Apocalypse Advent Calendar

It's nearly the Christmas season - the time of year for goodwill, family, gifts and advent calendars. However, if you're the type who avoids a warm and fluffy Yuletide in favour of locust plagues, meteorites and terrifying earthquakes, then head over to the Apocalypse Advent Calendar. Starting on 1 December, the French illustrator Posta will be unveiling his own take on the season. And we've got some exclusive preview images from his calendar just for you.

Exclusive image 1: Locusts, Armageddon, and all-consuming fear.

The idea was inspired by media hype about how the Mayans predicted a cataclysm for 2012, and religious warnings about the Judgement Day. "I just thought it would be interesting to mix this whole end-of-the-world thing and Christmas time," says Posta.

"Those two things are going to hound people more and more during December. So an advent calendar seemed to me a relevant medium to work on. It's also a funny way to take the drama out of the scary things that are going to bloom all around us."

Exclusive image 2: When the world ends, bring your gas mask.

For each day in December, Posta has created a different illustration. Mainly they're based on reference images sketched in his notebook, then developed further using Photoshop, Illustrator and, sometimes, 3D software. They're certainly to be taken with a pinch of salt - there's usually a thread of humour alongside the social commentary Posta's work. The Apocalypse Advent Calendar will also appear on Facebook.

Jolly judgement day

"Every artwork will be a sort of ancient bas relief, showing possible causes of the apocalypse as well as its mystical and societal symbols," he adds. "It's obviously a silly, joking project, but through it I also wanted to illustrate how the idea of the judgment day is all over the place - in our education, in tacky and poorly researched TV documentaries, etc."

Previous projects by Posta have contained a similar mixture of commentary, humour and cynicism. His Goldman Sharks (above) series looked at the greed of top financiers, which caused global economies to crash, and he regularly updates his H_NGM_N projects with topical imagery including Malala Yousafzai (below), Pussy Riot and the Syrian conflict.