Wonder Tale Travel

As I was wandering along the streets of Austin, Texas, one not-quite-wintry December evening, I ducked into a used bookstore down the way. On a bottom shelf near the back, a large, horizontal book quite falling to pieces caught my eye.

Tales From the Four Winds, art by Otto Nielsen

Tales From the Four Winds, art by Otto Nielsen

As I opened the book, Tales From the Four Winds began:

From the dawn of time, man has watched birds in flight and dreamed of winging his way through space as easily and speedily as they. Not only has he dreamed of it, he has talked of it and woven the theme into the tales he told. The story-teller, far distant forerunner of modern television, knew that he could fascinate his audience and hold it spell-bound whenever in his repertoire he introduced fables about humans that flew. . . . When it was decided that the central theme of the [Scandanavian Airlines System] Calendar for 1959 was to be tales from all corners of the earth, it was only natural that the selected stories should deal with people who flew. . . . In presenting this little anthology we in no [way] claim to have made a truly representative booklet. Our main aim has been to amuse the reader with stories from twelve of the 43 nations served by SAS. We ask you to accept this little booklet in the same spirit and, when you read the stories, to remember that SAS, among many others, has helped make the yearnings of early man come true. Today you, too, may fly. Not only in fancy, but also in fact.

As I continued reading, I was delighted to find stories familiar and new, and amazed by the beautiful artwork accompanying them from the Dutch artist Otto Nielsen (who very much loved to travel). I would like to share illustrations from a few of the stories here.

Astride A Cannonball, Germany

Astride A Cannonball, Germany

The Wild Geese, Sweden

The Wild Geese, Sweden

The Moon Princess, Japan

The Moon Princess, Japan

The Flying Trunk, Denmark

The Flying Trunk, Denmark

Lue and the Elephant Hunters, Kenya

Lue and the Elephant Hunters, Kenya

The Magic Carpet, Arabia

The Magic Carpet, Arabia

Gulliver's Escape, Great Britain

Gulliver’s Escape, Great Britain

A Visit from St. Nicholas, USA

A Visit from St. Nicholas, USA

The book, after traveling from Kenya to Brazil, across Europe and Japan, finally arrived at the United States of America, where it closed, seasonably, with “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

But as I put down this beautiful collection, I couldn’t help but think the editors only got it half right. Man has dreamed not just of flying, but of traveling to new places, unseen and only imagined. The Wright Brothers flew in 1903; J.M. Barrie’s first stage production of Peter Pan was in 1904. As much as we have delighted in being able to fly around our own world, and even just beyond it (as in these amazing NASA travel posters), we continue to be thrilled by the prospect of going to places yet unseen.

To that end, I have scoured the internet for travel posters of imaginary lands, both old and new. Middle Earth is a favorite subject of illustrators far and wide, but Harry Potter’s world, Game of Thrones’ Westeros, Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, and, indeed, Peter Pan’s NeverLand, all capture our imagination as faraway destinations. Please enjoy the works of the fantastic designers below and investigate more of what they do through the links to their sites. And, finally, very happy holidays wherever your own travels take you this season.

Jazzberry Blue, Alice in Wonderland

Jazzberry Blue, Alice in Wonderland

Seventh Art Shop, Star Wars

Seventh Art Shop, Star Wars

Mr. Bluebird, The NeverEnding Story

Mr. Bluebird, The NeverEnding Story

Cantabrigia, Alice in Wonderland

Cantabrigia, Alice in Wonderland

Studio Moriarty, Rapunzel's Tower

Studio Moriarty, Rapunzel’s Tower

Steve Thomas, H. P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Steve Thomas, H. P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Steve Thomas, The Lord of the Rings

Steve Thomas, The Lord of the Rings

Ursulav, H. P. Lovecraft's The Cats of Ulthar

Ursulav, H. P. Lovecraft’s The Cats of Ulthar

Martin Montgomery, The Legend of Zelda

Martin Montgomery, The Legend of Zelda

Steve Thomas, Star Wars

Steve Thomas, Star Wars

Seventh Art Shop, Game of Thrones

Seventh Art Shop, Game of Thrones

Steve Thomas, Star Wars

Steve Thomas, Star Wars

Mr. Bluebird, NeverLand

Mr. Bluebird, NeverLand

Steve Thomas, NeverLand

Steve Thomas, NeverLand

Seventh Art Shop, Chronicles of Narnia

Seventh Art Shop, Chronicles of Narnia

Seventh Art Shop, Lord of the Rings

Seventh Art Shop, Lord of the Rings

Henry Conrad Taylor - Avatar the Last Airbender

Henry Conrad Taylor, Avatar the Last Airbender

Studio Moriarty, Harry Potter

Studio Moriarty, Harry Potter

Dream Machine Prints - Lord of the Rings

Dream Machine Prints, Lord of the Rings

Studio Moriarty, Harry Potter

Studio Moriarty, Harry Potter

Claire Malboeuf, Futurama

Claire Malboeuf, Futurama

Seventh Art Shop, Game of Thrones

Seventh Art Shop, Game of Thrones

Dream Machine Prints - Lord of the Rings

Dream Machine Prints, Lord of the Rings

Caroline Hadilaksano, Harry Potter

Caroline Hadilaksano, Harry Potter


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By | 2018-01-16T15:36:32+00:00 December 16th, 2017|Design, Illustrations|

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