Friday, March 7, 2008

Fall of Cthulhu

Those of you who know me know that I'm a huge HP Lovecraft fan. He is one of the forefathers of horror fiction and is known for being able to describe in his works vivid descriptions of people and places. He is also known for letting the reader's mind fill in the gaps of what horrors lurk just outside our perception. His most famous work (made famous by Chaosium Games) is The Call Of Cthulhu.

Enter one of Boom! Studios ongoing monthly series Fall of Cthulhu. Most movie and comic adaptations of Lovecraft's works fall flat. Much like Stephen King his stories work well in written novel form, very few people have been able to make them work in the visual media. Thankfully, Fall of Cthulhu is one of the few. It works on all levels, from the story to the artwork. This comic isn't just a retelling of one of Lovecraft's tales, but a new story using his themes and settings.

The first story arc is an engaging tale of the mysterious Mr. Arhkam and the hapless normal "real world" Cy who has to uncover the bizarre suicide of his Uncle Walt. This of course takes the protagonist on a wild ride to places better left forgotten. The artwork is two fold as the waking world is depicted in wonderful smooth lines and textures, while scenes in the Dreamlands are done in a surreal and almost cartoony way. But it works! Users are instantaneously sucked into the story and know at a glance if the scene takes place in our world or another dimension.

Boom! Studios knocked this out of the park. I highly recommend picking up the first trade and checking the ongoing story out. They are currently only on issue 9, so it's not too late to start reading. My only qualm with this series is the variant covers. I'm not a fan of a company trying to pitch more books by having different art on them, and never will. That was a gimmick from the 90's that should have stayed there.