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Tuesday, October 07, 2008


H.P. Lovecraft’s eerie tales of alien Elder Gods and the threat of their breaching the barriers between their realm and ours have entered the lexicon of horror and been adapted, referenced or just plain ripped off countless times in the over eighty years since they first saw print, often to diminishing returns. Fortunately this collection has its head and heart in the right place, clearly understanding what makes the Lovecraftian oeuvre work and maintaining its high creep factor in the looming shadow of implacable, sanity-shattering doom. As is often the case with indy books, especially anthologies, the quality of the art varies wildly, but the scripting on all of the entries is quite strong, including work by Mark Waid, William Messner-Loebs, and Steve Niles. Some of the stories perform the minor miracle of infusing the Lovecraftian tropes with a sense of humor and the results are quite engaging, especially “How To Get Ahead In The Occult,” by scripter Christine Boylan, and “The Cruise of Cthulhu” by Todd Lepre, both featuring art by Chee that’s reminiscent of the work done by Bissette and Totleben during the classic Alan Moore years on SWAMP THING. Though not achieving those lofty heights, the material found here is quite good, the only drawback being that it leaves the absorbed reader craving more. (Dec.)

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