Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Graphic Novel Review: THE LOVECRAFT ANTHOLOGY: Volume 1

If you are a lover of horror fiction than the name H.P. Lovecraft is a name you are very familiar with.  If you read comics and graphic novels then you’ve probably heard about the publisher Self Made Hero which has a history of producing some of the best adaptations of Lovecraft’s work as you will see in the anthology graphic novel The Lovecraft Anthology Volume 1 edited by Dan Lockwood.  
In this volume are adaptations of “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Hunter in the Dark,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Colour Out of Space,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” “The Rats in the Walls” and “Dagon.”  This is a good sampling of some of Lovecraft’s most beloved short stories (which have also been adapted to film). 
“The Dunwich Horror” is a personal favorite adapted by Rob Davis and illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard (who also worked on full length adaptations of Lovecraft’s “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward,” “The Shadow Out of Time,” and “At The Mountains of Madness).  This one is richly brought to life by Davis and Culbard.  The pacing is perfect for the story which cannot be said for all the pieces in this volume especially “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” (adapted by Leah Moore & John Reppion and illustrated by Leigh Gallagher), which has great artwork but is bogged down by over explanation.

I love Shane Ivan Oakley’s artwork for “The Hunter of the Dark” (adapted by Dan Lockwood himself) which makes me feel as though I’m in the middle of a black & white noir film.  I would love to see Oakley tackle a Hellboy story sometime or a longer Lovecraft story.

Another piece I love the artwork for is “Dagon” illustrated by Alice Duke and adapted by Lockwood (again).  This story has some of the most beautiful artwork in the entire book but unfortunately the story of “Dagon” is probably the weakest of the bunch.  The same cannot be said for “The Rats in the Walls” (adapted by Lockwood and illustrated by David Hartman) in which the artwork, story, and pacing work in tandem with each other and allowed me to greater appreciate a story I’ve always considered one of Lovecraft’s minor efforts.

Overall, this is a very handsome addition of Lovecraft’s stories in which any fan will be appreciative of.  Self Made Hero has made it their priority to produce some of the best adaptations of Lovecraft’s work and they continue to do so whether it is in short form (such as these stories) or as full length graphic novels such as the ones Culbard has done (all those previously mentioned).

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