Montablan Archipelago

George Kohn, The Montablan Archepelago, 1969 [Fictional location: Montablan; drawn in Varanasi, India] original HDMA web archive: map 103

George drew this map while attending Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India for a year of study in 1969.

The fictional archipelago of Montablan originated years earlier in his imagination while mowing the yard of his childhood home in Iowa. Driven by his contempt of cutting grass, he fantasized himself as one of a group of exploited workers on the island of Lospania who were planning a revolt.

As he grew older, the island remained in his imagination, expanding into a small archipelago of closely allied islands. The place names are influenced by aspects of Indian culture as well as his love of American football. The references in the map to places such as Talortown and Talorado, for example, are a misspelling of Jim Taylor, a fullback for the Green Bay Packers from 1958-1962.

Dream House

Purple Wyrm, Dream House, 2008 [Fictional location] original HDMA web archive: map 49

Purple Wyrm mapped a home that frequently occurs in their dreams. While much of the home and the space surrounding it remain a mystery, the hatstand near the front door and the dark windows on the veranda are consistent signifiers.

Map of Staines

Carlo Anomie, Map of Staines, 2008 [Fictional location: Staines; photographed in New Jersey] original HDMA web archive: map 13

A circa 2008 cell phone photo from Carlo reveals a map he created while passing time at work. Realizing an accidental coffee stain looked much like a continent, he traced the different hues to create countries and deemed the area Staines. This early addition to the HDMA web archive is also the first example I collected of a meta map, or map within a map. Here we not only see Carlo’s fictional territory Staines but also the seating chart of the restaurant where he was working.