A submarine captain looking through binoculars sees a new wave and thinks “Oh, no!”
This image is a multilayered pun. The wave is visually heading in the same direction as the original Japanese Wave print while also heading AWAY from the submarine.
The Great Wave off Kanagawa (神奈川沖浪裏 かながわおきなみうら Kanagawa-oki nami ura, lit. ”Under a wave off Kanagawa“), also known as The Great Wave or simply The Wave, is a woodblock print by the Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. Wikipedia.
Ian Gunn’s image is also making a music reference: the New Wave is a genre encompassing numerous pop-oriented music styles popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock (Wikipedia). And if you’ve been following Ian Gunn’s work, you’ll know he loves puns.
The backstory behind these silly illos
Ian Gunn, creator of these silly illos (illustrations), was an award-winning artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Cancer took him too soon. But his legacy includes numerous illustrations for zines, books and even school textbooks.
Victoria’s science fiction convention, Continuum, occasionally presents the Ian Gunn Memorial Award recognising the ‘unsung heroes’ of fandom. Recipients work in obscurity for years without recognition. This award commemorates Ian’s selfless efforts to reach out to others, encouraging others and thereby building the science fiction community.
K’rin Pender-Gunn, Ian’s widow, gave Dark Matter Zine permission to republish Ian’s artwork. Thanks, K’rin!