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Cosmic horror fanart

Fanart of cosmic horror novels and short stories, particularly those by H.P. Lovecraft, comes in many forms. Some of these artists attempt to capture the otherworldliness and terror inspired by the monsters found in cosmic horror, whereas others try to make them seem cute and inviting. Some of these art projects stand alone, whereas others are part of storybooks and games, like the "C is for Cthulhu" series or the board game "Cthulhu in the House". How did we get so much fanart of this genre, and how has it evolved over time? Is anything lost by trying to render cosmic horror creatures (which are supposed to look unnatural and inexplicable to us) visually?


    The Legality of Fanwork

    There’s a lot of controversy among fans of many media as to whether the buying and selling of fanwork, art, fiction, and other marketables using the intellectual property of the main author, is legal and/or moral. Is selling character redrawings, spinoff doujinshi, etc. for profit considered stealing? If it is illegal, how can the original artist protect their work? Can art and media based off a preexisting character or universe be considered high art? Consider the relationship most Renaissance paintings have with the Bible. Can that be considered ‘fan art?’

    • You could also consider Bleedman and his Powerpuff Girl Dojinshi comics and Grom Adventures comics, both of which are quite popular. – Adnan Bey 8 years ago
    • This is a very interesting topic, but I think it might be a good idea to narrow down the work to a degree. For example, fitting different forms of art into one article maybe too large of an undertaken. The visual arts category itself is huge. I think one approach maybe to see how artists of the Renaissance protected themselves in comparison to the system we have today in western societies. – Arazoo Ferozan 8 years ago

    Fanart as High Art

    Considering most Renaissance art is actually ‘fan art’ of the Bible, what place does the upsurge in artistic renditions of pop culture have in the realm of ‘high art?’ Can the culture of online artists thriving on Tumblr and DeviantArt create traction in academic circles? The same could be asked of fanfiction — writers all over the world write novel-worthy offshoots of popular characters and stories. How can these creators of the 21st century gain recognition outside of the internet and their respective fanbase? Will it ever happen?

    • You'll also want to talk about whether fanfiction could be considered literature. The question here appears to be: can art that imitates art be considered art in its own right? – Kristian Wilson 9 years ago
    • This is a fascinating topic! I have to say, I'm kind of surprised that there isn't much scholarly interest in fan art, considering there is some academic discussion regarding fanfiction and fandoms. I think one thing you need to address is the legal aspect of this topic. Fanart and fanfiction are technically illegal, since they are derivative works. Many fanfictions are tolerated by authors of the original work, but only under the condition that the fanfic writers stay non-commercial. Some authors don't tolerate fanfiction at all. Same goes for fanart, I believe. So yeah, the illegality of these works might be a big reason as to why they don't get much attention, so it's worth looking into that. – ericg 9 years ago
    • I would say that a focus on either the art or the fictin would be preferable. Otherwise, this runs the risk of being too fleeting, and stretching across too many topics. – Francesca Turauskis 9 years ago
    • Very intriguing! I agree with ericg, there is the legal side to fanart and fanfiction to consider as copyright issues do restrict the artists and authors' ability to share their work. But in a way, both fanart and fanfiction are becoming their own categories in art and literature. Now instead of just talking about the two individually, you could compare fanart to fanfiction. How are they developing? Does one seem to have a higher popularity rate than the other? Another question you could ask is: why choose fanart/fiction? If the individual is as talented as they are, what drives them to choose to create something fandom-based instead of an original work? These would all be interesting points to explore. A side note, if you do decide to write about both fanart and fanfiction, I would revise your title, something to the extent of: "The Artists and Authors of Fandoms". – Megan Finsel 9 years ago