Wiped out!

Wiped out!

Warwick Goble

Photomechanical reproduction of a watercolour

7¾ x 5 inches

H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, serialized in Pearson’s Magazine, 3 (Jan–June 1897): facing 599.

The Martians’ merciless destructiveness is visualized by Goble’s dramatic representation of a heat-ray destroying a British artillery piece. The powerlessness of what was then the world’s most powerful army is graphically underlined – the Martians are irresistible. As usual with this series, the design has an abstract quality, depicting the moment in terms of contrasted diagonals: the hat-ray cuts from right to left while the explosion radiates white lines; even the spiky trees add to the effect of sharp weapons cutting the world apart.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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