Swedish illustrator Simon Stålenhag brings to life an imaginary countryside populated by robots, tech dinosaurs, and all forms of mechanical invader.
There’s an unsettling, cinematic quality to the Scandinavian landscape. The eerie quiet, juxtaposed with vast untouched beauty, has often made it the perfect backdrop for horror-thrillers like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Let The Right One In, as well as popular tv shows Wallander and The Bridge (now an English-language Netflix favorite). Inspired by his surroundings, and utilizing “retro-Scandinavian” styles, Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag has brought to life an imaginary countryside populated by robots, tech dinosaurs, and all forms of mechanical invader. Digitally painted, his images have made the rounds with sci-fi and fantasy fans, but remained elusive in mass-produced form—until now. Recently Stålenhag and Free League Publishing announced a Kickstarter project for two new fine art graphic novels filled with Stålenhag’s images of a dystopian robot world, paired with English-language short stories. Below, hold tight to your blue plastic Ikea bags and scroll through some of our favorite nordic nightmare images.