Fantasy & Gothic Blog
Gothic literature has been a huge part of British history since its conception, and with Halloween around the corner, what better time to celebrate it! The British Library has just opened their exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination, and it presents the evolution and spread of the Gothic genre over the 250 years it's been in existence.
Hulking hero Hercules is one of the most popular figures to come out of Greek mythology. He has had several incarnations over the years, being presented in literature and more recently TV and film to great success. Summer blockbuster Hercules, featuring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, is due out at the end of this week, and it has prompted me to think about some of the memorable portrayals over the years.
Topics: myths and legends
Take weird horror storyteller H.P. Lovecraft's terrifying and malevolent creation Cthulhu, and mix with the fantastical scope of Greek mythology; and what do you get? A uniquely-imagined epic adventure, with vivid storytelling and powerfully atmospheric artworks. I'm talking about the graphic novel Apollo, written by Erik von Wodtke and illustrated by Douglas A. Sirois.
Stepping out of reality and into a world full of mischievous fairies, fantastic backdrops and spooky settings, Jasmine Beckett-Griffith’s art transports her viewers into a world where anything is possible.
Book Cover Artist
Whelan's work has graced book covers from novelists like Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Michael Moorcock, Poul Anderson and, most famously, Anne McCaffrey, bringing both author and artist unassailable respect among fantasy devotees. He has also won countless awards and accolades for his work, which he describes as ‘communication’, in a sense being an intermediary between the author’s words, vision and intention and the expectation and understanding of the reader or viewer. This viewpoint means that the symbolism of his work is as important as the actions and events that make up the subject matter.
On a quest to experience the mythical, mystical, magical and macho all at once? Look no further than to the works of fantasy artist Ken Kelly. A work by Kelly is an invitation into the wonderful world of imagination, of warriors and dragon art, as he offers viewers a direct route into faraway places and primal battlefields that burst at the seams with vivacity.
'I have been fascinated by dark, mysterious and magical fantasy worlds since I was a child.' (Anne Stokes)
Cris Ortega produces phenomenal and mesmerising gothic fantasy art and steampunk art on a variety of subjects, but in many cases depicting women, around whom an air of beauty, mystery, emotion and magic can be built. The Spanish-based digital artist has had her work featured widely in all sorts of publications, book covers and posters, as well as in video games.
As part of the National Theatre's 50th anniversary celebrations, various cinemas screened a recording of the NT's live production of Frankenstein last month, based on Mary Shelley's gothic horror story. As I had not been lucky enough to get hold of one of the theatre tickets back in 2011 – they were like gold dust – I jumped at the chance to go see it at the cinema. The whole idea of opening up the theatre this way is fantastic, and although I do miss the atmosphere of a live performance, I undoubtedly had an enviable 'front-row' view thanks to the position of the cameras.