Where to Next?

Where to Next?

And why, pray tell, is that unfriendly-looking creature the only way you have of escaping? Also…what or who are you escaping, exactly?

That’s right, friends, we’re back with another Gizmodo Concept Art Writing Prompt, designed to jostle your creative juices into contributing a bit of short fiction for everyone to enjoy in the comments. Our inspiration image comes once again from the British Library’s public domain Flickr archive, a veritable rabbit hole of weird vintage illustrations that could help dislodge any fiction author who’s found themselves stuck in the zone of zero inspiration. (Seriously, bookmark it.)

This particular illustration by G. Gaul dates to 1888, and the work it’s taken from — a serialised novel published posthumously in Harper’s Weekly — is Canadian author James De Mille’s delightfully titled A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder. So while there is a story out there explaining what’s going on in that illustration, we want to know what you think about when you see those figures, that bird, and that curious caption.

And you know what? Since it’s the end of the year and all, I’m tossing in a bonus image, simply because I can’t get it out of my head.

HELP (Illustration: British Library, Fair Use)HELP (Illustration: British Library, Fair Use)

This is taken from the 1854 publication “Simple Hans and other funny pictures and stories,” a title that seems to suggest it’s aimed at the kiddies despite that vaguely threatening combination of art and words. Is this a Bat Boy origin story? You tell us!

Concept artists, want your work featured on Gizmodo for a concept art writing prompt? Email us at tips@io9.com, with the subject line “Concept art writing prompt.”