Continuing our series on Dystopian universes, this week we look into the future. Dystopian narratives are quite interesting for a variety of reasons, one being that they encourage exciting things to happen (a revolt against the government, perhaps? Dramatic chase scenes?), and if they're good, they make you think about the way you're living your life. Dystopian stories that take place in the future make the readers think about the possibilities that lay ahead and whether or not they want to be a part of shaping that future.
Fantasy & Gothic Blog
Dystopias have been invading our screens for decades, although there has been a recent influx of great dystopias. They come in all kinds of forms, including TV shows (the ever-popular 'The Walking Dead' is starting up again in October!), films (Mockingjay Part 1 is released in November!) and books (there are so many YA dystopias being published I don't know which to get excited about first!). But what is a dystopia? We know there must be something fundamentally broken about society. But in what way should it be broken? Must there be a totalitarian leader and cameras watching your every move?
Pulp fiction found in pulp magazines – commonly known as 'the pulps' – was a great way to get a quick dose of fiction in the 19th century, similar to short story collections or comics/graphic novels. The pulps were printed on low quality paper (known as wood pulp, which is where their name came from) with ragged edges, and would be around 128 pages long, filled with not only fantastic stories but also sensational art. They covered a wide range of genre fiction, including amongst many others: adventure, sports, sic fi, romance, horror, gangster and detective/mystery stories. Beloved characters such as Tarzan and Zorro started out in the pulps and many of the writers we consider classics today had their stories featured in them.
Awakening to A Changed World
OK, so first of all, the post-apocalyptic thing is there – a trope much beloved of zombie-filmmakers – but more specifically, I experienced much déja-vu in the opening scenes as the protagonist wakes up in hospital to discover he has been abandoned by his carers and no one is left, save for some desperate, groaning, shuffling people wandering the wards... Where had I seen this before?
In the last decade, Zombie pictures, movies and games have entered the mainstream in a big way. The Walking Dead has not only seen huge success in its comic book form, but also in the tv show adapted from it. Even an actor as well loved as Brad Pitt produced and starred in a film adaptation of Max Brook’s World War Z. Yet even as the genre grows, it is important to remember that it owes a huge debt to the the wonderfully twisted mind of George Romero.
Dragons have become ever popular in recent years, fuelled earlier this month by the release of How To Train Your Dragon 2, which was prompted by the massive success its predecessor. Earlier this year there was a lot of excitement over Benedict Cumberbatch's incredible portrayal of Smaug in the second Hobbit film, The Desolation of Smaug. It was agreed by everyone that Cumberbatch's Smaug was impressive, with a fiery presence that really made the film what it was. Which isn't surprising, given that Cumberbatch writhed around on set while saying his lines, to really get into the Smaug spirit. So it's a great time for fantasy fans, and in particular those who love dragons! Here are some of our favourite fantasy dragons in film, T.V. and art today.
Topics: Gothic & Fantasy Art
We've just released a gorgeous new digital edition of our unrivalled book: Tattoo Art by Russ Thorne. 192pp pages of colour photographs, revealing brilliant tattoo designs from fabulous contemporary tattoo artists, photographed in style by the best photographers. It's available on the Apple iBookstore and is designed for the iPad Retina display which shows off the detailed and glorious art. We're very excited about it!
Topics: tattoo art
We've just released a gorgeous digital edition of a brand-new book: Fantasy Art: Warriors & Heroes. 192pp pages of artwork, showcasing amazing paintings from fabulous contemporary artists. It's available on the Apple iBookstore and is designed for the iPad Retina display which shows off the detailed and glorious art. We're very excited to see what you think!