A Treatise on Fantasy Physiology is an 80 page, 8×10” illustrated book created in the almanac style that serves as a visual treatise, or proposal, on the physiology of fantasy species. It covers 6 separate humanoid species, selected for their prevalence in and relevance to fantasy genre media, particularly tabletop roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons. It uses theoretical biology to form a proposal on how the fictional bodies of fantasy peoples could work in actuality, and it also takes a considered approach to representation and the ethics of bodily science meant to foster a more diverse community around the fantasy genre. The book contains 3 full environmental spreads, a cover, and upwards of 50 spot llustrations.
This project fills a void that currently exists in the fantasy genre; it provides a unique and considered approach to worldbuilding, it applies clean and modern design and ideas to old staples of the genre, and it treats science as something that can work with or as magic instead of something that is diametrically opposed to magic. Furthermore, it prioritizes diversity and representation of marginalized groups who don’t typically see themselves in fantasy genre media. I don’t need to tell the book’s reader there are brown and black elves in writing, because the reader can see them. I lightly touch on things like gender and sexuality in the brief culture sections of the book, but more importantly, the reader sees visibly transgender bodies alongside cisgender bodies without them needing to be a special topic. The wordlessly diverse and integrated physiological examination within the book helps to normalize the bodies and presence of marginalized people, and I believe provides a more honest look at physiology and creative media.