Category: Fantasy

Those Savage Queens

These days, you can’t spit in fantasy art without hitting some variant of a beautiful, barely clad female lounging on a throne, pasties on her nipples, a pout on her pretty face. The strong suggestion is she rules by whim and her power is absolute, a thing which, I’m sure, many of the male artists …

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Mari Lwyd

Mari Lwyd was a Welsh Christmas and New Year tradition in which a group of male singers carried a hobbyhorse — a horse’s skull mounted on a pole, cloaked and decorated — to houses around the village, with singing and refreshments. Happy New Year!

The Hermitess

She searches… but for what? This picture has enough stylistic similarities to Rapunzel and Speak no Evil that I suspect they’re all by the same artist (whose name I could not find, alas). Three morally ambiguous ladies.

Speak no Evil

When the Princess spoke kindly, pearls and roses would drop from her lips. But when she cursed, fowl serpents emerged. As she was a lover of salty language, the palace was soon full of snakes. But the Princess didn’t mind. She also had a yen for snakeskin.

Rapunzel

She let down her hair. Look at what she caught!

The Shadow Glass [Review]

The Shadow Glass by Aly Fell Dark Horse Books, 2017   The Shadow Glass is filled with some wonderful artwork. The first page shows a view from the Tower of London overlooking a lovely harbor by the river Thames, a red and blue pennant flying, as a traveler named Thomas Hughes arrives. In night-muted colors …

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The Lady and the Dragon, Part V

Women-as-dragon, as a concept, has been around since ancient times. In Greek myth creatures like Scylla, Echidna, and Medusa had monstrous or dragon-like aspects, as did Grendel’s mom from Beowulf. Norse myth spoke of the dragon Nidhogg that gnawed at the roots of the World Tree Yggdrasil. And of course, there’s Lilith and Tanit/Inanana/Ishtar. They …

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The Lady and the Dragon, Part IV

Portrayals of women with dragons continued to rise throughout the 1970s, boosted by the rising genre of adult comics, forerunners to today’s graphic novels.  The French magazine Metal Hurlant (Howling Metal) showcased many of these new artists like Caza, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Moebius, who later went on to design book covers and movie and TV …

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The Lady and the Dragon, Part III

Before the printing press and paper production on an industrial scale, there were very few mass-produced dragon depictions in popular culture. Most of the ones I referenced in Parts I and II of this series were oil paintings intended for the nobility or wealthy merchants, or in illuminated manuscripts for the Church. The majority of …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/26/18: Individual Dragons IV

One of the things I’ve noticed about following the AD&D universe from puberty through menopause is how the quality of the artwork has changed. The original creators of the game were geeks, not artists. Whatever art skills they had were self-taught, probably over many lonely hours. The game needed visuals for its players, being at …

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