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14 Enjoyable Fan Art Mashups

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KyleLambert.co.uk

One of the greatest things about fan art mash ups is that each picture can paint a story that our minds immediately want to start filling in with the details we know about the existing creations. In fact, some of the images make us long for a full length feature exploring the combination of two completely different worlds. Here are a few of the greatest and geekiest mashups around.

1. Futurama/X-Men

There are tons of Futurama art mashups, but this one, by DeviantArt user gottabecarl, is by far the best if only for the amazing number of characters he managed to work into one creation. Now that is one dedicated fan.

2. X-Men/A Christmas Story

What happens when Wolverine is “triple dog dared” to lick Iceman’s chest in this image by Jason Welborn? The same thing that happens to poor Flick in A Christmas Story. Fortunately for Wolverine, while it will still hurt like crazy to pull his tongue free, at least his mutant healing powers will allow him to walk away without a bandage tied to his tongue.

3. Avengers/Spongebob Squarepants

There was tons of Avengers fan art created after the film was released last summer, but when it comes to fun mashups, it’s hard to beat the combination of superheroes with Spongebob’s underwater world by Alex Ryan. While Sandy could probably hold her own, it’s pretty hard to imagine the rest of this team doing much damage against Planki’s evil hordes.

4. The Gals of Gotham/Disney Princesses

In a way, it’s too bad that Disney bought Marvel rather than DC, because as DeviantArt user BrowncoatFiction has discovered, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman all make pretty great princesses. I particularly like the idea of Princess Catwoman going around stealing the jewels of the other Disney princesses.

5. Ren & Stimpy/Batman

In a world where the best superhero has a head made from powdered toast and flies backwards as the people he rescues grab on his butt, would it really be that bad if a moronic cat and grumpy chihuahua had all of Batman’s wonderful gadgets? Of course, as creator Steven Howard points out, the pair might be too self-involved and lazy to actually get out of their Bat Cave very often.

6. Boba Fett/Batman

The great thing about Plino Pinto’s Star Wars/Batman creation is that, in this scenario, Batman has either turned bounty hunter or Boba Fett has turned into a hero. Either way, the resulting story would certainly be fascinating.

7. Spider-Man/Kirby

If Kirby really did inherit Spider-Man’s powers like he does in this artwork by DeviantArt user soulrailer, just imagine how powerful he could become—particularly when fighting against other Nintendo icons in Super Smash Bros.

8. Adventure Time/Skyrim

Finn and Jake are all about video games and kicking butt, so really, they’d probably love playing Skyrim, and if Finn could make himself into the Dovahfinn—like in this great design by DeviantArt user radiostarkiller—then he’d be that much happier.

9. Wall-E/Star Wars


One of the best things about this creation by James Silvani is that he didn’t take the easy road to make Wall-E and EVE into droids. Instead he cast the two lovers as another great set of sci-fi romantics—Princess Leia and Han Solo.

10. Toy Story/The Shining

What happens when you take one of Stephen King’s most famous stories and replace all the characters with toys? You get Kyle Lambert’s Toy Shining. And fortunately for us, Kyle didn’t just limit himself to one or two images, but instead captured a variety of the greatest scenes—from the “All work and no play” typewriter, to “Here’s Johnny,” to the creepy twin girls. He’s translated it all into the world of Toy Story.

11. Muppets/Lord of the Rings

Despite his size, Sweetums is such a kind character that I can’t help but feel that this Lord of the Rings mashup by Justin Larocca Hansen actually depicts more of a hide-and-go-seek scenario than a fear-filled scene where these Muppets are hiding for their lives.

12. Harry Potter/Doctor Who

This blend of sci-fi and fantasy seems odd when you really think about it, but somehow Matt Smith’s boyish charms and the mysterious workings of the TARDIS make this mashup by Jeffrey Delgado work surprisingly well.

13. Doctor Who/The Wizard of Oz

If Simon Breeze’s Cyberman only had a heart, then he’d almost certainly need another upgrade, because as any fully functional Cyberman will tell you, emotions only make you weak.

14. Doctor Who/Wallace and Gromit

In a way, Tom Baker’s cheerful and goofy version of the Doctor really does make him perfect for a Wallace and Gromit cartoon staring the Doctor and K-9. If only Roger Langridge could work together with the BBC and Nick Park to make this a reality.

If these stories became realities, which would you want to watch? Also, do any of you have some ideas for great mashups—even if you don’t have the artistic abilities to make them yourself?

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The King of Kong © Jim Naughten. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery
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geography
The Mountains of Kong: The Majestic West African Range That Never Existed
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The King of Kong © Jim Naughten. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

If you look closely at a 19th century map of Africa, you’ll notice one major way that it differs from contemporary maps, one that has nothing to do with changing political or cartographical styles. More likely than not, it features a mountain range that no longer appears on modern maps, as WIRED explains. Because it never existed in the first place.

A 19th century map of West Africa
From Milner's Descriptive Atlas, 1850

The “Mountains of Kong” appeared on almost every major commercial map of Africa in the 1800s, stretching across the western part of the continent between the Gulf of Guinea and the Niger River. This mythical east-west mountain range is now the subject of an art exhibition at London’s Michael Hoppen Gallery.

In "Mountains of Kong," stereoscopic images by artist Jim Naughten—the same format that allowed Victorians with wanderlust to feel like they’d seen the world—reveal his view of the world of wildlife that might have existed inside the imagined mountains. As the gallery describes it, “he imagines a fictitious record made for posterity and scientific purposes during an expedition of the mountain range.” We’ve reproduced the images here, but to get the full effect, you’ll have to go to the gallery in person, where you can view them in 3D with a stereoscope (like the ones you no doubt played with as a kid).

