A place to escape between here and there

Graphic Novel/Comics

Weird Reveiw: Hearald: Lovecraft & Tesla

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Title: Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla #1

Created by: John Reilly

Publisher: Action Lab Comics

Format: Digital

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars aligned

Back in 2012 the popular site io9 had a post with a very appealing picture that was their call to arms to create a Lovecraft/Tesla team-up comic for all of us to love. It looked sort of like this:17n7yni5gsj4hjpgThe image sparked all sorts of wants and protests for someone to establish a decent storyline where these two obscure characters in our history could investigate and dispatch the paranormal/occult. And thank the gods those wants and protests were heard and have been answered with John Reilly’s Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla.

This alternate history series there are a lot of things that didn’t jibe with me. That is until I came to terms that this comic series is an extreme alternate history twist from what I am used to. This was particularly difficult due to the fact that I consider myself a very (very very very) amateur Lovecraftian scholar, so when the years/time didn’t match up, and he was living with his mother still threw me off. However the sheer cleverness of this opening issue has compelled me to become a fan.

In this world Tesla is engaged to the very brave and prideful Amelia Earhart. When the future Mrs. Tesla takes off on her famous flight, Nikola becomes fearful of the equipment his darling is using make history. After seeking advice from his close friend, Einstein, Tesla heads to the home of famous alternate dimension aficionado, H.P. Lovecraft.

Though there isn’t a lot of action in this first issue, the creators of this comic have done an excellent creating this alternate world and its characters that are so familiar that one can’t help but cross the threshold of our current knowing of these two figures and believe in something a little more fascinating than reality. Along the way you will see other historical figures, such as: Harry Houdini, Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart and of course H.P. Lovecraft. I can’t wait to see who else we will see…

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From what I understand the second issue is to be released digitally on Comixology today, November 5th, so while your there checking out the first issue, be sure to just add that one to your cart to. You will not be disappointed. For all updates on this project and new issues check the status on their Facebook Page, or on their Twitter account @heraldcomic. Print editions should be out sometime, maybe next year, I am not entirely sure on that. But until then please indulge your minds in the Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla. BUY IT NOW!

If you have checked out Herald: Lovecraft & Tesla, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.

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Weird Review: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward By H.P. Lovecraft and I.N.J. Culbard

Charles Dextar WardTitle: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

Author: H.P. Lovecraft

Adapted By: I.N.J. Culbard

Publisher: SelfMadeHero

Number of Pages: 128

Format: Print (Paperback)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars aligned

 “I say to you again…”

Providenc Rhode Island, 1928. A dangerous inmate disappears from a privat hospital for the insane, his method of escape baffling the authorities. Only the patient’s final visitor, family phusician D. Marinus Bicknell Willet – himself a piece of the puzzle – holds the key to unlocking The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. A macabre mixture of historical investigation grave-robbing and bone-chilling revelation, this adaptaion artfully lays bare on of H.P. Lovecraft’s most horrifying creations.

“…do not call up any that you can not put down.”


 

“I.N.J Culbard’s illustrations of Lovecraft’s emotions are amazing and enrapture the reader into a world of questionable identities and the insecurities we all encounter. They are emotions that Lovecraft reserved for himself and, I believe, is the reason he initially withheld the tale in fear of disclosing his own sense of not-belonging during the time of his life.

That is an excerpt from my review of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, for Haunt of Horrors Press. Culbard is at it again, with his beautifully illustrated vision of one of the late Lovecraft’s best works. Any fan of Lovecraftian literature is in need of having this adaptation on their shelves, next to the rest of their moldering tomes. Happy reading!

Check out the whole review HERE!

Weirdlings who’ve enjoyed The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, or I.N.J. Culbard’s stuff, have also checked out:

If you have checked out The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.

