Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom by Bruce Brown and Dwight L. MacPherson is a lovely book and we recommend this as great read. Like the movies, Lovecraft does not always translate well in comic books. Perhaps because it’s difficult to really capture the horror of the grotesque words that Lovecraft used and how our individual minds interpret them. Howard and the Undersea Kingdom is one of those rare gems that gets “it” right. A beautifully illustrated piece from Arcana Studios that presents an a Lovecraft tale for children – yes, you read right – children. This story works for all ages and it’s a pleasant tale of a boy and his friend.
Story synopsis: Howard Lovecraft’s family has been kidnapped to an alien planet, his faithful buddy, Spot (aka Cthulhu) is captured, and Howard is becoming a Deep One. Accompanied by his insane father who’s very remeniscent of Herber West, a pistol-packing constable and his hungry cat, they must face the all-powerful ruler of the Outer Gods, an army of deadly monsters led by the evil King Abdul, and a dark world called Yuggoth. All Howard has to do is surrender his father’s Book but doing so destroys us all.
This tale has great comedic value and it’s prose is fantastically well written and fast paced. Reading the voice of the Outer Gods you can imagine the tone of the old Justice League on televisions’ Apocalypse speaking. The connection between Spot (Cthulhu) and Howard really plays to the tune of His Masters Voice and the caricature is adorable. The cleverness I found of Cthulhu dreaming to find Howard is what really makes this such an enjoyable read as it really paints a different picture of the tales that are so familiar to us yet throws out little gems that true Lovecraft friends will spot. Another example is the cat…perhaps a connection to the Egyptian goddess Bast? It’s similar to H.P. Lovecraft’s true story as his father was really committed and died early in Lovecrafts life but turned around to make a wonderful happy tale.
Thomas Boatwright’s artwork has wondrous environments and landscapes and is a complement to any art collection containing the Outer Gods or any of the Cthulhu Mythos. The art is very reminiscent of a cross between Calvin and Hobbes and Wormwood.
Throughout the book there are many illustrations of Lovecraftian horrors including Reptilians and Dthuls.
Take some time to check out Aracana Studio’s titles. Great work guys!