Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

The art of Frank Tinsley is a near-perfect visualization of Dieselpunk and accompanying sub-genres.

Last week we've seen his Bill Barnes covers, glorifying aviation and aviators. These "pulp" images made before the advent of toothbrush (not to mention computer graphics!) would make a lot of present-day "serious illustrators" bite their lips (and / or nails) in envy. Then the war came, and Tinsley created his Yankee Doodle / Captain Yank:

And after the war he joined the Mechanix Illustrated team. Some of his early paintings for the magazine look 30-ish:

But it was a new era (Cold War, arms race, atomic energy) and Tinsley expressed American fears:

as well as American expectations - helicopters for the people,

copter police,

clean energy,

atomic railcars,

and propeller-driven trains (yes, the faulty 1930s concept was still popular):

His illustrations balanced between science and pulp:

He was clearly interested in space exploration:



And one of his later works is a clear tribute to pre-war Tomorrow That Never Was:

You'd expect to see something like this in a 1936 magazine. But it's signed: 1961.

Good old Frank Tinsley who changed with the times but remained faithful to himself.

There's more in the album. Browse it or enjoy the slideshow:

Find more photos like this on Dieselpunks

Special thanks to the ModernMechanix and to x-ray delta one @ Flickr

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Comment by Jean-Luc deVere on April 23, 2011 at 4:18am
This is so awesome! thanks for posting.
Comment by Velvet Cyberpunk on April 22, 2011 at 7:40pm
This is so awesome! thanks for posting. I don't know why dieselpunk and atompunk turns me on, but it sure does.
Comment by William on April 19, 2011 at 12:46am
propeller-driven trains are amazing
even if faulty
Comment by Larry on April 18, 2011 at 8:07pm
God I love the retro-futurism pulp art. It's amazing what he got right and what he got wrong. So much didn't happen but the polar waves makes me think of concerns of global warming and the Super Wind Mill reminds me of our conversion to Green economy.
Comment by lord_k on April 18, 2011 at 4:18pm
I still remember The Flaming Island. Read it when I was in school, thirty-something years ago. There were some illustrations, rather scary.
Comment by Andrew V. No on April 18, 2011 at 4:01pm
I like it! It's like the worlds of the famous Soviet science fiction writer Alexandr Kazantsev like as "The Flaming Island". Kazantsev is really dieselpunk writer because he wrote about  atomic planes, EMI guns, giant land battleships.
Comment by Cameron Henry on April 18, 2011 at 12:42pm
These are fantastic, I love good atom-punk.
Comment by Doc Spencer on April 18, 2011 at 11:49am

Love theses pictures! They remind me of old, old comics my Nan used to have when I was a kid.


Comment by Pilsner Panther on April 18, 2011 at 9:56am
Okay, so where's my personal helicopter? I'm still waiting.

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