 


Weird Review: Transreality by Chris Lackey

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Title: Transreality

Author: Chris Lackey

Publisher: Witch House Media UK

Number of Pages: 128

Format: Print (Paperback)

Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars Aligned

WHAT MAKES YOU HUMAN? YOUR BODY? YOUR MIND? YOUR RELATIONSHIPS?

IMAGINE A UNIVERSE WHERE ALL OF THESE ARE PROGRAMMABLE. THE LIMITS OF YOUR CURRENT BODY NO LONGER APPLY. YOU ARE DIGITAL AND IMMORTAL.

James Watson is suffering from a delusional disorder known as capgras, or so he’s been told. Nothing seems to feel entirely real since the accident. His wife, his kids, his friends, all feel disconnected from what he once remembers, like no one is who they seem. Feeling misunderstood, James finds help with a local psychiatrist who specializes in capgras delusions. Hoping to find his place again in the ‘real’ world, he agrees to meet with other sufferers to talk, and learn from one another. However not all of the capgras sufferers believe what they’ve been told. After hearing them out James encounters a strange man with a strange purpose. Suddenly a door has been opened to James possibly revealing the answers he is looking for. Will he be able to cope with the truth? Or more importantly, will he be able to live in a Transreality?

Chris Lackey has come out of the gate in full force in this, his first solely written and illustrated graphic novel. Captivating illustrations, varnished with vibrant colors and detailed cel-shading, bring each panel together along with dynamic writing to tie together both the emotion and expression of each fantastic character. Though the story is, at times, derivative of other plot lines like The Matrix, Inception, or even Total Recall, there was one part of the book that made me think of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. When Septimus arrives, initially saving James, I immediately thought Lackey had used George Carlin as a model for the character and creating his own ‘excellent’ Rufus – Morpheus cross over. It was little remembrances like this that amused me and kept me going. But something more interesting were the themes Lackey induces unto the reader.

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I am a complete stranger when it comes to the concept of trans-humanism, which is the belief or theory that humans will evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations by means of technology. I have heard small talk about the singularity and mind-melds with computers, and frankly it kind of freaks me out. Though immortality and information at the request of a thought sound pretty cool, to me, there seems to be nothing human about being downloaded and coded into a digital world. I think that is one of the themes of this story. How does one maintain a sense of humanity in a world were humans aren’t the only ones in charge. There are many levels to Transreality ‘branching’ off too; what defines humanity? How does one maintain that sense while being practically detached from a physical body? Who’s behind RainBird Industries? Who is behind the control panel, so to speak, that keeps all the simulations and digital consciences in check? All are great things to think about and to hope Lackey someday expands on in either a series of comics, or more Transreality world based graphic novels.

This is a story that anyone can enjoy whether or not science fiction is your genre of choice. I myself am more attracted to horror/fantasies but this has switched on a new found interest in trans-humanism Sci-Fi. I was able to read it in one sitting, which isn’t always easy due to time or general interest in the story, and was able to follow the storyline easily. Stay up to date at the official Transreality site to find out when and where you will be able to pick up your copy. As of right now, publication in the U.S. is due out in March. Keep your scanners on and ready to locate and digest this fabulous work.

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Weird Review: The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2 Edited By Dan Lockwood

Title: The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2

Editor: Dan Lockwood

Publisher: Self Made Hero

Number of Pages: 128

Format: Print(Paperback)

Rating: 4.75 Out of 5 Stars Aligned

“That is not dead which can eternal lie…”       Out of the uncharted places of the world and the prodigious imagination of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, renowned master of the eerie, come nine nightmarish tales of terror. From the dreaded remnants of long-dead civilisations to unhallowed monstrosities scheming in the darkness, Lovecraft’s stories have never lost their power to astound and unsettle. This graphic anthology breathes new life into classic works of weird fiction.       “…and with strange aeons even death may die.”

Self Made Hero has done it again. like its predecessor, The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, Dan Lockwood has ushered into this realm a beautifully illustrated hoard of horror. I am of coarse talking about The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2, incase you didn’t realize already.

