Jerry Gretzinger has a certain kind of genius. He's a world-builder. In 1963, young Jerry started doodling. He began with cross-hatched rectangles, as he drew more rectangles they formed into a city. He added a river and before long reached the edges of the page. His next move would set him on a 48-year odyssey to map out an entirely virtual world — he put a new sheet up against his first and continued drawing the map.

And he's done a new page every day since.

Jerry's world has grown enormous and is now governed by an elaborate set of rules that Jerry conceived to keep things fresh and moving. He uses a deck of cards and selects one each day. The cards are modified standard playing cards and dictate whether Jerry will spend his time that day drawing new territory, polishing old territory, or even wiping everything out and starting anew. His creation of "the void" is beautifully chaotic. When he draws that card, an area of the map is erased, blotted out like it never existed. In it's place a new world is formed and begins to grow.

Jerry keeps his pages archived and cataloged, adding new material all the while.

Check it out:


Jerry's Map from Jerry Gretzinger on Vimeo.

Jerry keeps a well-tended blog where he charts his progress and his art.

Via Grist

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Fall into the alternative world of Jerry Gretzinger
Gretzinger has been developing his virtual world, one hand-drawn panel at a time, for almost 50 years.