Graphic Classics: H.P. Lovecraft |
by various artists (Eureka, 2007)
Many consider H.P. Lovecraft to be the greatest horror writer who ever lived. The great disappointment in that statement is "lived" -- there will never be a new Lovecraft story. So the best one can hope for are great interpretations of his existing work.
Graphic Classics has released a revised edition of its comics homage to the master (first released in 2004) with 75 new pages. It features his masterpiece, "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," several lesser stories and poetry. As is true with any anthology, readers will find work that thrills and disappoints them.
Horror has its own strengths and weaknesses as a genre, and some readers may feel that this volume relies too much on "stripped-down" art. Imagine, if you will, horror in the comic strip Peanuts.
The cover by Giorgio Comolo is magnificent; it is a shame that this style of macabre art is not predominant inside. But much of the art does work.
Lovecraft's prose is cumbersome in its detail by today's literary tastes, but his style and outre ideas are so powerful that shudders still await readers here, despite the minimalistic art. Even more amazing, Lovecraft produced those shudders without profanity, graphic sex or buckets of blood and guts. Hurrah! They are not added by these adaptations for visual impact.
Despite its limitations, this is a must-have volume for Lovecraft and horror fans. This anthology is recommended.
30 June 2007