Looking back on my review for The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, I have reflected on some of my comments. To this day, I still visit the pages of volume 1, and have to disagree with some of those late comments. Though I still believe the illustrated panels are what make up an efficient comic/graphic novel, it is the words we rely on when our eyes get ahead of us and we need to read whats happening to interpret the image. After all, we’re readers not viewers of these works. That said, most of these works are illustrated so brilliantly that my eyes hardly touched a word. I am very familiar with Lovecraft’s work, and know a few of his tales like old songs. So for a lot of these addaptations I was fortunate enough to know what was happening and only needed the images to carry me through.

In the tradition of how I formatted the review for Volume 1, I have listed each adaptation and have a small something to say about each.

Pickman’s Model, adapted by Jamie Delano, illustrated by Steve Pugh, Staging by Jon Haward: Right out the gate Dan Lockwood enlists one of his best choices for this collection. Delano, Pugh, and Haward have worked magic into bringing this piece to life. Every panel, every phrase took me down into the cellar with Thurber and Pickman and had me filling in the blanks as to what damnable creations Pickman was responsible for. Great stuff!

The Temple, adapted by Chris Lackey, illustrated by Adrian Salmon: Everything about this entry is spot on. The hard shapes, thick lines, and heavy shading are appropriately placed for the era this story is set in. You can tell Lackey has a fondness for the tale and does what he can to capture the images meanings.

From Beyond, adapted by David Camus, illustrated by Nicolas Fructus: Another grandslam for this graphic collection. Great accompaniment by Camus, but anyone can tell, Nicolas Fructus gets what this story is about. Amazing fuscia/violet panels that has set my pineal gland a fire!

He, adapted by Dwight L. MacPherson, illustrated by Paul Peart Smith: I really dislike Lovecraft’s original story, however I believe MacPherson and Smith have done and excellent job with a crappy tale. The illustrations weren’t my favorite but I did enjoy the protagonist looking just like H.P.L.

The Hound, adapted by Chad Fifer, illustrated by Bryan Baugh: I feel this adaptation took on a bit of the Harley Warren/Randolph Carter archetype, St John being the dominant male figure. Baugh’s sepia skinned panels stand out from the other adaptations in this book, while Fifer adds a comedic style to the dread he portrays.

The Nameless City, adapted by Pat Mills, illustrated by Attila Futaki, Colored by Greg Guilhaumond: A clever recreation of a fundamental Lovecraft piece. The ending was unfamiliar, though it may have hinted to a possible “origins” tale of the Terrible Old Man…Maybe…

The Picture in the House, adapted by Benjamin Dickson, illustrated by Mick McMahon: To me the story is best told as a literary tale, maybe even a short film. Unfortunately the backwater dialogue is pretty hard to follow panel to panel, and McMahon’s illustrations did not captivate my attention.

The Festival, adapted by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Matt Timson: This is my favorite adaptation in this collection. Changing up the format a little to more of a picture book quality, Spurrier and Timson have portrayed a horrifying experience that leaves the reader still wanting to visit Kingsport again and again. I only wish this was the closer in the collection.

The Statement of Randolph Carter, adapted by Dan Lockwood, illustrated by Warwick Johnson Cadwell: I don’t have much to say about this adaptation. Closing out the collection and with one of H.P. Lovecraft’s best known short works, I thought this would have been done better. Didn’t care for the illustrations, and the writing did little to keep me interested.

