is a work done in the style of another artist. It may reflect a single work by a single artist, or a body of work by one or more artists, or even an entire genre. The difference between a Fan Fic
, which reuses characters or settings from another work, and a pastiche, is that the pastiche copies the tone
of its original. A work can, of course, be both a Fan Fic and
a pastiche, but pastiche is all about the style.
A pastiche may be created as an homage
to the original artist, or it may be intended as a gentle parody
. The distinction is not important—although an exaggerated parody that did not actually reflect the style of the original would not
be a pastiche. A pastiche which doesn't show some
respect for the original would be a very difficult thing to pull off. Most pastiches are created in a spirit of fun, which can often make it hard to determine whether the creator intended parody or homage—or even, possibly, both. (An exception to the just-for-fun rule is in Academia, where a pastiche may be created as a Deconstruction
of the original, but such works rarely reach—or are intended for—a broad audience.)
A good pastiche can be a hard thing to pull off, and many an excellent artist has crashed and burned in the attempt. Using someone else's style is simply not an easy thing. Nevertheless, a decent pastiche is enjoyable enough for both artist and audience that there is no shortage of artists willing to give it a try.
See also Musical Pastiche
. Compare Fan Fic
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Anime & Manga
- De Kiekeboes: In the album "Vrouwen komen van Mars" the Kiekeboe family gets sucked into Marcel Kiekeboe's favorite childhood comic strip, which is an stylistic pastiche of many 1940s and 1950s Flemish comic strip series.
- The Legend of Total Drama Island (LTDI) is a pastiche of The Book of the Thousand and One Nights, specifically the Mardrus & Mathers translation. Although The 1,001 Nights is a prose work, some of the component stories have a good deal of poetry. LTDI somewhat duplicates this feel by insertion of (mostly famous) poems at various points where they fit or enhance the scene's mood. These poems are usually part of the narrative, but characters occasionally recite them in-universe.
- Steven Brust:
- The Act of Roger Murgatroid by Gilbert Adair is a pastiche of Agatha Christie's style.
- The novel Wake Up, Sir! takes place in a contemporary setting, but is written in the style of the Jeeves and Wooster series, the narrator being a man of questionable sanity obsessed with P. G. Wodehouse. He employs a smoothly competent valet named Jeeves, who may or may not actually exist.
- Sherlock Holmes pastiches are too plentiful to count and have been around almost as long as the stories themselves. Common plots include attempts to explain Noodle Incidents such as the Giant Rat of Sumatra, deconstructions, and crossovers.
- Stephen King wrote "The Doctorís Case", using some of Arthur Conan Doyle's favorite themes: Abusive Parents, Asshole Victim, Empathic Environment (as a Plot Point!) and Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right. It presents us a Locked Room Mystery where it is The Watson, not the Great Detective, who solves the case, but only partially, because Good Cannot Comprehend Evil (showing us the relationship between the Amateur Sleuth and the Inspector Lestrade from other perspective). At the end, the culprit is Let Off by the Detective by Destroy the Evidence. However, The Watson has a case of I'm Having Soul Pains after solving the case, noticing for the first time that his partner amazing skill is Power at a Price, and that the culprits plan failed due to excessive reliance on tools, signaling Victorian London society as We Have Become Complacent.
- Philip Jose Farmer's short-story "The Jungle-Rot Kid on the Nod" was a simultaneous pastiche of two very different writers named Burroughs: Edgar Rice (creator of Tarzan) and William S. (Naked Lunch and Junky).
- Cloud Atlas is a novel written in six different genres, all of which are presented as loving genre pastiches. (In chronological order: Period Drama, Genteel Interbellum Setting Satire, Mystery Fiction, Kafka Komedy, Cyberpunk Space Opera Dystopia, and Science Fantasy Adventure.) It's most notable in the sci-fi chapter, and the characters throughout the novel comment on the similarities between the stories and the works they evoke.
- The recent novelisation of the lost Douglas Adams Doctor Who story, Shada, is written by Gareth Roberts (a writer on post-Re Tool Doctor Who) as a pastiche of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a Mythology Gag.
Live Action TV
- About half of "Weird Al" Yankovic's songs are pastiches. Most of them are not, in fact, parodies of the songs they pastiche, as, though they often satirize various aspects of society or parody other works, they don't make any point about the original.
- ... but not all. "Smells Like Nirvana", for instance, directly tweaks the reputation for unintelligibility of "Smells Like Teen Spirit", while "Six Words Long" implicitly jibes George Harrison's (and before him, James Ray) "Got My Mind Set On You" for its simplicity. And "Achy Breaky Song" ("Don't play that song, that achy-breaky song") is more or less transparent — at least, for those of us who remember how overplayed it was in The Nineties.
- "Don't Download This Song" is an example of Weird Al doing satire. Made even funnier due to the fact that it was offered as a free download on many sites. Including his own.
- Many of his original songs imitate the style of certain artists, eg "Dare to Be Stupid" is a pastiche of Devo.
- On the other hand, the songs on the Homestar Runner album Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits almost all parody the genres they pastiche. For instance, lyrics like "Darkness... the fate of the world!" in "Moving Very Slowly" parody the overblown epic tone of much death metal, while "Circles" is one big bash on the typical college blues band.
- The "SCV Love Song" is a pastiche of Boy Band music written about Starcraft II.
- Igor Stravinsky's neoclassical period consists mostly of pastiches of more traditional baroque and romantic composers.
- Erik Satie wrote a few works that are a pastiche of Richard Wagner and Camille St. SaŽns, two composers he personally loathed.
- Frank Zappa' s Cruisin' With Ruben And The Jets is both a pastiche of and a homage to 1950s doowop.
- The aliens in Firepower are highly reminiscent of Jack Kirby's style, though most believe it was simply due to Plagiarism instead of being any sort of tribute.
- The Simpsons have often made pastiches of other animation styles:
- "Steamboat Itchy" and "Manhattan Madness" were two Itchy and Scratchy cartoons stylistically similar to the 1910s and 1920 cartoons of that era.
- Another Itchy and Scratchy cartoon featuring the cat and mouse fighting Hitler is a stylistic homage to the World War II propaganda cartoons.
- The end of "Jaws Wired Shut" where Homer saves Marge from a demolition derby is a pastiche of the 1930s Popeye cartoons by the Fleischer Studios.
- South Park also enjoys making pastiches:
- "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery" is stylistically a parody of the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! cartoons.
- "Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants" features a segment where Cartman fights off Bin Laden in the style of the World War II Looney Tunes cartoons, complete with similar sounding music and gags.
- "Good Times With Weapons" features pastiches of anime.
- "Major Boobage" features a stylistic homage to the 1981 cult classic Heavy Metal.
- Family Guy:
- In "Road To The Multiverse" Brian and Stewie visit a Disneyesque world, complete with all of the company's stylistic trademarks.
- Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Favor", written by Paul Dini is an Homage to Alfred Hitchcock works, with Charlie Collins, an Everyman character that could be a Shout-Out to a young Alfred Hitchcock confronting The Joker and Batman. It shares a lot of the tropes that were part of the Alfred Hitchcock signature style: Action Survivor, Black Comedy, Creator Cameo, Dramatic Irony, Fade to Black, Hope Spot, MacGuffin/MacGuffin Title, The Oner, The Peeping Tom and Police Are Useless.