Pith Helmet


Topographic Tuesday – Kamandi’s Earth A.D.
December 19, 2007, 4:46 am
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Today’s Topographic Tuesday is a “Two-Fer.” Earth A.D. is more than just the title of a really kicking Misfits song. It is also the name of the alternate future world created by the King himself, Jack Kirby, for a DC comic called Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth. It is a world in which animals have evolved into intelligent bipeds and humans have become their prey. The title character is a long-haired Aryan youth who becomes sort of a post-apocalyptic Nat Turner when he turns on his lupine overlords.

The first map, pencilled by Kirby and inked and lettered by Mike Royer, appeared in Kamandi No. 1 as a one-page feature: “Kamandi’s Continent”, covering the area of North America of the alternate future.

The world was a brutal, yet surreal, one. It relied heavily on stereotypes. Take for example the Pacific islands. In Kamandi’s world, they are known as the “Orangutan Surfing Civilization.” Chicago is Gangland circa 1920s (only inhabited by robot mobsters). And the easternmost edge of the old Soviet Union is the “Communi-Gear Silo State.”

As a kid from a conservative family in the Expanding Tiger Empire whose favorite comics were Captain America and Sgt. Rock, I wasn’t that crazy about that straight-outta-Haight-looking Kamandi kid, even if he was drawn by Jack Kirby. My favorite character was Captain Pypar, a Bulldog Brittanek. Imagine Richard Sharpe crossbred with UGA, the University of Georgia mascot. The redcoated epitome of Brittanek stiff upper flews.

If I ever run a Gamma World game again, this is the campaign map I’m going to use.

earthad.jpg

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