bride

I bet these would look pretty awesome framed and on the wall (well, I know the Goonies map does for sure.)  It also has me wondering what other cool pop culture maps are hanging around out there.  I know that a series of maps for the lands in the Masters of the Universe were just released with the MOTU Classics figures including Eternia and Etheria.  I’d love to get my hands on those.  So, any other cool pieces of cartography that are 80s-centric?

  • These are awesome! Need a Neverending Story map now…

    • I was scouring online and couldn’t find one because I totally agree…!

  • Douglas A Bodine

    If we are talking about 80s maps, then one of the most famous ones would be the map from Legend of Zelda. I have one on my wall in my family room.

    • Oh man, I didn’t even think about scoping out video game maps Douglas, good call. The NES Final Fantasy is one of my favorites!

  • This is so cool, Shawn! I have a reproduction of that Fraggle Rock map that came in a DVD set I think. That Dark Crystal one is awesome though! Have you read the new Dark Crystal graphic novels? They’re prequels to the movie and are surprisingly cool. I don’t know why but that map made me think of it.

    • I’ve been meaning to track those down, haven’t had a chance to see them yet. Which Fraggle Rock DVD set did you buy? Just curious, I have the Vol. 1-4 sets and am curious if I have a second copy in one of those…

      • It came in this massive complete series set that came out a few years ago.

        • Cool, thanks, I’ll have to check my set then!

  • Great post! I’ve always loved maps. Loved drawing them as a kid, making up fake worlds so this is right up my alley. Didn’t even know half of these existed. Especially love the Dark Crystal and Goonies.

    • Yeah, I spent an inordinate amount of time making up warring countries as a kid and drawing intricate maps and battle plans on notebook paper… :p

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  • Retromash

    This is like my perfect blog post. I love maps. Absolutely love maps. But retro or pop culture maps are even better. You’re making me wish I had another wall in my mancave to get some of these and put them up! Video games is certainly another category to look for. Awesome post Shawn!

    • Thanks, I try and hit on some stuff that’s a little more out of the norm when I can. Yeah, now I’m curious if there were some cool pull out poster maps in old issues of Nintendo Power. I think I remember a cool one for Final Fantasy in the old strategy guide. Off to ebay!

  • Great post Shawn I had never seen these!

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  • Ben Rollier

    These are pretty sweet! I’ve never seen any of them.

    I don’t have any particularly 80’s-centric maps but, I do have some maps in my Marvel Universe Handbooks. And I have the Marvel Atlas –> http://www.amazon.com/Marvel-Atlas-TPB-Graphic-Novel/dp/0785129987

    • Oh man, I forgot about the maps in the MU handbooks. Those also have the breakdowns of like Xavier’s mansion and stuff right?

      • Ben Rollier

        Yep, they’re just like those weapons / accessories technical breakdowns.

        • Cool, I so need to pick up the omnibus editions of these…

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