The mythology of Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time began as a background element in the show’s first season. The Land of Ooo, Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Ice King, and the entire population of the universe were held together through the same zest for sublime silliness, yet the episodic adventures, irreverent hokum, and minor asides begat an ever-expanding saga that moved to the forefront to reveal a powerful sprawl of creative intent.
For her poster celebrating the final season of Adventure Time, illustrator Rosemary Valero-O’Connell perfectly captures the series from its playful beginning to its mid-run salvo of myth-creation and full-throttled jump into expanded parable. Valero-O’Connell’s poster puts the history of the show rendered in a pile of candy pink, leading to Princess Bubblegum, the matriarch of Ward’s vivid universe. At her side is Marceline the Vampire Queen, an old friend, old and new love, bound together in the series finale. It’s an expressive illustration focused on the idleness of a love fulfilled, how friendship wins out over the wash of constant adventure and drama.
Valero-O’Connell has a wonderfully soft touch — her linework drips through the composition adding an impressive level of depth to the usual static visual language of the show. The two heroines rest on a mountain of broken and forgotten trinkets used throughout the show’s history. She gives us a tender moment where Marceline, languid, is finally able to fully enjoy the company of Princess Bubblegum. The Princess, her back to the viewer, as if telling Marceline about her latest scientific find, is grounded in the same shade of pink as the mountain. She is a part of the landscape and at this moment, she and Marceline are the entirety of the universe.