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Graphic Classics, Volume 4: H.P. Lovecraft

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Graphic Classics: H.P. Lovecraft is completely revised, with over 75 pages of new material. New to this edition are adaptations of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," illustrated by Simon Gane and "Dreams in the Witch House," by Pedro Lopez. Plus: "Sweet Ermengarde," a rare comedy by Lovecraft. Returning from the previous edition are "Reanimator," "The Shadow Out of Time," The Te Graphic Classics: H.P. Lovecraft is completely revised, with over 75 pages of new material. New to this edition are adaptations of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," illustrated by Simon Gane and "Dreams in the Witch House," by Pedro Lopez. Plus: "Sweet Ermengarde," a rare comedy by Lovecraft. Returning from the previous edition are "Reanimator," "The Shadow Out of Time," The Terrible Old Man" and "The Cats of Ulthar." With a stunning cover painting by Giorgio Comolo.


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Graphic Classics: H.P. Lovecraft is completely revised, with over 75 pages of new material. New to this edition are adaptations of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," illustrated by Simon Gane and "Dreams in the Witch House," by Pedro Lopez. Plus: "Sweet Ermengarde," a rare comedy by Lovecraft. Returning from the previous edition are "Reanimator," "The Shadow Out of Time," The Te Graphic Classics: H.P. Lovecraft is completely revised, with over 75 pages of new material. New to this edition are adaptations of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," illustrated by Simon Gane and "Dreams in the Witch House," by Pedro Lopez. Plus: "Sweet Ermengarde," a rare comedy by Lovecraft. Returning from the previous edition are "Reanimator," "The Shadow Out of Time," The Terrible Old Man" and "The Cats of Ulthar." With a stunning cover painting by Giorgio Comolo.

30 review for Graphic Classics, Volume 4: H.P. Lovecraft

  1. 5 out of 5

    Forrest

    This book is a sort of confluence for me. It was originally published in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, about 25 miles from home-base in the beautiful driftless area, where I often go hiking. So, yes, I approach this work with a bit of parochialism. One danger in revisiting work in a different medium (and yes, I do count the Graphic Novel as a different medium than straight prose) is that each medium allows some certain freedom of mind to fill in gaps left by the medium itself. That's the primary reason This book is a sort of confluence for me. It was originally published in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, about 25 miles from home-base in the beautiful driftless area, where I often go hiking. So, yes, I approach this work with a bit of parochialism. One danger in revisiting work in a different medium (and yes, I do count the Graphic Novel as a different medium than straight prose) is that each medium allows some certain freedom of mind to fill in gaps left by the medium itself. That's the primary reason why so many readers hate movies based on their favorite books. Their own mental/emotional/intellectual space is smothered by the director's/producer's/actors' interpretation of the original work. In this case, my familiarity with Lovecraft's work did not diminish my enjoyment of the stories presented. That's not to say I liked every one of the pieces. There were some that I was under-impressed with. Others were impressive, but my feelings on the matter are not altogether uncluttered by my past. For me, Richard Corben's section on Herbert West: Reanimator and Matt Howarth's interpretation of The Shadow Out of Time stand out. This may have to do with my childhood fascination with Corben's work in Heavy Metal magazine and Matt Howarth's work on Konny and Czu (which is among my favorite comics of all time). Truth be told, Herbert West is one of my least favorite Lovecraft stories, so this speaks to Corben's impressive treatment of the story. On the other hand,The Shadow Out of Time is one of my favorite Lovecraft stories, so Howarth's artwork, wedded with Lovecraft's writing, is doubly good. Of course, in such an anthology, there is bound to be some loving pastiche. Howarth does so by using the trite word balloons "gasp" and "choke" and plowing ahead into "(incoherent shriek)," "(mindless panic)," and "gibber". These comical interludes express something that falls between poking fun at Lovecraft (and the artist and the reader) and a quirky homage. Thankfully, it stopped short of the silliness of the "Cthulhu's Dreams" vignette, which I found inane. Other stories and poems were neither outstanding or terrible, but adequate to the task. On balance, however, the beauty of some of the illustrations and the dexterous interpretation of Lovecraft's work are weighted more toward excellence than mediocrity. Still, I felt that this could have been so much more. Maybe I'm just too demanding, an homage snob. Speaking of homage, the volume ends nicely on Chris Pelletiere's original piece "Reflections from R'lyeh," an effective piece of surreal noir involving Lovecraft and his Deep Ones. It's a perfect conclusion to the volume, looping back in on itself and causing the reader to become lost, for a moment, in that strange interstitial space between metafiction, supernatural fiction, and biographical nonfiction. Ending the book with a beginning is a nice way to unleash the reader's freedom to fill in the gaps left by the medium, allowing the imagination, again, to take over. And if anyone can attribute auctorial intent to Lovecraft, one must thank him for the gift of breaking our minds open with terror and sending them soaring into new, dark worlds never seen by fleshy eyes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜

