A homing pigeon with a suitcase and wearing a fighter pilot cap compares a map of Antarctica with its map of Florida in an effort to determine what went wrong. It seems a GPS malfunction has occurred and the ‘you are here’ marker on the map is no comfort.

It’s amazing how far homing pigeons can travel to find their way back home. I had been wondering what happens if one gets lost and read that they sometimes just join another flock and end up at a new location. This begs the question though, if a homing pigeon doesn’t make it home, was it really a homing pigeon?

For this cartoon, I decided to draw a pigeon extremely far from home and Antarctica seemed like the place (not) to be. The map it’s sitting on gives a clue as to its ultimate destination. At first I was going to have it as being from Australia, but that didn’t feel far enough away from the South Pole. It needed to be from somewhere warm and touristy; somewhere pigeons might want to live, so I went with Florida.

From what I can ascertain, the distance from the South Pole to North Miami Beach is 12890.56 kilometres (8008.82 miles) so this pigeon has some serious flying to do.

The ‘you are here’ marker seems to be almost mocking the wayward pigeon to the point that I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for the poor bird.

In the northern hemisphere birds are inclined to fly south for the winter, but Antarctica wouldn’t be the location of choice (unless they were penguins flying south, but that is a bit unlikely for obvious reasons).

This is another drawing without the solid black outlines. The only ones here are on the sign marker outline and text and also on the map folds. The pale blue outlines of the ice lend themselves well to the frozen landscape.

Initially I had drawn a penguin on the floating ice sheet. It was waving frantically at the pigeon to get its attention. It was meant to be showing excitement at having some newfound and completely coincidental company, but it introduced ambiguity to some extent. It almost seemed as though it was expecting the pigeon as a visitor on vacation (perhaps because of the suitcase) and that became a little confusing so I left it out. I think the vast void adds to the forlornness of the pigeon.