Mapping The Dragon Lord Saga


I don’t think about it a lot, but maps are kind of a big deal to me. As a kid, I would sit in the back seat of the mini-van while my mother ran errands to the grocery store and the dry cleaners, and I would use my crayons and spiral-bound notebook to scrawl maps of the streets we drove and the stores we passed, like Ben does in Song of the Sea.


Most of my favorite books include maps to help me chart my way through the story — books like The Lord of the Rings, The Wingfeather Saga, Jeff Smith’s BONE, Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet, The Chronicles of Narnia, and — of course — The Hobbit. In fact, one of the main recurring plot devices in The Hobbit is a map, one which sets the entire plot moving and often takes center stage as the characters try to find their way to a secret entrance. I can’t quite claim a Bilbo-level affection for maps, but every explorer knows that a journey requires a map — especially if that journey is in the pages of a good fantasy story.


As I’ve mentioned before, my graphic novel series ‘The Dragon Lord Saga‘ has been in some stage of preparation for almost ten years, and the map was one of the first things I constructed. It has seen some additions and adjustments over the years, but the basic structure of this fantasy world remains the same as my sketchbook doodles from way back when.

The first book, Martin and Marco, was a one-man show — I drew every panel, wrote every line of dialogue, and designed the entire production. As I work on the sequel, it has been a joy to open this story up to collaboration with the Rabbit-Room/Hutchmoot community, working alongside others on inking pages, photo reference, and some secret side projects.

I’m excited to premiere one of those side projects for you today. It’s the official map of the lands of The Dragon Lord Saga, rendered by the talented Stephen Hesselman!

[click image to view full size]

I connected with Stephen initially through the Hutchmoot community and the Martin and Marco Kickstarter. We quickly formed a bond in sharing our work, collaborating, and generally geeking out about comics. When I saw a map he had drawn for an earlier, abandoned project, I knew he was the one to bring this map to life! Check out this Facebook page to see some of Stephen’s other work and collaborations!

Jonny Jimison is a talented cartoonist and graphic novelist. In addition to a long history of web-based cartoons, he's the author of Dragon Lord Saga series of graphic novels, including Martin & Marco and The River Fox. Jonny lives and works in Jacksonville, Florida.


  1. Joe Sutphin


    Great map, Stephen! Who doesn’t love a great map? Its always fun to look for all the little hidden details.

  2. Pete Peterson


    Jimmy! This post rings every single one of my bells. I love what you’re doing with the saga, and this map is excellent. Bringing in other voices to a project you’ve given a lot of time to is a tough thing to do, but again and again it’s proven to make that project shine in a way that in never could have otherwise. I’m so pumped about the next book.

  3. Stephen Hesselman

    Thanks, Joe! I’m really glad you guys like it. Jonny had the whole thing planned out really well; this was so fun to do, and I think its safe to say, this is the most detailed drawing anyone is getting out of me in 2015. 🙂
    Jonny, I’m so honored to have the chance to pitch in something for your Dragon Lord Saga – its epic! Thanks so much for letting me be involved. I can’t wait for the next installment…!

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