Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Warlord Wednesday: Skartaris Revealed

I'm taking a break from my issue by issue examination of DC Comics' Warlord, to offer the offical map of Skartaris.  This originally appeared in Warlord Annual #4 (1985), but essentially the same map was feature in DC Who's Who.

This was, of course, after the end of Grell's involvement in the series.  Grell has said interviews that he always resisted mapping Skartaris, as he felt that would impair the sort of fantasy-land nature of the place: "Why would you put boundaries on your imagination?"

I imagine a lot of fans felt otherwise, and it appears DC editorial staff did, as well. 

Here's the map as it appeared.  Many of the places have already appeared in my review--Kiro, Bakwele, Bal Shazar, and the forest of Ebondar.  Many others though, lie ahead.


netherwerks said...

I stopped reading the series pretty much after Grell left it, only ocassionally picking up a few issues for the first bit following his departure. they seemed to re-envision the setting quite a bit each year afterwards. Not always for the better.

I can see Grell's point about the map, and he is right as far as things go if he remains the sole creative force and it all lives in his head. But the corporate masters who owned his intellectual property needed and required a mechanism to facilitate other writers to come in the book and write it without needing a Grell mind-meld. Also readers like maps.

Creators might not need a map, mostly because they can 'see' where they're going. Readers can benefit from being able to see where everything is, how it relates to each other part and spot those places that haven't been explored just yet.

It's good that they did this for the readers...but those dinosaurs on the map remind me of North Dakota tourist traps and Sinclair Stations...

drnuncheon said...

I've got to agree with Grell on this one - seeing the map makes me a little sad, as if the lost world had somehow been fixed in place.

The immutable nature of time has already been discarded in Skartaris, why not the same for space?

Trey said...

My thoughts on the map have chaged over time. When I was youger, I felt like Grell's "fairytale-ish" approach to Skartaris was a weakness--I'm mean, REH and Tolkien grounded there worlds (and gave, maps). As I get older, I more appreciate Grell's attempt to create a true "fantasyland" rather than a detailed "secodary world."

And NetherWerks, I hadn't thought about that in regard to the dinosaur pics but your exactly right. I could see a Skartaris kids' placemate in Shoney's too.

Stefan Poag said...

I love the map and confess to being a complete ignoramus about "Warlord" and it's creators. If this map had been under my breakfast plate when I stopped at Stuckeys I would have been so psyched!
What are those stripes leading upwards at the top of the map?

Trey said...

That's meant to show the opening through the North Pole. Skartaris is a Hollow Earth of the Pellucidar variety. The lands farthest North and the sort of cusp of the opening, don't get full sunlight from either Sol or the inner sun, and are in an eternal twilight.

netherwerks said...

If one were to cobble-together a fictional placemat for a Skartaris-themed restaurant chain...which sounds like some off-the-wall-fun to'd get sued or at least a C&D letter from DC, I bet.