This is my 1st time posting here. This place looks pretty interesting so hopefully there's some good discussions to be had.
A few years ago I picked up an H.P. Lovecraft anthology that, while not the most comprehensive collection, had some interesting extras put in (such as a listing of some of the Lovecraft adaptations made for TV/Movie). As you can see (above) the cover was drawn by the Hellboy creator/artist Mike Mignola... Speaking of which, most of you probably know that the Hellboy movie based adaptation director Guilermo Del Toro is set to direct the "Mountains of Madness" in 3D with James Cameron producing?
So far, out of the short list of adaptations I saw mentioned at the back of this book, few turned out to be that good. H.P. Lovecraft stories just aren't easy to adapt into other mediums. I'm sure a lot of you guys who've read Lovecraft know what I mean by this...
Anyone know about any above average H.P. Lovecraft adaptations that have translated well into graphic media?
I've found 1 possible answer so far... Here's a collection by John Coulthart with some additional pieces thrown in by Alan Moore.
Back Cover (Computer based rendition of R'Lyeh):
Introduction by Alan Moore
• The Haunter of the Dark (comic adaptation)
• The Call of Cthulhu (comic adaptation)
• The Dunwich Horror (comic adaptation; this is only done half-way through as Coulthart seems to have admitted he couldn't really improve on Enrique Breccia's adaptation of this story that appeared in a 1979 Heavy Metal Magazine)
• The Great Old Ones: Evocations by Alan Moore (A kabbalah centered around the "Great Old Ones")
• Lord Horror (A seperate project by John Coulthart thrown into this book)
For The Haunter of the Dark, why did you choose these particular Lovecraft stories and did you ever consider adapting other ones too?
There were quite a few I could have chosen but I decided to concentrate on (a) ones with a good visual dimension, and (b) ones that weren't too long.
At the Mountains of Madness has always been a favourite of mine but adapting its 90-odd pages – and spending two weeks drawing each page as I was at the time – would have been a daunting task.
The Haunter of the Dark I liked because of the church being the central focus. As early as 1979 I'd tried to visualise what the sinister church might look like (that drawing is included in the book). It's also one of HPL's later stories so there's a lot of reference there to the broader Cthulhu Mythos.
The Call of Cthulhu had some great visual moments with the voodoo ceremony, the discovery of R'lyeh and Cthulhu's appearance at the end. It's also nice for the descriptions of the way that the Cthulhu Cult has spread around the world. This gave me the opportunity to decorate the pages with pastiches of religious artefacts from different cultures.
The Dunwich Horror is a great story for all sorts of reasons, one of Lovecraft's most carefully-crafted and atmospheric, and the semi-human Wilbur Whateley is a very memorable character.
http://www.johncoulthart.com/pleonasm/esoterra.html (lots of interesting stuff about couthburt's relationship with controversial publisher "Savoy Books")
For people like myself who unfortunately don't have a copy of The Haunter of the Dark yet, could you describe the contents in a little detail and describe Alan's contribution 'The Great Old Ones'?
The book is a collection of my Lovecraft comic strips and some related drawings. Alan's 'Great Old Ones' piece is a kind of evocation of Lovecraft's god figures mapped across the Tree of Life, with the energies descending from Kether, represented by the dark planet Yuggoth, to Lovecraft himself at Malkuth. I produced a portrait of each god/entity for the individual entries.
Could you describe what it is about Lovecraft's writing that appeals to you?
Baldly stated, he's the man who single-handedly brought horror fiction into the 20th century, which makes him one of the most important writers of the period. Prior to Lovecraft--and even in his own early works--horror fiction dealt with localised terrors: a ghost, a vampire, haunted houses, etc. Lovecraft began under the influence of Poe but by blending horror and science fiction evolved a new form that we now call "cosmic horror" where the sources of fear in the story can span the universe and even other dimensions, making them impossible to escape from in any way. He said of his later work: "...all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large."
This oppressive sense of insignificance causes his characters to enter a kind of paranoid delirium that often tips over into insanity. His fiction dwells on the insignificance of human beings and human concerns when set against the cosmic scale and his characters tend to exist in a paranoid delirium. It's this that, for me, makes him a pulp equivalent of Kafka. They were both writing at the same period (Kafka slightly earlier) and both fixed a sense of the fear and unease of modern life through the creation of new metaphors. Both were also largely ignored during their lives; Lovecraft had a wide readership but only in Weird Tales magazine, no book collections of his stories appeared during his lifetime. He's often criticised for being a technically poor writer but the fact is that more proficient writers of the time such as John Dos Passos are little read these days, whereas Lovecraft's influence continues to grow. He's received praise from authors of the stature of William Burroughs, Angela Carter and Jorge Luis Borges (who dedicated a story to him); I don't see Stephen King ever achieving that level of respect after he's dead.
It sounds pretty interesting... I read in one interview that there's supposedly a follow-up book to this that's already been finished just awaiting release.
Anyone read this? What'd you think of it? If not are there some other adaptations that you like? There's a complete list of comic book adaptations that can be found here: http://www.hplovecraft.com/popcult/comics.asp
Besides just "adaptations", there are also some new lovecraft based stories that have crossed into the graphics medium too... Any opinions?