I'm a huge fan of the Locke & Key graphic novel series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Set in the coastal town of Lovecraft, Massachusetts (changed to Matheson, MA for the series), the comics tell the story of the Locke family as they relocate to the family estate, the Keyhouse, following the murder of their father. The grieving kids soon start to discover a series of magical keys that work in conjunction in the house and give them abilities to enter peoples' minds, resurrect the echoes of the past, change their gender, transform into animals, separate their souls from their bodies, and so much more. And of course, it all ties back to an ancient Eldritch horror at the center of this quaint New England town.
I first read the Locke & Key books over Christmas week at my in-laws a few years ago. I burned through the entire series in 2 days, and was utterly emotionally devastated at the end. I remember my mother-in-law turning to my wife and joking, "Your husband has been reading comic books on his iPad and not talking to anyone and now his crying. Are you sure this was a good choice?" Dear reader, it was an excellent choice, because I had the same response when I re-read the series, and when I listened to the full-cast soundscape "audio graphic novel" adaptation of the series.
In other words: I am very much looking forward to this show, which will be on Netflix starting February 7, 2020. Read the rest
My buddy Dave Ganjamie and I have been collaborating on comics for a few years now. Not all of our brainstorm-and-sketch sessions end somewhere exciting, but we did have one fun idea that came to fruition. It was the fall of 2013, and Dave half-jokingly challenged me to write him a — his words, and I quote directly from our GChat — "cyber-craftian Eldritch-punk time travel" story.
I assumed this was meant to be deliberately absurd. But I'm never one to back down from a challenge. So we pitched the idea to Grayhaven Comics for one of their sci-fi anthology collections — and much to our surprise, they gave us the greenlight. With only 3 pages to work with, we were fairly strapped with space to express our ridiculous concept. But we did the best we could, and ultimately came up with something pretty cool.
Some day we'll get around to finishing our Evil Academy concept, or dramatize that time at New York Comic-Con when we found ourselves in an Abbot-&-Costello, Who's-On-First routine at a party with Kieron Gillen and Karen Gillan. In the meantime, Dave is probably still pissed that I made him draw all those suckers on the bottom of the tentacles (even though it was technically his idea in the first place). So enjoy the fruits of our labor: "iCthulhu!"
"iCthulhu" — art by Dave Ganjamie, words by Thom Dunn. Originally published by Grayhaven Comics. Read the rest
I had hoped In the Valley of Gods, Campo Santo's follow up to Firewatch, was going to adapt some of the magic of the Indiana Jones and Brendan Fraser Mummy films, and add a modern sensibility. The trailer looked promising:
From the team that brought you Firewatch, In the Valley of Gods is a sprawling narrative experience in remote, 1920s Egypt. You are Rashida, a disgraced former explorer and filmmaker given one last shot at the adventurous life you desperately miss. Somewhere, beyond the endless miles of dunes, ruins, and tombs lies an incredible archaeological discovery—but it can't be found without the help of Zora, the former partner you vowed never to work with again.
A thrilling adventure in first person
Navigate and rebuild a relationship with your companion, Zora
Utilize an authentic 35mm film camera to document the world and story around you
Climb, explore and traverse the wonders of the ancient world
Alas, Campo Santo was acquired by Valve, and a statement was put out today that the project was "on hold" since the team had scattered to work on other Valve projects like Half-Life: Alyx.
Duncan Fyfe, who had been thrilled to be working on In the Valley of Gods, tweeted a thread lamenting the apparent end of the project. You can read the entire thread about his time working for Campo Santo here. But the best part is Duncan's own adventure to read an obscure antiquity he needed to help his work on the game:
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H.P. Lovecraft's only good short story is now a movie starring Nicolas Cage. Here's the trailer; it's out January 24, 2020. They've updated the setting to the present day and it's looks like they've gone all in for contemporary cosmic horror, a la Annihilation, over the original's disquieting radioactive miseries. Can't wait! Read the rest
Well, sort of. Paleontologists have identified a 430 million-year-old fossil of a multi-tentacled sea creature as a new species and dubbed it Sollasina cthulhu after HP Lovecraft's Great Old One. From Yale University:
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The new cthulhu, Sollasina, had 45 tentacle-like tube feet, which it used to crawl along the ocean floor and capture food. The creature was small, about the size of a large spider. It was found in the Herefordshire Lagerstätte in the United Kingdom, a site that has proven to be a trove of fossilized ancient sea animals.
