Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Charles Vess Maps "Instructions"

A little while back I posted the announcement that Charles Vess was busy working hard on a illustrated version of Neil Gaiman's poem "Instructions". (You can find that post HERE.) He is now DONE! (40 paintings in two months apparently - I can't wait to see the results.)

Mr. Vess recently posted his illustration for 'mapping' the land which the reader needs 'instructions' to navigate.

To see a larger version, click HERE or on the image and be taken to his site to see it there.

Charles has also posted a few interesting fairy tale maps he's found along the way and I thought I'd do the same.
"The Land of Make Believe" by Jaro Hess. It was created in 1930 and is thought to be one of the first times all the fairy tale 'lands' were put together as if they exist/ed in the same space and time. You can find more interesting information about this map HERE.

The one above is a real map of a tour (it's actually a self-navigated route most of the time unless there's a promotion like the current Disney one) you can take in Germany to sites said to be the inspiration for the local versions of the Grimm's tales. SurLaLune had a brief post about a current Disney version of the tour, which you can find HERE.

I'm surprised there aren't more maps of fairy tales and make believe, available. I'm positive I've seen a map for the whole story of Disney's Snow White (when I was a child - not recently) but I can't find it, or reference to it, anywhere.

Do feel free to post a comment if you have any information, or other maps to share.


  1. Hi Gypsy,

    Thank you for this post! I get ridiculously excited about fictional maps and I did a bit of research a while ago after seeing a map by Bernard Sleigh in an exhibition. Two great links are 'An anciente mappe of Fairyland' by Bernard Sleigh which you can see here: http://bit.ly/Cct4X
    and there's a useful blog post on fictional maps here: http://bit.ly/DrxXs (this one's not strictly fairy tale related but interesting anyway!)


  2. I picked up a book at a used bookstore a few years back called 'Dictionary of Imaginary Places'. It covers TONS of places like Wonderland, Middle Earth and so many more. I found you a link here: http://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Imaginary-Places-Updated-Expanded/dp/0156008726/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253634401&sr=8-1#.

    Also, I wanted you to see this: http://www.threadless.com/product/1586/RED
    It's a favorite:)

    Love the blog, by the way. Fantastic job!