In League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, legendary comics magus Alan Moore imagined a Victorian England in which all of the most fantastic people, places and events in fantastic British fiction had actually happened, from the death of Sherlock Holmes to the invasion of the Tripods.
What would America look like if you gave it the same treatment? You’d have this: the utterly bizarre Altered States of America. The finished result of a successful Kickstarter, The Altered States of America is a retro-tastic five color print that maps all of the improbable happenings of science fiction, fantasy and horror upon our nation’s proud soil on a state-by-state basis. Let’s take a look.
In the Altered States of America, my home state of Massachusetts is correctly identified by its association with Jaws, although apparently not for its Lovecraftian connection with Arkham and the Miskatonic University. Massachusetts is bordered to the east by New York, the King Kong state, and to the north, where Carrie went on her psychic, blood-soaked rampage right before The Iron Giant saved the day. If I wanted to take a road trip south, though, I could swing through Maryland, where the Blair Witch roams, pump it up to Maximum Overdrive to get through North Carolina as quickly as possible, and head on down to Florida for a nice, refreshing dip in a pool filled with rejuvenating extraterrestrial cocoons.
Some states are busier than others. California, as you expect, has played host to a lot of the weirder happenings in the combined universe of the Altered States of America. It is where a mustachioed, afro-coiffed Donald Sutherland unsuccessfully fought off an invasion of pod people in the 1970s, where E.T. developed his Reese’s Pieces addiction, and where the Tall Man shank teenage cadavers into murderous Jawas in the Phantasm movies. Colorado is also busy: It is where Jack Torrance went on his rampage at the Overlook hotel, Mork’s space-egg crash landed, and–of course!–where America’s premier Stargate is kept.
Some states are sadly less well-represented in the combined canon of American fantasy and science fiction. North Dakota’s sole claim to the fantastic is playing host to the first Leprechaun movie, before the series transitioned to the ghetto and–I kid you not–outer space. Similarly, the only thing that ever happened in Idaho was that it was temporarily invaded by General Zod before the evil Kryptonian and his minions moved on to conquer a less boring location. At least it’s not Delaware, though: even monsters and aliens have stayed clear of Dela-where? for fear of being bored to death within it.
As a particularly weird kid with a love for all things phantasmagoric and fangorian, this is the kind of U.S. map I would have actually bothered to study in grade-school geography. Available from Brooklyn-based design studio the Chopping Block, you can buy the Altered States of America as a beautiful five-color poster for $75, or a smaller and more detailed Giclée print of the Northeastern, Southern, Midwestern or Southern states for just $23 each.