    I believe it must be incredibly difficult to abridge Lovecraft's antiquarian, verbose prose into condensed graphic novelettes without making the reader incredibly confused. Some graphic compendiums can create comics out of Lovecraft stories quite well, such as Dan Lockwood's Lovecraft Anthology Volume 1. However, most of the time, it seems these projects are doomed to failure and usually leave the reader wishing for more than what is presented. This compilation strived to be great, but falls flat I believe it must be incredibly difficult to abridge Lovecraft's antiquarian, verbose prose into condensed graphic novelettes without making the reader incredibly confused. Some graphic compendiums can create comics out of Lovecraft stories quite well, such as Dan Lockwood's Lovecraft Anthology Volume 1. However, most of the time, it seems these projects are doomed to failure and usually leave the reader wishing for more than what is presented. This compilation strived to be great, but falls flat with its presentation and visuals. For when you read a Lovecraft story, do you really know most of the time what the character is doing or where he telling the story from? You don't, with some exceptions like At the Mountains of Madness. It's mostly a first person account on what had happened and the mental infliction of the narrator. How in the world can this be translated into a graphic novel? Well, you can do it, but it probably wouldn't be very intriguing, nor would it be short. It's partially for this reason most of the graphic novels in this collection are trimmed down severely, leaving out suspense that Lovecraft devoted pages to. Instead, they all come out as cheesy, confounding, and not particularly interesting to read. Another thing that didn't strike a chord with me were the illustrations. Other than The Rats in the Walls, I found most of the artwork to be either atrociously drawn or awkward and disjointed. Sure, these descriptions by all means fit Lovecraft's tales rather well, but I swear to the Outer Gods some of these graphic novels look like they were drawn by a child on speed while being yelled at by his father to quit drawing and head to bed. They're just so...childish in an odd, off-putting way it made me wonder if this is marketed toward a very young audience. There's nothing wrong with this by any means, but if this was the audience they were marketing it towards then I feel they should have at least had some respect for children's intelligence. Kids like dark themes, so why abridge it to make it confusing because of sloppy editing instead of creepy and atmospheric? I give this compilation 2 stars because this could not have been an easy project by any means, and I sure as hell wouldn't have been able to pull it off. Still, this does not forbid me from criticizing pieces of work or art when they're promising to deliver cosmic horror in graphic novelettes and don't do so.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary Overton

    graphic art retelling of poem A Memory, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Dreams in the Witch House, Sweet Ermengarde, Herbert West Reanimator, The Cats of Ulthar, The Terrible Old Man, The Shadow Out of Time

  4. 4 out of 5

    ComicNerdSam

    Runs into the usual problems of adapting Lovecraft into a visual medium, but there’s some great stuff in here. But there are also some disappointments in here, so overall it’s pretty average experience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jace

    To be fair, I can't judge the whole book because I didn't actually finish it. The illustrations are pretty cartoony and goofy looking, not the type of art I would expect to be paired with Lovecraft stories. It really shook up the whole mood. Maybe these are directed more at children, so they toned down the art? But then again, I'm not sure kids should be reading Lovecraft in the first place if they can't handle dark stuff. I also don't feel that the excerpts taken from the short stories are used To be fair, I can't judge the whole book because I didn't actually finish it. The illustrations are pretty cartoony and goofy looking, not the type of art I would expect to be paired with Lovecraft stories. It really shook up the whole mood. Maybe these are directed more at children, so they toned down the art? But then again, I'm not sure kids should be reading Lovecraft in the first place if they can't handle dark stuff. I also don't feel that the excerpts taken from the short stories are used effectively to tell the tale in comic form. I think a lot is lost when the stories are reduced to this format. As much as I love comics, I would rather read Lovecraft in its original text.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Some of the artwork feels a little cartoony for these stories, still nothing like falling in and out of sleep while reading Lovecraft and having weird hallucinations.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Arnela

