Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dark Deco: A New Dieselpunk Flavor

Recently I posted a series about some changes to the Dieselpunk Cookbook. Since that time a new flavor has come to my attention that I had missed: Dark Deco.

According to the DC Comics Media website:
"Dark deco is an animation style created by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski used in Batman: The Animated Series. They knew that Batman was a dark character so the two of them knew the show had to be dark as well. Backgrounds would be painted on black paper and anything that was black in the show was left unpainted. Kids WB once told Bruce Timm that his show was so dark he was about to reach the legal limit of how dark his show could be."

Dark Deco Art
Batman: The Animated Series Logo Fan-made by Vleermuisman, Fair use,

Dark Deco Photographic Art
"See Shanghai transformed into a real-life Gotham City" Photogallery at CNN
See the entire series here.

Dark Deco Fashion
"The notion of elevated luxury has been one that has driven design for generations. With a slant towards the decadent and ways of elevating classic style, Dark Deco starts with the 1930s where plenty of grandiose was the norm. Mix in the romance of 1980s New Wave, with exaggerated silhouettes and a novel approach of blurring the lines between genders and even formality, and you get a fresh presence that’s as poetic as it is edgy." - Shop The Floor web site

One might describe Dark Deco as being midway between the flavors of Gothic Dieselpunk and Decopunk for it seems to have elements of both. I'm sure that I'll be writing more about this in the near future for I find this new flavor to be very tasty.


Jonny B. Goode said...

From Wikipedia:

The visual style of the series [Batman: The Animated Series] was based on the artwork of [Eric] Radomski, and the gothic look of Gotham City was derived from his initial designs. In addition, Radomski issued a standing order to the animation department that all backgrounds be painted using light colors on black paper (as opposed to the industry standard of dark colors on white paper). The distinctive visual combination of "noir" imagery and Art Deco design was dubbed "Dark Deco" by the producers.

Jonny B. Goode said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonny B. Goode said...

Dark Deco sits astride the twin towers of Ottensian utopia and Piecraftian dystopia. At its height we see the aloof world of billionaires, captains of industry and purported paladins of the law. Underneath, however, we find the dark decay of desperate men in desperate situations, and the ever-present threat of rampant crime of both the organized and disorganized variety.

"Together we can make this city safe for decent people..." - D.A. Harvey Dent
"Decent people shouldn't live here. They'd be happier someplace else." - gangster Jack Napier

Jonny B. Goode said...

Here's a short video interviewing the creators on the style. (Apparently taken from a longer documentary that I am unable to locate.)

Jonny B. Goode said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry Amyett, Jr said...

Thank you for all of the great info, John!

Jonny B. Goode said...

Dark City could be Dark Deco, and Bioshock is Dark Deco mixed with biopunk.