Nick Ottens is the owner and editor of Never Was magazine. An historian by training, he works for an international consultancy and writes about political and international affairs for the Atlantic Sentinel.
Did you know many of the strange German warplanes we see in dieselpunk are based on real designs?
As World War II drew to a close in Europe, Nazi Germany rushed the development of advanced bombers and fighter jets in a final effort to stop the Allies. From the world’s first operational turbojet fighter to a flying wing, some of these technologies were so far ahead of their time that Allied commanders speculated the Germans could have turned the tide of the war if only they had managed to prolong it by a few months. Continue reading “Strange Aircraft of the Third Reich: Real and Imagined”
Sam van Olffen’s world is one where we have allowed technology to take over. His is a brutal vision of big machines, pollution and war, whether it is in the form of a steampunk’d version of Henri-Paul Motte’s portrait of Cardinal Richelieu at the Siege of La Rochelle or a Nazi victory parade across the Thames.
Massive diesel-powered airships dueling in the sky. It sounds like winning formula and there is a lot to like about Skies of Fire, the four-part (so far) comic series created by Vincenzo Ferriero and Ray Chou.
The art, by Pablo Peppino, is perfect for a dieselpunk story: crisp and elegant.
The setting — the fictional Aquilan Empire, inspired by early-twentieth-century Britain — is marvelous.
The mystery at the heart of the story — a never-ending storm called The Expanse, which sky pirates call their home — is an inspiration.
Alexey Lipatov hasn’t done a lot of dieselpunk art recently, but some of his earlier work definitively had an impact on the genre. You can see how it combines streamline industrial design with World War II-era, pulp-style characters. Continue reading “The Art of Alexey Lipatov”
What got me hooked was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003, then discovering it was based on a graphic novel (which was even better), and then discovering that there was an entire genre of this stuff.
Angelique Shelley is a South African artist living in the United Kingdom, who noticed a preponderance of Western characters and influences in steampunk. Her work helps remedy that imbalance. Continue reading “The Art of Angelique Shelley”
As soon as the Second World War was over, military strategists started planning for the next one.
Life magazine reported in its November 19, 1945 edition that the head of the United States Air Force, General Henry H. Arnold, had warned that technologies developed during the last war — atomic bombs, ballistic missile, long-range bombers — could make possible “the ghastliest of all wars.”
The destruction caused by nuclear weapons would be so swift and terrible that a “war might well be decided in 36 hours.”
There is an obvious Sky Captain influence in Waldemar von Kozak’s art: big flying machines, robots, German villains. It feels more decodence than dark, Piecraftian dieselpunk, reminiscent of midcentury Modern Mechanix and Popular Science covers, yet his is also clearly a world at war. Continue reading “The Art of Waldemar von Kozak”