Last year, the precocious now-17-year-old Slovakian student artist Martin Vargic designed a wildly popular and irreverent Map of the Internet in the style of a historical atlas, following it up with a map of world stereotypes that featured common Western attitudes about other regions of the world. On Tuesday, he is releasing his first book, the enormously entertaining Vargic’s Miscellany of Curious Maps: Mapping the Modern World, published by Harper Design, that includes those greatest hits alongside intricate world maps of natural disasters, paranormal activity in the U.S., extinct animals, separatist Europe, and gaming, plus 50 mini-maps that break down the world by metrics like National Security Agency surveillance rates and average penis length, and four pull-out poster maps devoted to global music, literature, sports, and corporations.
But the prolific map designer releases new maps weekly on a range of topics, including this new effort (not featured in the book), a bitingly satirical map of the “World According to ISIS.” Vargic completed the map this month and dedicated it on his website “In the memory of the victims of November 2015 Paris attacks, may they rest in peace.”
Vargic told me in an email that he first had the idea several months ago for the map, a follow-up to his Map of Stereotypes. “The ‘World According to ISIS’ is a quasi-satirical insight to the worldview of a stereotypical extreme jihadist/ISIS member,” he told me, “who hates the West and supports Islamic global domination. The map contains a large amount of stereotypes and references to pop culture and historical events. It was not meant to offend anybody and it is a purely satirical work of art.”