A while back, we told readers about a new graphic novel called Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, by artist-writer Bruce Brown. Well, Bruce tipped us off that it’s about to be published (I’ll be pre-ordering my copy today).
The book concerns the adventures of a six-year old boy named Howard Lovecraft, who gets his grubby kid paws on the dreaded Necronomicon and is whisked away to a frightening realm populated by tentacled monstrosities and other creepy creatures. Where was this comic when I was a lad?
Part of me was concerned that HP Lovecraft‘s visions had been adapted for a childrens’ narrative — not because I was worried about kids’ fragile, eggshell minds, but rather that such a treatment would run contrary to the misanthropic, cosmic horror at the heart of Lovecraft’s works. Then I saw the art:
There’s a cool interview with Brown over at the Lovecraft News Network (yes, there IS such a thing), where he explains why a Lovecraftian graphic novel aimed at kids is a perfectly reasonable idea:
LNN: I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Lovecraft’s fiction is neither designed for children nor is it particularly accessible to them, yet this has not stopped his themes and motifs from lately being exported to them en masse in the form of projects like yours, which repackages them for a younger audience. What continues to surprise me in almost every case is just how well this transition works out. What is it about Lovecraft’s dark themes that allows them to be so successfully adapted at what are ostensibly polar opposite ends of the literary spectrum: heavy-handed adult “horror” and children’s literature?
Brown: Up till The Frozen Kingdom, I have not heard of anyone trying to adapt Lovecraft to children’s literature. However, I believe it was an incredibly easy fit. Think about it, he crafts these tales of scary monsters that come from the seas, outer space or simply that dark shadow in the corner of the room. If you consider older fairy tales, it seemed to make perfect sense.
I guess it kind of does. Now for a shameless plug: stay tuned for the full-length CD and digital release of Eldritch Musicks by The Contrarian, which is inspired by the likes of HP Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, Thomas Ligotti and. . . Blue Öyster Cult. We’re finalizing the artwork right now, but I expect it to be available by December.