Black Dragon Press’ latest is this Watership Down poster by Peter Diamond. While the classic story is one that is dark and bleak, Diamond’s take is one that touches upon the story’s tension wile giving it a sense of wonder awe. I like the almost storybook aspect of the aesthetic, with the darkest parts of the composition saved for striking contrast.

Watership Down is on sale this Thursday, March 12 at 3PM GMT at Black Dragon Press.

Watership Down Regular Peter Diamond Print Shot Watership Down Regular Peter Diamond 2 Watership Down Regular Peter Diamond 1Reg / 18″ x 35″ / 9 color screen print / Hand numbered / Edition of 150 / £40 ($60 US)

Watership Down Variant Peter Diamond Print Shot Watership Down Variant Peter Diamond 6 Watership Down Variant Peter Diamond 5Var / 18″ x 35″ / 9 color screen print / Hand numbered / Edition of 50 / £65 ($98 US)

From Diamond: When I read Watership Down some years ago I already had dim, bloody memories of the 1978 animated adaptation, so I wasn’t shocked by the violence in the book as I expect many were who read it unprepared. But what I hadn’t expected was the thick, dark vein of fear that runs through the story from the very beginning. Adams went deep with it, building an occult kind of mythology for the rabbits including a dark underworld and a heavenly kingdom, represented by the moon (Inlé) and the sun (Frith) respectively.

The character who best reflects this is Fiver, by far my favourite in the story. He’s caught between the underworld and the living world, and his clairvoyant fear is in some respects the basis for the entire story. The little rabbit in these posters is Fiver, sensing but not quite seeing the danger beneath his feet.  In the Regular edition he stands under the sun at mid-day (Ni-Frith), in the Variant under the moon at midnight (Fu Inlé).

I’ve introduced other elements from the story as well; the shining snare wires, the spirits of rabbits long since gone in the ground, the spectre of the Black Rabbit Of Inlé, and even the wheels of the steam train and the face of Kehaar. See if you can find them!

SG