All in all, I would recommend this volume over the first. Both are a must if you are an H.P. Lovecraft fan, and just necessary to have to stimulate ones imagination. Again, Dan Lockwood has done an amazing job gathering these brilliant artists and writers to collaborate in creating such great work. This is what feeds the Lovcraftian community and what grows the population of new readers of the late mans legacy. As I said while closing my review for volume 1, I really hope that these volumes continue to be made. I know there are only so many short stories that one can adapt (We’ll leave the larger adaptaions to I.N.J. Culbard!) but maybe new artist can give their take on a tale and give us some new perspective. This review took me a pathetic one year to complete, and in a way I am happy it did. I read it in a white heat, immediately following The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, and didn’t have the best opinions of the work. After a year of continuous viewing of volume 2 I have come to the conclusions you have already read. My thoughts on volume 1 have changed as well, however I must leave my initial thoughts on the piece as they are. Either way I hope you enjoy both volumes as I have and continue to do. Cheers.

People, who’ve enjoyed The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2, also enjoyed:

If you have checked out The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 2, let me know what you think by leaving a comment. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


Weird Review: Where’s My Shoggoth? by Ian Thomas, and Adam Bolton

Title: Where’s My Shoggoth?

Writer: Ian Thomas

Illustrator: Adam Bolton

Publisher: Archaia Entertainment, LLC (October 9, 2012)

Number of Pages: 56

Format: Print (Hardcover)

Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars Aligned….Uh oh!

Your tentacled friend has gone missing. What can you do? Go looking for him of course!

Travel from the deepest cellars to the highest spires of a sprawling mansion. Search the grounds from the forest to the lake. On the way you’ll meet monsters and demigods, aliens and Old Ones, and all manner of other creatures from the Cthulhu mythos. Surely something, somewhere, has seen your shoggoth?

An affectionate homage to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, beautifully illustrated by Adam Bolton, and rhymes by Ian Thomas. For mythos dabblers and shoggoth owners of all ages.

Back in June I posted an update on this project by Ian Thomas and Adam Bolton, and mentioned a contest they had to see if anyone could guess where the Shoggoth was. Turns out I won with the best answer which earned me a signed copy of Where’s My Shoggoth?, and a canvas print of a double-page spread of my choice from the book. I first learned of this book in September of 2011, when researching a new wave of Lovecraftian Children’s books, and was very excited to get my tentacles on it. At the time there were only a couple images that teased at what the book would look like, but it was enough to catch my attention. Since then I have been watching its progress and patiently waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail.

Signed copy in hand, I am happy to have finally received this amazing book! As I sat down to take a look at it my wife, who knows only a little about the Lovecraft/Cthulhu Mythos (We’re working on it), plucked it from my hands and began thumbing through the pages as I watched on. After a few giggles and Praises she said she loved it and could see herself reading it to our little one that is on the way. This of course slated my plans to brain wash my child to loving everything Lovecraftian, and it seems my wife just might be on board.

Ian Thomas and Adam Bolton (who is enjoying this as his first publication) have brilliantly created an excellent addition to the Lovecraftian Universe. Where’s My Shoggoth? is a silly joy ride through H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos that anyone, adult or child, will enjoy. The book follows a young boy as he searches for his pet Shoggoth through creepy mansions and the damned grounds that surround it. Through the tale we encounter a plethera of Lovecraftian goodness and get to meet some interesting characters. Along with Ian’s seussian rhymes, Adam brilliantly illustrates the young boy’s journey and captivates the reader with minute details that brings cause for many re-reads.

The book is a thick stock hardcover, making it very durable to thrashings from your joyfully insane child, and has a detail that I found very appealing. When I was a kid one of my favorite books was about a witch who flies on a broom for the first time and all the things she sees, it’s kind of similar to Where’s My Shoggoth?. And though I enjoyed the material, what really appealed to me was that it could glow in the dark. The pages of Ian and Adams book don’t have this capability, but I found it a nice touch that the cover is webbed with invisible luminesces so that you’re any little Lovecraftian will be able to spot their favorite book, like an unnatural color out of space, in the dark as they drift off to sleep. And when they wake up and might be slightly tired of reading, they can play the board game, Stairs and Tentacles, that is located on both the front and back cover.

