Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Elric magical jungle miniature

Andrew Adams Whyte was a science fiction/fantasy critic who wrote reviews and essays for several publications during the heyday of science fiction in the Boston area. I met him via my newfound fan friends in the late '70s. He lived in an apartment in Cambridge that had more books than any other private interior space I have ever seen. He was estimated to have around 10,000 books. (I currently have roughly 2000.) As with many other friends, he commissioned me to do a nametag miniature, again on a theme from the Elric mythos. This one shows Elric pointing his great black-magical sword at a gathering of Chaotic forces. The sword is actually floating; in the books it often moved on its own with Elric merely holding it. The Chaotic forces and creatures don't look very threatening. I was influenced by Maurice Sendak's "Wild Things" as well as Art Nouveau. For instance, you can see a tiny blue rabbit at the lower right corner. Click on the pic for a larger view.

A number of fantasy series from the late '60s and '70s had the theme of Order Vs. Chaos. Chaos turned the world not into evil, necessarily, but into jumbled psychedelic meaninglessness. Later on, Chaos in fantasy acquired a more malevolent aspect. I often wonder whether the social upheavals of that era influenced the "order vs. chaos" themes of contemporary fantasy fiction.

"Elric swordpoint to Chaos" is ink and watercolor on Fabriano paper, 3 1/2" x 2 1/4", Spring 1977.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I absolutely love this!!