Prints of this map are available for purchase by clicking here.
I rarely post commissions on my websites but this one was so involved and time consuming that I’ll make an exception. It was commissioned by our local newspaper, the East Liverpool Review, and after publication copies were distributed to the participants. Read more
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, with some help from Poe’s The Gold Bug, was a giant step in pirate marketing. Before Stevenson penned the immortal story, pirates had sailed the seas with an imperfect idea of how a proper pirate should act, knowing only to drink and plunder, ignorant of the finer points of the pirate life. Had Stevenson done nothing else but give pirates their parrots, his name would be immortalized in the pirate hall of fame but he also introduced the ubiquitous peg-legged pirates, which immediately became so popular that it was not uncommon for ships to sail the Main without a single dual-legged seafarer. At one time, limb-removal shops could be found in nearly every Caribbean port, though it was some time before amputation specialists began to fashion peg legs as well. According to historian William B. Stanhauser, whose Peg -legged Folkways: The Emergence of the Wooden Limb Trade in the Late Pirate Era is the standard study on the subject, the last decade of the nineteenth century was the “golden age of pirate prosthetics,” and though the craft nearly died in the early 1920s, there are several craftsman still plying the trade. If recent sales are any indication, interest in custom peg legs made using traditional woods and tools has been increasing.
Perhaps no more poignant reminder of the influence of Stevenson has occurred than in the speech of Captain Jabez Blacksoul after receiving the coveted “2009 Pirate of the Year” award when he said during his acceptance speech that “if it w’arnt for the long arm of Bob Stevenson, I’d be ‘fore you t’day with two legs – two legs and half a soul.”
Photography by Dave Pickens
Aerial View of the Imaginactory
I sketched this last week and then colored it in Photoshop. Eventually, I hope to have close-up views of each area of town that I can incorporate into an interactive map. I was forced to scrunch things closer than what they are in actuality but otherwise, it’s accurate. The brewery is located just outside of the map, in the trees to the southeast. Abigail said if I didn’t bother to put it in the map, at least have the decency to mention it. Here you go, Abigail.
Plan of Badger’s House from The Wind in the Willows. 2011 Pencil & GIMP
The Wind in the Willows was one of my favorite books when I was young, and I still read it on occasion. Badger lived in the deep woods, in a burrow, away from the respectable animals, in the midst of the weasels and stoats. Though I don’t care much for toad and wouldn’t want to live in Toad Hall, I wouldn’t mind sharing quarters with the Mole or the Badger. Why? I’ll let the Badger explain it:
“The Badger simply beamed on him. `That’s exactly what I say,’ he replied. `There’s no security, or peace and tranquillity, except underground. And then, if your ideas get larger and you want to expand–why, a dig and a scrape, and there you are! If you feel your house is a bit too big, you stop up a hole or two, and there you are again! No builders, no tradesmen, no remarks passed on you by fellows looking over your wall, and, above all, no weather. Look at Rat, now. A couple of feet of flood water, and he’s got to move into hired lodgings; uncomfortable, inconveniently situated, and horribly expensive. Take Toad. I say nothing against Toad Hall; quite the best house in these parts, as a house. But supposing a fire breaks out–where’s Toad? Supposing tiles are blown off, or walls sink or crack, or windows get broken–where’s Toad? Supposing the rooms are draughty–I hate a draught myself–where’s Toad? No, up and out of doors is good enough to roam about and get one’s living in; but underground to come back to at last–that’s my idea of home.”