Unfunny Book: THE LOVECRAFT ANTHOLOGY Volume 2

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The attempts to ‘do a Lovecraft’ don’t work for me. They encounter the problem of all reboots: You can replicate an artist’s style, but not his/her spirit. THE FORCE AWAKENS LOOKS like an original trilogy STAR WARS movie, moreso than the prequels directed by Lucas himself, but they are lifeless, empty things. Similarly, the stories that have tried to copy Lovecraft have slithering god-aliens with goofy names and (usually) cleaner prose, but they don’t have the qualities that everyone loves about Lovecraft. You can’t copy an artist’s particular creative bent anymore than you can his fingerprints.

The exception is HOUSE OF LEAVES, which gets at some of the dimensional horror that Lovecraft got at because Danielewzky isn’t trying to copy Lovecraft, he’s coming at similar material from his own unique, wapred angle. Both of them are trying to mess with our perceptions of reality, but he’s doing it in his own style, not trying to copy HPL, and by chance his lands in the same general area.

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Comic book adaptations have the advantage of being of a medium Lovecraft didn’t practice. By their very nature, they’re nothing like Lovecraft’s work. The pieces in THE LOVECRAFT ANTHOLOGY VOLUME II are as uneven as those in any anthology, but several work on the same feelings of dread and doom that make HPL such a laugh.

PICKMAN’S MODEL starts out promisingly but ends up being even less effective than the NIGHT GALLERY adaptation. It follows the story more accurately, but withholds a clean image of the monsters at the core. They went for suggestion over depiction. It’s okay, but not great.

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Spoilers. But you don’t see anything, so maybe not.

Adrian Salmon’s style doesn’t do much for THE TEMPLE, one of the Lovecraft stories that’s really the buildup to the discovery of An Abandoned Place Where The Old Ones Used To Crash. Humans get near an underwater temple, go nuts, arrive, the end. Why don’t I skip the ones I didn’t care for? I’d start over, but I did type all that above, so I’ll leave it in.

The next one I liked: FROM BEYOND. Here the art by Nicholas Fructus really brings the stuff. A man uses the pituitary gland to see into the unseen world around and inside us all. No Jeffrey Combs eating brains, no Barbara Crampton in leather gear, but still worth reading for the depiction of the creatures.

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THE HOUND is the most like a Robert Bloch Cthulu mythos story with a straightforward tale of grave robbers who pick up an amulet and are then haunted by a howling thing they don’t see. Bryan Baugh’s work is more precise than Fructus’ and it’s appropriate, because the threat is a monster in our world. The final beast resembles the thing at the end of HELLRAISER.

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Spooky room.

THE NAMELESS CITY is, like THE TEMPLE, another Tour of Wonders tale.

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I liked this page, and one other.

Recommended over FALL OF CTHULU: THE FUGUE because if you want Lovecraft comics, why go for a post-SANDMAN Lovecraft TYPE of comic? Get the real thing.

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