Saturday, June 15, 2013

Elric versus the Theocrat

I have always been a big fan of Michael Moorcock's Elric, the exiled albino sorcerer king of Melnibone'. Elric's world was wildly creative and colorful with a heaping helping of destruction and angst. He bore with him the demon sword "Stormbringer" which sucked the souls out of the beings he killed. I encountered the Elric series in the 1970s and just couldn't get enough. During the mid to late 1970s I did dozens of Elric pictures, usually quite small, since for some of those years I was a graduate student in a dorm room. 

I've often wondered what would happen if I went back to Moorcock's Elric after all these years. What kind of fantasy art would I do now, with modern tools and skills? I find myself overwhelmed by current fantasy and science fiction, not knowing what to choose or read. And modern fantasy doesn't seem to be as "fantastic" as Moorcock's, for instance the immense "Game of Thrones" series which replicates the brutality of the late Middle Ages with a bit of fantasy added in. I don't want irony or parody either. I like the old style High Fantasy full of magic and color and special effects and even some old-fashioned morality. Am I just out of touch? Should my creative efforts be "brutal" and "gritty" which seem to be the standard nowadays. Should fantasy be like real life, complete with terrorists and vicious gang warfare and mass murder? I want my fantasy to be escapist!  I can see that other stuff on TV. But I am still struggling to create anything more than a small sketch anyway these days. 

"Elric Versus the Theocrat" is watercolor on Fabriano paper, 14" x 10", November 1976.

1 comment:

Tristan Alexander said...

You know I love Elric and all Moorecocks books about him and his other Eternal Champions! Have you read the newer ones? Revenge of the Rose, The Dream Theifs Daughter, The Dragon in the Sword (that one has Elric and Natzis). They are all good and maybe would spark a picture or two from you!