Like all good objects in the HDMA collection, there is a reason for considering the map beyond simple geographic navigation - the value is often the story behind the piece of paper. Here, a collaboration between Mark and his son, Brian, reveals a quick glimpse at the dynamics of a father/son relationship. Mark explains, "Brian and his wife were here over Christmas and sorting through stuff in his old room. They came across a book he and I made together when he was five and in his first 'pirate' phase. He loved hearing about pirates and we started with the Classics Illustrated comic series reading 'Treasure Island' and 'Kidnapped.' That year I also found a used copy of Howard Pyle's 'Book of the Pirates,' which I gave him for Christmas. He poured over those illustrations as well as the work of N.C. Wyeth and others. It was fun to page through the booklet which featured sections on 'Pirate Weapons,' 'Walking the Plank,' and other important aspects of pirate life. Of course no pirate book is complete without a treasure map, so that was my contribution on the back cover. At this point Brian's art skills have far outpaced mine and he currently teaches art in Oregon, but its fun to see where it all started. Brian's contribution to the map (besides the continuation of the waves from the front cover) is the green creature on the island. I think it's a parrot but Brian maintains it's a dragon, 'Dad, you always need a dragon in pirate stories...,' so who am I to question the artist."
2011-01-01 : Fictional Location : Mark Cook (and Brian Cook)
In the 1990's Mark was involved with a group that led middle school students on hikes through the Appalachian Trail. After one of the trips, he drew this map for the students as a way to remember the journey. When I looked at the map in my email for the first time, I was intrigued by all of the details he included, and how they transform such a public space into a uniquely personal story. I asked Mark if he would mind providing some background about these details, and he responded with this story.
1998-00-00 : Bear Mountain, New York, United States : Mark Cook
Mark drew this map last year for his annual Christmas letter. It shows where his three children have settled as they follow education and career opportunities far from the comforts of home in Michigan. He writes, "the question mark in Austin was based on our youngest daughter' s plans following college graduation this past spring and that is in fact where she has settled. My wife recently found the map and had it framed with photos of each of them in their new locales. All are happy but looking forward to being back in Michigan for Christmas."
2009-12-00 : United States : Mark Cook
Mark recently sent us a few maps we'll be sharing on the site in the next couple weeks. Here's the first: a very useful bike map made all the more charming by bleeding ink stains and a visible tourist map on the reverse side.
2010-10-08 : Stratford, Ontario, Canada : Mark Cook