    We're taking H.P. Lovecraft's stories and retelling them [basically word for word] in comic format. I know almost all of Lovecraft's stories so I was pretty excited to see them drawn out. I really loved all the different art styles used in this book, they were interesting and worked with the feel of the story. I kinda wish we got some color but black and white feels like a better choice considering how dark and gloomy 99% of these stories are. Although I must admit I was sort of surprised by some We're taking H.P. Lovecraft's stories and retelling them [basically word for word] in comic format. I know almost all of Lovecraft's stories so I was pretty excited to see them drawn out. I really loved all the different art styles used in this book, they were interesting and worked with the feel of the story. I kinda wish we got some color but black and white feels like a better choice considering how dark and gloomy 99% of these stories are. Although I must admit I was sort of surprised by some of the stories included. Sure we had a bunch of more well known ones, The Shadow Over Insmouth, Dreams in the Witch-House, Gerbert West; Reanimator, The Terible Old Man, but I really liked that we included some less well known ones, especially the play, Lovecraft isn't so well known for comedy, and this play was ridiculously fun. I love that the comic had monsters holding up the Act change cards, that was the best. I kinda want them to do another volume hitting some more of Lovecraft's works, cause I know there's several that would make really nice comics.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Madison Maler (anxious.librarian)

    I picked this up in hopes that the graphic novel format would help ease me into some of HP Lovecraft’s tales of horror. I’ve been reading a lot of fiction based on Lovecraft’s work, so it was a fun way to discover which tales connect to which monsters or characters from other books I’ve been reading. The illustrations are a bit dated but not in a bad way. The art reminded me of Spiegelman and worked well with the storytelling. The short story “Reanimator” was a bit too wordy for me compared with I picked this up in hopes that the graphic novel format would help ease me into some of HP Lovecraft’s tales of horror. I’ve been reading a lot of fiction based on Lovecraft’s work, so it was a fun way to discover which tales connect to which monsters or characters from other books I’ve been reading. The illustrations are a bit dated but not in a bad way. The art reminded me of Spiegelman and worked well with the storytelling. The short story “Reanimator” was a bit too wordy for me compared with how other stories in the book were laid out, but overall I think this book is a great resource for introducing someone to Lovecraft’s work. 3.7 ⭐️

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amber Ray

    I picked this up as an introduction to Lovecraft. His writing has a definite "pulp magazine" flair to the writing style. I think this would have been a bit more appealing in color. Lovecraft does have some appeal, but at least one of the tales presented here veered into the ridiculous.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Fawn

    This is the 2nd graphic novel I've attempted & inevitably DNF'd. Still not giving up but won't be ordering anymore horror ones. Creepiest thing about this book is it's cover & one (bad) cat story near the end = where I stopped. This is the 2nd graphic novel I've attempted & inevitably DNF'd. Still not giving up but won't be ordering anymore horror ones. Creepiest thing about this book is it's cover & one (bad) cat story near the end = where I stopped.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    This was a lot of fun. Most of it are Lovecraft’s words and the illustrations bring them to life, sometimes in creepy, sometimes in eldritch, ways.

