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Blurring the Lines

Blurring the Lines


Mechanical Vampire

'El Avion Num. 13,' from Los Vampiros del Aire, No. 29, selection from front cover, c. 1930, Casals, José Maria Canellas, published by Ediciones Marco: Barcelona, Spain

The half-men 'vampires' represented in this series acquire their animal appendages from machines. Like an early version of a jet pack, the mechanical wings provide the advantage of flight. Unfortunately, bandits acquire this boon and wreck havoc upon normal humans. The addition of blood-red masks and jump-suits, intended to conceal their identity, further reduces any impression of humanity. The vampire on this cover page unmuzzles a dog – yes, it does look like a panther – to attack a young man.



Historiae Naturalis de Quadrupedibus Libri. Cum Aeneis Figuris. Johannes Jonstonus, Medicinae Doctor, Concinnavit, selection from Plate 40, 1657, Jonstonus, Johannes, published by Apud Ioannem Iacobi Fil. Schipper: Amstelodami, Netherlands

Somewhat deviating from the entertaining tales of postmodern creatures, this pair of merpeople demonstrates the presence of such mystical creatures in scientific books of natural history. Placing the mermen within a chapter of and on a page filled with fish, the author clearly categorizes this creature with its scaly half. Strangely, the two beings seem to be communicating by speech and hand gestures, which would normally indicate humanity.