Toucans fight a snake in two almost-identical side-by-side images.
The Toucans © Jim Naughten. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Naughten created the images by taking two photographs for each, and moving the camera over some 3 inches for the second photo to make a stereoscopic scene. The landscapes were created by shooting images of Scottish and Welsh mountains and dioramas in natural history museums, using Photoshop to change the hues of the images to make them seem more otherworldly. His blue-and-pink-hued images depict fearsome apes, toucans sparring with snakes, jagged peaks, and other scenes that seem both plausible and fantastical at the same time.

The Mountains of Kong appeared in several hundred maps up until the 20th century. The first, in 1798, was created by the prominent geographer James Rennell to accompany a book by Scottish explorer Mungo Park about his first journey to West Africa. In it, Park recounts gazing on a distant range, and “people informed me, that these mountains were situated in a large and powerful kingdom called Kong.” Rennell, in turn, took this brief observation and, based on his own theories about the course of the Niger River, drew a map showing the mountain range that he thought was the source of the river. Even explorers who later spent time in the area believed the mountains existed—with some even claiming that they crossed them.

Two colobuses stand in a tree on a mountaintop.
The Colobus © Jim Naughten. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

The authority of the maps wasn’t questioned, even by those who had been to the actual territory where they were depicted as standing. Writers began to describe them as “lofty,” “barren,” and “snow-covered.” Some said they were rugged granite peaks; others described them as limestone terraces. In almost all cases, they were described as “blue.” Their elevation ranged from 2500 feet to 14,000 feet, depending on the source. Over the course of the 19th century, “there was a general southward ‘drift’ in the location,” as one pair of scholars put it.

Though geographers cast some doubt on the range’s existence as time went on, the Mountains of Kong continued to appear on maps until French explorer Louis-Gustave Binger’s Niger River expedition between 1887 and 1889, after which Binger definitively declared their nonexistence.

By 1891, the Mountains of Kong began dropping off of maps, though the name Kong still appeared as the name of the region. By the early 20th century, the mountains were gone for good, fading into the forgotten annals of cartographic history.

[h/t WIRED]

All images courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery.

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10 Fun Facts About Play-Doh
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As any Play-Doh aficionado knows, September 16th is National Play-Doh Day! Let's pay tribute to your favorite modeling clay with some fun facts about the childhood play staple that began life as a cleaning product.

1. IT WAS FIRST SOLD AS WALLPAPER CLEANER.

Before kids were playing with Play-Doh, their parents were using it to remove soot and dirt from their wall coverings by simply rolling the wad of goop across the surface.

2. IF IT WEREN'T FOR CAPTAIN KANGAROO, PLAY-DOH MIGHT NEVER HAVE TAKEN OFF.

When it was just a fledgling company with no advertising budget, inventor Joe McVicker talked his way in to visit Bob Keeshan, a.k.a Captain Kangaroo. Although the company couldn’t pay the show outright, McVicker offered them two percent of Play-Doh sales for featuring the product once a week. Keeshan loved the compound and began featuring it three times weekly.

3. MORE THAN 3 BILLION CANS OF PLAY-DOH HAVE BEEN SOLD.

Since 1956, more than 3 billion cans of Play-Doh have been sold. That’s enough to reach the Moon and back a total of three times. (Not bad for a wallpaper cleaner.)

4. IT USED TO COME IN JUST ONE COLOR.

Photo of child's hands playing with Play-Doh clay
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Back when it was still a household product, Play-Doh came in just one dud of a color: off-white. When it hit stores as a toy in the 1950s, red, blue, and yellow were added. These days, Play-Doh comes in nearly every color of the rainbow—more than 50 in total—but a consumer poll revealed that fans' favorite colors are Rose Red, Purple Paradise, Garden Green, and Blue Lagoon.

5. FOR QUITE SOME TIME, DR. TIEN LIU HAD A JOB SKILL NO ONE ELSE IN THE WORLD COULD CLAIM: PLAY-DOH EXPERT.

Dr. Tien Liu helped perfect the Play-Doh formula for the original company, Rainbow Crafts, and stayed on as a Play-Doh Expert when the modeling compound was purchased by Kenner and then Hasbro.

6. YOU CAN SMELL LIKE PLAY-DOH.

Want to smell like Play-Doh? You can! To commemorate the compound’s 50th anniversary, Demeter Fragrance Library worked with Hasbro to make a Play-Doh fragrance, which was developed for “highly-creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood.”

7. HASBRO RECENTLY TRADEMARKED THE SCENT.

Anyone who has ever popped open a fresh can of Play-Doh knows that there’s something extremely distinctive about the smell. It’s so distinctive that, in early 2017, Hasbro filed for federal protection in order to trademark the scent, which the company describes as “a unique scent formed through the combination of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough.”

8. IT CAN CREATE A PRETTY ACCURATE FINGERPRINT.

When biometric scanners were a bit more primitive, people discovered that you could make a mold of a person’s finger, then squish Play-Doh in the mold to make a replica of the finger that would actually fool fingerprint scanners. Back in 2005, it was estimated that Play-Doh could actually fool 90 percent of all fingerprint scanners. But technology has advanced a lot since then, so don’t go getting any funny ideas. Today's more sophisticated systems aren’t so easily tricked by the doughy stuff.

9. IT HOLDS A PLACE IN THE NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME.

Unsurprisingly, Play-Doh holds a coveted place in the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. It was inducted in 1998. According to the Hall of Fame, “recent estimates say that kids have played with 700 million pounds of Play-Doh."

10. YOU CAN TURN YOUR PLAY-DOH CREATIONS INTO ANIMATED CHARACTERS.

While Play-Doh may be a classic toy, it got a state-of-the-art upgrade in 2016, when Hasbro launched Touch Shape to Life Studio, an app that lets kids turn their Play-Doh creations into animated characters.

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