“In this paper, we report a new echinoderm — the group that includes sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and sea stars — with soft-tissue preservation,” said Yale paleontologist Derek Briggs, a co-author of the study. “This new species belongs to an extinct group called the ophiocistioids. With the aid of high-resolution physical-optical tomography, we describe the species in 3D, revealing internal elements of the water vascular system that were previously unknown in this group and, indeed, in nearly all fossil echinoderms.”
When I reviewed Matt Ruff's incredible Lovecraft Country last February on its hardcover release dates, I wrote, "Ruff inverts the Lovecraft horror, which turned so often on "miscegenation" and the duty of advanced humans to trample those around them in their drive to recapture this lost wisdom (and humanity's lost grace). His Lovecraftian horror is the horror of the people whom the Lovecraftian heroes viewed as subhuman, expendable, a stain on the human race. By blending real history (such as the Tulsa riots) and Lovecraftian tropes, Ruff's characters shine as active protagonists in their own story who have lives, have dignity, and have indomitable spirit that they use to fight back against the power structure that Lovecraft lionized." Read the rest
Tomás Hijo makes linoleum block prints in a medieval style that is well-suited to Tolkein, Lovecraft and other fantasy writers' works. Check out his Nictonomicon bestiary project Kickstarter for more details. Read the rest
Robert Altbauer created this series of illustrations depicting crusaders meeting the HP Lovecraft's monsters, annotated in medieval Middle High German. Read the rest
The Cancer of Superstition, a non-fiction treatise commissioned from author H.P. Lovecraft, was found in a memorabilia collection in a defunct magic shop.
Magician Harry Houdini asked Lovecraft to ghostwrite the text for a book project, but died shortly thereafter. Now it goes to auction.
The collection bounced around after Beatrice Houdini’s death in 1943 and was never truly catalogued or ‘mined’ in all that time. The papers were never researched or inventoried,” said Potter & Potter president Gabe Fajuri. “In all that time, no one seemed to realise the significance of the manuscript.”
Fajuri said the collection was recently bought privately, and when “the new owner began sorting through the mountain of paperwork, he began putting the pieces together, and in the process discovered the manuscript and its significance”
From the excerpts, it sounds exactly as you'd imagine a Lovecraft text about superstition to sound ('superstition is an “inborn inclination” that “persists only through mental indolence”' etc). There is some debate over the authorship, with S.T. Joshi identifying CM Eddy. If you want it, expect to pay $25,000-$40,000 for it. Read the rest
Model railroader John Ott has devoted years to creating a fantastically detailed, HO-scale recreation of Arkham, the site of HP Lovecraft's horror stories, complete with model railroad engines and historically accurate cars. Read the rest
Tentacles made of cubes reach for you from within the watery abyss. "You're not supposed to be here," an unseen being informs you as you descend into the first level of the game Euclidean. Deep sea creatures made of shapes swarm, pulse and strain around you—and soon, they notice you. "Everything here will kill you," the voice intones a few moments later. Read the rest
I took as my source material a particularly lavish passage from Call of Cthulhu. Sorry about it being a screengrab. Allow me to atone by offering a BONUS passage from The Eye of Argon, with adjectives, similes and metaphors edited out:
EXTRA: Hemingway with Lovecraft adjectives edited in.
MORE. Per Alex's request for "Lovecraftian news reports/headlines?"
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H.P. Lovecraft died obscure, but his cosmic nightmares are woven into the fabric of modern horror. Read the rest
David Nickle's horror novel Eutopia
confronts the racial overtones of Lovecraftian fiction head on, revealing a terrifying story of the American eugenics movement and the brutality underbelly of utopianism.
Oculus Rift fans can download 'Banshee Chapter' free today from Jamwix. Released in 2013, the 3D horror film based on H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond has been repurposed as a virtual reality feature. Read the rest
Anna-Maria Jung's "Call of Snoophulhu," available as a print. (via Superpunch) Read the rest
Do you love nameless, creeping horrors in the deep? Unnaturally! Do you love fonts? Of course, you do. Thomas Phinney, a veteran type designer, is attempting an unholy union of the two by resurrecting the moldering corpse of three typefaces: Columbus, Columbus Initials, and American Italic. Columbus was used for all the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, in which Phinney played a hand (severed?), designing clues for "Masks of Nyarlathotep."
Back the project on Kickstarter for Phinney to create Cristoforo, modern renditions of these three fonts. Pledges at all but the lowest level come with licenses to use the fonts. Phinney's original work is terrific, and I have no doubt that he'll bring a sensitive hand to re-creating these classic faces. Read the rest