I feel the same sometimes. I wish I could discover some secrets, some uncharted territory (and live to tell the tale), but we are stuck here in 21st century earth, which is good in a way and bad in another…
P.s.: Love the Lost Dutchman’s Mine reference. There was a game about it on the old Amiga, man that was classic :D
Perhaps it simply shows our yearning for the “better life”.
Or maybe it says alot about our selves, a spark within that expresses our desire for adventure, the lust for new experiences, exotic locations and amazing stories to make us stand out from the crowd, to not just be “another number” in a world where every inch is explored, people are always connected to other people and the only way to sustain ones-self and family is to work in an office and disconnect yourself from dreams to face our dreary reality.
It wasan’t so long ago we were hunter-gatherers. Some enjoy and thrive in our existance – others feel as there is nothing left to hunt.
these “old themes” are not only used in such big and mysterious ways, really, how many times have we all heard about that one guys in school who had girls on all sides of him? Though it is true that sometimes such stories reach the ears of the masses, like conspiracy theories, it is a much more common use in daily life. since the first tales were told, everyone has wished they were living in one.
Yeah, that is the story of my life. Looking under stuff to find the hidden, better: undiscovered, meaning or thing or whatever. Well, I never found a damn thing, but now I am living that dream, as close as it ever gets in the real world. I won’t be the one who finds it, not in this go round, but I am on the team: http://www.sierrasci.com. Hang in there kids, and never give up!
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”
Good stuff. I find that, living in the Detroit area, the second panel in particular grabbed my attention. Makes me think about how I get skittish about going into the city, even though my own surrounding suburbs are probably just about as dangerous.
Also, as a fan of space travel, I must say that while the world may have been fully explored, the universe hasn’t. And humanity shouldn’t stop exploring until it has.
While I do kind of understand the angle at the end of this one, I had to go with others to say that there is plenty of unexplored stuff in this world. Sure, the surface of the earth is pretty much mapped to the centimetre, but the deep oceans are still alien territories, and there are still countless unidentified species, living not only in inaccessible places, but most likely in the soil outside your house. If we can’t culture a bacterium, it is very difficult to study.
We’ve sequence the human genome, but still have a rudimentary picture of how all those genes actually function. Meanwhile our understanding of the nature of conciousness is infantile. Outside of biology, physicists are still trying to reconcile several models which only work at certain scales or with certain assumptions.
Monsters and dragons and tales are all well and good, but there is mystery and wonder in this world. The problem with the monsters, if that they sometimes stop as from seeing it, myths sometimes end up obscuring the far more interesting realities. In other cases, people get to the myth and stop looking, as though they have the answer.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy myths, and don’t even mind playing around with them, or doing what you’ve done here and transposing them. I think myths, especially durable ones, do tell us something about human nature, and society. Hell, at the time I am even sometimes guilty of letting my escapism get the better of me, and finding reality incredibly mundane. Yet I always try to bear in mind, reality isn’t mundane, and has its secrets and surprises along with every myth, they are though, like the person living in the undeveloped area, just a bit harder to find.
The thing is, I grew up in New York. And it’s all true. You haven’t seen the scariest thing out there, or the most wonderful. 11 million people, and there are still things out there watiting to be discovered. What’s even more interesting, is that you could say the same thing about Broken Clavicle, Wyoming – Pop. 63. The human condition is a neverending source of surprises, if you know how to look at it cockeyed enough.
If you are talking about the scariness and wonderfulness of people, then I think you kind of come back around to the “WeiRd?” comic. The point of this comic is that people look for mystery and wonder in places. They should be looking for them in people.
Okay, I figured out five of the six legendary places he’s referring to – but I can’t for the life of me figure out the “undeveloped area” legend because (unlike the others) there aren’t any visual clues. What’s that one supposed to be?
Don’t you think the undiscovered lies in the act of creation? You bring something into the world and expand upon it. Culture is an amalgamation of eons of human effort. It’s just not as impressive to the creator of a thing as it is to those who are blessed by its creation. You do a good thing here. I’m always happy to read what you put up good sir. :D It’s romantic.
“Exactly. For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.” -Q. From Star Trek TNG [All Good Things]
Ungh, now I’m all depressed. Nah, great comic WR :-) I second the comment above. You have an ‘urban sensitivity’. It’s one of the comic’s best touches; you’re always on the pulse of what lurks inside our ‘society’ minds, that fine line between childlike wonder and adult realism.
