Fine Arts Design Prints Of Heritage Collection.
TITLE: CARICATURE MAP OF EUROPE 1914.
The Clanker Powers:
Germany is a massive military machine with weapons aimed outwards to all surrounding countries. It points threateningly at Britain, not so much as a sign of direct aggression, but more as an indicator that it was now Germany’s turn to start a grand global Empire to challenge the world’s current one.
Austria Hungary is an aggressive armoured giant, teetering on shoddy foundations. It is also the primary aggressor in a land grab against Serbia, with two bayonets piercing the border.
The Ottoman empire is a teetering automaton, collapsing under the weight of a paranoid and ungainly spying network that gazes at Europe through many lenses and spy glasses. Istanbul is labeled Constantinople following the period’s English naming conventions.
The Swiss watch ticks away the time, comfortable to wait it all out.
The Darwinist Powers:
Britain is an militaristic lion with a Roman Imperial italic-type helmet. It sits upon a mound of riches gathered from its Empire.
France’s elephant beast (wearing the French kepi they started the war with before adapting their firefighter helmets) is influenced by the Elephantine Collossus built for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 in Paris (later it ended up going to the Moulin Rouge.)
Russia is a huge imperialist bear, rotting and filled with maggots.
Serbia’s imagery is an indicator of the huge amounts of civilian deaths and suffering they’ll find themselves subject to.
Norway and Sweden are both Scandinavian trolls in the style of John Bauer, an inspirational illustrator from the era who produced a lot of phenomenal work during the war.
Portugal is a parrot for the Entente trying to goad a slumbering Spain into the war.
Ireland looks askance to Britain and brandishes a shillelagh. An indicator of their very rough relationship at the time, and of their upcoming involvement with the Central powers.
Italy is a clutch of snakes with intents on the Central powers despite existing agreements. A foreshadowing of their arrangements at the secret 1915 Treaty of London where they were promised land in exchange for involvement. It was heavily influenced by Italian Prime Minister, Antonio Salandra’s open policy of serving Italy’s “divine self-interest.”
Illustration from Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.
TITLE: THE FOUR HORSEMEN.
DESCRIPTION: And I saw when the uniformed man opened one of the files, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four monitors saying “Come and see.” I saw, and behold on the screen was a white horse: and he that sat on him had a rifle; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
And when he had opened the second file, I heard the second monitor say, Come and see.
And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great missile.
And when he had opened the third file, I heard the third monitor say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four screens say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of rice for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the coal.
And when he had opened the fourth file, I heard the voice of the fourth monitor say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and nuclear fire followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with bullet, and with hunger, and with death, and with the infernal machines of man.
TITLE: THE PROPHET.
Pilgrims listen in rapt attention to one of the many prophets imprisoned along this road. The town that can be seen was built about a cathedral which dates back beyond scholars’ records. A large cache of gold was found in the cathedrals catacombs and the high class now lives in relative comfort despite the poor harvests of late. Those who can afford it live off the trade of a neighbouring coastal fishing town. Since the gold was discovered a rash of severe birth defects and sudden oncomings of insanity have been plaguing the populace. After trading began, the fishermen and their families who accepted the gold as payment have been suffering the same ills. The particularly opulent burgomaster has become worried about his dwindling reserves, and after the discovery of further tunnels connecting to the cathedral’s catacombs, he has taken to paying highly those who plumb its depths in search of more gold. Unfortunately these men invariably return completely mad, and desperately try to burn the cathedral to the ground. The burgomaster furiously condemns these men to the gibbets that line the road as a warning to those “weak of mind, and lax in duty.” Those scarred and deformed by the gold’s unwholesome influence flock to these prophets to hear their fractured gibberings of what they saw below the cathedral. It is rumored that the burgomaster’s wife can birth naught but plump, healthy fish.
This piece is featured in Spectrum 11 Art Annual, and was chosen to be shown at the Museum of American Illustration in New York city for an art exhibit featuring selected works from all 11 Spectrum art annuals.
DESCRIPTION: The civilised world lies on its knees, a sickness wracking its body. The affliction causes a necrotising of tissues so perfectly uniform in distribution that victims take on the appearance of corpses long before death occurs due to organ failure or secondary infections. The crumbling remnants of academia swing from fatalistic resignation to maddened optimism in their addressment of what could be done to fight the sickness.
The vast numbers of doctors attempting to stem the tide of infection, invariably falling victim to the malady they treat, have begun to form fanatical extermination squads whose policies are condoned by authority. A notion forms, twisting the tenets of the Hippocratic oath to say that when the oath taker is subject to the half-death of infection they are obliged to spend their lasting days attempting to destroy the source of the contagion. The paramilitary forces formed from the infected medical practicioners find themselves deigned to mete out persecution to the sufferers they were formally treating. Equipped with the leftovers of dissolved military forces, the Doctors’ Militia are organised to burn all infected areas and sufferers; a campaign which stalks across blasted lands, mirroring the wave of infection in an addled attempt at backtracking all the way to some imaginary source.
Extensive bombing campaigns start firestorms that incinerate whole cities. Squads of “scorched earth” units are tasked with eradicating outlying locales. The distinctive appearance of the plague doctors, the only sight originally associated with any idea of hope, often causes the confused survivors of bombing runs to rush, open armed, towards the oncoming squads.
TITLE: PESTILENTIAL ADVENT.
Blood flooded the dusty foreign streets and beaded upon the sword of the crusading knight. As years passed the knight’s armour grew crisscrossed and his face wizened, leaving him satiated to return to civilized lands. Turning home he saw a fellow countryman fallen on hard times, swaddled in rags. Hefting him up onto the back of his horse, the knight told him
“Come, we return to the warmth of our own hearths.”
The thin man stared, saying nothing as a weakened flicker of joy seemed to wash across his gaunt face. The two rode across the continent, backtracking the knight’s scorched and blasted path.
The days passed silently. “You say nothing, friend, but your companionship means much. Though I worry your health seems worse.” The passenger stared at the knight, who himself seemed tired by their journey. On their many stops for water the knight found himself too weak to carry on, but his companion held him up in support.
“Resolve fills me as I look upon you, so ill and yet mustering strength enough to aid me. These sores pain me so, and spread ‘cross my body in mockery of our righteousness spreading across heathen land. Looking upon you I’d swear you were dead, but your compassionate efforts betray you as a saint!”
The knight’s eyes welled with tears, and in his vision a corona formed around the now starkly thin passenger’s head.
Lolling in his saddle, but supported by the gaunt man sitting behind him, the knight pointed feebly to his hometown in the distance. The sudden baleful braying of the passenger’s horn drowned out the knight’s last rasping breath as it rattled in his iron helm.
The townsfolk cry out in joyful congregation at the sight of the single man upon his horse; not seeing the curled figure of pestilence crouching behind him, only bearing witness to their errant knight’s pregnant homecoming.
THE NEW ENDING.