Weird Review: The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1 Edited By Dan Lockwood
Title: The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1
Editor: Dan Lockwood
Publisher: Self Made Hero (April 1, 2011/reprint April 15, 2012)
Number of Pages: 120
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars Aligned
“For what has risen may sink…” Out of the dark corners of the earth and the still darker imagination of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, renowned master of the eerie, come seven sinister tales of terror. From cosmic horrors gibbering in the night to uneasy stirrings in the boundless depths beneath the seas, Lovecraft’s stories have never lost their power to amaze and unnerve. This graphic anthology breathes new live into classic works of weird fiction. “…and what has sunk may rise again.”
When it comes to Lovecraftian based graphic novels/anthologies, though the writing takes a big role, it seems the whole package rises or sinks with the art. Lovecraft’s work was visceral. It created disturbing images that we had trouble correlating and left our minds troubled with confusion. Through his words he tried to show us other dimensions, and described creatures and forces outside any human comprehension. So, how does one exactly draw blasphemous fish-frogs of nameless design, or ink a color out of space?
The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1 is courageously edited by Dan Lockwood, and is penned and inked by some of arts greatest devotees to Lovecraft’s mythos. This volume contains seven adaptations by different writers and artists and is a great collection.
The Call of Cthulhu, written by Ian Edginton, Illustrated by D’Israeli: A great story to open this anthology, though I felt that it missed some of Lovecraft’s best moments. D’Israeli’s style isn’t my favorite, but his depiction of Cthulhu and the M.C. Escher-like R’lyeh were the best panels of this adaptation.
The Haunter of the Dark, written by Dan Lockwood, illustrated by Shane Ivan Oakley: Definitely not my favorite retelling in this anthology. The best panel was the conclusion
The Dunwich Horror, written by Rob Davis, illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard: I wasn’t much of a fan of I.N.J Culbard’s adaptation of At the Mountains of Madness, and I feel that his art is generally not very Lovecraftian. That being said, I was surprised at his attempt with this story. Along with great writing, Culbard’s vision left me wanting more.
The Colour Out of Space, written by David Hine, illustrated by Mark Stafford: This is one of Lovecraft’s greatest unnerving and unexplainable tales, making it one of the most difficult to visually adapt. Good news is Stafford does a valiant job with twisted images that carry this adaptation to the end.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth, written by Leah Moore & John Reppion, illustrated by Leigh Gallagher: At first I didn’t like this one, but the more I reviewed it the more I enjoyed Gallagher’s classic comic book style and hollow white eyes.
The Rats in the Walls, written by Dan Lockwood, illustrated by David Hartman: Were Lockwood’s writing fails, Hartman’s creepy/gory Disney-like illustrations did this tale justice.
Dagon, written by Dan Lockwood, illustrated by Alice Duke: Lockwood finally shines in this anthologies final adaptation. Accompanied by Duke’s lovely imagery, Lockwood triumphantly wraps up with one of Lovecraft’s most original stories.
Overall the artists are what make this book what is. Though I wasn’t fully impressed with all of Dan Lockwood’s adaptations, he still effectively edited an amazing looking graphic anthology. It is truly good to see how others view Lovecraft’s work, and fun to see how untraditional some folk’s visions are, I like that. I have already begun going through Volume 2, and am pretty impressed so far. I hope Self Made Hero continues to pump these volumes out. I have read/looked over Volume 1 many times and still can’t get enough of it.
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I enjoyed this volume greatly, and I agree with most of your review. However…
– I disagree with “The Haunter of the Dark” statement. I’m sorry, but I like the style of the art. The color scheme was also very effective. The depiction of Nyarlathotep himself was not faithful, but still quite satisfying.
– “The Dunwich Horror” was not one of the collection’s strong points, I agree. I was particularly dissatisfied with the depiction of Wilbur Whateley’s corpse. HOWEVER, I found that Wilbur’s twin was done fairly well. It seemed clear that Culbard had some idea of what Yog-Sothoth is depicted as.
– Just so you know – in “The Call of Cthulhu,” there’s a panel where the sailors are swallowed up by R’lyeh in an admirable optical illusion. Well, on some of the runes are in English, and they read “AFTER MC ESCHER.” See if you can find this little Easter egg from D’Isralei!
I totally agree with the rest of the review. “The Rats in the Walls” does not have a good adaptation, particularly in the underground city. I was left almost baffled. But the art (it IS like Disney! I’d go to see that film!) is very well done.
I loved this review and I love the book. I’ll definitely be checking out the second volume.
April 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm
Thanks for the comment, Black Pharaoh, I am happy you enjoyed the review. I recently reviewed Volume 2 a few months ago and found myself reflecting on the thoughts I had on the first volume. After a year of revisiting Volume 1, I found myself having some differing opinions with my previous statements. Though I will keep them as is, I do mention a couple discrepancies I share with my own review.
April 2, 2014 at 6:20 am
April 2, 2014 at 7:45 am