Counting down the Armageddon

By Amanda Murphy

Themed calendars have been around for ages, usually with the same old poses, pictures and puppies. But Thomas Quinn and a team of other artists have taken the idea of the calendar to an entirely new place.

A connoisseur of disaster movies, Quinn said he has been amused by the rapture talk circulating over the last few years, most of it stemming from the Mayan prediction that Dec. 21, 2012 is the end of the world. So when he had the idea for a 2012 calendar that would count down to the apocalypse, he knew he was on to something. After a matter of months, he finally decided to do something about it.

“When I started bouncing it off the heads of other people and they thought it was a cunning idea, I decided to follow through with it,” Quinn said. “As an artist, you always have these ideas for fun projects to do and they start and then die.”

After asking his friend Ryan Browne, a local comic book artist, to collaborate, the two set out to find others who could work with them to create Armageddon-themed artwork for the calendar. Quinn reached out to local artists, as well as ones he had met while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Besides looking for artists who could contribute various styles and modes of illustration, he said he also made it a point to choose those at varying stages in their careers.

“There’s kind of a mixture of high-profile and low-profile people,” Quinn said. “I saw it as a good way to mix up-and-comers with people whose work [is] established.”

Browne said when he was illustrating the art for a particular month, he kept it in mind that people would have it hanging on their walls for 30 days, so he made it as quirky and fun as possible. That way, viewers wouldn’t lose interest.

His piece, which is a take on the four horsemen of the apocalypse, features four men riding various animals, such as a grizzly bear and a demonic looking giraffe. Browne also contributed the cover art in which he tried to encompass as many forms of the apocalypse he could think of.

Quinn took a completely different route when he created what he called “a road-trip collage” of what some attractions could look like years after the apocalypse, like Mount Rushmore with an alien head and the world’s tallest pile of skulls. Quinn said he has not yet decided which art will illustrate each month, except for one by Chandler O’Leary, who specifically designed hers for October. The calendar not only features unique art but also humorous factoids to lighten the mood.

Quinn has listed major historical events for each day on the calendar and some birthdays of important people in history and in his life, like “Saved by the Bell” star Mark-Paul Gosselar, rapper Vanilla Ice and comedian Carrot Top. Browne’s contribution of fake dates, like when a plague of frogs would hit Earth or machines would become self-aware, added more comedic relief to the grim topic.

“I tried to inject some humor into it so [it] would not just be this dreaded Doomsday theme,” Quinn said.

For more information on the calendar and the artists, visit