  12. 4 out of 5

    George Majchrzak

    I wanted to enjoy this more than I did. But first, I did like how the adaptations dealt with dialogue. Lovecraft is known for using sparse dialogue in his work, so the writers here had to provide their own, and make it appropriate to the characters--in terms of both behavior and region--and they were successful in that. The problem I had was the artwork. That isn't to say the artists did a poor job. On the contrary, the artwork is fine. Some is reminiscent of early Eastman and Laird Turtles, and I wanted to enjoy this more than I did. But first, I did like how the adaptations dealt with dialogue. Lovecraft is known for using sparse dialogue in his work, so the writers here had to provide their own, and make it appropriate to the characters--in terms of both behavior and region--and they were successful in that. The problem I had was the artwork. That isn't to say the artists did a poor job. On the contrary, the artwork is fine. Some is reminiscent of early Eastman and Laird Turtles, and another is similar to Tim Burton's visual motifs. There are some techniques at work I really enjoy, in particular the use of broken panels, which reflect the broken sanity of so many of Lovecaft's characters. The shading and use of light/dark are fine. But you might say, "Well, these are all compliments." And you're right. The problem is not the quality of the art, but rather the context. The stories that work with this art style are the ones with a gothic feel. But most of these artists lend the subject matter a goofy, yuck yuck comic look. "The Terrible Old Man" is one example of this. The art style there reminds me of old Milk and Cheese books. The visual style worked for that humorous, irreverent material, but not here in the gothic. Another misfire was "Sweet Ermengarde," adapted here as a play performed by human actors with Lovecraftian creations like Deep Ones and other lizard-like monsters working the lights. The art style there reminds of The Tick, which again works in the superhero satire of that comic, but here doesn't fit the mood. I admire the experimentation of these artists. It's a risk, as Lovecraft is a writer so revered and guarded by his fans. They have established perimeters for what can or can't be done with his work. I'm certainly guilty of that myself. But some of these stylistic decisions illustrate why fans are so protective.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This graphic treatment of several of Lovecraft's short stories--including a rare comedy (!)--seemed like a pretty good introduction to the author and his work. Each story was illustrated by a different artist, so I could also compare their styles and treatment of the material. I actually wasn't drawn to any of the illustration styles, but I think that they still treated their subjects well. Once again, the illustration styles with clear lines and easy to distinguish features appealed to me the m This graphic treatment of several of Lovecraft's short stories--including a rare comedy (!)--seemed like a pretty good introduction to the author and his work. Each story was illustrated by a different artist, so I could also compare their styles and treatment of the material. I actually wasn't drawn to any of the illustration styles, but I think that they still treated their subjects well. Once again, the illustration styles with clear lines and easy to distinguish features appealed to me the most. Because the stories, with the comedy exception, are horror, the illustrations are appropriately dark and forboding, sometimes even gross and disturbing. Since that's how the stories are, too, they're done well. One of the stories, "Herbert West: Reanimator," is divided into four parts, each with a different illustrator. I thought it was interesting that in several, the text was just typed-out sections with accompanying illustrations, almost more like an illustrated story or (adult) picture book than a graphic novel/comic story. So, now I'm glad to be able to say I've read at least some Lovecraft, and while the stories are very well done, I'm not sure how much more of his stuff I'll be able to read, because it's pretty scary!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    This review is of the 2nd edition. I went into this one a little hesitantly as Lovecraft and I have not got along too well up to this point. I have only read a handful of his stories, here and there, as found in anthologies. This is actually the first time I've read a collection specifically of him. In the past I just really didn't "get" his stories, or really understand why he was so well-loved. I did read one recently that I loved, though. I had already discovered DC Comics homage to Lovecraft This review is of the 2nd edition. I went into this one a little hesitantly as Lovecraft and I have not got along too well up to this point. I have only read a handful of his stories, here and there, as found in anthologies. This is actually the first time I've read a collection specifically of him. In the past I just really didn't "get" his stories, or really understand why he was so well-loved. I did read one recently that I loved, though. I had already discovered DC Comics homage to Lovecraft in the naming of their Asylum, Arkham Asylum, and here we find a collection of stories that all take place, if not in, then near, Arkham, Massachusetts. This is a fabulous collection of tales and just perfect for the Lovecraftian newcomer as I can attest. I loved every one of them. None of the illustrations particularly jumped out at me to be of particular note; however, they are all well done and by artists from "Graphic Classics" usual stable: Matt Howarth, Lisa K. Weber, Onsmith Jeremi, etc. and Rick Geary even puts in a short piece. A fantastic read and a great introduction to Lovecraft.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elton Gahr

    Strange Fiction seems perfect for the adaption to comics and since it seems unlikely that truly great adaptions of many of Lovecraft's works are going to come to the big screen this is great. And there are several stories in this that are worth picking up. The biggest weakness is, in my opinion, the choice of stories. Some of them are strong like The Shadow over innsmouth and dreams in the witch house, but there is no reason to adapt Sweet Ermengarde. The different art styles are also interestin Strange Fiction seems perfect for the adaption to comics and since it seems unlikely that truly great adaptions of many of Lovecraft's works are going to come to the big screen this is great. And there are several stories in this that are worth picking up. The biggest weakness is, in my opinion, the choice of stories. Some of them are strong like The Shadow over innsmouth and dreams in the witch house, but there is no reason to adapt Sweet Ermengarde. The different art styles are also interesting but not always perfect. In the Cats of Ulthar the style really adds an interesting element, but the shadow over innsmouth while well done made the average people of Innsmouth a bit too monstrous and if you hadn't read the story before would likely ruin the surprise. So, overall I'm not sure if any of the adaptions are five stars, but they are all interesting and if you want to get a feel for Lovecraft this is a reasonable place to start.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarri

