Friday, November 09, 2018

Friday Art Attack

I'm quite angry this morning at multiple, credible accounts of election fraud, especially in Broward and Palm Beach counties in Florida, and in parts of Texas.  I'm neither surprised nor alarmed that the treasonous mainstream media is not reporting on this, but I'm angry that the justice department isn't going after this fast and hard.

Maybe that has something to do with Sessions stepping down to make room for someone who will keep the Democrats from stealing the midterms, and punish hard those who tried to do so.  I hope.

Anyway, to get my mind off of the obvious, blatant, and consistent treason of the enemies of America otherwise known as "the Left" I'll do my Friday Art Attack early and then start to think about some other gaming or fiction related post I can do later in the day.

I dunno.  Why not?  I'm not really a Tron fanboy.  Fun idea with a somewhat botched execution, in my opinion.  But still, this is pretty cool.

Some early concept sketches of Demogorgon for Rage of Demons; the CRPG that accompanied the Out of the Abyss event/campaign.

I know it's a drum I beat frequently already anyway, but just another reminder; you don't need exotic monsters when you've got dangerous and exotic actual wildlife.  *Sigh.*  I miss the Pleistocene North American megafauna that we just missed being able to see ourselves.  Although maybe solo backpacking wouldn't really be a hobby of mine is we still had sabertooths, short-faced bears, Columbian mammoths and American lions prowling the wilderness.

I dunno. Some kind of big freaky dragony thing and airships.  What's not to like about that?  Speaking of which, I recently watched Paul W. S. Anderson's version of The Three Musketeers with Orlando Bloom hamming it up as a villainous Lord Buckingham.  And Mads Mikkelson hamming it up as a villainous Rochefort.  And Christoph Waltz hamming it up as a villainous Richelieu.  And Mila Jovovich hamming it up as a villainous Milady de Winter.  Actually, everyone hams up their roles in this movie, no matter what it is, although the actors playing villains seem like they're having the most fun.

The movie is stupid beyond all reason, and quite entertaining.  And, of course, it has airships.  And an absolutely great swordfighting scene.  Several, really, but the one where D'Artagnan and the three musketeers themselves fight the cardinal's guards is the best.  And the girl they found to play Constance may lack the charisma of Raquel Welch when she played the role in a much better movie, but she sure is hot enough.

Ken Kelly may come across as a discount Frank Frazetta, but that's really not very fair, in many respects.  And even if it's true, he's still a great artist who's done some wonderful covers.  I still keenly remember when I was a kid and the shelves at both the library and the bookstore in the fantasy and science fiction section had long sections of Gor books and Horseclans books; the latter, of course, all had Kelly covers.

Another fake Frazetta.

Although Asimov is considered one of the big names in science fiction, I actually dislike his stuff quite a bit.  He's probably one of the guys most responsible, along with Joseph Campbell, of suppressing the science fiction that had mainstream success and appeal and turning it into a nebbish ghetto of self-congratulatory nerdism.

But Michael Whelan is still a good artist, even when working with mediocre material.

This one just kinda makes me laugh.  If only such stylish, 50s cavemen existed.

Gratuitously nearly naked chick, washed out, vague watercolor backgrounds, and powerful, exotic looking big cats.  Ken Kelly, sadly for him, still has to take a back seat to the master.

Speaking of Frazetta, wouldn't it have been cool if Battlestar Galactica really had been this cool?  I mean, when I was a kid and it was on TV, I thought it was pretty cool already, but in retrospect, it hasn't aged terribly well.

More concept art; this time for Orcus.

Michael Whelan again, this time doing Elric.

I've really come a long way towards deciding that I greatly prefer the sword & sorcery trope of all magic is inherently strange, inhuman, and dehumanizing if you can do it at all.  It's a very Lovecraftian kind of thing, where there isn't really a distinction between magic and witchcraft, and even if you've got the stereotypical yokels hounding the witches out of town for their witchcraft, it's not because you're trying to make an anti-Christian point about "tolerance" or whatever; it's because they're right and witchcraft really is a threat to their communities.

See?  Wizards and warlocks consort with daemons and they're after our wimminz!  This is actually much more interesting to me than the tired and insulting "people think that, but in reality wizards and warlocks are the poor, suffering heroes of the story!".  Going back to Asimov and Campbell again, a similar thing happened to fantasy; it was taken over by butthurt, bitter, broken, psychologically unstable writers who never got over the fact that they weren't the cool kids in high school, and most of their literature reads like idiotic revenge porn.

And... holy smokes!  Everyone loves a hot dame who is also the villainess!  From Princess Ardala of Buck Rogers (especially the late 70s and early 80s TV version of her) to Princess Aura of Flash Gordon, they're just fascinating subject matter.  Of course, the prototype for both of those, John Carter, has a few examples, like Phaidor of the Holy Therns in Gods of Mars, but mostly the princess archetype is filled by the wholesome and beautiful love interest Dejah Thoris.  The more immediate, secondary inspiration for the TV show Buck Rogers and the Filmation Flash Gordon is Star Wars which also doesn't have the vampy villainess archetype represented.  Much to its detriment, I should say.

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