Friday, February 28, 2014
Lovecraft Comics- "The Dunwich Horror"
H. P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror, by Joe R. Lansdale, Peter Bergting, Shawn Lee, and Robert Weinberg
"H.P. Lovecraft is known as one of the key founders of modern horror, cited as a major influence by many prominent authors, such as Stephen King. In collaboration with renowned Lovecraft historian and literary caretaker Robert Weinberg, IDW is bringing you the definitive Lovecraft comics updated for a 21st century audience. Adapting "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Hound," a new vision of Lovecraft emerges, courtesy of Joe Lansdale and company!"
This is two stories in one comic. The first takes a look at the classic Lovecraft tale, The Dunwich Horror, and brings it into modern day. The grandson of Henry Armitage and several of his friends became obsessed with the mystery of the old Whateley farm and the rumors of what happened on that day in the past when so much chaos and destruction were unleashed on the town. The group unwittingly lowers the veil that protects our world from intrusion by Yog-Sothoth, and now they alone can put it back.
The story was interesting, though short, and the artwork was suitably eerie and gory for the story. The writers do add a bit of the original tale in to this, in order to refresh your memory and expound on the idea, but it would probably still be a bit confusing if you have never read the original. And if that's the case, go do it now, what are you waiting for?
The second story, The Hound, is simply Lovecraft's own work, illustrated. The art is very dark- and by that I mean it's all hues of grays and blacks. It is actually a bit hard to see well when you are in a bright room, because of the glare on the comic book paper and the very monochromatic scheme that they went with. (The photo below is an example of one of the brighter pages, even.) That said, the look of it does suit the story well. However, my big complaint with this half of the comic is that they chose a script that mimics an antique handwriting. Again, the look of it is suited to the story, but the practical matter is that it is hard to read. Some letters look too similar- s, z, and r. They all looked close enough to each other, and the font size was small enough, so that certain words of the text tripped me up. And when I'm already struggling to see some of the fine detail in the artwork, it just compounded my frustration, and left me disappointed with this part of the book.
So this one is a mixed bag for me. If I was going to rate it, I'd give the first half four stars, the second half two stars and average the whole comic out to a nice, solid three.