BLOG You’ll Be Safe Here

This is an image by comic artist Dean Trippe. It’s called ”You’ll Be Safe Here”.

It’s available as a wallpaper, and a print, and I would very, very strongly recommend you pick it up because, well, look at the thing. Dean has packed it so full of the greatest characters in modern pop culture and genre fiction that I actually lost count. Even better, he’s placed them in ways that suggest stories we’ve not even seen. John Constantine hanging out with Morpheus, Jack O’Neill and Pete Venkman clearly having a droll off in the bottom right hand corner and Lois Lane and Barbara Gordon, two of the driving forces of the DC universe, front and centre by the console.

Then there’s Wesley Crusher hanging out with Harry Potter (and is Wesley holding Indiana Jones’ hat?), Mal and the Crow in the middle distance, Sherlock and Indy and Lion-O and He-Man standing shoulder to shoulder… the list goes on and on.

Then there are the subtle little character beats that focus on the child in the centre of the image; Doctor 11 greeting them a little formally, Superman, ever the farm boy, giving a big friendly wave and Batman, his arm quietly, but assuringly, around the kid’s shoulder. The message is in their actions as much as it is in the title: you’ll be safe here. It’s an astonishing piece of work by an astonishing artist who’s clearly as desperately fond of what happens when you combine stories as I am. After all, Dean also produced this:

I would watch the living hell out of that show.

I found this piece on tumblr, via morganoperandi. Morgan’s post about it is, well, it’s perfect. Morgan talks about geek culture, why it should be an incredibly positive force, what happens when it isn’t and what we can all try and do to change that. It’s short, simple, inspiring and, frankly, essential reading.

This amazing infinite toybox we all have access to is, far too often, a pretty depressing place to be. One day it’s the pain of something you love being cancelled, the next you’re being shouted down because you haven’t been a fan as long as someone else has and, for some frankly bizarre reason, that means you’re not allowed to have an opinion. Then there’s the causal marginalisation of your gender, your ethnicity, your sexuality, your body type or the growing fear that if you say anything it’ll either be ignored or, worse still, noticed. Let’s face it, there are open wars in a lot of areas of fandom, pretty much all the time, and the offhand bullying that can go hand in hand with them drives people away even as others run towards it yelling ‘FIGHT! FIGHT!’ We can, and should, be better than this. We can, and should, all be safe here. Thanks to Dean and Morgan for providing such a powerful reminder of that.

Alasdair Stuart

“You’ll Be Safe Here” print: http://society6.com/DeanTrippe/Youll-Be-Safe-Here_Print

• Dean Trippe’s homepage: http://deantrippe.com/

Morgan Operandi on Tumblr: http://morganoperandi.tumblr.com/post/49185063851/thehappysorceress-deantrippe-youll-be-safe