Home > Uncategorized > Does my Dune have pictures?

Does my Dune have pictures?

February 1, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

So I reshared a collection of images from the David Lynch Dune movie and I noted that Lynch’s vision wasn’t what my Dune looked like… and Joshua Blackketter asked what does my Dune look like?

Well. Even though it was probably the book that made me decide to go to art school, I never actually made any pictures of it I was happy with. So I’m going to have to show a bunch of other people’s art that still isn’t my vision but which I think is fantastic. Thus:

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 11.58.46 PM DuneCarry_all

First I think Lynch’s Carryall is unimprovable. No apologies, no explanations for how it hangs in the sky: it does so by sheer  industrial charisma. The only misstep is that the spice harvester has nothing in common with its superb brutality of form. But that’s because the perfect, complementary sandcrawler had already been used in a bigger scifi epic a few years before:


The stillsuits, the Fremen, even the Bene Gesserit I have no problem with. Lynch’s guild navigator (start at 3:20 or 4:10 if you’re impatient) is straight up the best thing ever seen in any science fiction film, narrowly beating Princess Aura’s costume in Flash Gordon and Chris Tucker’s hair in Fifth Element. But the Mentats and the Harkonnens… I just wasn’t buying them. Fortunately Moebius’s designs for Jodorowsky are freaking amazing:

baron rabban feyd

That’s the Baron, Rabban and Feyd (in heels!). Imma say that again: Feyd in heels. Melnibonean.

sardaukar2 sardaukar3 piter

Sardaukar guards. And Piter, the Baron’s Mentat-assassin. All from duneinfo.


Thufir, the Atreides’ Mentat… I’m less convinced about, even though I love the Pieter Stuyvesant callout with the wooden leg. Really the only other character I’ve seen who I think would make a great Mentat is that creepy dude from Game of Thrones.

Sandworms are the best thing evar in the book, but every illustration I’ve seen of them has only been ho hum. The consensus Penis Worm is OK I guess once you get over the whole penis thing.

Sheeanaandworm Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 9.31.32 PM ku-medium

In my game I have hot glass worms as a partial homage to Dune but adapted for my electroradiant hellscape (and riding them presents several novel engineering challenges). In that spirit, these are my faves:

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 11.54.32 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 11.54.57 PMdune_arising_sandworm_by_philippel-d5jsq2s

though if I were to draw one it would be blunt-ended, almost completely submerged, and more like a tunnel drill than a star-mouthed lamprey.

And the architecture. Lynch is pretty good. These are also good:

dunepix Dune8

but you know what I would love?

12 citadel walls merv13 merv14Great_Mosque_of_Djenné_1 IMG_3083 737691985_1be4a5c55a hotw_vardizacaves1 858053xixia-mausoleum-tomb-tower_0

Finally, ornithopters. Lynch et al said that flapping planes look crap, but I think Miyazaki pretty much nailed it – they’re not birds but dragonflies:

laputa_castle_in_the_sky_002 Weirdest thing: they actually work.

And there’s no shortage of orthoptera out there, via Jodorowsky among others, from the graceful to the charmingly awkward:

Ornithopter dune_ornithopter_by_ilya_b-d36rl91 DUNE_Spotter_AnimTest 1370425299136

but my favourite by far is this incredibly cheeky one in a set of custom minis:


43868-Conversion, Dune, Flyer, Flying, Ornithoptor, Star Wars 43873_md-ornithopter underside bow port 43876_md-Ornithopter Rear

My own would have cantilevered counterweights flapping opposite the wings and would be a health and safety nightmare.

Finally finally, apparently Frank Herbert himself really favoured Schoenherr’s magnificently moody paintings. I like ’em too, but I’m a child of the 80s: I like my science fantasy illustration more informative and detailed. Still, you gotta admire his Vladimir Harkonnen: dripping with menace, yet PG:


  1. February 1, 2014 at 2:23 am

    This is what you get from a broad education in classical Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Good art, good annotations. And more fodder for my pics folder.

  2. February 1, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Nice collection.

    I think the “wow” sand worm is still waiting to be found though.

  3. drakharios
    February 2, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    nice! this is my first time to see the Moebius designs, so this post was really fun for me to read. love the west african architecture idea for Dune.

  4. February 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    While I like Moebius’s designs I find them a bit excessive when compared with the books descriptions of the characters. While the designs in Lynch’s films don’t specifically match the text, they do recall the WWI era for the Lawrence of Arabia-inspired tale Herbert was spinning.

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