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Spring-Heeled Jack and Periodical Art

Victorian Periodicals are a treasure trove for stories, think pieces, and news. These mass-produced publications became increasingly popular in the 19th century British Empire.

But their illustrations often go unnoticed. 

In the 19th century, famed artists like George Cruikshank, Kate Greenaway, and W. Heath Robinson rendered tragic moments of gruesome murders, miracles, or monotonous news for periodicals. Even Queen Victoria once had a drawing published in The Strand Magazine. You might have come across them in history books and thought of them as simply recording history.

But they had wide-ranging effects that still influence us, like in the case of Spring-heeled Jack.

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Sybil Tawse: A Forgotten Golden Age Illustrator

Medea by Sybil Tawse

Today, I wanted to look at Sybil Tawse. One, she had a fabulous name. Two, I just found her while looking at some Talos stuff – yeah the big bronze guy. Her work is very much in the style of Heath Robinson and Edmund Dulac. And even though she doesn’t have their clout today, she was illustrating popular classics in an unabashedly “feminine” style in her day.

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Horrible Heroes: Theseus

Imagine a princess is about to help you defeat a beast. She’s mad into you but you’re not so into her. What do you do?

  1. Take her help but introduce her to your super chill friend Nathan later
  2. Refuse her help. You’re a hero, damn it.
  3. Take her help, lead her on, then abandon her off on a cannibal and drunk infested island.

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