Nothing remains to bei said except: Cthulhu fthagn!
The artist behind this cover is possibly named Eric Fry, but I am not sure at all.
Image Comics has just released a most fascinating comic series named Fatale.
The story revolves around a reporter in the present day (2012) who comes across a discovery leading towards a woman who has been on the run since the 1930’s and apparently not aged. This is just the beginning, the further he gets involved, the darker the secrets he uncovers.
How dark? Well, look at this cover:
Does that remind you of anyone?
It does not only look promising. Brubaker and Phillips are two names with a lot of clout. They have created such award-winnig works as Sleeper, Criminal and Incognito.
I am very intrigued by the implications of the story combined with this cover. Cthulhu meets the Mob, more or less. I will have a look into it. Several, I believe.
Looking at some of the comics published in and out of Belgium during the Interbellum into the 1950’s you cannot help but notice how dieselpunk (and atompunk) they are. I blogged about this before, regarding Le Secret D’Espadon, and it is also a prominent feature in The Adventures of Tintin.
Granted, the above submarine is from a 1972 animated movie, but weird technology of this kind can be found as a sort of background theme in the comics.
The Adventures of Tintin as a whole are all pulp graphic novels, when you think about it. They have similar, if more humerous, story lines to classic pulp fiction and the whole atmosphere is very 1930’s, even in later incarnations.
I think it is only natural, if you add some (then) advanced technology and weird science to a story, while simultaneously using the comic as a medium for political comment, you end up with something dieselpunk.
So, The Adventures of Tintin actually offer a chance to introduce somebody of slightly lighter tastes to what it is we are doing. I know a lot of people who have never heard of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow or The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. More often then not, the same people know about Tintin and his dog Snowy, so the classic Belgian comic opens the way for explaining our leissure time interest.
(And you do not even need to resort to the Tintin vs. Cthulhu mash-ups I talked about before.)
And I also wanted to share this really sweet French steampunk animated video:
It actually reminded me a bit of Some Fortunate Future Day in Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories (the review is on this blog).
Anyway, my dear brother has brought my attention to a hilarious mash-up between the Cthulhu Mythos and Tintin, the much beloved classic Belgian comic book hero.
So here is one example, there are more. Just follow the link at the bottom of the post.
And now, for this and several related artworks please visit:
Yes, girls and boys, superheroes are all in favour of you reading. It is better than hanging out in the street, pestering your elders and betters instead of doing a decent day’s work like they did before they started screwing up the planet, the economy and so on.
In any case, please, if you have taken a book from the library, have the good courtesy of returning it on time. And do not steal any of the books. Batgirl will find out and she will come and get you:
Once again I delve into the wonderful world of early jetplane designs. In this particular case, I showcase a completely fictional one and a project that never left the drawing-board. What connects them, other than being fantastic dieselpunk designs, is the language the designers spoke, French.
The first is the beautiful Espadon fighter jet:
It is the decisive weapon in the comic which bears ist name. The comic itself has become a classic and its author, Edgar P. Jacobs (Edgard Félix Pierre Jacobs) is a legend of European comic culture.
I guess the Espadon would not really have been able to take flight let alone show the performance it did in the comic, still the jet and the comic it is found in are beautiful works of dieselpunk art.
The other jet is the brainchild of engineers working for the SNCASO in the 1950’s. SNCASO is now defunct but the company it was absorbed into was reabsorbed and reabsorbed again and is now found within EADS, one of Europe’s largest defence cooperations.
But I digress, in the 1950’s when still much experimenting was going on, French aeronautical engineers were busy working on a design for a supersonic VTOL fighter. They came up with the Dever:
It is a real shame that so few of these exotic early designs ever saw the light of day. Most of them proved to be seiously flawed or no longer of actual value or simply impossible to build with the available technology. Still, in a Dieselpunk setting, you can bring them all to life.
A special request to you aviation enthusiasts out there, especially from what used to be the Warsaw Pact (I know you are out there, I get a lot of traffic from the Czech Republic):
If you know of any bizarre Russian projects (Soviet, that is…) that were happening in the ’50s nd ’60s, drop me a line and maybe even a link, please.
I should have tackled this topic before… The deeper I look into the world of comics, the more Dieselpunk elements I find. Which is only natural. The Golden Age of Comics covers the same time and therefore shares the same influences as the Golden Age of Pulp.
So take a look at these Golden Age Superheroes and villains (and klick, there are more details in the full size images):
I find it especially interesting to compare the evolution of the artwork and also the heroes. If you take a look at Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern (the guy on the right picture), his ring was a magical artifact, later the ring was alien tech according to Clarke’s Third Law.
The characters chosen for the Green Lantern Corps have changed to fit the taste and need of their times and the artwork has also changed with time, taste and technology (I love absolutely arbitrary and annoying alliterations…), as this image depicting Kyle Rayner, one of the modern Green Lanterns, shows:
Yes, I think the much belittled comic really is a mirror of its time and since it has been around for quite a while now as an art form, it is a valuable ressource for sociologist, historians and anthropologists.
Comics show you what their readers crave, what their hopes and fears are and what heroes they identify with. Comics are literature, like it or not. Like the sagas and myths of old and the regular books we read, comics tell us just another version of the Hero with a Thousand Faces. In that, they are just as valuable as any piece by Tolstoy, Goethe or Twain. Yes, there are bad comics, but there are also a lot of bad novels around.
Oh dear… That was quite a ramble.
Neil Gaiman, a living legend, has graced this planet with his presence for half a century now. On this day in 1960 he delivered his first scream in Portchester, Hampshire, England.
Neil Gaiman has since enriched popular culture with such game-changig works as Sandman, American Gods and The Graveyard Book. He has contributed to both movies and television series (most notably, of course, the Stardust movie, Neverwhere and Babylon 5’s The Day of the Dead).
I have also not given up hope of seein Death: The High Cost of Living turned into a feature film.
So today, the community raises their glasses and toasts Neil Gaiman. May he be with us for a very long time!
This post is all about the celebration of science and humor.
In 1982, Gary Larson drew the following cartoon:
The term thagomizer has since weasled its way into proper scientific publications and is (amongst other places) mentioned in this excellent Skeptoid episode. The whole story behind it is summed up in this cartoon better than I ever could:
As Steampunks, we often find ourselves on the weird side of life, more often than not by choice and design. The story of the Thagomizer demonstrates that there is a lot more weird (and wonderful) stuff out there, from weird ideas (the original thagomizer in the comic strip) to weird influences (the adoption of the term thagomizer into paleontology).
So after all, we are not that weird, we just put our focus of weirdness elsewhere. Oh my, I guess I am rambling again.