    Kaksi ja puoli tähteä. Hieman puuduttavaa sarjakuvaa useilta eri taiteilijoilta. Ensimmäinen tarina oli ihan ok, mutta loppujen kanssa oli hieman jo vääntöä, lukuunottamatta jotain vähän keveämpää albumin keskellä. Reanimatorissa oli niin paljon tekstiä, että varmaan kannattaa lukea tarina ihan kirjasta suoraan. Albumin englanti oli raskaanoloista, mikä saattoi edesauttaa ajoittaista puutumista, eikä sarjakuvataidekaan aina jaksanut kovasti innostaa. Albumin kansi on mahtava ja lupaa enemmän kui Kaksi ja puoli tähteä. Hieman puuduttavaa sarjakuvaa useilta eri taiteilijoilta. Ensimmäinen tarina oli ihan ok, mutta loppujen kanssa oli hieman jo vääntöä, lukuunottamatta jotain vähän keveämpää albumin keskellä. Reanimatorissa oli niin paljon tekstiä, että varmaan kannattaa lukea tarina ihan kirjasta suoraan. Albumin englanti oli raskaanoloista, mikä saattoi edesauttaa ajoittaista puutumista, eikä sarjakuvataidekaan aina jaksanut kovasti innostaa. Albumin kansi on mahtava ja lupaa enemmän kuin mitä sisältö antaa. Tuli taas mieleen, että moni kakku päältä kaunis... Ehkäpä vankka Lovecraftin harrastaja saisi enemmän irti tästä albumista, minä kun olen alalla vielä aivan amatööri.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    A collection of several H.P. Lovecraft stories told in graphic form. I had hopes for this book based on the cover but most of the art just doesn't work or match the stories. Lovecraft would be a very hard author to illustrate and to make it work I feel you would have to take the work seriously and match the darkness of the visuals to the darkness of the imagery. Most of these stories seemed to go more for comedic effect and broad cartoony art, which on it's own is not unappealing, but does not fi A collection of several H.P. Lovecraft stories told in graphic form. I had hopes for this book based on the cover but most of the art just doesn't work or match the stories. Lovecraft would be a very hard author to illustrate and to make it work I feel you would have to take the work seriously and match the darkness of the visuals to the darkness of the imagery. Most of these stories seemed to go more for comedic effect and broad cartoony art, which on it's own is not unappealing, but does not fit the stories at all.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    With some very interesting illustration styles, this graphic novel kept my interest. The writing of the stories at times seemed a little too simplified from the original versions, however. I think, though, that part of the success of H.P. Lovecraft's stories in their horrifying manner is that the reader has to use his own imagination, which is always much more terrifying than anything that could be put to pen. Despite this, this book was a good quick read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Freyja Quinn

    I couldn’t make it through the last part of the book. It was a really long and not excitingly illustrated poem of Lovecrafts. I feel like the first story was the best and that my interest quickly declined thereafter.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Really great graphic version of some of Lovecraft's most famous tales. Very spooky and strange, but also very accessible! The illustrations match the mood of the stories and really bring it all together.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Boyd

    Challenging for me, Lovecraft has a following, and very influential, but even in Graphic Novel form is not an easy read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David Grassé

    Especially enjoyed the "Cats of Ulthar" with the illustrations of Lisa W. Weber.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    This was an enjoyable book with some fantastic illustrations. My favorite story, of course, was one in which a gang of cats exact their revenge on a cat-hating couple.

  24. 5 out of 5

    The Hendoman

    this whiole series of graphic classics are TOP NOTCH and very enjoyable to read...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Most of these were great interpretations of the stories. One choice was odd, but these were good overall.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Diana Welsch

    Like any anthology, this was hit or miss.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karyn The Pirate

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bear215

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