I loved the last touch of drawing a dragon in the map. When I first read the title, I immediatly thought of Ursula Leguin’s Earthsea trilogy. That’s how it starts, here be dragons. Comforted me all the way through the comic.
I personally believe that there is always something new around the corner to be discovered – consider our relatively small view of space and the innumerable galaxies and worlds that lie beyond out current reach.
Perhaps those legends and stories humanity makes up are’nt meant to replace that which we don’t know, but to spur us on to new discoveries?
Let’s just say I don’t think we’ve run out of places to explore just yet, and that those stories we still tell aren’t meant to comfort us and allievate our boredom, but rather to incourage us to see whether or not they are true.
Either way, this is a splendid comic which has, yet again, proven excellent fuel for discussion. Thanks,
In response to the final paragraph: only in the past 100 years has humanity really pulled back the curtain on most of what puzzled us in the past. The claim that there was “nothing left to discover” from before we were born is partly true, but only of the past three or four generations.
Prior to the 20th century much of the world really was mysterious (a lot of it still is), lending more credence to stories which would – to 21st century Netizens like ourselves – seem quaint and old-fashioned.
What has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
“The claim that there was “nothing left to discover” from before we were born is partly true, but only of the past three or four generations.”
I say nay to that. Re-entry surfing, photonic sail yacht races, solar corona mining, trans temporal dating, force field tetherball, null-gee full contact frisbee, there’s tons of things we’ve yet to discover, but most of the good parts of them, come from the one doing it. Also I point out that while we have put antimatter in a box, no one has yet to deliver it.
The question is why do you not make that legendary club somewhere or that undeveloped forest and leave it behind to be discovered by someone else and make the fiction true? Even if you won’t enjoy it, you know it will happen.
First time commenting, but I couldn’t not. This comic hits deep, just like a good deal of your other stuff. I just wanted to say thanks for putting out the best webcomic on the internet, and I hope you keep up the fantastic work.
Making the backstory of an area canny really helps you get out for lunch! It’s making good use of space/gatekeepers/things we find and somehow substituting tips for another 300 square meters of kitchen.
You know, some times your work really depresses me—it’s good, and weird and quirky, and sometimes seems sloppy until you take the scope of it into consideration, and it all blends together—but more than anything, it’s piercingly truthful a lot of the time, even if in a silly manner.
BTW, I love your work on Cracked.com as well—really livens some of their articles up when I see your work there and get a little thrill at the “discovery”.
I would love to get out of my apartment, step onto a balcony and gaze out into the late-night hustle and bustle of an urban jungle that never sleeps.
I think it’s because I’m too tired of the well-tree’d almost-themepark-ish surroundings of the Singaporean heartland that I live in. It’s all clean garden-ness, you know? There’s no nitty-gritty for you to look at and say “ah, here’s where shit gets done.”
Excellent, stunning, amazing, wonderful, rewarding, disarming, charming, smart, funny. And more. Maybe my new favourity of yours.
Sums up our generation perfectly. I’ve been around the world a dozen times and still had a rant at a friend recently that there was nowhere new to go, until she pointed out something along similar lines to this.
Great work, imo this comic relates to a lot of things people do like religion and conspiracy theories for example. Because frankly, real life is just too shitty or at best, dull that we can’t help but think that there must be something at the end of the rainbow, whether its a God, a government plot or a storage space full of treasure.
This comic comes from the mind of someone who’s never been to the wilderness. Someone who’s never been the first to see a place. Someone who’s never been to a place where nature’s chaos reigns and imposed civilization and order upon it.
You are amazing. And I don’t mean that in a fan boy-ish way. I mean you know your shit. Roger Waters spoke a lot about empathy and the impact on one’s life possessing that trait can have. You have that trait. And I love it. People like you who speak out, tell it straight, and never falter in your beliefs, help me believe, no, KNOW that I’ll make it. Thank you for just being you.
I get the whole Ayn Rand perspective here. So being objective isn’t lost on me. But wonder is what made Einstein who he is today. It inspired Carl Sagan, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Nikola Tesla, and so on. Wonder is the seed of creation. Yes you can plot out a city, but can you chart all of the stars in the universe?, can you reach the deepest part of the ocean? No, not yet. And that very idea of “not yet” is enough to spark some great minds into changing the world and or the way we think, for decades to come.
Wonder isn’t what was, what someone said about something, or what can’t be, it’s about what might be.