Category Archives: Retrofuturist Genre

Retro Raygun Art Pieces by Ryan Nagata of 3f Studios

I love rayguns. Not because I’m super into weaponry, but because I love a beautifully designs atompunk stylized raygun. Most often I only see them on magazine and book covers, relegated only to the imaginations of the past. But then I saw these amazing rayguns by Ryan Nagata and realized those imagined gadgets can actually be real. Well, as real as a replica.

Raygun by Ryan Nagata

Ryan is a director and artist living in Los Angeles. He makes many props and replicas, including some realistic Apollo space suits. As a part of 3F Studios he works with his collaborator George Edelman to make short films and web content.

Raygun by Ryan Nagata

Their stuff is impressive and definitely worth checking out if you’re into cosplay. I’m just amazed by these beautiful rayguns. Most are Ryan’s original design and he makes them because he loves the process of designing and building them. Unfortunately, they are not for sale, but you can check out this video of Adam Savage’s TESTED where he checks out these awesome pieces and learns more about Ryan’s process.

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Artist Spotlight: Eric Joyner’s Robots and Donuts

People who know me well know two things about me: I love retro robots and I love sweets. So when I started to see these fun paintings of robots and donuts on my Pinterest feed I had to find out who was behind them. A quick Google search revealed they’re by Eric Joyner, and this amazing pop art is his specialty.

Pandora's Box by Eric Joyner
Pandora’s Box by Eric Joyner

Eric’s quirky and fun art is sure to catch anyone’s eye with the anachronism of personified robot tin toys and larger than life donuts. But where do these kinds of ideas come from?
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Artist Spotlight: Indelible Ink Workshop’s Retro Scifi Prints and Posters

Night Rocket Oribital Lunar Nightclub Poster
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Indelible Ink Workshop is run by the couple Luke Minner and Naomi Wilson. Together they create beautiful wall art and posters, including vintage reproductions and original art pieces in art deco and art nouveau styles.

Explore Poster
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The Incredibles – Retrofuturist Review

A little background on what the Retrofuturist reviews will be: I don’t consider myself a critic, so these reviews will more focus on how the book, movie, TV show, etc. embody retrofuture elements or execute the retrofuturist genre and what I generally think about the piece. So here we go:

I had never seen Disney and Pixar’s 2004 film The Incredibles before last week. This is insane because 1) I love Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant and 2) I love Pixar. However, I’m not very interested in superhero or comic book movies in general, so the plot never really grabbed me. But after seeing some of the architecture and interior design of the film online, I decided I wanted to check it out.

Note: There may be some spoilers to follow, so if you’re like me and it takes you over a decade to watch a movie, be warned.

livingroom incredibles
Bob and Helen’s retro-furnished living room.

The Incredibles is about Bob and Helen Parr and their children Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack, who are “Supers” (humans with superpowers) trying to live bland suburban lives and hide their superpowers from a world that disapproves of them. Bob (the former Mr. Incredible) is completely dissatisfied with his new life, until he receives a message asking him to take on a secret mission to destroy a malfunctioning robot. Eventually he discovers this is all the evil plot of the super-villain Syndrome.
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Jonathan Larson’s Unknown Retrofuturistic Songs

Joanathan Larson is best known for his ground-breaking rock-opera Rent, but before that success he worked on a few other projects with more of a retrofuturist twist.

In summer 1989, producer Michael Barrett invited Larson to participate in a project for American Music Theatre Festival called Sitting on the Edge of the Future. It was a collection of music by various theater composers based on the “city of the future” featured at the 1939 World’s Fair.

Larson wrote a humorous song called “Hosing the Furniture” about a woman living cleaning her all plastic house while contemplating her own insecurities with herself and her relationship with her husband.

Though the rest of the show (and the show itself) seems to be mostly forgotten, Larson’s contribution was not and he received the Stephen Sondheim Award for “Hosing the Furniture”.

No official recordings of the song are publicly available, but you can get a taste of this song from University of Michigan Musical Theatre student Dani Spieler:

At the time, Larson was working on a new musical called Superbia, inspired by the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. The futuristic rock show never saw a full production.

The story of his struggles writing and workshopping Superbia are recounted in his rock monologue tick, tick… BOOM!, which included one of the original Superbia songs “Come to Your Senses”.

Thanks to the Larson estate and the Library of Congress, a demo of another song from the show was released as a part of the CD Jonathan Sings Larson called “LCD Readout”.

The full collection of Larson’s papers, including scores and demo recordings of “Hosing the Furniture” and Superbia are available at the Library of Congress.

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