(First published in 2013 Fantasy Issue of ASVP)
If you decided to read this because of the title, you’re probably an escape artist. Escape is the fine art of losing your mind or the innate ability in humans to approximate reality in another dimension.Anybody can escape. Hell, you probably escape all the time in class or when listening to your iPod. But the true artists are special. Escape artists are gifted with the ability to detach themselves from reality and immerse in anotherrealm. Immersing is lot more intense than just an escape.
Each world is unique, reflecting the inner artist. The world is a zone that they create, transform or whatever they feel like doing. Visiting Fantasy worlds is fairly easy. Many portals on our tangible world exist informs of wardrobes, books, under-your-bed, the internet and your head.
There are different types of Fantasy worlds to enter in your spare time:
- Classic Fantasy
If you’re the posh, intellectual type with a hidden desire for maenads, the Classic world is your haven. Classic fantasy it the classic sense contains divine and nature-related elements. They also have the best fighting scenes. Of course, you could never leave out where your artistry probably branched out from: Fairy-tales. You had started out with those big-book stories, moved on to those Disney things, and was likely shocked to read the gory originals or Grimm versions. Here’s a teaser: Cinderella’s stepsisters cut-off parts of their feet to fit into the tiny glass slipper but were exposed when other saw the blood pooling in the shoe (surprise surprise). Snow White’s stepmother wanted to eat her literal guts.
Enter: Basically anywhere ancient (Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient India, Ancient Vikingland) and Fairy-tales (Ancient Germany?)
- Other-World Fantasy
These are parallel universes, accessible through portals with the big freaking sign PORTAL hanging on top. These are for people subconsciously drawn to weird places like golf holes, blackboards or little blocked doors in the wall. It’s a subconscious magnetism, because a small part of you is expecting that something WILL happen though the rest of you are just sort of going with the flow. And in this world, nothing is an accident.
Enter: Hogwarts, Narnia, Chalkzone, Coraline, Monster’s Inc, Space Jam, Inuyasha
- Normal-But-Not-So Fantasy
Personally, I think this was sort of a trend some time ago. This is a place where everything is totally ordinary EXCEPT for one or two details. For a concrete example there’s a nice city with a weird, pickle-obsessed mayor only that it’s regularly attacked by random creatures like a brain-exposed monkey or a devil drag queen (not an oxymoron) and regularly saved by nose-less, ear-less, finger-less kindergartners. I guess places where everything is normal except for the fact that objects/animals talk are also counted. And if something grants you wishes in your backyard, it’s one of those places too. And schools that don’t have actual academics and seem to exist only for love stories and musicals to happen.
Enter: 5 Children and It, Neverland, Chocolate Factory, Townsville, Series of Unfortunate Events, Hawaii 2002, Jungle Book
- Entirely-Another-World Fantasy
Welcome to a wonderful place where anything goes! A pineapple house under the sea, Princess Bubblegum’s chewy hair… you’ve had saner dreams.Details from geography, language, culture, creatures involved and so on are very vivid. Sometimes it can seem like a hodge-podge of characters randomly thrown in, but artists who constructed these places are very dedicated people. For example, Legendary Escape Artist Tolkien created a whole language. And redefining elves, dwarves and characterizing a new species, the hobbit is no joke. Narnia could fit here but well, it’s a portal. This world also has the most fantastic musical numbers.
Enter: Bikini-bottom, Oooo, Middle-Earth, Shrek and Far Far Away
- Dream Fantasy
If fantasies were dreams, these worlds are the dream of dreams. Actually these places are a mix of Entirely-Another-World and Other-World Fantasies but the visitor can decide if the place was real. Entirely-Another-Worlds won’t let you go back and Other-Worlds leave you with no choice but to believe it happened.Someone who needs to be brought back to reality once in a while is recommended to go to this place.
Enter: Oz, Wonderland
- Sometime-Somewhere Fantasy
Ever been to a place that’s either somewhere in the future or sometime in the past? That’s basically this fantasy. This is the trend going on these days. Artists today are imagining a place far from our present world. Maybe people now are looking forward to the future (possibly dreading it) or imaging a stranger time than what we have now. Neo-fairy-tales are also in this fantasy. Those are you know, the life story of Oz’s wicked witch, documentary of the stepsister’s world and the rest of the villain BTS. This is the escape of escapes too.
Enter: Ice Age, Panem, Uglies Series, Pirates of the Caribbean, How to Train Your Dragon, Pirates of the Carribean.
Then there’s seven: Your-Head Fantasy. Probably not the most romantic of titles, but this Fantasy is the root of the Six Fantasies above. You can’t develop a world without your fantastic brains and you can’t enter worlds without them either. Your head is where everything begins. Legendary escape artists even had heads to start their stories with (not that I was implying otherwise)! Anyone can escape but Artists can create.