Fun with Maps 97&98

Map 97 shows one website’s map of the best bands from each state. Gary Dudak of Mandatory spells out the criteria in the original article but there isn’t much with which to work. Bands must consist of two or more members to qualify (thus excluding solo acts like Elvis, Dolly Parton, and 95% of the rappers in the industry). That’s basically it. He doesn’t provide any further description of how bands were ranked. I have to hope that he ran it by a couple people in the office at least. I haven’t heard of all the bands in the map, either, so I can’t say without a doubt that they are right or wrong. For all I know they suck.

Map 97.png

Some of the bands listed are no-brainer selections, such as Nirvana (Washington), Aerosmith (Massachusetts), ZZ Top (Texas), Kansas (Kansas), Outkast (Georgia), Guns N’ Roses (California), and Bon Jovi (New Jersey). I’m also a fan of The Beastie Boys (New York), The Killers (Nevada), The White Stripes (Michigan), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Florida), Neon Trees (Utah), Kings of Leon (Tennessee) and The Black Keys (Ohio). Actually, The Black Keys’ Brothers, is currently in my car’s CD player. It’s a fantastic album. The Jackson 5 (Indiana) were pretty awesome back in the day even if Indiana sucks pretty hard for giving me a false speeding ticket. My home state of Minnesota’s representative is The Revolution, a band started by Prince in 1979. Personally, I think this was just a way of including one of the many well-known Minnesotan icons into this map. Perhaps there is a similar map of the best solo musicians out there somewhere. I’ll work on that.

I recognize a lot of the other band names but don’t actively listen to them. Evanescense was my jam back in the day and I know I would probably like the bands similar to The Black Keys and Kings of Leon such as The Avett Brothers (North Carolina), Alabama Shakes (Alabama), and The Lumineers (Colorado). I know The Roots (Pennsylvania) more from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon but they’re funky as well. Music is very polarizing so let me know if you love/hate any of the bands on the map and think they do/don’t deserve to be there. Did the author miss any bands that you think are superior?

Map 98 is of my own creation using data acquired from Cinemablend and Ranker. The topic? Superheroes! I love superheroes. I’ve seen all the movies and many of the television shows. Marvel, and to a lesser extent, DC, have been the source of some excellent content in the past decade. I’ve never read the comics themselves, but superheroes are awesome. If I had a lot more time (and money) I could see myself starting a little collection. I think I would keep it really specific to Captain America. He’s my favorite character by far. Captain America: Civil War just came out and Beth and I saw it on Tuesday. It was fantastic and I can’t wait for the next installment in Marvel’s very popular series. Fox and Sony have also had plenty of hits producing both DC and Marvel Comics’ characters like Batman, Superman, The X-Men, Spider-Man, and Fantastic Four, but nothing compares to Marvel’s Extended Cinematic Universe. The characters and stories cross between movies and television shows allowing for long-term storytelling. Now for the map. It shows the most popular Marvel hero in each state based on a Ranker poll with over 84,000 respondents.


I had a lot of fun making this map for obvious reasons. There are eleven different characters represented in the poll results. Spider-man is the most popular answer taking the top spot in 13 states, including Minnesota, California, Texas, and Hawaii. It’s a little hard to see because of how small they are but Spidey was also the choice in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Delaware. Spider-man has had some good and less than good movies over the years but I really enjoyed the latest iteration of Peter Parker debuted in Civil War played by Tom Holland. Wolverine, part of the X-Men, is the second most popular at ten states. Captain America, my favorite, is #1 in seven states. It should be higher but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They’re wrong if they disagree but… it’s fine. #TeamCap4Life

Iron Man, Cap’s opponent in Civil War only earned four states (take that Todd (my cousin is Team Iron Man for some reason)). Hulk wasn’t in the latest movie but he received top honors in five states. Deadpool, the R-Rated mercenary of an anti-hero, also got five. I loved Ryan Reynold’s performance in the latest (non-Marvel produced) movie and look forward to many sequels to come. The rest of the heroes represented are Thor (2), Punisher (1), Colossus (1), Gambit (1), and Doctor Strange (1). Punisher is a darker anti-hero like Deadpool. Colossus appeared in the Deadpool movie recently but is a member of the X-Men like Wolverine and Gambit (of course members of the X-Men often flow in and out of the team dynamic in the comics). Doctor Strange will make his cinematic debut, played by the very talented Benedict Cumberbatch, in November this year. Exciting!

Which Marvel character is your favorite? I want to hear your opinions in the comments!


Bryan Signature 2





Bonus Map Link: California’s Drought








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