Monday, September 15, 2008

apocalyptic images

Back in the time of the illuminated manuscripts people were worried about the end of the world. The end of the world involved the four horsemen, the rise of the beast, God and the devil. But today there is a new beast man must worry about and it is not an act of divine providence that will bring the world to an end. It is man himself who could very well be the cause. Ever since world war two the human race has been afraid of their own invention the atomic bomb. Now we have the power to end the world and since this occurrence in human evolution, it is no longer God or the devil that we fear will end it all but it is ourselves. Since then the subject of apocalyptic graphic design has been the atomic bomb. That one day we would become irresponsible enough in war to try such a strategy. It is no longer the United States that have this technology but everyone is catching on and if another world war broke out we our basically all doomed. The picture above comes from a graphic novel called Heroes. There is also a television show. A character named Isaac Mendez painted it and in the series his paintings predict the future. In this particular painting he has predicted the destruction of New York. I believe it was the destruction of one of the Hero characters exploding in the air that caused the atomic like blast to occur which brings us back to another dooms day theory brought on by man's own process. In many comic books characters have been developed that take on such power that they themselves can cause great destruction like the atomic bomb. Like in the amine, Akira. A science experiment goes bad and the result of it is the literally swelling power of a young boy which ends in the destruction of his home town. It is no longer God we fear but ourselves. And it is the inability to control our own inventions and discoveries that has become the subject of apocalyptic images today. The image below comes from the amine, Akira. It is dark and the city is small against the expanding explosion. Unlike in the top when it is the beginning of the blast we see at the foot the buildings. In this image I feel (the bottom one I mean) that we are more powerless against what is going on and have no chance to run away. In the examples we find in the book the bringers of the end (the four horsemen) were more symbolic. Today the images about the end are more real likely because the possiblity is more real.

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