All in all Where’s My Shoggoth? has brought a modern appeal to children. Growing up in today’s world holds many visually arresting things. Video games are no longer only 8-bits, movies and TV are now in 3D, and books are now read on electronic devices. So how do you capture a child’s attention long enough to physically flip through pages of a book? You give them Where’s My Shoggoth? I know I am looking forward to sharing this with any who have kids and who love to read to them.

If you are interested in this book, check out Ian and Adam’s website at www.wheresmyshoggoth.com. And if that’s not enough and you’re wondering how this book sounds, check out a free audio version at http://wheresmyshoggoth.com/audio/Shoggoth.mp3. And please visit both Adam and Ian’s official sites by clicking on their name anywher in this post, and see what there up to.

One final note. With this amazing prize, I also received an amazing sketch done by Adam Bolton, along with a hand written note. It was very kind and I thank both Adam and Ian for sending me these goodies, and I hope to see more from these two in the future! In the sketch you’ll see the Unspeakable Gibberer that Steve Santiago created for me, playing chess with Adam’s Shoggoth. I’m not sure what struck me more, the amazing art, or the fact of seeing my creature playing with another from the mythos. Really cool!

People who enjoyed Where’s My Shoggoth? might also enjoy:

If you have checked out Where’s My Shoggoth?, let me know what you think. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post! Don’t forget to check us out on Twitter @UnspkbleGibberr, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UnspeakableGibberer.


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

Format: Print(Paperback)

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.

People, who’ve enjoyed The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, also enjoyed:

If you have read The Lovecraft Anthology: Volume 1, let me know what you think. And if you like all the tasty bits we gibber about here, become a follower or submit to receive email updates with every new post!


Where’s My Shoggoth?

Before I brought Unspeakable Gibberer to its current home, I started it on BlogSpot.com and generated a post about a new wave of Lovecraftian fiction for children. I was reminded of this silly post by a recent email from Adam Bolton, co-author and artist behind “Where’s My Shoggoth”, due out this month. Kindly, he informed me of a competition he and fellow co-author Ian Thomas threw together to celebrate the “release/escape”, as he put it, of the book this June. For details on how to order/preorder check here.

Entry is free and welcome to all who dare to answer the question, “Where, exactly, is the shoggoth?” The best answer wins a canvas print of a double-page spread of your choice from the book “Where’s My Shoggoth?”, signed by Adam Bolton and Ian Thomas, and a signed copy of the book. And the runner-up also receives a signed copy of the book. Check it all out at http://wheresmyshoggoth.com/competition/

I am very excited about this book and hope to share it with my child someday. If this tasty morsel has stirred your appetite, then maybe you should check out these other mouldering text for the little cultist in your family:

Little Wilbur Whateley has a god. It’s a big red god. Other folks have gods, too … but Wilbur has the biggest, reddest god in Dunwich

Summoned up by renouned Lovecraft aficionado, Kenneth Hite, and crafted by Andy Hopp, “Cliffourd the Big Red God” features over 30 pages of illustrated madness and is the third in a mini-mythos series developed by the two madmen. The other ones being “Where the Deep Ones Are”, and “The Antarctic Express”

And don’t forget “Baby’s First Mythos” as well! I is for INNSMOUTH, a hell of a town, Where the people wear gold, and are quite hard to drown. Learn your ABCs and 123s – Mythos style! In the tradition of Gorey’s The Gashlycrumb Tinies, comes a children’s book based on H.P. Lovecraft’s writings. Blast your child’s soul as they learn their letters and numbers.Written by award-winning author, C.J. Henderson and drawn by Erica Henderson. Contains a forward by Robert M. Price and an afterword by Professor William Jones.

I like the idea of starting these kids off young with Lovecraft. I believe it is very important to introduce them to imagination feeding text, and art to get them going. Keep your eyes peeled for books like these. The children’s market has been a rising interest for some authors, and they are taking a swing at creating their own “Where The Wild Things Are”.
Below are some links to the other books mentioned.