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Exclusive: The Surreal Concept Art of "Southland Tales"

Everything from MegaZeppelin schematics to fictional porn DVD covers.
Art by Kasra Farahani

Not every movie demands Karl Marx street signs, schematics for a giant airship, renderings for a government-run domestic surveillance agency, box art for a fictional porno starring Buffy. But then again, not every movie is Richard Kelly's 2007 cult sensation flop, the time-travel apocalypse musical Southland Tales.

Art was central to Kelly's bizarre vision from the beginning, and it turned out to be crucial for understanding the whole story. A set of graphic novels he imagined, he told me, he "always intended to be blueprints for an animated prequel that would lead to a final extended cut of the whole film." If you haven't yet been down the rabbit hole of Southland Tales yet, let this (or the feature story I wrote) be proof: you don't need to have seen the movie to find Kelly's future visions eerily, unsettingly familiar.


Art by Zachary Fannin

Homepage for, the Neo-Marxist underground's secret online network targeting USIDENT, the government's secret digital surveillance program
Neo-Marxist graffiti.
Box art for Cockchuggers 2, one of Krysta Now's starring vehicles.
Cover art for Teen Horniness Is Not A Crime, Krysta Now's debut single.

Art by Ron Cobb:

Schematics for the Jenny von Westphalen, Baron von Westphalen's MegaZeppelin.
More MegaZeppelin schematics.

Art by Jay Kelly:

Detail from Resolve, a painting used in promotions for Southland Tales.
Resolve in full.

Art by Alec Hammond

The Neo-Marxist headquarters.
Utopia 3, Baron von Westphalen's L.A. energy factory.
General concept for Santa Monica Pier.

Art by Kasra Farahani

Utopia 3.

Art by Martin Mercer:

Storyboards for the intro.
Storyboards from the climax.
Storyboards for the MegaZeppelin's destruction.
Riot police during the climax.

Art by Priscilla Elliott

Org-chart for USIDENT, the government domestic surveillance agency.
Thematic concept art for Krysta Now's posse.
Neo-Marxist graffiti.
More Neo-Marxist graffiti.
Marx and the pig.

More on Southland Tales

Unraveling the Apocalypse of 'Southland Tales'

Richard Kelly's Never-Before-Seen Unproduced "Southland Tales" Prequel Script