Here is a piece of famous artwork by Wayne Anderson called 'Out of the Darkness'.

Out of the Darkness

This poster looks like a mash up of cartoons drawn from different fairy tales and other kids stories. Can you help me identifying the stories behind the image?

I don't know much about fairy tales. So far, here are my guesses

  • The cat of Alice in Wonderland
  • The girl might be Rapunzel. I say that only because the girl has long blond hair but I really don't know. I don't know if the "small flying lutin" is part of the Rapunzel story.
  • The moon with a party hat might be Humpty Dumpty...maybe.
  • The pretty singular small mouse under the moon might be a reference to Town mouse and country mouse
  • The bat at the upper left corner might come from Silverwing (althoguh the novel is a bit too recent compared to other references).
  • There are plenty of animals on the left. Maybe La Fontaine has to do something with them! The fox with his shrewd look might be Renart from Roman de Renart

What references are present in this image?

If a list helps, here is a non-exhaustive list of potential things to recognize:

  1. The crab-clock on the tree trunk on the far right
  2. The owl-riding mouse on the upper left
  3. The unicycling mouse at the center
  4. The mechanical flamingo
  5. The very long-legged bird
  6. The walking tree with long nose, long ears and a snake earing
  7. The gigantic tree with an ear
  8. The snake
  9. The butterflies
  10. The 7 animals pointing their head from the left side
  11. The fish-sign hanging from the tree
  12. The thin and straight plants with blue flowers that hang like candelabra lamps
  13. The girl I identified as Rapunzel with the flying lutin
  14. The mouse I identified as coming from Town mouse and country mouse
  15. The moon with a party hat I identified as Humpty Dumpty
  16. The cat I identified coming from Alice in Wonderland
  17. The bat I identified as coming from Silverwings
  18. The owl in the tree hole
  19. The mushrooms
  • 2
    The blurb for the album that this cover adorns says "Out Of The Darkness tells the story of Imma, a young goddess trapped in the Rounded Forest because she threatened the supremacy of Moloch on the World of Men. Initiated by the Snake King and the animals of the forest, she will find joy, wisdom and compassion but also magic, trickery and illusion, the astral secrets and the science of Numbers. At the end of her initiation, she will be knighted and guided to the Tree-Ear where she will cross the Darkness to re-enchant the world."
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 0:11
  • 2
    "The lavish gatefold sleeve features Wayne's astonishing fairytale-esque surreal art on the front and inner panels, making for one of the most striking examples of album packaging I have seen in a long while. (...) The tracks here draw from diverse influences whilst holding together as a cohesive album, the music perfectly complementing the amazing artwork
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 0:12
  • ogmusique.bandcamp.com/album/out-of-the-darkness
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 0:18
  • I've touched up the tags to make them suit our tagging policies.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


I think the girl, if she is not the protagonist, is Alice. Note that her eyes are closed; she is asleep under the tree. Although she is not wearing a ribbon in her hair or Alice's traditional pinafore dress, she has blond hair, as essentially all depictions of Alice do, following the original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel. The hair also just looks too short to be Rapunzel, in my opinion.

There is also a classic pixie that is hard to distinguish from the dress "Alice" is wearing.

Moreover, there is a classic long-nosed goblin face, with a much smaller body attached (carrying a candle just like two of the mice/rats), near the top center of the picture.

The others I can identify, keeping for a moment the numbering in the question (I or somebody else with better graphics skills can make a labeled figure later):

  1. crab clock (Even if this is a reference to something, these clocks are real.)
  2. ?
  3. To me, the canonical cycling mouse is Ralph S. Mouse from Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcyle, but I don't know that that would make sense here.
  4. This looks like a flamingo, also perhaps from Alice and Wonderland
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. The ear canal looks like it contains a fetus attached to an umbilicus.
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. Starting from the bottom, we have a hedgehog, strongly reminiscent of Spiny Norman from Monty Python; then a fox with a collar, looking like a classic trickster Reynard, or perhaps the specific fox from Beatrix Potter's *The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck; then a very small bird; then a badger (The Wind in the Willows?); then three more animals, two of which are clearly birds, but the middle one may not be.
  11. ?
  12. ?
  13. Alice
  14. ?
  15. ?
  16. ?
  17. ?
  18. ?
  19. ?

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